Besides the stigma around its use, women have been a little uncertain regarding the use of cannabis and what it would do to their health. There are some physical differences in how a female body responds to the cannabinoids compounds of cannabis. Women experience hormonal changes during menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, etc. The implications of cannabis use on women’s health need a comprehensive guide to its effects. Here we will find out more about how cannabis can improve women’s overall health.
The Science Behind Cannabis and Human Body
The different terms used for cannabis are marijuana, weed, pot, ganja, or bud. Cannabis plants belong to the family of Cannabaceae, and three of its species are mainly recognized- cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. There are over 100 different cannabinoids in the plant among which the THC and CBD attract attention. Here’s why:
THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) – It is the dominant psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis that can make you ”feel high”. On ingestion, the chemical soaks into our bloodstream, which then carries it to the brain to produce the elevated feeling.
CBD (cannabidiol) – CBD is non-psychoactive and has medical benefits. It helps in boosting our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and increases the level of anandamide, the bliss molecule.
The function of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis. It consists of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2) located in the brain and the central nervous system. The ECS, when becomes deficient, causes imbalances leading to several health issues. The phytocannabinoids (THC and CBD) of the green flower interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors to help regulate physiological and psychological conditions. The amalgamation stimulates the ECS to balance energy, control blood pressure, modulate pain, control nausea and helps in other immune responses.
For women, the endocannabinoid receptors in their reproductive tract are extensive. These are present in the uterus, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, and vulva. Hence receptors play a considerable role in pregnancy and childbirth. Cannabis does have pain-relieving properties and can inhibit symptoms of PMS. It can help influence the immune cells to control inflammation. Now we know how it works on women.
History of Medical Cannabis for Women
Cannabis as a treatment for healing all symptoms of skin disease, PMS, PCOD, or PCOS is centuries old. The oldest reference to the use of cannabis for gynecological health concerns dates back to the ancient Mesopotamia. During that age, women used to create a herbal substance (Azallu) made from mint, saffron, and cannabis to treat menstrual pain.
Furthermore, primitive texts found in China included recommendations of cannabis as an herbal treatment for several ailments occurring among women like cramps and bloating.
In ancient Europe, cannabis was ground along with honey and applied topically through the vagina to relieve pain caused due to contractions during childbirth. Queen Victoria was also an admirer of cannabis. She used it in the form of a tincture to combat menstrual cramps.
Cannabis and Menstruation Symptoms
We now have a rough idea of how cannabis might benefit women. Let’s understand this a little more largely. During periods most women complain about abdominal cramps, muscle pain, nausea, fatigue, etc. There are scientific facts that support cannabis properties that help alleviate such type of pain and cramps. CBD helps curb pain by targeting the prostaglandins, responsible for pain and inflammation. THC works as a muscle relaxant by altering the mental state and helps in spasm-related pain. Cannabis also has anti-nausea properties that can help suppress the symptoms during menstruation.
There are a few ways women can reap the advantage of cannabis to relieve menstrual pain:
- Topical- You can find cannabis balms to apply topically on the affected area or to the lower abdomen for cramps.
- Vaping or Smoking- Some women prefer to smoke, or vape cannabis using wax, shatter, oil or other concentrates. It can alleviate pain by calming the body.
- Tincture- One can administer it sublingually, under the tongue, with the help of an eyedropper.
- CBD oil- You can ingest it orally. It won’t have any definite psychoactive effect. Go for a low THC and high CBD strains for that.
Cannabis and Women’s Sexual Health
The medicinal properties of the herb can also enhance women’s sexual health. According to research, THC helps in releasing neurotransmitters, especially nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide works as a muscle relaxant of blood vessels resulting in dilating and swelling of the blood vessels with blood. In a generic sense, cannabis helps relieve stress and anxiety and using it before sex can boost confidence among women. The THC cannabinoid also targets the part of our brain responsible for sexual arousal. Some women experienced an increase in satisfying orgasms. It means using cannabis can boost your sex drive and make the activity relaxing as well as pleasurable. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine study, cannabis use can enhance sexual health in both men and women.
Cannabis as a potential herb has a lot more to offer for women. From gynecological health to skin health, this green flower can benefit you like no other synthetic drugs. People are looking for natural alternatives to stay away from harmful toxins accompanied by standard medications. Remember to check with a health practitioner about any health complications before any indulgence.
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