Hormones will fluctuate naturally from time to time, but what happens when our hormones really get out of whack? We thought we’d tackle this often asked question while taking a look into how CBD affects hormones or, in fact, can CBD balance hormones when they’re out of balance?
Many of you are aware that we now live in a world full of man-made and unnatural things that disrupt our bodies in more ways than we know. Yes, even some of the foods we eat affect our hormones.
While we can counteract this by leading a healthy lifestyle by eating organic, plant-based food, exercising and getting enough sleep, sometimes we need an extra hand.
Can CBD regulate hormones to potentially provide us with the best natural alternative to pharmaceutical interventions yet? We’re going to take a look at how CBD affects hormones throughout this article, however we thought we should start with a little info on our endocrine system.
- Thyroid glands
- Pineal gland
- Pituitary glands.
These glands secrete regulating hormones and control many of our body’s functions, including growth, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction and mood.
However, when any one of these are out of whack, our bodies are thrown out of balance, which is where CBD could come in.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a team player when it comes to how CBD affects hormones and your endocrine system. The ECS is made up of three components:
- Cannabinoid Receptors line the surface of cells that are spread throughout your body.
- Endogenous Cannabinoids also known as endocannabinoids, are fatty-acid-based signalling chemical compounds that bind with cannabinoid receptors to activate them.
- Metabolic Enzymes breakdown the endocannabinoids once your body has used them.
Plants like hemp produce phytocannabinoids that interact with our ECS similar to how our endocannabinoids do. Let’s look at how CBD affects hormones and which particular ones.
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CBD and Oestrogen – The Sex Hormone
Oestrogen is the major sex hormone in a woman’s body and plays a key role in:
- Sexual development
- Menstrual cycles
- Bone development
- Heart health and
- Mood management.
Both a lack, or an excess of this hormone can cause unpleasant side effects or illness. So, how can CBD regulate hormones such as oestrogen?
Can CBD Help Menstruation?
During menstruation, oestrogen and prostaglandin levels rise, which is understood to cause painful or heavier periods. Luckily, CBD could provide women with the answer to natural pain relief by working to decrease levels of prostaglandin, while also evading the negative effects that taking over-the-counter painkillers might have.
CBD and Bone Density
Perhaps a reach, but evidence suggests that because of the way CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor that plays a role in bone density loss, it may be able to reduce the rate of bone density loss that can occur during menopause.
Can CBD Help Mood?
Mood swings and in more severe cases, anxiety and depression can also be the result of hormonal fluctuations.
But, because of the way our endocannabinoid system plays a key role in the regulation of anxiety and stress levels it may help women suffering from postpartum or menopausal depression.
CBD and Cortisol – The Stress Hormone
We’ve all been here! Cortisol, produced by our adrenal glands, is a bit like nature’s built-in alarm system, and works alongside our brain to control mood, motivation and fear; but is probably best known for its role in our body’s “fight-or-flight” instinct.
When your body is on high alert, cortisol can actually alter or shut down functions that get in the way, such as digestion, our reproductive and immune systems, and even growth processes.
Cortisol also plays an important role in a number of other things like keeping inflammation down, regulating blood pressure and controlling our sleep/wake cycles.
So, can CBD regulate hormones? There is now evidence to suggest, however, that taking CBD could help counteract cortisol, and has the added bonus of potentially helping with weight management, by stimulating a process called ‘fat browning’.
CBD and Insulin – The Peptide Hormone
Insulin regulates a whole bunch of metabolic processes that provide cells with the energy they need to run the body. Produced in the pancreas, insulin is regulated by blood sugar levels and other hormones in the body.
When everything is in balance, insulin production and release is tightly managed, allowing the cells in the muscles, fat and liver to absorb glucose while helping the breakdown of fat or protein. So, let’s look at how CBD affects hormones and more specifically insulin.
The most common problem associated with an insulin imbalance is weight gain and in turn the more serious and increasingly common condition diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body either does not secrete enough insulin or when the body no longer uses the insulin it secretes effectively.
Can CBD regulate hormones and help to balance insulin levels? There is, it would seem, mounting evidence to show just how CBD affects hormones, in an undeniably positive way.
CBD and Melatonin - The Sleep Hormone
Melatonin is created by the wonderfully mysterious pineal gland and helps us to achieve healthy sleep patterns. But how can CBD regulate hormones, connected to our sleep cycles? If our systems are in balance, melatonin is released in a rhythmic cycle, with more melatonin produced at night, when the light entering the eyes starts to diminish.
While melatonin levels increase and decrease at the various stages of our lives and are not associated with any serious health conditions, they might disrupt sleep patterns when levels fluctuate.
But, can CBD balance hormones enough to help us to nod off? Well, it would seem CBD may help calm mental agitation and stop sleepless nights from spiralling out of control. CBD supplements have been seen to potentially help reduce levels of anxiety which may indeed be beneficial for securing a proper night’s sleep.
Clearly, more research is needed on how CBD affects hormones, however we hope this has been able to help you navigate the influx of info out there on how CBD may just be what you need to rectify hormonal imbalance.