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CBD oil can benefit the body but how does it affect your hormones? From insulin to cortisol to melatonin, here’s everything you need to know. Some studies have shown that CBD oil and estrogen may be related as CBD acts as an aromatase inhibitor. Read more. Pure Craft CBD offers CBD Oil 1000mg & 2000mg flavored CBD tinctures, CBD Gummy Bears, CBD Oil for Dogs and more! Discover Pure Craft CBD PURE CRAFT BLOG

Does CBD Oil Affect Your Hormones?

A hormone imbalance can negatively affect your health and mental wellbeing. Luckily, CBD oil can help restore hormonal homeostasis.

Written by Cathy Rozyczko — Edited by Jason Brett on September 27, 2021

CBD oil interacts with the brain and central nervous system to produce a number of beneficial outcomes from reducing inflammation to calming anxiety. But how does CBD oil impact the endocrine system, the body’s network of hormone-producing glands, that plays a role in everything from hunger to heartbeat to sexual function?

While research is still ongoing, there are some indications that CBD oil can affect your hormones. Below you’ll find information on how CBD oil and other cannabis-derived products can impact your major hormones, and how you might use CBD oil to treat hormone-related ailments.

Keep in mind, the following information is intended to be informational and should not be considered medical advice—always speak to your doctor before trying any new treatment plan, including one involving CBD oil.

How Does CBD Oil Affect Your Hormones?

Before diving into the science behind CBD oil’s interaction with hormones, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what hormones do and their role in the endocrine system.

The endocrine system consists of a series of glands located throughout the body. These glands include the thyroid, pineal gland, hypothalamus, ovaries, testes, and pancreas, among others. These glands produce hormones, which are released into the bloodstream.

Hormones play a role in a number of your body’s processes, including metabolism and appetite, reproduction, growth and development, sexual function, and mood. And, many of these processes can be impacted by CBD oil.

The cannabis sativa plant, from which CBD oil is derived, contains over 100 phytocannabinoids, compounds that mirror the endocannabinoids produced by your own body’s endocannabinoid system . Two of the most popular and well-researched phytocannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) . THC produces the intoxicating ‘high’ most people associate with marijuana use; contrastingly, CBD is not intoxicating and will not get you high.

CBD oil reacts with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are located throughout the brain and body. These receptors are responsible for a wide variety of physiological processes, such as the perception of pain, mood, and inflammation.

By activating these receptors, CBD oil stimulates the endocrine glands , in turn affecting hormone levels in the body.

CBD Oil’s Effect on Insulin

Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is an incredibly important hormone which, if unbalanced, can negatively impact your health. Common conditions that are caused by insulin imbalance are heart disease, obesity and most notably, diabetes. CBD oil may be able to influence insulin production.

When digesting carbohydrates (sugars and starches), the body breaks them down into glucose molecules. Insulin assists in metabolic processes by helping the body turn glucose into energy and storing excess glucose in fat cells for later use. In addition, insulin helps cells absorb nutrients from food. When insulin is not adequately produced, glucose can build up in the bloodstream and cause damage to nerves, blood vessels, and certain organs.

The way in which CBD oil aids insulin production is not entirely clear, but there is a correlation between chronic inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis , and lack of insulin production, which typically leads to diabetes . In a 2013 study , cannabidiol produced significant anti-inflammatory effects on mice with acute pancreatitis; because CBD oil can reduce inflammation in the pancreas, it stands to reason that it could potentially improve insulin production.

CBD Oil’s Effect on Cortisol

Produced by the adrenal gland, cortisol is a primary hormone responsible for managing your response to stress. The more stress you experience, the more cortisol your body is likely to produce. CBD oil may be able to help mitigate this response.

Cortisol has played a crucial role in human survival as it is responsible for mediating your natural “fight or flight” response. While the actual dangers in your daily life are now few, stress is still high, which means the body regularly produces cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol force your body to prioritize the fight or flight response, instead of allocating resources to your immune system and metabolism, resulting in symptoms that can range from mood swings and increased anxiety to weight gain.

CBD oil was shown to be anti-catabolic in a 1993 study , meaning it was proven to help regulate the amount of cortisol released by the endocrine system, thus reducing stress- and cortisol-related side effects in the body.

CBD Oil’s Effect on Hormones and Sleep Quality

Did you know hormones play a role in your sleep cycle? If the endocrine system becomes unbalanced, your slumbering could suffer. Luckily, CBD oil may be able to help you get some rest.

Cannabis, and extracts from the cannabis plant like CBD oil, have been known to improve sleep and relaxation. Cannabis and cannabis-derived substances activate the body’s cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in a way that decreases the time it takes to fall asleep while also improving sleep stability and increasing overall melatonin production.

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland that signals to the body when it’s time to sleep. Healthy melatonin production regulates your natural sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm), which in turn regulates bodily functions. Low or unbalanced levels of melatonin can lead to conditions like depression, obesity, and diabetes. So, if your melatonin levels are off balance and keeping you from being able to fall asleep and stay asleep, CBD oil may be able to improve your sleep quality, which will ultimately better your physical and mental health.

Finally, as mentioned above, CBD oil can improve sleep by lowering cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol revs the body up in response to stressful stimuli, eliciting a physical and mental response opposite that of sleep. Unfortunately, modern life is full of stressors, and finding fast relief can be difficult. At the end of a stress-filled day, CBD oil can help the body and mind relax by reducing the amount of cortisol produced, allowing you to fall asleep more easily.

CBD Oil for Women

Women may experience frequent shifts in hormone levels throughout their adult lives. Temporary hormone imbalances are to be expected during puberty, menstruation cycles, and menopause, meaning if you’re a woman, you’re no stranger to the symptoms associated with changing levels of hormones. The hormonal imbalance can manifest as stress, weight gain, sleep loss, and physical discomfort, just to name a few.

Because CBD oil can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, it may also be able to reduce the stress or anxiety you feel when your hormone levels are shifting. Too, CBD oil’s ability to help with insulin and melatonin production could help offset the potential weight gain and loss of sleep that occur during hormonal fluctuations.

Finally, if you experience physical discomfort like cramping, CBD oil may be able to help. CBD oil is effective at treating inflammation and pain , meaning it could reduce the pain you may feel during menstruation or as part of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While pain of this sort isn’t directly caused by hormones, it’s still associated with female life events that are brought on by shifts in hormone levels.

How to Use CBD Oil for Hormone-Related Issues

If you suffer from a condition or maintain a lifestyle that throws your hormones out of balance, CBD oil may be able to help you achieve homeostasis.

But, before you get started with CBD oil, check with your doctor to make sure it’s the right choice for you, as CBD oil has been known to interact with certain medications . You might also consider speaking with a cannabis doctor to supplement the conversation you have with your primary physician.

Once you and your doctor have decided that CBD oil could be a viable option for you, there are many different ways you can start taking it, including capsules, drops, edibles , and vapes. Whatever delivery format you choose, give yourself a little bit of time to experiment. You may find that what works best for you is a combination of products.

When it comes to CBD oil dosage , start slow and follow the serving suggestions listed on your CBD oil product.

If the serving suggestion is unclear or ineffective, we at CBD Oil Review have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with a standard serving suggestion for you to try:

The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.

If you aren’t seeing results, increase your dosage by 25 mg every 3-4 weeks until you see the effects you’ve been wanting.

If you found this article helpful, you may also be interested in:

Sources:

  1. Linda Strause, PhD (2017) The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Restoring Balance to the Endocrine System – Medium https://medium.com/randy-s-club/the-role-of-the-endocannabinoid-system-in-restoring-balance-to-the-endocrine-system-6535c4a9f9e1
  2. Pancreatitis – Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pancreatitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20360227
  3. Kun Li et al. Anti-inflammatory role of cannabidiol and O-1602 in cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22850623/?
  4. A W Zuardi et al. Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8257923/
  5. Nicole P Bowles et al. (2017) Recent legalization of cannabis use: effects on sleep, health, and workplace safety – National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5656354/
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Does CBD oil increase estrogen levels?

I am a female with a hormonal imbalance that leads to a very irregular and sometimes absent menstrual cycle and sometimes (not always) severe periods with painful menstrual cramps. Apparently, I have low estrogen levels, which is one of the causes of these symptoms. Does CBD oil affect hormones and can it help with a hormonal imbalance? Also, does CBD oil affect hormones differently if you are a male or female?

anonymous ( Tuesday, September 28, 2021):

Unfortunately, way more research is needed before we can draw any definitive conclusions like this. Some studies have shown that CBD oil and estrogen may be related as CBD acts as an aromatase inhibitor. Since aromatase synthesizes estrogen, inhibiting that would actually reduce the amount of estrogen instead of increasing it. So it may seem that CBD oil does affect estrogen indirectly, but not to the result you’re looking for. This suggests that CBD oil may affect the menstrual cycle, and also that CBD oil and hemp oil may be good for hormonal imbalances, but only if you are suffering from conditions as a result of excess estrogen. However, it’s important that you understand that there is simply not enough research on this topic to have a final answer, and you should discuss something like this with your doctor beforehand.

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anonymous (Thursday, March 17, 2022):

There hasn’t been enough research to say conclusively how CBD affects female hormones and the menstrual cycle. But some studies have shown that CBD may suppress the amount of estrogen produced. CBD generally promotes balance and might help with hormonal imbalance. CBD is also good for relieving menstrual cramps..

This Is Your Hormones On CBD: Cannabidiol & The Endocrine System

From growth spurts and acne to menopause and mood swings, hormones are behind so much of what we experience as humans.

The endocrine system is the hub of all hormone functions. Another system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is closely linked to it. Both systems are essential in keeping the body in a state of homeostasis (a state of balance).

The ECS is where cannabis compounds known as cannabinoids interact with the body.

Which begs the question: How does the cannabinoid CBD affect hormones?

To get to the bottom of it, we’re exploring:

  • The endocrine system and how it links to the endocannabinoid system
  • How CBD comes into play with both of these systems
  • How CBD might be able to help balance certain hormones

Meet Your Endocrine System

First, let’s make sure we’re clear on what the endocrine system does so we can understand where the ECS ties in.

The role of the endocrine system is to send messages in the form of hormones throughout the body. This helps regulate a broad range of organs and responses.

The endocrine system sends hormonal signals from one part of the body to another. Let’s take a look at the organs it’s composed of and what each of them does.

Endocrine System Organs & Functions

Endocrine organs secrete hormones, which makes them glands. Each endocrine gland has an assignment, secreting and sending hormones to a specific location where they do their job to keep the body healthy.

There are nine main endocrine glands:

  • Pineal body. In the middle of the brain, the pineal body produces melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
  • Hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is at the base of the brain. It secretes hormones that tell the pineal gland how much hormone to produce, which plays a key role in growth and development. It also controls essential functions like sleep, temperature, and blood pressure. It’s basically the master switchboard of the endocrine system.
  • Pituitary gland. Just south of the hypothalamus is the pituitary gland, which produces hormones that control growth and reproduction.
  • Thyroid. The thyroid gland creates metabolism-regulating hormones.
  • Parathyroid. The parathyroid gland keeps calcium levels stable.
  • Thymus. The thymus lives in the upper region of the chest. Up until puberty, it aids the body in building up T cells for immune health.
  • Adrenal. Housed on top of the kidneys, adrenal glands secrete hormones that govern blood pressure, stress, and metabolism.
  • Pancreas. The pancreas produces and secretes insulin, which is crucial for blood sugar balance.
  • Reproductive. One’s sex determines this endocrine gland. Ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, and testes produce testosterone.

As you can see, endocrine glands have some big responsibilities. We rely on the endocrine system to:

  • Sleep
  • Get hungry
  • Develop an immune response
  • Metabolize food
  • Balance blood sugar
  • Menstruate or develop sperm
  • Keep stress response in check
  • Motivate sex drive
  • And more!

When a part of the endocrine system isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to a hormone imbalance. This can cause complications — such as thyroid disease, Cushing syndrome, diabetes, sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction, and other health challenges.

Hormone imbalance may also lead to complications during puberty, menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy.

The Endocannabinoid & Endocrine Systems Connection

The endocrine system does a lot to keep a body in balance. But what keeps the endocrine system in check?

That would be the endocannabinoid system, also known as the ECS.

Made up of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids, the ECS is a network with far-reaching influence in the body.

  • Endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters that interact with receptors.
  • Receptors recognize your body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, as well as cannabinoids from cannabis. Once the cannabinoid or endocannabinoid is engaged, the receptor modifies how other body systems respond.
  • Enzymes break down endocannabinoids (and cannabinoids) once they’ve done their job. In some cases, enzymes might actually protect cannabinoids and endocannabinoids, keeping them in your system for longer.(1)

There are two main endocannabinoid receptors:

  • CB1 receptors have a home in the brain, including the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
  • CB2 receptors mostly live in the immune system.

One function of the ECS is to intercept neurological signals and control how those signals are transmitted. The research available right now suggests that CB1 receptors in the brain guide activity in the brain, directing a broad stroke of functions including:(2)

  • Stress response
  • Appetite
  • Food intake
  • Sexual behavior
  • Energy levels
  • Metabolic function

Like any system, the ECS can become unbalanced and cause health issues — this is called endocannabinoid deficiency disorder.(3) Research suggests that cannabinoids could aid in the stabilization of a flagging ECS.(4)

Scientists keep digging deeper into the ECS and its relationship with the endocrine and other systems. The ECS was discovered through cannabis research, and cannabinoids continue to be a topic of focus in the ECS research space.

Which brings us to the next piece of this puzzle: CBD….

How CBD Affects Hormones

As we learned above, when cannabinoids — like our friend CBD — come into the ECS picture, they mimic your natural endocannabinoids and mingle with receptors.

The receptors then decide what to do with their new clingy pals and what to tell the rest of the body about the cannabinoids. At the same time, the receptors are also sending word to the endocrine system. Here’s how this connection might affect these major hormones:

  • Cortisol
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Insulin
  • Melatonin

CBD & Cortisol

You might know cortisol by another name: the stress hormone.

Cortisol is indeed at the wheel of your stress response. Some cortisol here and there is a good thing — it helps your body respond to threats. But excess cortisol can result in anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, and other mental and physical symptoms.

CBD has been found to significantly reduce cortisol levels, likely by interfering with how much cortisol the adrenal glands secrete.(5)

CBD & Estrogens

A common misconception is that only women have estrogen. Not true!

Estrogen is produced in reproductive organs (ovaries or testicles) as well as adrenal glands and fat cells, which take orders from the pituitary gland. Estrogen determines susceptibility to breast cancer and other diseases while influencing sexual development and fertility and impacting mood and energy.

Estrogen levels are often behind symptoms of PMS and menopause, causing anxiety and depression by changing serotonin levels.

Because estrogen has a big scope of function in the body, there’s still a lot to learn about how CBD could change them. It could lower estrogen through several pathways, directly and indirectly.(6,7) This could explain why many women feel benefits when they use CBD oil for mood swings and other PMS symptoms.

CBD & Testosterone

Just as estrogen isn’t solely a female hormone, testosterone is present in all sexes.

Low testosterone can cause low sex drive, depression, fatigue, mood changes, muscle weakness, and weight gain. In women, low testosterone could lead to fertility issues. In men, it can cause erectile dysfunction.

The hypothalamus sends a message to the reproductive organs to produce testosterone. When the hormone runs its course, it gets broken down in the liver. Initial research hints that CBD might reduce certain liver enzymes that break it down, which could be helpful if testosterone levels are low.(8)

CBD & Insulin

Insulin is produced by the pancreas, which responds to blood glucose levels.

When insulin is overproduced, the body has a hard time keeping blood sugar levels steady and maintaining a healthy weight, leading to diabetes and obesity.

So far, CBD shows promise for stabilizing insulin levels and blood sugar and aiding weight loss.(9,10)

CBD & Melatonin

Melatonin helps you feel sleepy when the hypothalamus says it’s time for some shuteye.

Although melatonin levels haven’t been measured alongside CBD usage in a research setting, better sleep is a commonly reported benefit of CBD oil. (Skim through our Reviews and you’ll see testimony of this!) With CBD interacting with CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus, it makes sense there would be a connection between CBD usage and better sleep.

If you struggle to feel sleepy at night, you might consider CBD oil with melatonin. It could be the helping hand your sleep hormone needs.

CBD & The Endocrine System: The Bottom Line

The endocrine system is made up of glands that circulate hormones throughout the body.

The ECS and the endocrine system are closely linked, and the ECS is the gatekeeper between CBD and the endocrine system. Through the ECS, CBD has an avenue to change hormone function, which could be useful for hormone imbalance therapies and overall wellness.

While research continues to delve into CBD’s therapeutic potential, CBD oil is a natural option for those looking for holistic hormone solutions.

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