These days, cannabis is used to alleviate everything from insomnia and chronic pain to stress and anxiety. Although experts concede that the hype around the controversial plant has far surpassed the science, preliminary results and anecdotal accounts have found cannabis to be an effective natural medicine. Over the years, an increasing number of older women have begun using cannabis to treat menopause symptoms.
One in four women are turning to cannabis to relieve the symptoms of menopause, a new study has found. This is more than the number of women who use traditional types of menopause symptom management such as hormone therapy, according to the study which was presented during the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society (“NAMS”).
“This study highlights a somewhat alarming trend and the need for more research relative to the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use for the management of bothersome menopause symptoms,” cautions Dr. Stephanie S. Faubion, NAMS’s medical director and a clinician who specializes in women’s health. Other experts are more optimistic, however, stating that there’s good science behind the connection between menopause symptoms and the body’s natural endocannabinoid system.
Researchers examined data sampled from 232 women in Northern California with a mean age of 56 years. About 54% of the participants reported hot flashes and night sweats, 27% reported insomnia and 69% reported genitourinary symptoms. 27% of the women who reported symptoms of menopause said they currently use cannabis (in any form) to manage their menopause symptoms or have used cannabis in the past. Researchers found that the participants were more likely to use cannabis to address hot flashes and night sweats.
“These findings suggest that cannabis use to manage menopause symptoms may be relatively common,” says Carolyn Gibson, Ph.D., a psychologist and health services researcher at the San Francisco Veterans Administration (“VA”) and Health Care System and lead author of the study. “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, particularly in VA, where cannabis is considered an illegal substance under federal guidelines.”
However, experts advise women to tread carefully as cannabis hasn’t yet been proven to be effective at managing menopause symptoms. “Cannabis is known to have a sedating effect, so it may have a positive effect on sleep, disturbance, and reduce symptoms of anxiety, but there is also evidence that cannabis use can result in lethargy, increased anxiety, and can provoke serious psychiatric illness,” says Samantha Miller, spokesperson for Drug Helpline.
“Menopause is associated with cognitive changes, feelings of ‘brain fog’ and difficulty concentrating. These are also side effects of cannabis use, so using cannabis may actually make these symptoms worse.”
Lot of companies have entered the cannabis space over the past few years, and all these believe that cannabis can be beneficial to human health in different ways. One of the interesting companies to watch is Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR). This Canadian-based company focuses on producing premium-quality marijuana products and strains by leveraging top-tier genetics.
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