We already know the healing benefits of medical marijuana when it comes to ailments such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc., but did you know that it has more benefits for everyday women’s health? Today, women are turning to medical marijuana more than ever to help with conditions such as PMS, depression, and even sexual dysfunction. Looking for more info? We have the breakdown of what you need to know.
PMS, the catch-all term for the side-effects that come with a woman’s menstrual cycle. Some of these side-effects include mild to severe cramping, headaches, nausea, and increased mood swings. Even though as long as there have been women there has been PMS and periods, there is no one pill that will alleviate all these symptoms.
Today, many women are turning to medical marijuana as a one-stop-shop to help with all symptoms related to PMS and their menstrual cycle. Through some research, it has been shown that more indica-dominant strains are the best option for soothing the symptoms of PMS and your period. Treatments were effective through smoking, edibles, and even topicals.
Just as your PMS and menstrual symptoms go away, the symptoms of menopause appear, but there may be a way to alleviate the symptoms. See, the endocannabinoid system works in conjunction with estrogen levels, so when estrogen is at its highest, so is the level of cannabinoids. But the other side to this is when estrogen drops, so do the level of cannabinoids. Studies are starting to suggest that endocannabinoid deficiencies may lead to early menopause.
As for how medical marijuana can help in the short term, it has been proven to relieve symptoms such as weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia, and even bone density. Though medical marijuana can be taken in any form, many women are finding relief through transdermal patches placed directly on the pelvis.
Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression and anxiety than men. Though research into medical marijuana for depression and anxiety is still in the early stages, we do know that in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, marijuana was used to promote happiness and to encourage social interaction.
The Research Institute on Addictions at the University at Buffalo has begun looking into medical marijuana as a treatment for depression caused by chronic stress, more specifically how it reacts to the brain chemicals called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids react similarly to cannabinoids in medical marijuana. These naturally occurring chemical compounds play a role in emotion, behavior, cognition, and motor control. Through animal testing, they have discovered that chronic stress can suppress the brain’s production of endocannabinoids, which can lead to depression-like symptoms. Introducing marijuana into the system has shown to help restore normal levels and function, which may grow to ease symptoms of depression.
Previous experiments have shown that the active compound in marijuana can lead to fluctuations in sex drive, but more recent studies have suggested that endocannabinoids can heighten sexual arousal in women and that it can enhance the sexual experience for both men and women.
During the study, researchers also saw a correlation between how often people used marijuana and how frequently they had sex. Women who smoked marijuana reported having sex about 7.1 times, on average, over a four week period. Those that refrained from marijuana reported having sex an average of six times over a four week period. Those that used marijuana also reported higher satisfaction in their sexual encounters.
There are currently conflicting reports from all over the medical community. There are many anecdotal indications that medical marijuana may alleviate and control pain during labor. Though there isn’t a known large-scale study on how medical marijuana affects pregnant women, at this time the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says to refrain from using marijuana if you are pregnant, looking to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
As a woman, how have you incorporated medical marijuana into your health regime? Sound off at @MMDOTCOM – we would love to hear from you!