Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 | 2 a.m.
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Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming more widely used and touted as a possible cure for anxiety, inflammation, skin conditions and more. While it’s still being clinically evaluated for its medicinal effects, the cannabis plant has been anecdotally consumed for its healing properties for thousands of years, with many individuals hopping on the CBD bandwagon more recently to impressive results. A treatment modality for adults, children and even pets, some cannabis compounds may be particularly beneficial to women. Here’s a look at how CBD is being used to treat women’s health issues.
How does CBD work?
Though still being studied, CBD is thought to activate endocannabinoid receptors in the body, which can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system. Unlike THC, a compound in the cannabis plant that has psychoactive properties, CBD does not cause a high.
Because CBD can cause relaxation in the body and mind, many women are using it to treat premenstrual syndrome for mild to moderate relief. The most common symptoms of PMS include anxiety, irritability, sleep problems, cramps and bloating.
Anxiety and Wood
For years, anxiety has been widely treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can be addictive and cause side effects, but increasingly, people are turning to CBD for relief instead. Why is this relevant to women? The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that from the beginning of puberty until about age 50, women are twice as likely as men to have an anxiety disorder. Although the research isn’t conclusive, there have been multiple small studies demonstrating that CBD may ease anxiety, including 2019 research published in The Permanente Journal.
It’s estimated that the majority of patients with autoimmune diseases are women. In fact, 9 of 10 patients with lupus are females, reports a 2018 study from the University of Gothenburg. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that new cases of rheumatoid arthritis are typically two to three times higher in women than in men.
CBD may help lower inflammation in the body, which can help improve symptoms for many of these conditions, especially lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. There are also active studies evaluating the effect of CBD on multiple sclerosis. For those looking for inflammation relief, topically applied CBD shows promise, according to a study from the European Journal of Pain.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits don’t just help with pain; it’s now being used as a topical solution for acne, redness and other common skin issues. A 2014 study published by the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD can reduce acne and sebum production—the oil barrier of your skin—allowing for a clearer, more balanced complexion. It’s also being used in many types of other beauty products, including anti-aging products and supplements. For people who have eczema and rosacea, CBD may help relieve flare-ups and reduce redness/swelling.