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Benefits for women of cbd oil

Why are women using CBD products — and do they work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and other products containing CBD are being touted as a natural, organic remedy for a wide range of women’s health concerns. Sellers of these products make many claims: CBD has calming effects on sleep, mood, and anxiety; eases hot flashes and improves bone density by balancing hormonal changes of menopause; and has anti-inflammatory properties that clear skin, cure acne, and calm rosacea. It’s promoted for PMS symptoms like bloating and mood swings. And CBD-infused lubricants claim to boost arousal and enjoyment of sex. So, how much of this is true?

First, what is CBD?

CBD is a major ingredient in cannabis plants (like hemp and marijuana). It comes in different strengths and forms, often as CBD oil, but also in pills and powders. It can be absorbed through the skin, ingested, or inhaled. (Vaping it, however, may not be safe, as this blog post and web page from the CDC explain.)

Unlike marijuana, pure CBD products don’t make you feel high. A different ingredient in marijuana called THC makes people feel high.

Does CBD have proven benefits?

So far, there’s not much evidence on the medical benefits of CBD, partly because laws on marijuana made it difficult to study. Until we learn more, it’s wise to keep in mind that few high-quality studies have been done.

  • In 2018 the FDA approved a drug derived from CBD to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy. This medication was shown in randomized clinical trials to reduce the frequency of seizures (see here and here).
  • A few studies have found CBD may improve anxiety, but the studies were small and of poor quality (see here and here).
  • Some laboratory research on human cells suggests CBD may have anti-inflammatory effects on oil-secreting glands in the skin. This might have implications for acne and other inflammatory skin disorders, but further research is needed to confirm this. And while CBD in skin products is unlikely to harm you, most dermatologists agree that there are more effective and better-studied medications and treatments for acne and inflammatory skin disorders.

Other potential benefits of CBD aren’t clear. No high-quality research shows that CBD improves sex drive, decreases pain, treats depression or mood disorders, decreases PMS symptoms like bloating and cramps, or relieves symptoms of menopause like hot flashes. This may change as more studies are done, but for now, the jury is out.

Are CBD products safe?

The short answer is this: pure CBD seems to be safe for most people. However, we don’t have rigorous studies and long-term data to prove whether or not a wide range of CBD products are safe for everyone. For example, there is no evidence to suggest that CBD is safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding, or for people who are immunocompromised.

Because CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA in the way that drugs are, there is huge variation in quality and, quite possibly, safety. In 2017–2018, counterfeit CBD oil was found that contained synthetic cannabinoids and led to a poisoning outbreak in Utah.

Testing shows purity and dosage can be unreliable in many products. One study found less than a third of the products tested had the amount of CBD shown on the label. Another study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less CBD than stated. In addition, THC (the component that can make you feel high) was found in 18 products.

Does CBD cause side effects?

CBD can cause side effects like dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and drowsiness. Additionally, it can interact with certain medicines, such as blood thinners and antiseizure drugs. If you would like to start using CBD products, it’s best to first talk to your doctor.

The takeaway

There are a lot of extravagant product claims out there about the benefits of CBD for women, but little high-quality research supports them. CBD oil and other CBD products aren’t well regulated. It’s possible what you are buying is counterfeit or contaminated. Before using CBD — especially if you plan to vape or ingest it — first talk with your doctor or healthcare provider to learn whether it could be safe and helpful for you.

About the Authors

Rose McKeon Olson, MD , Contributor

Rose McKeon Olson, MD, is a resident physician in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She has special research interests in gender-based violence, social medicine, and global health equity. See Full Bio

Eve Rittenberg, MD , Contributor

Eve Rittenberg, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a primary care internist at the Fish Center for Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her interests include women’s health, trauma-informed care, … See Full Bio

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Comments

I am a 55 year old woman who has suffered with neuropathy since 2004 (amplified by a trauma in 2011); as well as a sciatic nerve issue and other complication since my trauma. One thing I found out (very quickly!), many of the drugs (natural or not) are either recomended for short term relief and used very long term, or the probable cause of added, often more sever, side effects. I don’t believe, for me personally, any medication that has the potential to do more harm than good, especially when it can only treat symptoms and not the cause, would be ideal, unless there is ‘no other option’ or perspective hope. Limited and controlled ecersizes along with diet, seem to have worked best for me personally; but, yes it is very difficult many days. However, I plan to watch my grandchild grow-up, and I plan to do that watching with as clear a mind as possible for today and tomorrow. Side-effects of CBD have been relatively unstudyed or unpublished for lack of verification. That is not promising. All of that being said, I am sure for some people CBD oil could be a God send of relief, most especially for some seizure and cancer patients.
Thank you.

Cannabis Sativa and Hemp are two different plants. Marijuana is not a plant, it’s a slang term used by rhetoric spewing racists seeking to profit from a new prohibition. How can you publish this when you clearly don’t know the basics?

As a woman with a cervical level spinal cord injury, who has experienced many benefits through the use of CBD … this article had absolutely no relevance to its title.

8 Ways Women Can Benefit From Hemp Oil

Many people use cannabis for health benefits. However, one cannabis-based compound does not receive the high amount of attention that other forms of medical marijuana do, and that’s hemp oil. Growing in popularity in recent years, this compound provides a unique set of benefits for healing, especially for women. From period cramps to autoimmune disorders and diabetes, research links hemp oil to numerous health benefits.

In fact, research links hemp oil to relieving certain symptoms and health conditions that disproportionately impact women. Unlike traditional cannabis use, hemp oil provides various health benefits while not causing the psychoactive effects of THC. It is also very easy to consume with a hemp oil vape pen. Women are rapidly turning to hemp oil to heal themselves at higher rates than ever before – and they are reaping the benefits.

What Is Hemp Oil?

Cannabidiol (hemp oil) is one of the cannabis plant’s chemical compounds. hemp oil does not produce a high when you ingest it, unlike THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. However, many hemp oil oils can contain trace amounts of THC, but not enough to produce the signature cannabis high.

Hemp oil is legal in all states where you can use recreational and medical cannabis. While hemp oil does not produce a high, it does have significant health benefits for the human body. Many women use hemp oil to help minimize chronic pain, alleviate depression and anxiety, reduce stress, boost their immune systems, reduce chronic inflammation, and in many other beneficial ways.

#1: Hemp Oil Can Help Relieve Premenstrual Syndrome and Menstrual Cramps

No one enjoys the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or menstruation. From painful, debilitating cramps and severe headaches to insomnia and mood swings, women have to suffer through some difficult weeks every month. However, emerging research suggests that hemp oil contains properties that can alleviate many of these symptoms. Hemp oil could relieve pain , improve your mood, reduce anxiety and increase relaxation, and help you regulate your sleep.


#2: Hemp Oil Can Help Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety can be consuming and painful to suffer from. While anyone can develop anxiety, women suffer from this condition at a rate twice that of men. Anxiety can severely impact your quality of life and your ability to enjoy daily activities. However, numerous studies suggest that hemp oil can effectively reduce anxiety and stress , relieving the symptoms in many women.


#3: Hemp Oil May Help Fight Cervical Cancer

While the research is only in the pre-clinical stages, many experts believe that hemp oil could prevent the spread of cervical cancer cells. Cervical cancer is a dangerous disease that affects thousands of women each year, and many do not survive it. If hemp oil can stop the spread of cells, it can help women avoid progressing into fatal stages and prevent their deaths.

#4: Hemp Oil Can Help Benefit Women With Autoimmune Diseases

Many women suffer from autoimmune diseases such as lupus, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. While 1 out of every 5 American adults suffers from some form of autoimmune condition, 75% of those affected are women. Autoimmune diseases cause severe inflammation and pain – and research shows that hemp oil can significantly reduce inflammation and provide relief.

#5: Hemp Oil May Reduce Diabetes Risk

Early research shows that hemp oil may be able to reduce the risk of diabetes in women . In one study, researchers gave hemp oil to female mice that were not obese but were prone to diabetes. The study found that only 32% of the mice who took hemp oil developed diabetes, while 100% of the untreated group developed diabetes.

#6: Hemp Oil Can Help Reduce Seizures

Many women suffer from debilitating seizures that occur due to a fluctuation of electrical activity in the brain. Hemp oil may control seizure symptoms and these electrical impulses. One study in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the effects of hemp oil on young people who had Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy. The group who received hemp oil reduced their seizures by 38.9% – a significant drop.

#7: Hemp Oil Can Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Many women suffer from heart disease, high cholesterol, and other cardiovascular conditions. Experts found that taking hemp oil could lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. One study found hemp oil could lower the effects of atherosclerosis , which is the result of LDL, or bad cholesterol. While these findings are not conclusive, they could point to a potential health benefit of the substance.

#8: Hemp Oil Is a Form of Pain Relief

Hemp oil has significant analgesic properties that can benefit many women who suffer from chronic pain, painful periods, invisible illnesses, and more. Some studies found that hemp oil significantly reduced pain and inflammation in mice and rats, while another study found that hemp oil could offer pain relief to human patients without negative side effects from medications.

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