Between the ages of 45 to 55, most women will experience menopause as their estrogen levels steadily decline. One in 100 women will start going through this inevitable stage of life before they hit age 40. Regardless of when menopause starts, the symptoms associated with it are similar across the board. They include irregular periods, chills, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, mood changes and weight gain among others.
Although some medications are proven to help women weather these symptoms, an increasing number of women have been turning to cannabis for this purpose. According to a new study, a “good number” of midlife women have been using the controversial plant, believing that it will help to treat some of the more uncomfortable menopause symptoms. Katherine Babyn, lead researcher and a graduate student at the University of Alberta in Canada, says that plenty of middle-aged women in the menopause transition period of their lives are using cannabis to alleviate symptoms that “tend to overlap with menopause.”
But can cannabis actually help women deal with these symptoms? Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the North American Menopause Society (“NAMS”), says that unfortunately, there is minimal scientific evidence proving that cannabis can effectively treat menopause-related symptoms. Since marijuana’s effect on women going through menopause hasn’t been formally studied, she says, we do not know the possible benefits and risks. Consequently, women who are using cannabis to alleviate their symptoms are essentially using a drug that has not been studied.
However, the study revealed that plenty of middle-aged women feel like they have benefited from using cannabis. The researchers from the University of Alberta surveyed an estimated 1,500 middle-aged women from the province of Alberta in Canada and found that two-thirds of the respondents had used cannabis for some time, with one-third having done so within the past month. Of the women who were currently using cannabis, 75% said they were using it for medical purposes. This is despite the fact that only 23% actually had medical marijuana prescriptions.
In addition, the study reported that 52% consumed edibles, 47% used cannabis oils, 41% preferred to smoke, and 26% vaped. Up to 74% of the respondents said their symptoms had improved once they started using cannabis, says Nese Yuksel, senior researcher and a professor of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Alberta. Other noteworthy stats include 74% of respondents reported using cannabis to sleep better, 59% used it for anxiety, 58% to boost concentration, 55% to reduce feelings of irritability, and 53% to alleviate muscle and joint aches.
Still, Yuksel says that without any scientific backing, the researchers cannot make an association between cannabis use and reduced menopause symptoms. Although the women may feel as if they’re seeing some benefit from consuming cannabis, she says, the researchers cannot conclusively say that the drug can treat menopause symptoms. Ultimately, they all agreed that we need more research on marijuana’s potential benefits and risks to see whether or not it can be an effective treatment for menopause symptoms.
Companies that manufacture a variety of CBD products, such as The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER), may inadvertently be helping menopausal women if some of the preliminary studies on cannabidiol, a major compound in cannabis, are anything to go by.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/WTER
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