Can CBD help endometriosis?

As there is not yet a cure for endometriosis, women everywhere are looking for relief. We have recently been getting a lot of questions from women suffering with endometriosis asking if CBD can help the condition.

At present, there has not been a lot of research carried out into CBD and endometriosis, however many women who suffer from the condition have found relief in using CBD oil.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 to 49 will be affected by endometriosis during their lifetime. This equates to around 176 million women worldwide.

However, it is still one of the most misdiagnosed and least understood medical conditions. Below we’ll explain what exactly endometriosis is and the symptoms the millions of women with the condition experience.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition where tissues similar to the lining of the womb start to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and Fallopian tubes.

Endometriosis can affect women of any age, but it is most common in women in their 30s and 40s.

One of the main complications of endometriosis is trouble getting pregnant, however the cause of endometriosis is still unknown.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pelvic pain which usually gets worse on your period.
  • Period pain that stops you doing normal activities.
  • Pain when relieving yourself whilst on period.
  • Pain during or after sex.
  • Feeling sick, having constipation or diarrhoea or having blood in your urine while you are on your period.
  • Difficulty getting pregnant.
  • Heavy periods.
For some women, endometriosis can have a big impact on their life and sometimes may even lead to feelings of depression. As discussed in our previous blog, CBD can help with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.  

How can CBD help sufferers of endometriosis?

Anti – inflammatory properties

One of the main ways CBD can help is through its natural anti – inflammatory properties. Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease.

NSAID’s such as ibuprofen are one of the most frequently prescribed treatments for endometriosis. However, many people do not like taking these regularly as they can have many side effects such as thinning your blood and can have gastrointestinal side effects.

Pain relief

Research indicates that women with endometriosis have various imbalances in their endocannabinoid system (ECS), and CBD can help to balance these.

The ECS is a system in our bodies comprised with receptors that interact exclusively with cannabinoids such as CBD. The purpose is to respond to endogenous cannabinoids produced within the human body.

The ECS produces its own cannabinoids, however scientists have learnt that the ECS will also recognise and respond to cannabinoids from external sources such as CBD.

People with endometriosis they tend to have lower levels of CB1 receptors in their endometrial tissue and higher levels of endocannabinoids, like AEA, in their blood.

Lower levels of CB1 receptors not only intensify the symptoms of endometriosis but can also cause the condition to spread.

CB1 and AEA play a role in how our body perceives pain. Thus, the imbalance of these components is likely influencing how they work to manage pain.

Cannabinoids stop cell mutation

A problem with women who remove their surgically remove their tissues that grow outside the uterus is that the endometriosis often comes back. Scientists have recently discovered that endocannabinoids are involved in regulating cell mutation.

Usually your body has tools to prevent the growth of aberrant cells and to destroy them (apoptosis) before they become a problem.

With people who suffer with endometriosis and similar conditions, apoptosis seems to be impaired. The most famous of these effects is in cancer treatment. When cannabinoid receptors are activated, they can prevent cancer cells from mutating, which is why many people going through chemotherapy also take CBD.

Offers natural relief for nausea and diarrhoea

Due to abnormal growths on the uterus, ovaries and or pelvis, many women with endometriosis struggle with digestive problems such as nausea and diarrhoea.

CBD works as an anti-spasmodic that also produces calming effects. It works by interacting with cannabinoid receptors within the digestive track. This interaction reduces spasms and pain leading to improved mobility.

If you suffer from endometriosis and you are considering taking CBD, as always, we would recommend consulting your GP.