Can CBD Help Women With Endometriosis?

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is abnormal growth of cells that are similar to the ones in the lining of the womb. It affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, which adds up to approximately 176 million women worldwide. 

What causes endometriosis is still not completely understood. The endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus and gathers around the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and bowel. The main problem with this condition is that the bleeding phase of a woman’s menstural cycle provides an exit for the blood; when the endrometrial cells grow, there is nowhere for them to go. This is what causes pain, inflammation, and even the formation of scar tissue. 

While the severity of the symptoms can vary from woman to woman, even in less severe cases, endometriosis can lead to infertility if left untreated. Getting treatment, however, can be challenging for many women. Endometriosis can be misdiagnosed or getting an accurate diagnosis can take time, and can consist of a great deal trial and error. 

Endometriosis can be a stubborn and tenacious condition. Even if scar tissue is surgically removed, it does not mean that the tissue will not regenerate. Unfortunately, it almost always returns, along with all of the other symptoms, including terrible pain.

How Can CBD Help?

Research shows that women are given sedatives more often than actual pain medication. It’s likely that this goes far back in history to when women were diagnosed with hysteria as far back as the Ancient Greeks. Crazy, right?

For so many women, then pain of endometriosis is unbearable and can be the most challenging aspect, because when you’re in pain, you can’t focus, you can’t accomplish what you need to, and you’re tired. Pain is EXHAUSTING.African American woman doubled over in pain

An online survey in Australia interviewed women from an endometriosis support group and found that cannabis and CBD oil were the most effective of all of the self-care techniques for endometriosis pain. Other self-care methods include breathing techniques, yoga, and stretching. 

For some, they may wonder if CBD made a difference in their pain levels, but some found that if they stopped taking CBD for a week, they realized how much more severe the pain was without CBD. This change encouraged them to return to their CBD regimen so that they could carry on with their daily routines. 

Reducing / Alleviating Pain and CBD

The reason patients find pain relief or reduction from CBD oil may be tie4d to the CBD’s activation of the TRPV1 vanilloid receptor. TRPV1 is a gated ion-channel that generally causes pain when it’s stimulated. So when CBD is introduced to these receptors, they no longer respond anymore and pain is no longer registered. Think of when you use a heating pad on your body. The soothing relief is a mild activation of the same TRPV1 receptors. CBD provides a stronger activation of these receptors.

CBD is also thought to slow or even prevent the spread of endometrial tissue because of how it reacts with the GPR18 receptor because cannabidiol was shown to be an antagonist of the GRP18 receptor, which means it should help prevent the abnormal spread of the endometrial tissue.

A bottle of CBD oil in an outdoor setting

Because this research is young, there are often more questions than answers and additional research needs to be done to have a more complete understanding of these reactions. While we don’t fully know CBD’s potential to halt cell migration in endometriosis, its effectiveness as a painkiller is a potent option appreciated by many who struggle with this condition.

*This information should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Please consult your doctor if you believe you could be suffering from endometriosis so that testing, diagnosis, and a treatment plan can be determined.

CBD and Eating Disorders

The facts are staggering in the United States. The National eating Disorders Association says approximately 20 million women and 10 million men will develop an eating disorder at some point in their lives. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 25 percent of U.S. college students suffer from a variety of eating disorders. Many people don’t realize that eating disorders can be fatal which is additionally concerning.

When it comes to treatment, there’s no universally approved medical treatment because nothing has been proven to be effective. Physicians often provide a treatment plan for eating disorders that includes antidepressants for underlying mental health issues like depression or anxiety. 

Since CBD is becoming more accepted and studied for its full benefits, it’s currently being studied for its efficacy in treating eating disorders.Eating disorders word cloud

The Most Common Eating Disorders

The root cause of an eating disorder can vary from person to person, but let’s talk about the three most common eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by abnormal thinness and an extreme fear of gaining body weight. The sufferer usually has a distorted perception of weight and shape. People dealing with Anorexia generally restrict their diet to very dangerous levels, misuse laxatives, and exercise excessively. Frequently, they directly equate a thin body to their self-worth. People dealing with anorexia regularly continue losing weight even after their desired shape or weight has been achieved.

Bulimia Nervosa, most commonly referred to as Bulimia, is different from Anorexia. People dealing with Bulimia often maintain a normal weight, but they have an unhealthy attitude toward eating. Bulimics often eat large amounts of food and will often overeat. Afterwards, they purge themselves of the excess calories in harmful ways, such as misusing laxatives and weight loss supplements, self-induced vomiting, or strict dieting. Like Anorexia, Bulimia often has a lot to do with a distorted perception of weight and shape and they tend to tie their self-worth to their body shape. 

Binge Eating Disorder has to do with losing control of eating habits in the short-term. Usually, someone with Binge Eating Disorder (BED) will lose control at least twice per week for up to six months. Quite often, this happens with people of standard weight, but it opens the door for obesity to develop. Those with BED struggle with guilt and disgust, which are also tied to their binge eating. Food is often used to cope with their mental state and creates a vicious cycle. 

Medications and measuring tape photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Current Eating Disorder Treatments

Current treatment for eating disorders usually involves therapy, dietary plans, and antidepressants to treat the psychological aspects that often accompany these disorders. These treatments can happen at home or in clinical environments with others who struggle with eating disorders. However, the efficacy of these treatments have not shown to be effective enough to deal with the underlying mental health or the individual habits that drive the disorders. Other treatments include making lifestyle changes and including more social activities to boost confidence, but the success rates of these vary greatly from person to person. 

How Can CBD Help?

Now that we’re on the same page about what we mean by an eating disorder and how they’ve been treated for so long, you’re wondering how CBD can make a difference in treatment. 

CBD looks to be a very promising treatment. While additional research is currently being done on this topic, it appears to be promising because of CBD’s anti-stress and anti-inflammatory efficacy. CBD has been proven to be effective in treating anxiety, chronic pain, depression, inflammation and stress. CBD works directly with the endocannabinoid system, which is made up of receptors that are broken into two groups – CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and affect coordination, emotions, and mood. CB2 receptors are found in the immune system and influence inflammation and pain. 

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates human relationships with food and those people diagnosed with an eating disorder also have a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system. This means that their ECS is likely low-functioning or inactive. When CBD is introduced, it stimulates the ECS and can turn it from inactive or low-functioning to functioning again. This helps our bodies to stimulate the ECS to produce cannabinoids on its own and can correct the imbalances that have contributed to or caused the eating disorder. Because CBD also provides therapeutic help to the brain, it supports mental health by treating anxiety and/or depression that can accompany an eating disorder. CBD is also all-natural and does not cause addiction. It can also be incorporated into a person’s daily routine, and the evidence so far is very promising in helping those who struggle with eating disorders. 
If you’re interested in trying CBD or know someone who is, feel free to send any questions to us at info@shoptlcbd.com or visit our products page for more information.

Can CBD Help Manage Pain?

January 1, 2021

Pain can hit us at any time. Some people deal with it all of their lives from chronic conditions, while others deal with it as they near the end of their lives. For most of us, it becomes an ever-increasing issue. There are many questions that arise about the efficacy of CBD in managing pain. Between CBD becoming more accepted as a mainstream treatment and more and more people continuing to look for alternatives to opioids and narcotics to control pain, there are many questions about how to best manage pain while minimizing the side effects. 

CBD targets the serotonin, dopamine, and endocannabinoid receptors in our bodies to reduce the feelings of anxiety that very often accompany pain. The endocannabinoid system is thought to be directly related to pain regardless of its cause. This means that CBD has been found to be effective in treating osteoarthritis pain, neuropathic pain, and chronic back pain.

End-of-life Pain

If used in conjunction with narcotics, it can make the patient more alert and willing to partake in life, whereas before the person may have been more withdrawn because of the amount of pain they were in. Some people prefer to be in pain instead of being sleepy, but being in pain is very exhausting and because the CBD cannabinoids target pain and reduce or even eliminate pain, this can help people to be more present in their daily life. When someone is able to be present in their daily life, it means being able to spend more time with loved ones, making more memories together, which equates to a higher quality of life.

Often, as someone enters into end-of-life care, narcotics and benzodiazepines can be prescribed to help ease pain. These medications can also have some strong side effects and not everyone can tolerate them well. Using CBD in conjunction with these medications can reduce the side effects of these medications. On the other hand, it’s best to work with a medical professional on the dosage of CBD and opioid or other narcotic-based medications, as some people may experience either an increase or decrease in the potency of these medications. Like with all medications, not everyone will have the same reaction and working with a medical professional is ideal when other medications are involved.

Another benefit to using CBD is that there are no psychoactive effects on a person. That is to say, they don’t get high like someone who consumes THC does. CBD is considered a dietary supplement and can be used anytime during the day as needed. 

Choosing the Right Form of CBD

There are several factors to consider when deciding in what form you should take CBD. There are a variety available:

Jump for Joy
Jump for Joy Pain Balm
  • Oil and tinctures
  • Edibles, like gummies or candies
  • Topical ointments and creams
  • Waxes
  • E-liquids
  • Capsules

When choosing the right form to manage pan, you should consider the level of pain. This is because different forms take longer to absorb into the body than others, and therefore take longer to activate – meaning it can take longer to get relief. Generally, edibles and capsules take the longest because they must be digested, whereas oils, tinctured, topicals and e-liquids will most likely provide faster relief, within minutes, because they are absorbed rather than digested. 

Topicals and ointments can be highly effective on specific pain because the cream or ointment can be applied directly to the area of discomfort. These can be effective for arthritis or other joint pain, but it is important to remember that it will not eliminate the pain – only provide relief for a period of time. 

Even though CBD is not able to cure pain, it can provide much needed relief without many of the side effects from other treatments. Pain comes in many forms and so do treatment options. CBD provides a natural, non-psychoactive alternative that is free of side-effects and continues to be a promising option in managing pain. 

2021 – A New Hope on the Horizon

December 22, 2020

2020 was the year no one expected. Things started out seemingly fine for most of us and then suddenly we’re living in the middle of history in a pandemic for the majority of the year. You’ve heard everyone say it all year long – these are unprecedented times – and they are, but what has this public health crisis taught us? What have you learned? I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned. 

2020 was the year I learned to slow down and even to pause for a while. I learned that amidst the darkness, there is still light. Sometimes you need to look for it, while other times you need to shine your light on others to help them through it. Other times still, you simply have to put your light out there in the hopes that the person who needs it will see it and let it guide them to where they need to be. This year was a year of extremes. There was great division, but there was also great togetherness. I saw people come together to help people they didn’t know, to help lift their voices higher so they can be in the spotlight. We all saw the medical community come together and work harder than they ever have before. We saw researchers, epidemiologists, virologists, and other members of the medical community come together to work quickly to create a safe, and effective vaccine to help get our arms around this virus that has become our entire lives this year. 

2020 was also the year I learned more about myself. I learned more about mental health and how important it is for everyone to have access to resources; I also learned how important self-care is – everything from naps to home spa days, coloring, and simply taking time to listen to music, podcasts, or whatever makes me happy and calm. We all learned how strong stress is in our lives and that we have to find positive ways to deal with it in order to be able to face each day when uncertainty is the main item on the daily agenda. I know that using my CBD has greatly helped me stay calm and helped to keep things more manageable, if that’s possible during the middle of a pandemic. 

We had to change so much about how we live our lives in order to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our community members safe. We had to stay apart so that we can come together again soon. I think we all have a deeper understanding for how important hugs are to our well-being. Learning to stay connected virtually has been another substantial lesson of this year. It may not be perfect, but we are so fortunate to have the technology that we do in order to stay connected, even if it’s not ideal. 

As the new year quickly approaches and uncertainty remains at the top of our daily agenda, a new year brings new hope – hope that we will be able to come together again soon and hug each other and do all of the things we love to do together instead of on a video call. There will still be challenges ahead, but my hope is that we’ll be better equipped to deal with them and we’ll begin to reshape what normal is for us and that this normal will lift us all up so that we’ll have healthier lives. 

To those of you who have supported us this year – thank you. We are grateful for your support and we look forward to continuing to support you not only this year, but in the years to come. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy new year – may it be filled with a multitude of blessings – none greater than we’ll be able to come back together in the new year. 

We wish you the best for 2021…

Jenna,

President of Product Development

Does CBD Help Against Coronavirus?

November 10, 2020

2020 has turned out to be anything but the year that we all expected. Sheltering in place, working and educating our kids from home…Nothing has gone to plan. As we continue to see cases of COVID-19 increase, we’re wondering what we can do to protect ourselves from contracting the virus ourselves.

The jury is out – more research needs to be done…

Can CBD Help Protect me from COVID-19?

The answer is not clear, unfortunately. More research is needed to find a more definitive answer, but scientists have discovered that CBD oil may increase levels of cytokine, a chemical that protects the lungs and other organs, which could ward off the worst effects of COVID-19.

Cytokine is a protein found in the immune cells and responds to inflammation and infection in our bodies. An overactive cytokine response has be found in serious cases of COVID-19, and when this happens, it can cause serious damage to the lungs and even cause death; however, apelin, a naturally occurring peptide, has been shown to reduce this response in laboratory models of another serious disease, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

So how does this connect to CBD? New research has been published by scientists from the Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia, and in this research, it was shown that CBD oil has been shown to increase apelin levels. The research also showed that oxygen levels were increased and inflammation was reduced and overall lung damage caused by ARDS was reduced as well. In the ARDS models, levels of apelin in the blood dropped to almost zero, but when CBD was administered, these levels increased twenty-fold and nearly brought it back to a normal level.

Apelin acts as a key regulator to bring blood pressure back to normal levels and reduce inflammation. It is produced in the heart, brain, lungs, and blood and works in cooperation with the angiotensin-converting enzyme receptor, also known as ACE2, to control blood pressure. But as we’ve learned this year, the ACE2 receptor is how COVID-19 enters our cells and corrupts normal function.

COVID-19 disrupts the relationship between ACE2 and apelin, which stops blood vessels to relax and takes over cells to create more of the virus. Reduced levels of ACE2 seem to have an  effect on how apelin is produced and provides naturally occurring protection within the lungs and other organs affected by COVID-19.

Again, more research needs to be done to more fully understand the relationship between CBD and apelin production, but the work with ARDS indicates that CBD could provide some protection to the organs affected by COVID-19. 

Why CBD Isn’t More Common

October 1, 2020

I was reading recently about an elephant named Fredzia at the Warsaw Zoo going through serious stress and depression after the death of one of her longest partners.  She was acting strange and having eating issues.  The zookeepers decided to try CBD for her anxiety.  I was blown away by the fact that they considered this an “experimental treatment” – how can anyone not consider CBD to be a baseline go-to for stress and anxiety and a variety of other things these days.

But then I realized I shouldn’t be concerned, I should be happy.  Mainstream media may be years behind what we have known about the benefits of CBD but at least they are starting to catch up and with stories like this one about Fredzia, things will get more common soon.

Tionne

Should My Parents Use CBD?

September 1, 2020

We’ve been getting a lot of questions from our customers asking if CBD is safe for their aging parents and grandparents, especially those with arthritis and memory issues.

We, of course, say yes.  There are always things to consider, like what other medications they are on, but for the most part, we believe it’s a viable option for seniors.

CBD provides no “high” and you can’t overdose on it.  It’s most commonly used for anxiety, insomnia, and joint pain. And almost a third of adults in the United States have tried CBD in the past two years according to Consumer Reports.  And twenty percent of people 65 and older said they’d tried CBD in the past year, which means that usage has doubled for seniors in just one year.

Why are more seniors trying CBD? We think it’s because it works so well in common conditions that age group suffers from.  Things like chronic pain, nausea from chemotherapy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, pain from fibro­myalgia and sleep issues.  It’s also been found to help with brain health and many seniors are worried about things like Alzheimer’s.

More senior citizens are using CBD to help with chronic conditions.

If you are thinking about putting your senior citizen on CBD, we suggest a couple of things:

  • Talk to a doctor.  Ask about potential interactions with prescription and over-the-counter drugs. For instance, it’s been found that CBD may intensify the effects of certain blood thinners and may ­increase blood levels of certain cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
  • Stay mindful of potency. Some of ­today’s CBD  products, such as edibles and tinctures, may have dosage suggestions for those who are in better health, higher weight classes and who have no underlying conditions.

Remember, we’re always here to help and answer questions, so feel free to reach out to us at info@shoptlcbd.com.