CBD Oil Estrogen

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There’s currently insufficient human data to provide clear conclusions about the effects of CBD on progesterone and estrogen levels. Some studies have shown that CBD oil and estrogen may be related as CBD acts as an aromatase inhibitor. Read more. Having a well balanced hormone level is vital for any woman to stay fit and healthy

Does CBD Affect Progesterone and Estrogen?

Progesterone and estrogen are the primary female sex hormones. Both hormones play a critical role in regulating female reproductive systems and contribute to general wellbeing.

Emerging research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may modulate the expression of certain hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen. However, research exploring the effects of CBD on these hormones is still at a nascent stage, and findings are mixed.

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What Are Progesterone and Estrogen?

More than fifty hormones have been identified in the human body. Hormones are chemical messengers released by endocrine glands into the bloodstream, where they travel to receptor sites in the organs and tissues to trigger change. The master gland controls the function of most glands in the body, called the pituitary gland.

Men and women generally have the same hormones, although they occur in different quantities, are produced at various sites, and interact with organs and bodily systems differently.

Progesterone and estrogen are the most dominant hormones in women, while testosterone is the most prevalent hormone in men. However, men also produce progesterone and estrogen, albeit at lower levels. Progesterone and estrogen both play essential roles in men’s and women’s reproductive health.

Progesterone

Progesterone is a “precursor” or building block hormone that helps manufacture sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. The ovaries secrete this essential hormone in women and the testes in men. In women, progesterone has the specific role of regulating menstruation and supporting female reproduction. In men, progesterone has the critical function of helping to produce testosterone and influences the production of sperm (spermiogenesis).

However, progesterone also contributes to some other vital physiological functions in both women and men, such as:

  • Regulating blood sugar.
  • Building bone mass.
  • Regulating brain activity.
  • Converting fat into energy.
  • Regulating thyroid production.
  • Sparking libido.
  • Balancing mood.
  • Helping support sleep.

Estrogen

There are three major forms of estrogen: estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Estradiol, the most predominant form of estrogen in men, influences erectile function, libido, and the production of sperm. In men, estrogens are primarily produced in the testes, adrenal glands, and the brain.

Estradiol is the most common form of estrogen in women during the reproductive years, contributing to the growth of the egg follicle in preparation for conception/menstruation, the thickness and health of the uterus, and the formation of breast tissue. Estrone becomes more prominent after menopause, while estriol is predominant during pregnancy. In women, estrogens are largely produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands.

In both men and women, estrogens can also help contribute to the following bodily processes:

  • Building bone density.
  • Facilitating physical changes during puberty.
  • Maintenance of mood and emotional state.
  • Healthy skin.
  • Cognitive function.
  • Muscle mass.
  • Metabolism.

CBD and Progesterone and Estrogen: What the Science Says

At present, insights into the effects of CBD on progesterone and estrogen are still very much in a nascent phase. Most existing research explores the effects of whole-plant cannabis (THC, CBD, other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant compounds) on hormones.

The interaction of these diverse compounds in cannabis with hormone production and expression is nuanced due to the entourage effect. It’s therefore difficult to conclude the effects of CBD from research that investigates the effects of whole-plant cannabis on progesterone and estrogen.

Nonetheless, it’s clear that cannabis can modulate our hormones through its effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the cannabinoid receptors (which consist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors). The ECS plays a critical role in our immune system and contributes to the body’s homeostasis (balance and equilibrium). This critical bodily system also influences hormonal function.

Of the few studies that exist exploring the effects of CBD on estrogen.

A 1980 study found that moderate to high doses of CBD did not change the estrogen levels of female rhesus monkeys. However, a 2020 test-tube study found that CBD suppressed estrogen production by inhibiting the production of an enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase plays a vital role in the body’s production of estrogens. CBD was also found to deregulate decidualization, a process that plays a role in healthy pregnancies. The authors suggested that CBD could lead to infertility problems. However, large-scale clinical studies, including human participants, are needed before drawing any conclusion.

Findings on progesterone are also inconclusive. In a 2018 study, mice that received CBD for 34 consecutive days experienced no change in their circulating progesterone levels. In a 2005 study on rats, however, CBD inhibited the expression of progesterone in rat testes. The researchers suggested that the outcome may be caused by a metabolic interaction between the cannabinoid and the enzyme that converts progesterone into other hormones.

How to Use CBD to Balance Progesterone and Estrogen

Despite the ambiguous data concerning the effects of CBD on progesterone and estrogen, there is some research suggesting that CBD may counter hormone imbalance.

A 2022 study in an animal model of rat epilepsy showed that seizures are more frequent when estrogen levels are high, and progesterone levels are low – a period known as the proestrus-estrus transition. The researchers found that a single dose of CBD offered partial protection against the severity of seizures and inflammation that can occur due to high levels of estrogen. They also concluded that CBD could be used to support hormone balance when estrogen/progesterone levels are fluctuating.

In human populations, anecdotes abound about the hormone-balancing properties of CBD, even if clinical data is sometimes scarce. For example, CBD may yield benefits for women experiencing the fluctuations of menopause. Beyond CBD, there’s evidence that marijuana, in general, may help with menstrual cramps.

If you’re thinking about experimenting with CBD to balance estrogen and progesterone, it can be helpful to consult with a doctor experienced in cannabis medicine before beginning a new regime. For example, finding out if CBD may affect certain medications, such as birth control, is vital.

If you try CBD oil or other CBD products, check out our list of helpful dosing tips, and always remember to start low and slow.

The Bottom Line: Can CBD Help Balance Progesterone and Estrogen?

At this stage, there’s simply not enough robust data to suggest that CBD can support the hormonal balance of estrogen and progesterone.

The research has primarily been confined to test tube and animal studies or simply isn’t specific enough. For example, most of the available data explores the effects of the cannabis plant, THC, or marijuana use on hormonal imbalances, hormone levels, or the endocrine system in general, not on the effects of CBD on estrogen or progesterone specifically.

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It’s likely, however, that the coming years will see more studies involving human participants, hopefully casting more light on how CBD influences the expression or production of estrogen and progesterone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD affect any female hormones?

There’s definitely evidence to suggest that CBD can affect female-dominant hormones. However, at this stage, it’s unclear what the effects are on progesterone and estrogen, as the research findings have been mixed. There is data that suggests CBD affects other hormones, such as cortisol, stress, thyroid, or growth hormones.

Does CBD help with menstrual cramps?

Some emerging evidence suggests CBD (and weed in general) may help ease menstrual cramps and influence the menstrual cycle in general. CBD may also help manage symptoms associated with conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Does CBD help with menopause symptoms?

CBD may also help soothe symptoms associated with menopause by potentially alleviating disrupted sleep, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation to overcome mood swings and hot flashes, regulating weight gain, stabilizing blood pressure, easing joint pain, and regulating blood sugar levels, elevating sex drive and promoting bone density.

Does CBD oil increase estrogen levels?

I am a female with a hormonal imbalance that leads to a very irregular and sometimes absent menstrual cycle and sometimes (not always) severe periods with painful menstrual cramps. Apparently, I have low estrogen levels, which is one of the causes of these symptoms. Does CBD oil affect hormones and can it help with a hormonal imbalance? Also, does CBD oil affect hormones differently if you are a male or female?

anonymous ( Tuesday, September 28, 2021):

Unfortunately, way more research is needed before we can draw any definitive conclusions like this. Some studies have shown that CBD oil and estrogen may be related as CBD acts as an aromatase inhibitor. Since aromatase synthesizes estrogen, inhibiting that would actually reduce the amount of estrogen instead of increasing it. So it may seem that CBD oil does affect estrogen indirectly, but not to the result you’re looking for. This suggests that CBD oil may affect the menstrual cycle, and also that CBD oil and hemp oil may be good for hormonal imbalances, but only if you are suffering from conditions as a result of excess estrogen. However, it’s important that you understand that there is simply not enough research on this topic to have a final answer, and you should discuss something like this with your doctor beforehand.

anonymous (Thursday, March 17, 2022):

There hasn’t been enough research to say conclusively how CBD affects female hormones and the menstrual cycle. But some studies have shown that CBD may suppress the amount of estrogen produced. CBD generally promotes balance and might help with hormonal imbalance. CBD is also good for relieving menstrual cramps..

How does CBD enhance women’s health and beauty?

Having a well balanced hormone level is vital for any woman to stay fit and healthy. However, medical conditions involving hormonal imbalances are becoming increasingly prevalent. Hence, many are beginning to turn to natural treatment options to delay their menopause or at the very least, alleviate their symptoms.

On that note, cannabidiol – more popularly known as CBD – is an emerging popular option by many women as a supplement to reduce the effects of menopausal symptoms on their daily lives. Therefore, this article seeks to explore the properties that CBD possess to help females manage their estrogen levels and menopause symptoms.

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Introduction

Let’s be honest – who doesn’t want to look great and live life to the fullest?

The balance of hormones is key to the beauty and wellbeing of any woman. The problem is – due to objective and natural reasons, most women would be challenged with estrogen deficiency.

Nonetheless, no one should panic as nowadays, mild hypoestrogenism (estrogen deficiency) can be safely and effectively treated, so you will soon notice your youthful looks returning. The main thing is not to ignore the very first signs of a hormonal decline.

What do we know about hormones?

Hormones are special chemical messengers that regulate the functioning of almost all body systems. Estrogens (also called oestrogens) are the essential steroid hormones responsible for sexual development, reproductive function, skeletal system, resistance to diseases, and women’s overall health condition.

During and after puberty, the ovaries begin to secrete estrogen, with their levels changing as the menstrual cycle progresses. In the first two weeks, these hormone levels gradually increase and then begin to decline, which leads to menstrual bleeding. The amount of estrogen also changes throughout life, reaching its maximum at reproductive age and decreasing with menopause.

Some of the estrogens are also produced by other organs like the liver, breasts, and adrenal glands (but in smaller amounts). Such secondary sources are important in women, especially those who have already had their menopause in order to maintain hormonal balance.

Fat cells are another source of estrogen. They are thus also the reason why underweight or overweight women are at high risk of infertility. A delicate balance of estrogen is vital for carrying a child as the excess or deficiency of this hormone affects fertility adversely. It is crucial to health and activity, the appearance of skin, hair, and quality of life.

Estrogens are the collective name for a whole group of related hormones. Let’s get acquainted with three prominent representatives:

Estradiol

It is a hormone in women of childbearing age, the most active of the estrogen group. It influences female sexual characteristics (breasts during adolescence, vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes), and is responsible for regular sex drive and successful pregnancy. An imbalance in estradiol leads to many gynecological problems, including endometriosis and various neoplasms.

Estrone

It is basically the weaker version of estrogen, emerging during menopause when the estradiol level begins to decline.

Estriol

Inferior in terms of activity when compared to other estrogen types, but is of great importance for the ordinary pregnancy course. The placenta synthesizes its principal amount, so more estriol is observed only during gestation.

All three estrogen representatives are essential for the body and affect a woman’s health at different periods of life. So, what are estrogen hormones responsible for in women, what organs and systems are under their “control”?

The reproductive system

Estrogens contribute to a woman’s fertility, play a crucial role in reproductive function and a regular menstrual cycle. They participate in an elaborate functional complex that allows a woman to become pregnant and carry a child: they prepare the uterine lining, stimulate the contraction of the fallopian tubes and, thereby, ensure the transport of sperm to the egg. If pregnancy does not occur, menstruation begins.

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The cardiovascular system

Before menopause, estrogen’s high activity helps keep blood vessels elastic and robust, “control” cholesterol, and prevent many inflammatory processes. Then the level of these hormones drops sharply. This increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis and, with it, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases rises rapidly.

Skin

Estrogens are female hormones of beauty and youth that stimulate the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. They help to maintain the bone matrix and skin’s health and beauty – density, tone, hydration, and skin protection from photoaging.

Brain

Estrogens are indirectly involved in forming new neural connections. Therefore, they affect concentration, memory, learning, and regular sleep.

How does the lack of hormones threaten a woman’s health?

The organs and systems for which estrogens are responsible are precisely the “targets” for diseases and pathological conditions and fall into the risk zone when these hormones function is reduced. Here’s what else a drop in estrogen levels in women leads to:

Increased susceptibility to pain

Studies of pain sensitivity in women in different phases of the menstrual cycle have shown that the lowest pain threshold is observed in the premenstrual phase when the estrogen level is lower.

Thermoregulation disorders are one of the most common problems during menopause. It manifests itself in the form of sharp flushes of heat and sweating.

Decreased mood, sex drive, and memory impairment

Estrogens affect the production of serotonin and the maintenance of neural connections in the brain. Lack of the hormone explains frequent emotional swings, depressed mood, loss of interest in the opposite sex, cognitive impairment, and severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women over 40.

Premature ageing

Against the background of estrogen deficiency, thinning hair and splitting of nails develop, the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light increases, wrinkles appear, and other dermatological problems worsen. At the same time, dry skin, acne, and dandruff may occur.

What reduces the estrogen production in women?

Estrogens – one of the most critical compounds – regulate the expression of more than a thousand genes and are considered a marker of a woman’s health in general.

There are few factors which may influence the level of estrogens in the woman’s body. For instance, the period of menopause is one of them. It is a natural cause, but the manifestations of which can be mitigated with safe methods. Meanwhile, ovarian dysfunction, including Shereshevsky-Turner syndrome, are pathological conditions in which estrogens cannot be adequately produced. Besides that, pituitary gland dysfunction as well as eating disorders (both obesity and a lack of fatty tissue in diets) can lead to hormonal imbalances and metabolic disorders. Other than those, a stressful and unhealthy lifestyle can be a major contributing factor too.

When estrogens are produced in the female body in average amounts, they can directly and indirectly strengthen the bone matrix, benefit our heart, slow down aging, normalize metabolism and appetite, increase libido, and the level of serotonin (the “happiness hormone”).

One of the external sources of estrogen in food include:

Flaxseed is not only a leader in the content of this hormone but also a beneficial product. It also helps to cleanse the body and relieve inflammation. Meanwhile, it is recommended to be consumed in a ground form.

Peas, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, and beans. Include these foods into your diet, and you will get rid of depression and anxiety. Legumes are also essential for the elimination of premenstrual symptoms and menopause.

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds, in particular, are a good source of estrogen. They improve brain function and sex drive.

At first glance, dried fruits are not famous for their incredible benefits because it is easier to buy fresh berries or fruits, but this is wrong. First, it’s a great snack that’s easy to take with you. Secondly, dried fruits such as dates, prunes, and dried apricots contain the most considerable amount of phytoestrogen.

The summer-autumn fruit is distinguished by its excellent taste properties and the phytoestrogen content of lignan. Research shows that a diet that includes foods rich in this component can reduce breast cancer risk in menopausal women by 15%.

A bit about CBD

It is important to say that our body naturally produces cannabinoids. Our inner cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), CB1 and CB2, can be activated by endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids, which can be of natural or synthetic origin.

Endogenous cannabinoids are substances produced by the human body. The most studied ones are N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) . Together with CBRs, the endogenous cannabinoids constitute the basis of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). If too many or not enough endocannabinoids are produced in the body, our ECS needs some reinforcement from the external sources.

CBD, or cannabidiol , is one of the leading organic compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is currently emerging as one of the most promising therapeutic agents in various conditions such as epilepsy, different anxiety disorders, migraines, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disorder.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another component of Cannabis sativa and is, therefore, an exogenous phytocannabinoid and a non-selective agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors. In comparison with CBD, THC contains slight alterations- psychoactive THC can cause a well-known “high” effect. And compared with THC, CBD displays lower CB1 and CB2 affinity and acts as an inverse agonist at the CB2.

How CBD affects estrogen levels?

Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology.

The ECS regulates stress, mood, memory, fertility, bone growth, pain, and immune function, among other things. If speaking about feminine health, carefully controlled regulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is required for successful reproduction. The exogenous cannabinoids in marijuana may help to keep and regulate the ECS’ delicate balance in the female reproductive system.

Breast cancer treatment

It is estimated that one in eight women develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is difficult to treat because only a few biomarkers signal the disease’s presence, and many patients can develop resistance to modern treatments. Moreover, some specific types of breast cancer are difficult to treat. These difficulties underscore the importance of studying new therapies for this disease.

Breast cancers are often classified according to the receptors they express. The three most common breast cancer receptors respond to hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and epidermal growth factor (EGF). Two biomarkers often used to diagnose breast cancer are hormone receptors (estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor) and the HER2 oncogene (a gene that can convert a normal cell into a tumour cell). So careful identification of these receptors facilitates treatment.

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How does CBD help prevent breast cancer?

Researchers are showing, step by step, how CBD can help with the elimination of breast cancer cells.

HER2-positive cancer

A study by scientists in Spain shows that the endocannabinoid system plays an essential role in treating HER2-positive cancers . The cannabinoid CB2 receptor binds to HER2 – forming a so-called dimer – and this dimerization results in poor treatment outcomes for the disease. When THC binds to the CB2 receptor, it cleaves the dimer. This switches the secondary messengers – the so-called G-proteins – that receptors transmit signals to the cell. The cell begins to destroy its HER2 receptors with a protein called c-CBL, which has anti-tumor effects. So it can be concluded that cannabinoid-activated receptors stimulate the endocannabinoid system and trigger it to work more efficiently.

Estrogen in breast cancer

Breast cancer, in most cases, depends on the level of the female hormone estrogen. Estrogen promotes the growth and survival of normal and cancerous breast epithelial cells by binding and activating the estrogen receptor (ER). An increase in the proportion of cells that express ER is found at both the earliest breast pre cancer stages and in approximately 70% of breast cancers. The therapy for this disease includes aromatase inhibitors – this class of drugs reduces estrogen concentration in the blood and increases testosterone levels.

Two studies have shown that tamoxifen and several other selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) can inverse agonists on CB1 and CB2 and interact with possible clinical consequences. When cannabinoid drugs were added to tamoxifen, the standard chemotherapy drug, the combination therapy was about 20 to 25% more effective than chemotherapy alone in the cell lamina. Unfortunately, these results have not been replicated in live animal trials. It is important to note that cannabinoids also did not adversely affect the effectiveness of chemotherapy. This suggests that using cannabis as an adjunct to treat common side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and loss of appetite, will not interfere with chemotherapy’s ability to kill cancer cells.

Interactions of cannabinoids with hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis hormones

The research found a positive correlation between peak plasma endogenous cannabinoid anandamide with peak plasma 17β-estradiol, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone levels at ovulation in healthy premenopausal women.

Another study looked at how various doses of CBD affected animals. Rhesus monkeys of both sexes took oral CBD doses of 30, 100, and 300 mg/kg for 90 days. Serum pituitary, steroid, and thyroid hormone levels were measured by radioimmunoassay method. CBD-treated monkeys responded with slight fluctuations in luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in males, whereas steroid hormones were essentially unchanged in both sexes. Hormone imbalance may explain cannabinoid-induced embryotoxicity and impaired gonadal function.

Tolerance to these effects has been shown in rhesus monkeys, but the impact of chronic marijuana use on human female reproduction is still mostly unknown.

CBD alleviates menopausal symptoms

Menopause has many symptoms that vary in intensity – a woman experiences few symptoms, or it interferes seriously with daily life. These symptoms usually include:

  • Fatigue
  • Osteoporosis
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes / cold sweats
  • Insomnia or irregular sleep cycles
  • Dryness and hair loss
  • Anxiety, irritability, and imbalance
  • Dry skin and deterioration in skin quality
  • Slowed metabolism and weight gain
  • Depression
  • Incontinence

Better sleep quality

According to research, CBD has a positive effect on the amount and quality of sleep. It stabilizes blood pressure and relaxes muscles. According to a study conducted at the University of San Paolo, Brazil, CBD interferes with cortisol’s secretion, a “stress hormone.” This hormone is released when a body feels threatened or perceives danger. So regulated cortisol can help with sleeping deeply; hence, alleviating menopausal stress or increase the chances of conceiving the child.

Another double-blinded study tested eleven relatively healthy patients with CBD and placebo to determine its effects on plasma prolactin, growth hormone, and cortisol. Although prolactin and growth hormone levels stayed mostly unchanged with CBD, cortisol levels dropped significantly.

So how does CBD help besides lowering stress hormones? One study showed that the EC system activates CB1 receptors, which affects sleep stability, how quickly you fall asleep, and even increases the level of melatonin production (a hormone responsible for sleeping patterns).

Replacement of hormonal drugs

Research shows that CBD can replace prescription hormone drugs, which have many adverse side effects. It is CBD that can be used to replace them, thus, avoiding hormonal addiction.

Mood stabilization

Mood swings are a common symptom of menopause that causes irritation and depression in women. Many studies prove CBD is an effective mood stabilizer. Anandamide, commonly named the “bliss molecule”, is responsible for feelings of happiness and motivation. CBD oil acts as an anandamide reuptake inhibitor , stopping the neurotransmitter from being reabsorbed. It increases the amount present in the brain, resulting in an improved and elevated mood.

CBD oil works similarly to the reuptake of adenosine (a neuromodulator of the central nervous system). While this process is much less understood, it is believed that the triggered adenosine receptor A2A plays a role in anxiety and depression. By inhibiting the A2A receptor, the mood is elevated, and depressive symptoms are reduced.

Anxiety

Anxiety is twice more common in women than in men, diagnosing the interval between childhood and middle age. There has been an elevation in stress among women, according to the American Psychological Association studies of 2007.

Fragile bones/osteoporosis

Estrogen is one of the hormones which takes part in developing and maintaining healthy bones. So after menopause (with aging), women are likely to have weaker bones or develop osteoporosis. Loss of muscle mass is another process that occurs due to decreased estrogen levels, and many women expect this to be a regular part of the aging process. However, much of this bone degradation and muscle loss – along with fewer chances of fractures, can be slowed down with CBD.

Other unpleasant conditions

Vaginal dryness may come as a shock to many women, but it is actually quite common. When estrogen levels reach an absolute minimum, vaginal tissue produces less lubrication, which reduces elasticity and can even lead to painful sensations during intercourse. Lubricants are well known as a practical solution, but many women find the synthetic chemical odor unpleasant when applied to the body’s most intimate parts. On the other hand, CBD oil has a pleasant scent, enhances natural lubrication, and improves well-being. For vaginal dryness, CBD oil can be mixed with other natural oils to relieve and reduce dryness in the long term.

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