Does CBD Oil Affect Your Hormones?
Does CBD Oil Affect Your Hormones?
A hormone imbalance can negatively affect your health and mental wellbeing. Luckily, CBD oil can help restore hormonal homeostasis.
CBD oil interacts with the brain and central nervous system to produce a number of beneficial outcomes from reducing inflammation to calming anxiety. But how does CBD oil impact the endocrine system, the body’s network of hormone-producing glands, that plays a role in everything from hunger to heartbeat to sexual function?
While research is still ongoing, there are some indications that CBD oil can affect your hormones. Below you’ll find information on how CBD oil and other cannabis-derived products can impact your major hormones, and how you might use CBD oil to treat hormone-related ailments.
Keep in mind, the following information is intended to be informational and should not be considered medical advice—always speak to your doctor before trying any new treatment plan, including one involving CBD oil.
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How Does CBD Oil Affect Your Hormones?
Before diving into the science behind CBD oil’s interaction with hormones, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what hormones do and their role in the endocrine system.
The endocrine system consists of a series of glands located throughout the body. These glands include the thyroid, pineal gland, hypothalamus, ovaries, testes, and pancreas, among others. These glands produce hormones, which are released into the bloodstream.
Hormones play a role in a number of your body’s processes, including metabolism and appetite, reproduction, growth and development, sexual function, and mood. And, many of these processes can be impacted by CBD oil.
The cannabis sativa plant, from which CBD oil is derived, contains over 100 phytocannabinoids, compounds that mirror the endocannabinoids produced by your own body’s endocannabinoid system . Two of the most popular and well-researched phytocannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) . THC produces the intoxicating ‘high’ most people associate with marijuana use; contrastingly, CBD is not intoxicating and will not get you high.
CBD oil reacts with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are located throughout the brain and body. These receptors are responsible for a wide variety of physiological processes, such as the perception of pain, mood, and inflammation.
By activating these receptors, CBD oil stimulates the endocrine glands , in turn affecting hormone levels in the body.
CBD Oil’s Effect on Insulin
Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is an incredibly important hormone which, if unbalanced, can negatively impact your health. Common conditions that are caused by insulin imbalance are heart disease, obesity and most notably, diabetes. CBD oil may be able to influence insulin production.
When digesting carbohydrates (sugars and starches), the body breaks them down into glucose molecules. Insulin assists in metabolic processes by helping the body turn glucose into energy and storing excess glucose in fat cells for later use. In addition, insulin helps cells absorb nutrients from food. When insulin is not adequately produced, glucose can build up in the bloodstream and cause damage to nerves, blood vessels, and certain organs.
The way in which CBD oil aids insulin production is not entirely clear, but there is a correlation between chronic inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis , and lack of insulin production, which typically leads to diabetes . In a 2013 study , cannabidiol produced significant anti-inflammatory effects on mice with acute pancreatitis; because CBD oil can reduce inflammation in the pancreas, it stands to reason that it could potentially improve insulin production.
CBD Oil’s Effect on Cortisol
Produced by the adrenal gland, cortisol is a primary hormone responsible for managing your response to stress. The more stress you experience, the more cortisol your body is likely to produce. CBD oil may be able to help mitigate this response.
Cortisol has played a crucial role in human survival as it is responsible for mediating your natural “fight or flight” response. While the actual dangers in your daily life are now few, stress is still high, which means the body regularly produces cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol force your body to prioritize the fight or flight response, instead of allocating resources to your immune system and metabolism, resulting in symptoms that can range from mood swings and increased anxiety to weight gain.
CBD oil was shown to be anti-catabolic in a 1993 study , meaning it was proven to help regulate the amount of cortisol released by the endocrine system, thus reducing stress- and cortisol-related side effects in the body.
CBD Oil’s Effect on Hormones and Sleep Quality
Did you know hormones play a role in your sleep cycle? If the endocrine system becomes unbalanced, your slumbering could suffer. Luckily, CBD oil may be able to help you get some rest.
Cannabis, and extracts from the cannabis plant like CBD oil, have been known to improve sleep and relaxation. Cannabis and cannabis-derived substances activate the body’s cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in a way that decreases the time it takes to fall asleep while also improving sleep stability and increasing overall melatonin production.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland that signals to the body when it’s time to sleep. Healthy melatonin production regulates your natural sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm), which in turn regulates bodily functions. Low or unbalanced levels of melatonin can lead to conditions like depression, obesity, and diabetes. So, if your melatonin levels are off balance and keeping you from being able to fall asleep and stay asleep, CBD oil may be able to improve your sleep quality, which will ultimately better your physical and mental health.
Finally, as mentioned above, CBD oil can improve sleep by lowering cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol revs the body up in response to stressful stimuli, eliciting a physical and mental response opposite that of sleep. Unfortunately, modern life is full of stressors, and finding fast relief can be difficult. At the end of a stress-filled day, CBD oil can help the body and mind relax by reducing the amount of cortisol produced, allowing you to fall asleep more easily.
CBD Oil for Women
Women may experience frequent shifts in hormone levels throughout their adult lives. Temporary hormone imbalances are to be expected during puberty, menstruation cycles, and menopause, meaning if you’re a woman, you’re no stranger to the symptoms associated with changing levels of hormones. The hormonal imbalance can manifest as stress, weight gain, sleep loss, and physical discomfort, just to name a few.
Because CBD oil can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, it may also be able to reduce the stress or anxiety you feel when your hormone levels are shifting. Too, CBD oil’s ability to help with insulin and melatonin production could help offset the potential weight gain and loss of sleep that occur during hormonal fluctuations.
Finally, if you experience physical discomfort like cramping, CBD oil may be able to help. CBD oil is effective at treating inflammation and pain , meaning it could reduce the pain you may feel during menstruation or as part of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While pain of this sort isn’t directly caused by hormones, it’s still associated with female life events that are brought on by shifts in hormone levels.
How to Use CBD Oil for Hormone-Related Issues
If you suffer from a condition or maintain a lifestyle that throws your hormones out of balance, CBD oil may be able to help you achieve homeostasis.
But, before you get started with CBD oil, check with your doctor to make sure it’s the right choice for you, as CBD oil has been known to interact with certain medications . You might also consider speaking with a cannabis doctor to supplement the conversation you have with your primary physician.
Once you and your doctor have decided that CBD oil could be a viable option for you, there are many different ways you can start taking it, including capsules, drops, edibles , and vapes. Whatever delivery format you choose, give yourself a little bit of time to experiment. You may find that what works best for you is a combination of products.
When it comes to CBD oil dosage , start slow and follow the serving suggestions listed on your CBD oil product.
If the serving suggestion is unclear or ineffective, we at CBD Oil Review have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with a standard serving suggestion for you to try:
The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.
If you aren’t seeing results, increase your dosage by 25 mg every 3-4 weeks until you see the effects you’ve been wanting.
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CBD oil can benefit the body but how does it affect your hormones? From insulin to cortisol to melatonin, here’s everything you need to know.
CBD and Hormones: What to Know
Home / Blog / CBD and Hormones: What to Know
CBD and Hormones: What to Know
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/15/2019 in Medical Marijuana
Updated on January 21, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The endocrine system is the body’s network of hormone-producing glands, releasing hormones into the bloodstream that act like tiny chemical messengers that run off to tell our body what to do: grow, eat, burn energy, and reproduce.
This system of glands includes the thyroid, pineal gland, hypothalamus, ovaries, testes, and pancreas (among others)—and under normal conditions, produce hormones at a slow, regular, steady pace. However, due to factors as varied as genes, age, or environment, your body could start making too much or too little of a hormone, triggering symptoms all over the body. This is referred to as a hormone imbalance.
Common symptoms of hormone imbalance include:
- Hair loss
- Skin problems / acne
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Menstrual irregularity
- Vaginal atrophy
Hormonal fluctuations can occur naturally to both males or females during puberty, and at various stages of life (for women this includes menopause, and perimenopause)—but they can also be caused by an unbalanced lifestyle, toxins in the environment, or even hormones in our food chain. Metabolism, appetite, reproduction, growth and development, sexual function, and mood are all connected to our hormone health.
CBD—the non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant—is a chemical compound that directly interacts with the endocrine system . And though research is still ongoing, CBD oil seems to have an affect on certain processes in the body (over a dozen of them now and counting, including the nervous system and mood centers), which include hormone imbalance.
CBD can alleviate the symptoms of hormonal imbalance
CBD may be able to help regulate our hormones, provide relief from hormonal symptoms, and, even act as a preventative measure against hormonal imbalance.
Based on the findings from several promising studies , CBD oil (also taken as capsules, drops/tinctures, edibles, or vapes) had a positive influence on the regulation of hormones and hormone-related ailments. How? With cannabinoids’ ability to interact with neurotransmitters in our brains, particularly the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. These aid in the regulation of hormone secretions and, most promisingly, the brain center responsible for our perception of pain.
Even if you didn’t buy into the scale and breadth of CBD’s healing properties, hemp oil itself is loaded with omega fatty acids like gamma linolenic acid and omega-6 fatty acid (much like in egg yolks), which has been well documented as nutritive support for hormone regulation and inflammation control.
But in addition, CBD seems to have unique properties that interact with the brain and central nervous system, producing a number of beneficial outcomes across a wide variety of physiological processes around the body—from calming anxiety, to alleviating symptoms like nausea, migraines , sleep issues, and more.
In particular, CBD seems to help in controlling the hormones insulin, cortisol, and melatonin.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas and when it gets out of whack, can cause heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. CBD oil seems to reduce the chronic inflammation of the pancreas that’s associated with insulin issues that can lead to diabetes. Cortisol, a no less important hormone, can keep our bodies in a stressed-out state (well after our minds have moved on). CBD oil may be able to help lower cortisol levels in the blood, helping the body and mind relax, keep your mood in check, reduce anxiety, and allow you to fall asleep more easily. And finally, CBD oil may also be able to improve your sleep quality by keeping the hormone melatonin in check as well, by promoting your natural circadian rhythms, helping you fall asleep, and stay asleep, and improve sleep quality.
CBD oil may be particularly beneficial to women
Hormones play a huge role throughout a woman’s life, with temporary, expected hormone imbalances during puberty, monthly menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and perimenopause. But, as new research emerges, CBD oil is changing the way people think about hormone therapy—particularly for women.
CBD seems able to alleviate some of the unique conditions of a woman’s monthly hormone cycles, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS can manifest as stress, weight gain, sleep loss, mood swings, anxiety, and acute physical discomfort like cramps, bloating, intestinal issues, and headache, that occur from up to a week to a few days, or even during, a woman’s period.
However, studies show that CBD can actually alleviate many of these symptoms of hormone fluctuation. Not only by helping maintain control of hormonal balance in the body itself but also, by reducing each individual symptom on its own, such as:
- Mood swings. By interacting with the limbic system, a portion of our brain responsible for emotions, CBD can help moderate mood irregularities.
- Cramps . Shifting hormone levels can cause uncomfortable cramping right before or during a woman’s period, and anecdotal evidence suggests CBD can provide moderate relief from cramping.
- Breast tenderness . By interacting with the vanilloid receptor in our brains—responsible for the way we experience pain—CBD oil is effective at treating the discomfort of swollen and tender breasts by not only decreasing pain, but also by reducing inflammation.
- Anxiety/Stress / Cravings. CBD oil has been shown to inhibit cortisol (the stress hormone)’s output in the body, likely reducing the stress or anxiety you feel when your hormone levels are shifting which can also affect one’s ability to control cravings.
- Bloating/weight gain. By improving digestive functions, reducing inflammation and nausea, and by managing the body’s perception of pain and discomfort, CBD oil is able to aid in relief from painful gas, cramps, and bloating, as well as help control insulin and melatonin to offset sleep loss and weight due to cortisol fluctuations.
- Tiredness or Fatigue. CBD has a growing fanbase as a sleep aid, both in its ability to help you fall asleep, and improve sleep quality (or at the least, bring relief from other symptoms without disrupting your sleep cycle as other medications can).
- Intestinal symptoms. While some women get constipated on their period, others suffer diarrhea—but CBD oil can help with both by influencing the regulation of our bowel movements, reducing inflammation of the digestive tract, and by reducing nausea.
But PMS is hardly the whole story. In one study , researchers found that cannabinoid exposure could also have a profound effect on the reproductive system, lactation, and metabolism—and even your skin .
How to Use CBD Oil for Hormone-Related Issues
If you suffer from a hormonal imbalance, CBD oil may be able to help you achieve homeostasis.
Always check with your personal physician or specialized cannabis doctor to ensure CBD is the right choice for you, as CBD oil has been known to interact with certain medications. Also give yourself time to experiment with dosage, starting small and increasing slowly. The CBD Oil Review suggests a serving of 25 mg of CBD taken twice daily, increasing every 3-4 weeks until you’ve achieved your desired effects (there’s no risk for overdose), but safe levels can reach 1500 mgs per day.
About the Author
Sarah A Lybrand is a writer specializing in lifestyle, health, finance—and fun. She’s written for Bust, Juno, Yahoo, MarketSmiths, and Toast Media, among many others.
CBD and Hormones: What to Know Home / Blog / CBD and Hormones: What to Know CBD and Hormones: What to Know Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/15/2019 in Medical Marijuana Updated on