cbd hot flashesDecember 15, 2021
We checked-in with our Chief Medical Officer, Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, for her perspective. Here’s what she said:
She hasn’t had a period in 8 months, walks 2-3 miles each day, and eats pretty well, though it’s tough for her to fit lunch in with the pressure of her new job. Her health overall is really good, but she is missing her sleep and beginning to worry about how little sleep she is getting — especially since she just started this job and is still making first impressions.
Regardless of what you choose, or don’t choose, we’re here to support you on your path to feeling good in your body, suffering less, and thriving in perimenopause and menopause. More will be forthcoming on this topic, for sure. Stay tuned to Gennev.
What has she tried? Let’s see, sticking her head in a freezer (minimal and very temporary relief), black cohosh supplements (she is using our black cohosh for hot flashes and it worked a bit for her, but symptoms have lately ramped up after the move).
“CBD products made primarily from hemp seem to have limited harm, but there have been almost no real studies on their effectiveness because of the limits that have been placed on studying it. This is slowly changing as laws ease up. But we really don’t have evidence to support the many health claims made about it. Sleep and pain effects seem to be most likely areas where it works (there are anti-seizure effects in particular syndromes that have been shown).
The medical perspective on CBD and menopause.
Women are talking with their doctors about using CBD and THC-containing products. We definitely encourage you to do the same with your medical provider ( or talk with ours ). And, if your current doctor isn’t up to (or open to) discussing any topic that you want to talk about, consider shopping around for a better, more supportive fit for yourself and your health.
“Also, a lot of the information out there is advertising. I always caution women not to get their health information from the people selling a product. They have no reason to provide balanced or even genuine information.”
“I would warn folks away from vaping (it seems the serious lung disease was primarily from bad THC mixed in vitamin E oil) and also smoking, as this long term can do lung damage. Luckily there are a lot of edibles available now. They can be quite strong, so make sure they know how much to start with, especially if naïve.”
Nickie’s not alone in her menopause symptoms, for sure. She’s also not alone in her curiosity around non-high-producing CBD use for better sleep and increased relaxation/decreased anxiety.
Dr. Rebecca shared, “ As an MD, I always want to have an open conversation, it helps me to know what people are using, especially if there could be interactions with medications I might prescribe but also so I can give them safety parameters as best I can. We don’t judge folks on this, we just need to know.
Boy, do we empathize. Missing sleep and being in a seemingly constant state of “heat surge and sweat” can spark additional discomforts. In addition to not getting enough rest, she is worried and anxious about what her lack of sleep may do to her focus and job performance. And additional sugar or caffeine intake to keep mind and body going at her high-pressure job? Uh oh, stress and more caffeine can speed the vicious symptom cycles too.
She just wants to get some good sleep. Also, since she has asthma, smoking and vaping are out.
Still, if you’re in the same, or similar, boat as Nickie, and are curious about using a CBD product, we’ve got a couple of initial recommendations:
She doesn’t know if CBD will work for her. And she doesn’t really know how to get started.
She also tried chiropractic therapy and acupuncture, which work really well for her asthma and help her to relax but aren’t effective for easing hot flashes or waking up due to night sweats.
They have increased in intensity and in frequency to the point where she is changing her tops (and her undies) at work at least once a day. She wakes up several times a night with perimenopause night sweats.
Yes, she went to her doctor before she moved across the country. They discussed hormone replacement therapy or HRT for hot flashes as an option, but Nickie doesn’t have the money to cover this therapy , plus she’s a little unnerved by the whole HRT topic and wants to keep her care as natural as possible.
News and laws around this topic are changing daily. There are lots of opinions and already, a lot of products to choose from. It’s hard to know where to turn or where to start, so we began with our in-house medical expert.
Meet Nickie, 49, who has just about had it with her hot flashes and night sweats.
Nickie is considering trying a CBD (or cannabidiol ) product. This has not been suggested by her doctor, but she’s not sure what else to do. There are lots of dispensaries where she now lives (a recent transplant from Idaho to Maine), and cannabis is both legal and decriminalized, but she is also very new to this topic and is absolutely clear that she doesn’t want to get high while using CBD.
Talking about CBD with your doctor.
“In terms of true cannabis/THC-containing products, there are no known medical uses as we have had a complete ban on studying it, and technically it is still a scheduled drug federally. We just genuinely don’t know. People make all sorts of claims but there haven’t been studies. I most commonly see my patients use it (I would note it is “legal” in our state) in place of alcohol to help relax and promote sexual desire and function.”
So, studies have baaarely begun due to the laws that govern the study of both hemp and cannabis products, regardless of the allowances (or disallowances) in each state. More will come, but these take time.
There are lots of ways to consume CBD: oils, smoke or vape, tinctures, edibles, and even suppositories, with more options and varieties being developed and released in abundance. We asked Dr Rebecca about this as well:
Does Nickie’s situation feel familiar? Are you thinking about using (or actively using) CBD products for pain relief, anxiety reduction, or insomnia? We’d love to hear your experience and insights on the Gennev Community forums . You’re absolutely welcome and invited.
What conditions does it help? “CBD helps reduce inflammation, which lowers pain and anxiety and improves sleep,” she says. “And new research indicates CBD may calm menopause symptoms, such as night sweats and hot flashes.”
How does CBD work? “Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD stimulates the body’s endocannabinoid system,” explains Dr. Clifton. “This helps keep all the body systems — immune, respiratory, digestive, etc. — balanced and working together.”
Since starting menopause, the 52-year-old Florida mom had been experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and headaches. But she never imagined a new job and an unconventional treatment — CBD for hot flashes — would be the answer to her prayers.
Last April, after buying a type of CBD oil, Natalie began putting a few droplets under her tongue before bed. She was shocked when after just two nights, her night sweats had stopped. Over the next week, her hot flashes eased, she felt less anxious and more energetic, and she experienced fewer headaches. Natalie continued using CBD nightly, and soon all of her menopausal symptoms vanished — and have stayed at bay! “At first, I dismissed CBD, but I am so grateful that I did the research and tried it,” she says. “It has changed my quality of life and made me feel like myself again!”
We asked Mary Clifton, M.D., a board-certified internal medicine physician, an expert on medical use of cannabidiol (CBD), and a consultant for cannabisMD.com, to address our biggest concerns about CBD. Her insights:
Relief at Last.
But Natalie was even more surprised when she asked her Christian friends their thoughts — and some had already tried it. One friend, who’d suffered from severe psoriasis, had done everything her doctors suggested without relief. But after using CBD for three weeks, her skin completely cleared. Amazed, Natalie found herself thinking about her own menopausal symptoms. And after praying about it a bit more, she decided using CBD for hot flashes was worth a try.
Is it safe? Does it make you ‘high’? “It is very safe, and CBD won’t create a ‘high’ like THC. It’s FDA approved for treating epilepsy, and research continues to validate its use for multiple conditions. The caveat: CBD doesn’t work for 20% of those who try it.”
Determined to learn everything she could about CBD, Natalie began scouring scientific studies and quickly discovered that CBD is legal and just one of many chemicals in the cannabis plant. In fact, THC, which causes a high, is a completely different substance. She also read that when used by itself, CBD actually helps disorders like anxiety, depression, heart disease, and pain.
When Natalie was first offered the position of editor-in-chief of a website called God’s Greenery, a free online resource for Christians to explore cannabidiol (CBD) — a chemical derived from cannabis claimed to have healing benefits — she was very hesitant to accept. As a devout Christian, she felt it would be going against her beliefs. She had a strong conviction against the recreational use of marijuana and wasn’t sure if CBD was the same thing. But after reflection and prayer, Natalie realized that many other Christians may have the same questions, and by taking the job, she could help clarify the facts.
Natalie Gillespie sighed in frustration as she felt beads of sweat trickle down the back of her neck. “Not again!” she huffed, blasting her car’s air conditioner and hoping she wouldn’t be drenched by the time she finished driving carpool.
What do I look for? “Try a CBD tincture under the tongue. Results should happen within 10 minutes, so you’ll know if it’s working. Also, choose a product that’s had third-party testing, which should be clearly displayed on the label.” One to try: God’s Greenery Oil of Gladness, $89 .