Study: Cannabis against menopausal symptoms

October 14, 2020

Every woman over 40 will somewhen go through the menopause (menopause). During this time, the interplay of hormones in the body changes, so that symptoms like hot flashes, sweating, severe pain during menstruation, mood swings and sleep disturbances can occur.

For some women, the symptoms are so severe that their quality of life suffers considerably. There are several treatment options available to relieve the symptoms. These include hormone replacement therapy (oestrogens, gestagens), herbal preparations and local hormone preparations. However, many of these drugs are associated with adverse effects, so research is constantly looking at new treatment options.

One such alternative could be medical cannabinoids. It is thought that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in menopause. Among other things, ECS is responsible for regulating pain, mood, memory, appetite and the reproductive organs. Because cannabinoid receptors are found in the female reproductive system, medical cannabinoids might reduce symptoms.

However, there has been little research on the effects of cannabinoids on menopausal symptoms.

Women have been able to relieve complaints of cannabis

During the virtual annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) interesting study results were presented. In a sample of 232 menopausal women, more than half reported symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, insomnia and urogenital problems.

About 27 percent of the women used cannabis to relieve these typical menopausal symptoms. Another 10 percent of women showed interest in using cannabis. Only 19 percent declared that they were taking traditional treatment (e.g. hormone therapy).

“These findings suggest that cannabis use to manage menopause symptoms may be relatively common. However, we do not know whether cannabis use is safe or effective for menopause symptom management or whether women are discussing these decisions with their healthcare providers […] his information is important for healthcare providers, and more research in this area is needed,” said Carolyn Gibson, PhD, MPH, psychologist and public health researcher at the San Francisco VA Health Care System and lead author of the study.

Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS Medical Director, further explained that the study shows an alarming trend and the need for more research into the benefits and potential risks of cannabis use in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.





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