“Any information that I give is based on the science behind cannabis as opposed to (a study where) we took 1,000 menopausal women with hot flashes and we gave half of them cannabis,” she said. “We don’t have those studies.”
“What we know is there are a lot of women who are using cannabis to alleviate menopause symptoms and they really have no direction at all,” Streicher told TODAY. “There’s not been a lot of research done.”
Health & Wellness Doctor discusses ‘cultural silence’ of menopause and how women can prepare
“When I say, ‘Who directed you as to what to take?’ over 50% say, ‘Nobody. I was just trying to figure it out on my own,’” she said. “Therein lies the problem.”
Streicher hopes more people talk about menopause so they understand what it is and what treatments are available.
Why people in menopause are turning to cannabis
Still, many might feel like their symptoms are simply part of aging and don’t seek help for them. Or, they might try to discuss it but feel as if they’re being dismissed. That could contribute to people seeking cannabis to help.
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.
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.
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
“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).
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).
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.
The medical perspective on CBD and menopause
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.
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: