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Cannabis & Menopause | Health


I have a Medical Dictionary from 1944, and the definition for menopause is: the period when menstruation normally ceases; the change of life. It is when the female hormones estrogen and progesterone and other reproductive hormones decrease in levels in the body. Artificial menopause is due to reasons such as: surgery and removal of the uterus and ovaries, chemotherapy or radiation to the pelvis. Menopause is a stage in a woman’s life that presents with much change like an increase in weight gain, fuzzy thinking/poor memory, emotions running high, anxiety, depression, low energy levels, change in sleep patterns, a decrease or increase in libido, food cravings, thinning hair and skin and a risk for osteoporosis as the bones can begin to thin. With all of that, it is a time of power for the woman. She has learned many things in life and can now share that wisdom with others. Cannabis can help on many levels to aid this change.


Menopause symptoms can last for 10+ years. Perimenopause can last for months to 10 years before menopause starts and this is when the menses is sporadic. Maybe she has her period for three months and then none for a month and then back to menstruating. A woman can get pregnant during this stage. If a woman goes a full year without a period, then she has entered menopause and it is pretty safe that she can not become pregnant. It is wise for the woman to get a blood test and check for hormone levels at this time however.

In a woman’s life, menopause is considered the woman’s time of sage wisdom, getting to know herself on a deeper level while trying to roll with the changes of her body, mind and emotions. It is a time of reflection on her life and asking, “what is it that I want to create now?” Some women have a difficult time emotionally accepting that they will never become pregnant again, while other women are ecstatic that they will never have PMS or their period again. In Christiane Northrup’s book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, she writes, “In Celtic cultures, the young maiden was seen as the flower; the mother, the fruit; the elder woman, the seed. The seed is the part that contains the knowledge and potential of all the other parts within it.”


Many women that I see for MMJ certification who are in menopause report that cannabis helps their symptoms. The hot flashes – the surges of heat that a woman can feel during the day or when sleeping, can be very uncomfortable. These energy surges can offer wisdom to the woman if she is aware of her thoughts when the hot flash occurs. Sometimes an anxious thought or a thought of inspiration occurs at the same time as the hot flash when the body feels hot. Cannabis can help minimize hot flashes in some women.


If the flashes of heat occur when sleeping, the sleep is disturbed while the woman is sweaty and feeling hot and then cold. The blankets are on, the blankets are off, the pajamas have to get changed and the bed sheets are soaked as she tries to find a smidgen of dry sheets. Sounds exhausting? It is. Having disturbed sleep can wreak havoc on the emotions and account for less productivity and pazazz. Women who have had countless nights of sweating during menopause will say that all they want is to get a good night’s sleep. Edibles such as cannabis gummies with CBD and with or without melatonin can help the body to stay asleep.

Cannabis tea and medicated honey can be found in dispensaries which can offer a soothing cup of tea served hot or ice cold. Bath bombs with THC and CBD can be added to a bath to calm the nervous system before bedtime and moisturize the skin. Medicated topicals can aid drying skin and personal feminine products with cannabis are also available in select dispensaries throughout Arizona. Endocannabinoid receptors are located throughout the female reproductive tract including the vagina. Cannabis topicals placed here can be absorbed locally at the site to aid in lubrication and increase blood flow to the vagina which can heighten sexual pleasure. There should be no head high experienced with the topical applications.


A good Naturopathic Medical treatment for menopause would be to:

  1. Decrease alcohol consumption, avoid sodas with phosphates

  2. Eat less or no red meat, dairy and sugar

  3. Eat more fresh veggies and fruits

  4. Take a women’s one daily multivitamin

  5. Use herbs during menopause: Vitex, Oats, Dioscorea (wild yam), Raspberry leaf, Motherwort, Licorice and Burdock, Peppermint (for hot flashes)

  6. Increase exercise especially weight bearing exercise like walking, using weights to help with bone health and prevent osteoporosis

  7. Express thoughts/feelings with journaling or talking with a trusted loved one or professional counselor

  8. Take up an old hobby again or create a new one

  9. Do more self care

  10. Get adequate sleep during a time when that may seem impossible

  11. Rest as needed

  12. Say, “No” to things/events so as to conserve energy

To all the female seeds reading this, and to the flowers and fruits, behold the wisdom of womanhood in all of its stages and in all of its glory.

 


Kimberly-Landino-FEB2022-web

Kimberly Landino has been a Naturopathic Physician for over 20 years. She has been recommending Medical Marijuana to patients in Arizona for the last four years. Prior to this, she used the modalities of nutrition and diet, counseling, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, botanical medicine and more in her Naturopathic Family Practice in South Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff and in Tuba City, Arizona.

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