Perimenopause anxiety is a prevalent symptom for women in this transitional time. A 2017 study found that over 16% of perimenopausal women had mild anxiety, and nearly 5% had moderate to severe anxiety. However, during these trying times marked by a global pandemic and social unrest, rates of anxiety are likely to be much higher. Perimenopause can also introduce or worsen an existing panic disorder. Before starting a prescription medication for anxiety, many women seek treatment in alternative therapies. Let’s explore CBD oil - a highly popular remedy that, in its pure form, is safe for most people.
Can perimenopause cause anxiety?
Estrogen and progesterone are your key sex hormones that drive your menstrual cycle and overall reproductive system. There are receptors for estrogen and progesterone all over your body. Therefore, changes in these hormones can impact every body system, which gives rise to those annoying physical symptoms of perimenopause like hot flashes, night sweats, constipation, and joint pain.
These hormone fluctuations also affect the chemicals in your brain. Estrogen helps increase neurohormones that boost your mood, including serotonin and beta-endorphins. Thus, declining estrogen levels can cause irritability and increase your risk of depression and anxiety. Perimenopausal women are also susceptible to experiencing cognitive impairment symptoms, including trouble with memory, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating.
Interestingly, women are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to have depression and anxiety compared to men. One of the leading theories suggests that women are more vulnerable to these mental health disorders because we experience hormonal fluctuations across our lifespan. From increasing estrogen levels in puberty and pregnancy to monthly hormone fluctuations, and finally, to declining levels in postpartum, perimenopause, and menopause - hormone fluctuations are very much a natural part of our design.
While perimenopause is a natural transition, anxiety can be incredibly debilitating. And perimenopause can last between 5-10 years! Therefore, it is essential to explore a variety of options to see what helps you feel more comfortable in your skin and your world. Some anxiety treatment options include:
Meditation and yoga
Lifestyle changes including exercising and healthy eating
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, or cannabidiol, oil is a compound found in cannabinoid plants such as marijuana. CBD products have become popular because they may have some medicinal properties without the side effects of medication. This compound is also appealing because, unlike THC, it does not cause a high or an alteration in your mental state.
Studies have found that CBD oil may be beneficial in treating anxiety by improving the expression of serotonin in your neural pathways. While there are limited studies on human subjects, research does appear to be promising. Furthermore, in its pure form, CBD is generally safe for most people to use transdermally, or on the skin.
It is essential to be aware of side effects that may occur with CBD oil. People have reported experiencing:
Low blood pressure
Withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia and moodiness
CBD may also be helpful for people who have seizures, chronic pain, and spinal injuries, decrease inflammation, and reduce symptoms associated with some cancers. It may also protect your nervous system from neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety
Every woman is unique in what dose of CBD oil will work best for her. Women often use sublingual drops of CBD oil or take it in capsule form for anxiety. It also comes in sprays and topical solutions that you can rub on your skin. What route you use and how much you need depends largely on what you are using it for and what relief it offers.
Please note: the FDA does not strictly regulate CBD oil. Therefore, products may be mislabeled, and concentrations may vary.
Curious what other women have to say about how to use CBD oil for anxiety? Join us in the Perry Community!
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.
Meet The Author
Perry Babe Julia ( RN, BSN, BA) is a registered nurse based in Colorado. Julia's nursing background in women’s health has ranged from neonatal and postpartum care to labor and delivery, to outpatient gynecological medicine for both adolescent and adult populations.
Much of her education and clinical experience are related to educating women on women’s health topics ranging from lifestyle improvements, disease management, and general health education.
Find Julia's Perry community profile right here.