As we get older, we are always looking for new ways to take better care of our health. While men in the United States hold most medical cards, that may start to change. Women are exploring alternatives to treat mental and physical symptoms, and disorders like PMDD more naturally.
Let’s look at seven (7) ways that marijuana can help women manage symptoms and improve their daily quality of life. Remember that in many states, reproductive pain and discomfort, migraines, and other signs of inflammation may qualify as a chronic pain condition.
1. Menstruation Discomfort Including Bloating and Cramps
Heading toward pre-menopause or full menopause is not a time of sadness for many women. Some women count the days until they stop menstruating to stop dealing with the symptoms every month.
Bloating is an uncomfortable side effect. Edema can happen for women in the ankles, feet, and legs—painful swelling and fluid retention. In the abdominal area, bloating can also occur, accompanied by cramps. Some women experience mild cramps, but others endure excruciating uterine contractions that make it hard to move and concentrate.
Can marijuana help with cramps and bloating? Unlike prescription NSAID medications, neither THC nor CBD will block the production of prostaglandin. Those are the lipids (eicosanoids) that impact hormone health and trigger uterine contractions or cramps.
But cannabis can provide pain relief because THC helps release dopamine or the “happy hormone.” An increase in dopamine can make some people experience a change in the perception of pain and downgrade their experience to be manageable. And less painful. In some clinical studies, CBD has also been found to relax uterine muscles, reducing the intensity of contractions (cramps).
2. Superwoman Chronic Fatigue
Feeling tired? Chronic fatigue is more than just feeling like you need a weekend to recover from your long weekend. You intuitively know when your energy levels are not correct. And you may have even talked to a doctor about it. But for most women, the art of taking naps or having a weekend of “doing nothing” is lost. Obligations and responsibilities tend to stack up, whether we want them to or not.
Chronic fatigue can make everything harder daily. The first step is to determine whether your fatigue is related to one of the most common causes. For women, chronic fatigue can be a symptom or effect of another health problem such as:
- Thyroid disorder
- Nutritional or vitamin deficiencies
- Cardiovascular problems such as heart disease
- Sleep apnea
Chronic fatigue can be caused by more than one disorder. But if you have not been diagnosed with chronic fatigue but always feel tired, you may find that Sativa cannabis can help. Most Sativa dominant strains provide a pleasing and energetic psychoactive effect. This can help you “shake off” the feeling of being tired all the time.
3. Chronic Headaches and Migraines
If you thought that you get more headaches than your male friends or family, you don’t imagine it. Did you know that 8% of women in the United States reported frequent headaches, while only 6% of men said it was a problem for them.
However, when it comes to migraines, 43% of women experience them. And in one clinical survey, 85% of women claimed they had a headache or migraine at least 15 days per month for more than three months in succession.
Does marijuana help migraines? Headaches and migraines are believed to be tied to the female sex hormone estrogen. Read: “The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders.”
4. Help with Symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
We all know that when your monthly cycle arrives, even the most cheerful and patient person can go from Defcon 4 to an emotional Defcon 1 state. That is because, among all the unpleasant symptoms of menstruation, there is a tsunami of hormones that come with it.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, is a more severe version of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). It is much more potent because the emotional symptoms of irritability, anxiety, and depression can start as early as two weeks before your monthly cycle. And the signs are really difficult to manage for women but become milder about 2—3 days after menstruation begins.
About 5% of women may have PMDD. Clinical research suggests that fluctuating serotonin levels may cause severe symptoms. Serotonin, or 5-hydroxytryptamine, is a neurotransmitter and hormone that controls mood, memory, learning, cognition, and many bodily processes.
The emotional storm that is PMDD can be helped with medical cannabis. Strains that are high in CBD (cannabidiol) help reduce inflammation. This can help manage the painful physical symptoms. And Sativa dominant strains that can provide increased energy, euphoria, and relief from anxiety can also help.
5. Rev Up the Engines! Cannabis Can Improve Your Sex Life
As we age, our bodies change. And that is the result of fluctuations in natural reproductive hormones and other factors. Some of the hormones that begin to decline help stimulate the female sex drive. And they are also responsible for making sex feel comfortable and enjoyable.
Chronic diseases are more prevalent with age. And many common chronic diseases like diabetes can also be detrimental to enjoying healthy and satisfying sex lives. Like Meg Ryan in the iconic vocal sex scene in “When Harry Met Sally,” cannabis may also help women improve the quality of the sex they have. And the number (and intensity) of orgasms that a woman may have.
Exogenous cannabinoids (like THC) and endocannabinoids have been clinically shown to affect female sexual functioning positively. The science is a little complicated, but basically, THC can stimulate hormones that can substantially improve sex for women.
6. Chronic Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders
Do you think men or women experience a higher rate of insomnia? Women experience problems with insomnia more than men do. Secondary insomnia is most common, and it can be caused by mental health and physical conditions including:
- TBI (traumatic brain injury)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic pain
- PMDD hot flashes
- RLS (restless legs syndrome)
- Side-effects from prescription medications
Indica strains of cannabis are often suggested for nighttime use because they can have a sedative and relaxing effect. Some women prefer an Indica edible that delivers a slow release to assist with restful sleep. Even for women who have severe PMDD. Most people do not experience drowsiness when waking up after consuming an Indica edible to help with insomnia.
7. Cannabis Topicals for Healthy Skin
Nothing looks as beautiful as healthy skin. But the more we learn about manufactured cosmetic creams; the more women understand the perils. Not everything we put on our face and body to nourish our skin is healthy for us. Some skin creams may accelerate the aging process or create problems with acne and more.
There are two topicals: the medicinal for pain relief and cosmetic ointments, creams, and cleansers. One of the reasons why CBD and cannabis cosmetic creams are so popular is that they are often free of the harsh chemicals found in other products.
Hempseed oil is a prevalent type of natural remedy. It has high levels of fatty acids that hydrate and nourish the skin. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been found to have powerful antioxidant properties that help reduce inflammation. Many patients who have psoriasis or eczema try CBD topicals to provide relief from dryness and itching. Researchers are also looking at the potential of higher-dose cannabidiol to fight moderate to severe acne.
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