Can CBD Work for treating PCOS? Read Hemppedia's guide for a detailed review of the effect of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Can CBD help with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)? Here's what to Know about Taking CBD for PCOS
CBD for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Would you consider cannabidiol as a possible treatment of the symptoms of PCOS?
Success has been shown in CBD treating anxiety, pain, PMS, and sleep issues. CBD’s anxiolytic, non-psychoactive properties can potentially be beneficial for PCOS patients and help them feel calm and relaxed and improve their sleep quality.
What is PCOS?
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It refers to a condition which affects the hormonal levels of a woman. PCOS is characterized by the production of higher-than-normal male hormones. Physical signs are severe acne, dandruff, weight gain, hirsutism, and male-pattern baldness. Internal symptoms include missed periods and abnormal heavy flow, multiple cysts, pelvic pain and thickening of the uterus wall.
The occasional skipping of menstrual periods reduces the chance of becoming pregnant, therefore women suffering from PCOS tend to struggle with fertility. The ovaries may also develop several fluid collections preventing the regular release of eggs. PCOS causes an increase in insulin; the hormone that regulates how the foods you consume is transformed into energy. It may also prevent your body from regulating the amount of this hormone making insulin blood levels to be higher than normal. Risk factors are unhealthy eating habits, obesity, lack of enough exercise and genetics.
Symptoms of PCOS cause substantial discomfort and pain. One treatment option that is gaining momentum today is cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive chemical found in medical cannabis. It works fast to reduce symptoms of PCOS. Note that there are many different varieties of CBD products that vary in potency and dosage. The exact dose that suits you depends on your symptoms; PCOS produces a broad range of signs and side effects. You must factor in the same while choosing the variety that best suits your condition.
For a medical condition always consult with a healthcare professional before consuming CBD.
Why Can CBD Work For Treating PCOS?
Anti-inflammatory/Pain Relief Properties
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an anti-inflammatory and has pain relief properties. There is evidence glycinergic CBDs are strong therapeutical agents that can be used to treat neuropathic and inflammatory pain. They are, therefore, capable of attenuating compulsive pain without causing significant analgesic tolerance and psychoactive side effects. Cannabidiols also possess anti-anxiety properties and hence are usually administered for patients with anxiety disorders. These properties make CBD ideal for the treat PCOS symptoms, primarily sleep and anxiety issues.
Maintains a Healthy ECS
ECS (Endocannabinoid system) is a signaling mechanism that maintains homeostasis in your body. It is composed of Endocannabinoids and two cannabinoid receptors whose role is to balance all the processes including reproduction. Research has shown that ECS malfunction causes PCOS in some women. Cannabinoid shares identical chemical makeup with endocannabinoids, therefore it helps keep your system running smoothly. So, supplementing with CBD has a direct effect on PCOS patients; it aids the treatment process.
What Are The Benefits of Using CBD to Treat PCOS?
A 2005 study by Hollinrake 1 revealed that women with PCOS are more likely to develop stress and depression. Patients using CBD will not only feel calmer but also reap heavily from its anti-stress effect. It helps patients cope with the otherwise painful and disturbing symptoms. The fact that CBD has everything it takes to help your system run smoothly means it can restore hormonal balance.
The end result is a decrease in menstrual irregularity and a corresponding increase in the likelihood of conceiving. Cannabidiols also reduce body fats and hence are effective in controlling weight, one of the risk factors for developing PCOS. The characteristic reduction in pain, when using CBD, relieves patients of the agony.
How PCOS Affects The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
ECS is composed of a series of receptors present in all major bodily systems. Its function is to keep virtually every physiological process, such as digestion, pain modulation and the reproductive system in a state of balance. Under normal circumstance, devoid of PCOS, naturally released cannabinoids constantly act on the receptors thus eliciting chemical responses which, in turn, maintain the various bodily processes in homeostasis. PCOS, characterized by the growth of small cysts on the ovaries, is an organized metabolic and endocrine disorder. It causes excessive production of androgen, insulin, hyperlipidemia, anovulatory, acne, hirsute, adrenal hyperplasia and weight gain. The disorder, therefore, destabilizes ECS making your body to develop several disturbing symptoms.
How Can I Use CBD to Treat PCOS?
Before you start using CBD for any health reason, it is important that you consult your doctor first. This is because the doctor will be able to evaluate your body and the extent of the disease or condition. This way, the doctor is also able to advise you the best way to use CBD to treat PCOS.
CBD is currently being offered in different forms such as oil, paste, tablets, and vapes. CBD oil or paste has been shown as being a preferred option for many people. However, it is best to choose the form that you feel most comfortable using.
CBD Dosage for PCOS
If used properly, CBD can be a great option for many people. However, it’s important to remember that every person is unique and everyone’s reaction to CBD is different. The recommended dosage from each product can differ greatly, creating some confusion. Dosage may be different depending on the percentage of CBD oil you are using.
We recommend the Step-Up method as described by Leinow and Birnbaum in their book CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis 2 . For detailed information about dosage, see our post on CBD dosage.
What Are Studies Saying About Using CBD for PCOS?
A study by Alison J. Dawson 3 has shown that endocannabinoid receptor blockage brought about by CBD lowers alanine amino transfer in women with PCOS that has no relationship with weight loss. This finding shows that CBD can eliminate disturbing PCOS symptoms and reinstate homeostasis in the body. The study was composed of two groups, each of 50 obese women suffering from PCOS. The group put on CBD recorded impressive results that confirm CBD is effective in the treatment of PCOS.
Another study 4 conducted by the International Journal of Endocrinology obtained a similar finding. The study involved one group of 173 women with Polycystic Ovary syndrome, aged 20-53, and a different one with 125, healthy (weight and age-matched) randomly selected from the population. The results mirrored those of the separate study, further confirming that CBD is effective for treating PCOS. While these results are a step in the right direction be sure you consult your medical practitioner for expert advice on the PCOS treatment regime.
PCOS Nutrition Center Articles/Blog
Can CBD help with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)? Here’s what you need to know about taking CBD for PCOS.
Chances are, if you haven’t tried CBD, you’ve heard about it and seen it. CBD can be found in various products such as gummies, oils, topicals, bath bombs, pet treats, skincare, edibles, and honey. You can find CBD products at multiple locations, even at your local grocery store.
The top reasons people take CBD are for pain relief, inflammation, anxiety, and to help with better sleep.
What exactly is CBD?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most well-known phytocannabinoids. Both CBD and THC are naturally occurring compounds found in Cannabis sativa plants, and both provide therapeutic benefits, like calmness and help with anxiety and inflammation. The difference is that only THC is psychoactive, which means it is responsible for the “high” feeling for which cannabis is known.
CBD is not psychoactive in the way that THC is. Taking CBD will not make you feel high, nor will it increase your appetite.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana are both types of cannabis sativa plants. What differentiates the two is their THC content. Federal law requires that hemp contain no more than 0.3% THC by weight. Legally, marijuana refers to cannabis that has more than 0.3% THC.
Both hemp and marijuana plants naturally contain many cannabinoid compounds (CBD, THC, and others) along with essential oils and terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that contribute to the distinctive smells and flavors of cannabis.
The Different Types of Hemp
- Hemp oil extracted from the hemp plant comes in three main varieties:
- Full-spectrum hempoil provides all the compounds found in hemp — CBD, terpenes, other cannabinoids, and small amounts of THC.
- Broad-spectrum hemp oil is like full-spectrum hemp oil, except it usually does not contain THC.
- CBD isolate contains only CBD and no other compounds from hemp.
Don’t confuse hemp oil with hempseed oil, which is rich in omega-3 and -6 fats but does not contain CBD.
How Does CBD work?
Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) involving two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). The cannabinoids bind to these specialized cannabinoid receptors on our cells as a negative feedback system of signaling the body to calm down or return to homeostasis (baseline).
CB1 receptors are involved in the brain and central nervous system.
CB2 receptors act on the immune system.
CBD is not psychoactive and does not directly bind to cannabinoid (CB1 and CB2) receptors. So, what are CBD’s mechanisms of action?
CBD binds to and desensitizes receptors, located on pain neurons, thus decreasing pain sensation. Consider inflammatory mechanisms of the body. When we sprain an ankle, that causes inflammation and swelling CBD increases tissue levels of natural endocannabinoids within the body, which indirectly activates CB1 and CB2 receptors In this way, CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory.
CBD also indirectly activates the serotonin receptor, producing an anti-anxiety effect.
What Are the Benefits of CBD For PCOS?
Currently, there is a lack of evidence that examines the use of CBD in PCOS patients. Some research suggests that women with PCOS have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) dysfunction involving CB1, resulting in higher levels of insulin being produced.
One small study, published in Fertility and Sterility, showed levels of endocannabinoids and CB1 and CB2 receptors were significantly increased in women who had PCOS, compared with women who did not. In addition, women with PCOS were found to have significantly higher levels of glucose and insulin, which correlated with elevated CB1 levels. According to the researchers, these results indicate that the ECS is closely related to insulin resistance in women with PCOS and may be a risk factor for insulin resistance in PCOS. This suggests the endocannabinoid system and CB1 receptors may play a key role in the function of insulin.
Marijuana use is associated with lower levels of fasting insulin. A recent study involving more than 4600 participants diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes had their self-reported use of marijuana and fasting insulin levels analyzed. Researchers found that participants using marijuana on a regular basis had 16% lower insulin than non-users.
Anti-inflammatory/Pain Relief Properties
Compared to women without PCOS, women with the condition have higher levels of inflammation. This could be due to many factors such as elevated androgens and insulin, genetics, environmental causes, and fetal programing. Inflammation can cause worsening of PCOS symptoms and can lead to other inflammatory conditions.
CBD Helps with Anxiety in PCOS
Anxiety is known to be common in people with PCOS, affecting as many as 30%. A lot of times anxiety can make falling asleep difficult or could cause waking up during the night. Sleep disturbances have in fact been shown to be common in PCOS.
Another great benefit of CBD for PCOS is its ability to indirectly activate the serotonin receptor to produce a calm, anti-anxiety effect. In fact, one of the most common reasons people take CBD is for anxiety and sleep. These factors make CBD ideal for improving PCOS symptoms, primarily sleep and anxiety issues.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that CBD was helpful in the treatment of anxiety with public speaking, compared to a placebo.
What to Know about Taking CBD for PCOS
CBD products are not well-regulated, and as a result their quality and content accuracy can vary greatly. Some may be spiked with synthetic cannabinoids or contain unacceptable levels of THC. To trust that your CBD is safe, look for the NSF®International seal. This ensures purity, accuracy of CBD content, and safety.
Oral hemp products are generally well tolerated. CBD does have the potential to cause liver toxicity in high doses.
CBD can interact with certain SSRIs and other medications. As with any dietary supplement, it is recommended you discuss with your pharmacist and/or healthcare team to clarify whether CBD can be taken along with your medications.
Do not use CBD if you are pregnant, nursing, trying to conceive, or under the age of 18
What’s the Dose of CBD for PCOS?
There’s no standard dose for CBD, but starting small, between 10-20 mg could be helpful. Keep in mind, dosage can vary from person to person.
What CBD Product is Good for PCOS?
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Introducing TheraHemp: A Broad-Spectrum Hemp Oil Supplement
When it comes to hemp oil and cannabidiol (CBD) products, you don’t always know what you’re getting – until now. TheraHemp™ is a Broad-Spectrum Hemp Oil Supplement created by Theralogix, the makers of Ovasitol®. TheraHemp is the first enhanced-absorption CBD supplement to receive NSF® certification, which ensures its content accuracy, purity and safety. This NSF® certification is so important because CBD products aren’t federally regulated and may contain synthetic cannabinoids.
CBD and other cannabinoids are fat-soluble and are not well-absorbed by the GI tract. To combat this, TheraHemp is formulated with VESIsorb, a colloidal delivery system, for increased absorption and bioavailability. VESIsorb dramatically improves CBD absorption and bioavailability by mimicking the body’s natural process of fat digestion. This increased solubility improves the absorption of CBD up to 300%.
Quality you can Trust
- The first enhanced-absorption CBD supplement to receive NSF® certification.
- Each softgel provides 20 mg of CBD, along with 8 mg of naturally occurring terpenes including beta-caryophyllene.
- Non-detectable THC content at 100 ppm (0.01%).
- Extracted from U.S.-grown, non-GMO hemp (Cannabis sativa).
- Dye-free. Gluten-free.
For more frequently asked questions about TheraHemp, or to purchase, click here . Save 15% and FREE shipping with PRC code 919010
Final Thoughts on CBD for PCOS
CBD is showing promise as a potential ideal treatment for PCOS symptoms. Given a large percentage of people with PCOS suffer from anxiety and sleep disorders, CBD may help relieve anxiety and promote better sleep, in addition to anti-inflammatory benefits.
Have you tried CBD? How has it helped your PCOS?
- Chanda et al. The endocannabinoid system: overview of an emerging multi-faceted therapeutic target. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2019; 140:51-56.
- Clayton et al. Palmitoylethanolamide: a natural compound for health management. Int J Mol Sci. 2021; 22(10):5305.
- VanDolah et al. Clinicians’ guide to cannabidiol and hemp oils. Mayo Clin Proc. 2019; 94(9):1840-1851.
- Guida et al. A multicenter clinical study of palmitoylethanolamide in chronic neuropathic pain: compression lumboischialgia. Dolor. 2010; 25(1):35-42.
- Penner E et al. The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults Clinical research study| Volume 126, ISSUE 7, P583-589, July 01, 2013
- Dawson, A., Kilpatrick, E., Coady, A., Elshewehy, A., Dakroury, Y., Ahmed, L., Atkin, S. and Sathyapalan, T. (2017). Endocannabinoid receptor blockade reduces alanine aminotransferase in polycystic ovary syndrome independent of weight loss. BMC Endocrine Disorders, 17(1).
- Juan CC, Chen KH, Wang PH, Hwang JL, Seow KM. Endocannabinoid system activation may be associated with insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2015;104(1):200-6.
Angela Grassi, MS, RDN, LDN is the founder of The PCOS Nutrition Center where she provides evidence-based nutrition information and coaching to women with PCOS. Angela is the author of several books on PCOS including PCOS: The Dietitian’s Guide, The PCOS Workbook: Your Guide to Complete Physical and Emotional Health, and The PCOS Nutrition Center Cookbook Recognized by Today’s Dietitian as one of the Top 10 Incredible Dietitian’s making a difference in 2014, Angela is the past recipient for The Outstanding Nutrition Entrepreneur Award, The Award in Excellence in Practice in Women’s Health and The Award for Excellence in Graduate Research, from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Having PCOS herself, Angela has been dedicated to advocacy, education, and research of the syndrome. To learn more about one-on-one nutrition coaching or to schedule a call with Angela, click here