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CBD Oil & Menopause

There are so many discussions being had about CBD oil and the benefits of using it as part of a symptom management supplement. We thought you might have some questions and have tried to outline all the pros and cons.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid discovered around 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in a cannabis plant, along with Tetrahydrocannabinol otherwise known as (THC). It accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract according to Wikipedia and science. As of 2019, clinical research on CBD including studies related to menopause symptoms is still ongoing, however, there is increasing anecdotal evidence supporting claims that CBD Oil can help relieve chronic pain and other symptoms.

Is it legal?

In some countries, CBD is legally used in clinical practice to help cancer patients and those with epilepsy. In the UK it is legally sold providing the THC content is less than 0.2%.

Will I get High?

No, because of the low concentration of THC in most CBD Oil products, you will not feel that high sensation associated with Cannabis.

How it can help Symptoms of Menopause

So many symptoms can be relieved by CBD Oil that includes stiffness of joints through inflammation, headaches or migraines, acne, anxiety, depression, mood, appetite, and because you start to feel better in some cases this may also improve your sex life too.

If you have been doing free menopause training with us, you will know that our bodies are full of estrogen receptors. Well, it turns out that it’s no different for the Endocannabinoid system. This refers to a collection of cell receptors that interact with chemical messengers (hormones) and help the body in terms of health.

More and more women are now starting to use CBD Oil, especially those who can not take HRT for example. Though there is no hard evidence yet about the certainty of the benefits, there is much anecdotal evidence, and we hear stories all the time from women. We would like to hear yours!

CBD Oil could help to treat the following symptoms:

Depression and Anxiety

Weight Gain & Diabetes

Aches & Joint Pain

What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

The ECS resides in the body of all animals except insects. This 600-million-year-old messenger and receptor system is integral to the management of body balance, known as homeostasis. There is not a single function within our body that will not be influenced or controlled by the ECS. It works across all physical processes in the body, acting and reacting to both internal and external stimuli, directing, correcting, and managing overall health and well-being.

Here comes the science bit…

While scientists are still fully evaluating the complexity of how the ECS works and all its functions, what we do know is, the ECS plays a significant role in regulating key systems of the body whether you use cannabis or not. These systems include:

  • circulatory
  • pulmonary
  • skeletal
  • muscular
  • nervous

The ECS comprises three core components:

  • Receptors – CB (1) in the central nervous system and CB (2) in the peripheral nervous system, digestive system, and specific cells in the immune system.
  • Two key identified endocannabinoids: body-made cannabinoids, such as Anandamide (AEA), the bliss molecule, promoting feelings such as euphoria after exercise and 2-AG.
  • Enzymes – synthesizing enzymes to make endocannabinoids when required and degrading enzymes to them down when used in response to neurotransmitter stimulation.

How could CBD help symptoms?

Although the exact details of how CBD interacts with the ECS are also under debate, research indicates CBD can be helpful in the body’s management and reaction to pain, inflammation, stress, environmental pollutants, aging, prescription drugs, and many other symptoms that present themselves. Importantly, once you start to understand what is going on with your body and in your mind, you can take control of your physical health, mental and emotional well-being.

In essence, endocannabinoids can bind to either receptor, signaling the ECS to take action. The ECS reacts very quickly when required to function. The effect depends on where the receptor is situated and which endocannabinoid it attaches itself to. For example, when the body experiences inflammation, a reaction of autoimmune disorders, endocannabinoids may bind to a CB (2) receptor. Once the endocannabinoids have carried out their functions, degrading enzymes break down the endocannabinoids.

ECS facilitates our internal bodily systems to return to their state of homeostasis. So, a sense of the body being centered and in balance is critical. Science in the present moment of today and the future lies in this important regulatory system. Choose to live in balance, in the words of Maya Angelou “Nothing will work unless you do”.

Where can I buy safe CBD Oil?

Because we trust it and have a good relationship with the company that prepares the product for us, you can find our CBD oil products in our shop by clicking here if we did not believe it had benefits, we would not be selling them.

Can I use it even if I’m on HRT?

There is no scientific or clinical evidence that CBD interferes with HRT. However, we recommend that you space out the time between taking HRT and taking CBD oil giving each supplement time to work.

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Usage & Dosage – How and when to take it?

With our CBD oil, you can use it in several ways. Either neat, just a couple of drops under the tongue, twice a day (do not exceed this). Or you might want to become more adventurous as it can simply be added to food or drink. We have some great recipes to share with you.

Will it work for me?

Former Loose Women star, Andrea McLean can attest to the benefits of taking CBD oil speaking publicly in May 2019. Her doctor recommended CBD oil to cure hot flushes associated with menopause. She said “It has ­massively taken the edge off things with the flushes, and it has made me less ­anxious because anxiety is still a key thing for me. It is not an anti-depressant but what I no longer feel is that sensation of being on high alert.”

The issues and health impacts that women face as they go through menopause are multifaceted. The use of CBD oil on a daily basis can play a pivotal role in helping to get the ECS back into a state of homeostasis, the balance needed to maintain a healthy equilibrium within the body.

And for women suffering from menopause symptoms, achieving this balance will lead to a greater sense of wellbeing, raising the quality of life they can live. How women deal with these menopause symptoms is a matter of personal choice; whether they prefer pharmaceutical or prescription drugs or a more naturopathic pathway including CBD oil. This may depend on menopausal severity, where a combination of both could be a good option.

One thing is for certain, CBD oil is becoming more popular according to Statista, where twenty-one percent of people in Great Britain have taken it. And with so many people experiencing the health-related benefits of CBD oil, it’s certainly worth giving it a try for all the potential advantages it can bring to your daily life.

Possible Side-Effects

Because it is almost as natural as consuming olive oil and has similar health benefits. The body tolerates this oil very well. However there have been some side effects reported that include fatigue, diarrhea, and a dry mouth. Bearing this in mind, always keep well-hydrated. If you have any concerns about taking CBD oil we recommend that you consult with your doctor first as you should if you are considering introducing any supplements to your diet. Remember plants are very powerful, and most pharmaceutical products are derived from plant extract.

We have also heard some references to a reaction if you combine eating Grapefruit alongside taking CBD Oil, so please don’t, as that may react. We think it has much to do with certain enzymes found in the Grapefruit. It may upset your stomach.

Fancy giving it a go, and finding out how much better you can feel? Take a look here

Message from Dee Murray – Founder, Menopause Experts Group.

‘For years I have remained skeptical about the use of CBD. As a retired Psychotherapist, my concerns were born out of cannabis use and my experience of patients struggling with dependency.

However, with all the new knowledge we now have, CBD Oil has undeniable anecdotal evidence to support the claims that it helps women during menopause, and indeed at any time. To relax, feel less-stressed and anxious, and can even relieve chronic pain which so many of us experience due to the decrease in estrogen.

That is why I agreed to add this product to our range, and I can’t wait to hear all the stories from women who use CBD Oil as part of the management of their own symptoms. I for one will use it to treat my occasional frozen shoulder.’

CBD and the Menopause: Can it really help?

I hear lots of great things about CBD oil and help with menopausal symptoms like insomnia, depression, and increased inflammation, but also concerns about buying and trusting sources of CBD oil. The topic can feel confusing and conflicting. In this article, we speak to Cliona Nagle, the founder of plus120, a platform that collates the very best CBD products across Europe. After stumbling into the world of CBD and finding it so difficult to find trustworthy CBD oils, she founded plus120 to solve this problem. Cliona shares her tips for safely choosing your CBD oil here.

What do we need to know about CBD?

Around 30 years ago, scientists discovered we have another body system called an Endocannabinoid system (ECS). It has been described as one of the most “important physiologic systems involved in establishing and maintaining human health” – yet doctors are barely trained on it.
Our ECS plays an important part in all biological functions: everything from sleep, appetite, memory, mood, immune system, pain control and reproduction. It is like an orchestra for our body, it keeps everything working together in balance. If one system goes out of balance, like for example, how our hormonal system goes out of balance during the menopause, everything else is affected.
We produce our own cannabinoids which help regulate our ECS (called endocannabinoids) but plants produce cannabinoids too.
When our bodies are under pressure, like how it is during the menopause, we can use plant cannabinoids to support us through this time.

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Our bodies were designed to interact with plant cannabinoids. CBD is one plant cannabinoid that we can use to help support our ECS.

How can CBD help menopause symptoms?

Because the ECS is such a huge complex system that affects every organ in our bodies, there are many ways that plant cannabinoids like CBD can support us through this time.

CBD can help regulate our endocannabinoid system

What’s happening: Oestrogen helps regulate our levels of endocannabinoids. Without it, some endocannabinoids like anandamide get broken down too early. Anandamide, also known as the ‘bliss molecule’, helps us feel good. Low levels will show up as stress, anxiety and depression.
How CBD can help: Supporting our bodies with CBD, will prevent the early breakdown of anandamide helping us feel better for longer.

CBD can reduce inflammation

What’s happening: Oestrogen helps reduce body inflammation which means that declining levels during menopause contribute to more inflammation in our bodies. This shows up as joint and muscle pains and aches and is why arthritis, for example, can start in the menopause.
How CBD can help: CBD has potent anti-inflammatory properties. It works by reducing the pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. More than that, however, CBD is also great for pain caused by inflammation as it binds with pain receptors.

CBD can help manage symptoms of depression

What’s happening: Plummeting levels of oestrogen and other hormones affect the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in our brains – all affecting our mood.
How CBD can help: CBD increases the levels of serotonin by activating our serotonin receptors. And as above, it also helps the too early breakdown of anandamide. The combination of both increasing anandamide and serotonin is what is thought to provide the anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects of CBD.

CBD can help with insomnia

What’s happening: Fluctuating hormones, combined with reduced levels of GABA, the calming neurotransmitter in our brains, often causes sleep disturbances during menopause.
How CBD can help: CBD can balance out levels of GABA in our brains, resulting in more restful sleep. CBD also helps with sleep due to its anti-anxiety properties.

How to choose a good CBD product for the menopause?

Choosing a good CBD product is an absolute minefield for customers and unfortunately, it’s all too easy to go wrong.
However, once armed with even a basic amount of information, you can help navigate through to a great CBD product.
Some helpful tips when buying a CBD product:

  • Make sure to buy organic – hemp, the plant which CBD comes from accumulates toxins from the soil so you want to make sure the soil hemp is grown in is clean.
  • Look for a full-spectrum product – CBD works best with all plant compounds known as the “entourage effect”. Isolated CBD, often marketed as “pure” is not as effective.
  • Make sure you are buying clean ingredients – avoid added ‘ flavours’ or anything synthetic that will compromise the health benefits of CBD.
  • To target inflammation, look for the cannabinoid CBDa, the acid precursor of CBD
  • To target sleep issues, look for relaxing terpenes like myrcene or beta-Caryophyllene to be present

CBD frequently asked questions.

  • Is it safe? Yes, CBD is considered as “well tolerated with a good safety profile” – WHO, 2018
  • Is it legal to buy in Ireland? Yes. CBD is legal to buy in Ireland.
  • Will it make me high? No. There’s trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound which makes you high but nothing that will affect you.
  • Will it show up on a drug test? THC is what is being detected in drug tests. This shouldn't be a concern unless you are consuming huge amounts of CBD. Use a broad spectrum CBD product if this something that is on your mind.

If you have any further questions, please email [email protected]

About Cliona Nagle
Cliona is the founder of plus120, a platform that collates the very best CBD products across Europe. After stumbling into the world of CBD and finding it so difficult to find trustworthy CBD oils, she founded plus120 to solve this problem.
Cliona believes we are at the forefront of a medical breakthrough with emerging studies proving the health benefits CBD offers to the endocannabinoid system.

You can find Cliona over on instagram @plus120_

Cliona Nagle helps you to source the best CBD oil to help relieve symptoms of menopause

My CBD And Sleep Kit: Juliet Warkentin

When I started to experience sleep issues during menopause, I began collecting all the tips and short cuts I could. Understanding CBD and sleep was high on my priority list.

First of all, I wanted to know: What is CBD used for? While cannabis has been used for centuries for a wide range of issues including joint issues, today CBD is used for pain management including anxiety. I had a few questions before I tried it out.

What is CBD and why is it legal?

CBD or Cannabidiol is derived from the hemp plant. There are many ingredients in cannabis, but CBD is the second most active ingredient and, critically, does not contain the euphoric properties found in THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Is CBD a banned substance? No it is not, and is legal to buy and use in the UK.

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How does CBD affect sleep quality?

Can CBD oil help you sleep? “CBD is not a sleeping pill,” says Rosemary Mazanet, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at Columbia Care, a leading producer of science-driven, cannabis plant-based therapies. It is not a tactical tool to be used if you are wound up and can’t sleep. “CBD modulates the homeostasis in the body providing relaxation and therefore sleep,” says Rosemary. “While some people might have an immediate improvement in sleep, CBD needs to be part of your regime. People feel that after a week it definitely has an effect.”

What does CBD make you feel?

CBD is absorbed in the body by the receptors in the endocannabinoid system which is designed to create homeostasis – in other words balance. Ingested, rather than taken topically it can help people focus more, ease aches and pains and relax people into sleep.

What are the side effects of CBD?

In commercial products, side effects are rare and are most often connected to the gastro intestinal tract. Some people may experience dry mouth, diarrhoea, reduced appetite or drowsiness when taking CBD. If this occurs, try taking it at a different time of the day, or test a different preparation. If you are taking any medication, it is important to double check with your doctor in advance.

When should you take CBD?

It doesn’t matter what time of day you take CBD, but it is best to take your CBD with a meal or snack. This is because the body absorbs CBD’s nutrients better, as with vitamins.

Armed with all of this information, I’ve been happily including CBD as part of my midlife sleep kit. CBD doesn’t make you sleep, it lets you sleep. Every CBD and sleep experience is personal, but for me, I’ve found it makes a difference.

Columbia Care Broad Spectrum Peppermint Flavoured 10% CBD Oil, from £39.95

Sleep does not always come easily to me, so the introduction of CBD products to the UK has given me a new tool to help me get a good kip.

There are a few options out there, but I’ve chosen a brand that has deep scientific experience in the field and is plant-based. In other words they are ‘whole of plant’ experts.

Columbia Care Platinum is the consumer brand for Columbia Care which also produces medical cannabis used by doctors around the world.

I feel more comfortable controlling the dosage myself, so I like this 10% CBD Oil. It’s free of THC, is made of high quality 100% organic hemp and the peppermint flavour actually tastes pretty good – unlike other brands I’ve tried in the past.

Fortnum & Mason Repose Botanical Infusion Tin, £9.95

I am an inveterate tea drinker. I usually have a cup with me all day, but by evening I need to watch my caffeine intake so I switch to an infusion to wind me down.

Peppermint on its own can be too strong for me, but I love Fortnum & Mason’s Repose Infusion which balances the peppermint with ginger, camomile, fennel and cardamom seeds, liquorice, dandelion and turmeric. The ingredient list sounds like a recipe for a smoothie, but it is light and calming and a complete treat about 8pm.

Piglet in Bed Forest Green duvet cover, £160

For years I avoided linen bedsheets because I thought they’d be too hot and scratchy. My Piglet In Bed duvet cover has changed my perspective.

The benefit of linen sheets and duvet covers is that they keep you warm in the winter and are surprisingly cool in the summer. Interestingly, I find linen far less claustrophobic and cloying than my old cotton duvet sets, even if they are a little heavier in weight. Piglet offers a wide range of shades, so if colour is your thing, knock yourself out mixing and matching bedsheets, pillow cases and duvet covers. The combos are endless.

Ten PerCent Happier, £12 month

There are quite a few meditation apps to choose from these days, but my top pick is Ten PerCent. Co-founded by ex-broadcaster Dan Harris, this app brings a pragmatic approach to meditation and features a wide range of authoritative teachers and great courses for those who want to dig deeper without getting too intellectual about it.

My favourite teacher, hands down, is Sebene Selassie, whose wise, grounded meditations have calmed me during stressful times, and sent me to sleep countless nights.

White Company Hot Water Bottle, £32

Confession: I have quite a lot of hot water bottles. On chilly nights, half an hour before I go to bed, I’ll often put one or two (yes, two) under the duvet. It’s incredibly comforting to crawl into a warm bed, and it always makes me feel as if someone has taken good care of me… even when I’ve done it myself!

The fake fur cover on this White Company hot water bottle keeps it warm longer and is cosy to curl up to all night long.