Rumor has it that even Queen Victoria sought CBD benefits for relief from menstrual cramps. And it’s no wonder, doctors have described period cramps as “painful as a heart attack” or “cutting your finger off without anesthesia.” Prostaglandins are the main reason why period cramps hurt. The body releases this hormone into the lining of the uterus to make the uterus contract and shed its lining.
Many women reach for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and ibuprofen when Aunt Flo visits. These drugs bind to the COX receptors in the brain and body and slow the production of prostaglandins.
Studies suggest using CBD benefits from pain relief that can be a safer and more effective treatment option. History has shown that cannabidiol compounds can effectively reduce pain and help regulate the body’s inflammatory response, soothe pain receptors, and boost mood.
Unlike NSAIDs, CBD doesn’t block prostaglandins. It binds to CB1 receptors in the brain to boost dopamine, the feel good hormone, and binds to CB2 receptors in the nerves and joints to reduce inflammation. That’s one of the reasons why it is medically prescribed for neuropathic pain, arthritis, and muscular disorders like dystonia.
People have been taking CBD benefits in the form of tinctures, tonics, and leaves for over 500 years. Early records show that cannabis (which contains both THC and CBD) was first used in Asia as a health aid and later made its way to Europe and the Americas as a treatment for everything from cholera to insomnia.
CBD or cannabidiol works through the body’s endocannabinoid system. The body produces chemical compounds that bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors but CBD also affects these same receptors. The majority of the CB1 receptors are located in the brain and spine while the CB2 receptors are mostly found in the immune system, including the lymph nodes. The immune system affects everything from pain perception, coordination, emotions, and mood.
Research suggests that when taken alone (without THC), CBD can improve quality of life. According to a report published in the Online Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine,
Research has shown “effectiveness in treating symptoms associated with anxiety and sleep disorders, along with arthritis and headaches…One study showed an improvement of quality of life symptoms including sleep problems up to 29% after four months of use.” These are few of the CBD benefits.
Studies show that the female reproductive system has almost as many endcannidional receptors as the brain. Due to the body’s hormonal cycles, the increased effects of CBD are most notable in the days prior to ovulation. More research needs to be done to determine how changes in hormones affect how the body responds to CBD.
When using CBD for pain relief, experts agree that the best way is to start with a small dosage and see how it interacts with your body chemistry. It may take a number of weeks for your endocannabinoid system to start responding to CBD. As with any holistic medicine, you may need to experiment a bit to find your perfect dose. Experts agree that starting with the smallest recommended dose is the safest way to use medical compounds.
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