Health

Harnessing CBD for Endometriosis Relief

harnessing cbd for endometriosis

Manifestation of Endometriosis in the Body

Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women or an estimated 176 million women worldwide. Many remain undiagnosed and are therefore not treated leaving women to find alternative solutions to heal and soothe their body all alone.

Endometriosis can be complicated to diagnose, and there is no cure, although treatment options are available.

A lack of understanding of the condition means it takes an average of 7.5 years to get a confirmed diagnosis.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue resembling the uterus lining grows outside it. Commonly, these growths appear on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus’ surface, and pelvic organs.

These cells behave in the same way as the cells in the uterus and will bleed during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Hormones cause these cells to build up and then break down with the monthly menstrual cycle. But unlike those cells in the uterus, there is no way for the blood to leave the body.

This leads to inflammation, pain and scarring, as well as heavier and more painful periods.

Endometriosis can also cause extreme fatigue, depression, and problems with relationships and have a significant impact on an individual’s work and social life.

a woman with her hands on her abdomen in pain

The main signs of endometriosis include:

  • Painful Periods (Dysmenorrhea): Women often feel pelvic pain and cramping before and during their menstrual period, along with back and abdominal pain.
  • Intercourse Pain: Pain during or after sexual activity is a frequent symptom.
  • Menstrual Pain with Bowel or Urinary Movements: This pain typically occurs during menstrual cycles.
  • Excessive Bleeding: Some suffer from heavy periods or bleeding between cycles.
  • Infertility: Many discover they have endometriosis when seeking infertility treatments.
  • Other Symptoms: Fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and nausea often accompany periods.

Relationship with the Autoimmune System

Endometriosis and autoimmune systems are intricately connected:

  • Inflammation: Chronic inflammation marks endometriosis. Misplaced tissue causes an immune reaction, leading to pain and scar tissue.
  • Autoimmune Reaction: Research indicates that the immune systems of affected women might not destroy ectopic endometrial tissue adequately.
  • Autoimmune Disorders Co-occurrence: Higher incidence of autoimmune diseases in women with endometriosis points to potential immune dysfunction.

The Science Behind CBD as a Potential Relief for Endometriosis Symptoms

CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabis compound, could offer endometriosis relief through the endocannabinoid system (ECS):

  • Anti-inflammatory: CBD may alleviate endometriosis-related inflammation.
  • Pain Relief: By interacting with ECS receptors, CBD could dampen pain signals.
  • Immune Modulation: CBD may regulate immune responses, possibly impacting the autoimmune aspects of endometriosis.
  • Reduced Angiogenesis: CBD might hinder new blood vessel formation, necessary for endometrial-like tissue growth.
  • Antiproliferative: CBD could prevent endometrial cell proliferation.

How to use CBD for Endometriosis

Both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil are excellent options for helping relieve endometriosis symptoms. 

Oils are best ingested sublingually (drops under the tongue) and have the advantage of being fast acting – you can feel relief after just 15 minutes

CBD oil has high levels of bioavailability – meaning your body will retain high amounts of the active ingredients when choosing this consumption method.

CBD topicals are CBD balms that can be rubbed directly onto the skin. 

These can contain full-spectrum CBD – which includes terpenes and other minor cannabinoids.

Topicals can be effective if you are looking to reduce pain and inflammation in a specific spot. As such, they may help relieve the painful stomach cramps, which are common symptoms of endometriosis.

While CBD shows promise, we need more research to confirm its effectiveness and safety for endometriosis. There’s no cure yet, and treatments focus on pain, hormones, and sometimes surgery. It’s crucial to talk to a healthcare provider before trying CBD for endometriosis.

Additional Endometriosis Resources

Books

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