CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, is bringing a whole new kind of excitement into the art of holistic well-being.
Many women, especially, are keenly interested in CBD for anxiety, CBD for stress, pain, and other conditions. That's not just our own observation. Looking into the statistics, we find significantly more women than men using CBD to relieve a specific condition. It's no wonder, then, that women are savvy CBD oil shoppers.
Women tend to be serious label readers who don't just want a fair price on a bottle of CBD oil. They want the facts. Do you recognize yourself in that description? If so, we're here to offer you what we know. And we show you the sources.
So, let's go straight to the leading concerns women raise, and what we know about how CBD relates to these concerns.
What about CBD for anxiety? What are the benefits of CBD oil for anxiety?
First, we note that anxiety is higher among women, and even higher among women of color. It is essential that CBD remain accessible and affordable to the populations who are most likely to seek it when other treatments have failed.
And second, if you follow our regular CBD columns, you already know that the human body actually forms its own, internal cannabinoid receptors. They're called endocannabinoids. And there's nothing controversial about stating that these receptors help regulate human systems involving anxiety, mood, and relaxation.
On a related note, CBD for depression is receiving research attention. According to the Depression Alliance, many researchers view cannabidiol as a promising option in addressing not only stress, but depression too.
Those endocannabinoid receptors mentioned above also nudge the body to release serotonin. Some people call serotonin the happy chemical. The nickname fits! Serotonin's effects are both relaxing and uplifting.
The New York Times recently told the story of Diana Martinez, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, who, in 2017, was diagnosed with breast cancer and prescribed taxane, a chemotherapy drug that causes nerve damage. After using the prescription a while, Martinez started to trip and fall, sustained a concussion, and had problems swallowing. The drug just wasn't worth it.
Martinez ordered CBD. It made chemo tolerable. Today, Martinez is working with a neurobiologist to find out if CBD for women might help cancer patients finish chemo prescriptions.
Fibromyalgia has resisted treatment for years. This condition can impact anyone, but it mainly impacts women. Its symptoms? Persistent fatigue. Chronic pain throughout the body. Sleeplessness. Clouded thought. Available treatments largely focus on managing the pain.
Many customers seek out CBD oil to ease chronic pain, but the Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD for pain in fibromyalgia or other pain-related conditions. (So far, a prescription epilepsy drug is the only FDA-approved CBD health product to have entered the market.)
A 2011 study indicated that cannabis users experienced several benefits for fibromyalgia: better mobility, ease of falling asleep, reduced pain, and slightly higher mental health ratings than others. A 2019 Israeli study guided by nurses showed similar promise, especially in self-reported pain reduction. Now, can these benefits be traced specifically to CBD? We don't know yet.
Reining in Hormones, Taming PMS
By engaging those same receptors, the hope is that CBD can tone down premenstrual syndrome symptoms: pain, bloating, mood swings, stress, fatigue, and cravings. And in middle age, when hormonal imbalance is a common quality-of-life issue, could CBD offer relief? In one study, CBD seemed to regulate the stress hormone cortisol, offering relaxation.
In another study, researchers found that cannabinoid receptors' influence on hormones might have "profound" impacts on metabolism and the reproductive system.
Supporting Good Digestion and Cholesterol Levels
Did you know women, especially older women, more frequently seek help for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) than men do? This means CBD oil for women may have a special role to play in supporting healthy digestion.
Can CBD help protect a healthy gastrointestinal system? Consider a recent study of the impact of CBD on the digestive tract. The results led the authors to write that CBD is a "potential candidate for the development of a new class of anti-IBD drugs."
As for cholesterol, there are two well-known kinds. These are the low-density and high-density lipoproteins, or LDL and HDL. The "good cholesterol" is HDL, while too much LDL cholesterol is considered unhealthful. Research indicates that CBD can affect the way our cells store cholesterol. Now, scientists wish to learn whether CBD can assist with preventing buildups of LDL cholesterol.
CBD doesn't impact everyone in the same way. That said, we see evidence that it does offer significant balancing assistance for a range of human systems.
Consumer Reports notes the work of Dr. Joseph Maroon, a clinical neurological surgery professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who believes CBD could potentially ease anxiety, depression, seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even concussion symptoms.
As we discover more about CBD's health benefits, the specific concerns of women will likely drive an increasing percentage of the research.