March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and today we’re exploring how CBD is becoming linked to this condition which effects a staggering 1 in 10 women according to Endometriosis UK.
Menstruation involves the shedding of the tissues lining the inner sides of the uterus. The tissue that makes up this lining of the uterus is known as the endometrium. When this tissue happens to line outside of the uterus, it is called Endometriosis.
This phenomenon could be easily assumed to be a harmless displacement, but this abnormal lining is also shed during a woman's period. This is exceedingly harmful because all the shed waste and blood has no exit from the body.
This usually leads to intense pain, severe cramping, inflammation, and sometimes scars as your body strains to reabsorb the waste.
And the problem doesn’t stop here, the cells of this tissue are like benign cancerous cells - they multiply and move from the uterus and implant themselves on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and other abdominal components.
What are the challenges of women with please bring closer Endometriosis?
Due to the varying nature of menstruation and its similarities with Endometriosis, women with the condition tend to not be taken seriously when they complain about these extreme symptoms.
These symptoms include pain during sex, intense menstrual cramps, heavy periods, Chronic pain in the abdomen, pelvic and lower back regions, lethargy and sleep troubles, painful urination and bowel movements, diarrhoea, nausea or constipation, and infertility or fertility difficulties.
When sufferers get overlooked and are told they just have the general menstrual cramps, they can understandably become anxious, sometimes falling into depression.
It takes an average of seven to ten years to clinically diagnose endometriosis.
Thankfully, with Laparoscopy, sufferers no longer have to wait that long. Laparoscopy involves a doctor inserting a camera through a cut near the navel to check for the abnormal growths of the endometrium in a woman’s pelvic organs.
Although Endometriosis does not have a cure, doctors prescribe pain killers, hormone therapy, and surgery. Pain killers might help them manage the pain and inflammation but they won’t stop the migration of the abnormal growth.
Hormone therapy on the other hand, manipulates oestrogen and progesterone to reduce the intensity or quality of periods which might also be detrimental, and with surgery, since the cells are benign, they still might return once removed.
At this point, many women realize these treatments are ineffective and seek more holistic treatments such as diet and lifestyle changes, which often include CBD, THC, and cannabis.
How can CBD help?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is understood to enable us to reach homeostasis. However, more specifically a study has shown that it is integral to the healthy functioning of our reproductive system.
In this light, since the CB1 and CB2 receptors–the receptors of cannabinoids—are key for cell regulation and differentiation, and cell death (apoptosis), suggestions have been made that dysfunctions or deficiencies of these receptors might be responsible for endometriosis.
Now, let us see how this cannabinoid - Cannabidiol (CBD) reacts with these receptors to help women stop endometriosis.
CBD prevents cell migration
It is irking that these cells can keep multiplying and migrating in the abdominal and pelvic region—as Endocannabinoids play a part in cell migration.
They were able to find that the GPR18 receptor was responsible for the migration of endometriotic cells. And also that CBD can prevent the migration of these abnormal cells by blocking the GPR18 receptor.
CBD can relieve pain
CBD can reduce pain and inflammation. A study shows it does this by binding to TRFV1 and desensitizing it. The TRPV1 valinoid receptor is responsible for the pain we feel. So when these women take CBD Oil or other CBD products, they have hope of being relieved of the chronic pain.
CB1 receptors are responsible for nerve growth and CBD has been shown to deactivate CB1. So, CBD can prevent innervation just by deactivating CB1, thereby reducing pain and cutting off their neural pathway.
CBD helps with sleep troubles
Due to all the pain and inflammation, women with endometriosis find it very difficult to get a sound sleep. Even though they can be bed-bound for days during menstruation, they still might not be able to sleep peacefully. According to research, CBD has been identified to allow its users to sleep with less difficulty. Thus, women with endometriosis may try CBD to help with their sleep troubles. We advise you to visit your doctor first regardless.
CBD helps with nausea & diarrhoea
All of the tightness and pain in the abdominals and pelvic region can affect the bowel movement, leading to constipation, diarrhoea, and nausea. The combined action of CBD’s moderating effect on the digestive system and its capability to treat muscle spasms, including spasms in the stomach muscles, can go some way to explain why CBD is useful for treating nausea.
Endometriosis has rendered a lot of women with anxiety and depression as a result of symptoms people around pass as normal menstrual symptoms. This article has shown the role that CBD can play in supporting these symptoms.
Also Hemp, the plant that produces Cannabidiol (CBD) the ECS responds to, might be the holistic approach to treating this condition.