Amy Schumer recently shared she had her uterus and appendix removed due to endometriosis. 11% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the U.S. suffer from a painful condition called endometriosis. That means that roughly 6.5 million women in this country alone. Here are the facts every woman (and man!) should know about endometriosis and how CBD may provide natural pain relief.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a common problem for women. It is so common you may hear it called by its nickname, “endo.” The endometrium is the lining of a woman’s uterus or womb. When a woman develops endometriosis, the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the internal organ. The endometrium may affect other areas of the body, such as:
- Fallopian tubes
- Connective tissue supporting the uterus
- The external uterus surface
- Vagina, cervix, and sensitive external tissues
In rare cases, the endometrium may affect the lungs, brain, and skin. The condition is most common in women aged 30-40 years old. Left untreated, endometriosis may lead to infertility and even the risk of ovarian cancer.
What Causes Endometriosis?
Medical researchers are not sure. Suggestions are genetic predisposition, immune system issues, hormones, surgery, and menstrual issues. Researchers have not found a way to prevent endometriosis.
Researchers know that estrogen thickens the uterus lining during menstruation. Therefore, reducing the amount of estrogen in the blood can lower a woman’s risk of developing endometriosis.
What Happens When a Woman Develops Endometriosis?
A woman suffering from endometriosis has abnormally painful menstrual cycles. The pain is often in the pelvic region. Endometriosis may make it difficult to:
- Use the bathroom, and
- Participate in sexual intercourse.
The endometrium growing outside the uterus bleeds during menstrual cycles. The problem is that there is nowhere for the blood to go. As a result, the blood becomes trapped, leading to painful pressure in the body. Even surgical removal of the tissue is only a temporary pain reliever. That is because the tissue almost always grows back.
Endometriosis sufferers may have cysts or scars behind the uterus. A pelvic exam by the gynecologist can feel these cysts if they are large enough. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests may also help discover the endometrium tissue.
Doctors sometimes use laparoscopic surgery to look inside the body to find the endometrium tissue. Doctors may also prescribe hormonal medicines, such as birth control pills or GnRH blockers. These medicines block the blood flow and lower the amount of estrogen that the body makes.
What about CBD and Endometriosis?
Cannabidiol, more popularly known as CBD, is the name for the chemical compounds found in marijuana and hemp. The other compound in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol, popularly known as THC. Unlike CBD, THC is a psychoactive compound that affects the mind and mood when ingested.
An Australian online survey in 2019 found that CBD oil and cannabis were the most effective self-help products for women who have endometriosis. CBD products may help provide natural pain relief, lighten the mood, and promote sleep. Some CBD products used for this purpose do not contain THC. Other products contain both CBD and THC compounds.
Is CBD Better Than Traditional NSAIDS?
Yes. NSAIDs often have serious side effects, while CBD has almost none. In addition, CBD comes in various forms:
- CBD Oil or Tictures to drop under the tongue;
- CBD topical creams; and
- CBD edibles and gummies.
Can CBD Help Endometriosis?
CBD therapy may help dull the impact of endometriosis in many ways:
- Prevent cell growth and migration
- Inhibit lesions
- Inhibit inflammation
- Balance hormones
- Desensitize nerves
The human body’s endocannabinoid system contains cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Receptors are located in the brain and other areas of the body. Consuming CBD increases the cannabinoids in the body, which may help prevent cell proliferation. The CBD may also help block the receptors responsible for cell migration.
Take the Next Step
If you’re looking to try CBD, here are some products that may help.
- CBD Pain Relief Cooling Roll-On: this is a topical product that offers soothing, cooling relief. You simply use the mess-free applicator and apply it to the area of discomfort, up to four times a day.
- CBD Gummies: specially formulated to provide calm and relaxation. Each gummy has 25mg of CBD and can be taken daily to keep the body better regulated or as needed in response to discomfort.
- CBD Oil Wellness Formula: this is a great product to help stave off flare ups in the first place. The best results from CBD oil come from using the product consistently – meaning, every day (similar to how you take vitamins).