Are you or someone you love suffering from endometriosis?
It’s 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.
Yet endometriosis remains one of the most misdiagnosed and least understood medical conditions.
Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis.
However, cannabis does offer hope as treatment.
In fact, a growing body of research suggests there is a profound link between cannabis and endometriosis.
That’s not all…
Cannabis also alleviates many of the most severe symptoms – all without the harsh side effects pharmaceuticals produce.
Discover 7 incredible facts about cannabis and endometriosis:
1.) Endometriosis is linked to endocannabinoid deficiency
Did you know there is a link between endometriosis and Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency?
What does this mean exactly?
Scientific evidence shows humans produce endocannabinoids naturally.
Endocannabinoids are part of a larger system known as the endocannabinoid system, or ECS.
The ECS is present in all humans and many animals.
The ECS explained:
Essentially, it is a signaling system in your body that regulates vital processes like mood, pain, sleep, appetite, immunity, memory and more.
The ECS is made up of countless receptors (called CB1 and CB2) throughout almost your entire body.
These receptors work in conjunction with compounds that your body produces naturally, called endocannabinoids.
Any type of dysfunction in the ECS, such as a deficiency in endocannabinoids, can lead to a wider range of possible health problems.
This is where cannabis comes in…
The compounds in cannabis just happen to target the ECS perfectly, mimicking those molecules your body already produces naturally.
In other words, cannabis is a great supplement from nature for when your ECS goes haywire.
In fact, it was the study of cannabinoids that led to the discovery of the ECS in the late 1980s and early 90s, which is why the system was named after the plant.
Researchers now believe many diseases, including endometriosis, are associated with clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.
And here’s where things get interesting:
Evidence indicates women who have endometriosis have fewer CB1 receptors in their endometrial tissue.
Why is this important?
Lower levels of CB1 receptors not only exacerbate the symptoms of endometriosis but can also cause the condition to spread.
While we certainly can’t make bold medical claims here, we can see there is a clear link between endometriosis and endocannabinoid deficiency.
2.) THC and CBD fight inflammation
Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease.
The condition is still not fully understood.
However, research shows inflammation has a significant impact on the development and progression of endometriosis.
As a matter of fact, excess inflammation leads to an increase in pain and cramping – two of the most debilitating symptoms of endometriosis.
Meanwhile, both THC and CBD possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
A study from the Journal of Biological Chemistry revealed THC modulates inflammatory responses in the body, helping to reduce inflammation.
But that’s just part of the story…
Nonpsychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) also treats inflammation.
In fact, many scientists believe CBD may be a more potent anti-inflammatory agent than THC.
3.) Cannabis affects cell growth and death
Irregular cell growth is a hallmark characteristic of endometriosis.
The lining of the uterus, the endometrium, begins to grow in other parts of the body like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and along the pelvis.
This can be extremely painful. It can also lead to infertility issues.
Current research shows cannabis could have a profound impact.
A study in 2010 revealed cannabinoids had an anti-proliferative effect on endometrial tissue. Simply stated, cannabinoids stopped the spread of harmful endometrial tissue overgrowth.
This is huge!
Cannabis may not only alleviate symptoms of endometriosis, it could also treat it.
In fact, the researchers concluded cannabinoids showed promising medical efficacy as a therapeutic approach.
4.) Cannabis is a powerful pain reliever
The pain from endometriosis can be so severe; it can leave some women bedridden.
During and before menstruation can be a particularly painful period.
One of the reasons women with endometriosis experience such severe pain is because the overgrowths thicken, break down, and bleed just like the lining of the uterus normally does.
However, the body is not equipped to deal with the blood from these abnormal growths.
As a result, swelling and inflammation develop – further exacerbating the symptoms.
In addition, women with endometriosis can also experience:
- Back Pain
- Painful Sex
- Leg Pain
- Pelvic Pain
- Painful Bowel Movements
- And more…
But what if cannabis could help?
Researchers from Florida State University examined the role of the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in relation to endometriosis.
Interestingly, the researchers found that the ECS impacts the development of abnormal growths along with the pain associated with them.
Working with rats, the researchers found that by blocking CB1 receptors, sensitivity to pain was increased.
However, when CB1 receptors were stimulated, pain was reduced.
What does this mean?
The ECS plays a crucial role in treating endometriosis and the pain associated with it.
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5.) Cannabis reduces nausea and diarrhea
Pain is not the only symptom related to endometriosis.
Many women also struggle with digestive problems like nausea and diarrhea.
This can often be attributed to abnormal growths on the uterus, ovaries, or pelvis.
Adhesions can lead to painful bowel movements, constipation, and diarrhea.
For women experiencing nausea or diarrhea, cannabis offers natural relief.
In fact, the antiemetic (anti-nausea and vomiting) properties of cannabis are well documented.
This is why it can also be so effective for treating conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s Disease.
Cannabis slows down the digestive system. And if you are suffering from diarrhea, this is just what you need.
6.) THC is an effective sleep aid
Exhausted but can’t sleep?
Insomnia is frequently experienced by women with endometriosis. Over time, extreme fatigue only worsens the symptoms of the condition.
Currently, we still do not fully understand why endometriosis leads to insomnia in some women.
However, we do know cannabis can help.
THC is a powerful sleep aid.
Research indicates THC actually helps people fall asleep faster.
A 2013 study revealed cannabis users have less difficulty falling asleep.
Granted, it was a self-reported study.
However, the results are no less significant, especially when you take into consideration this study is far from the only example.
A 1973 study also found that THC reduced the time it took to fall asleep for patients with insomnia.
Clearly, there is something here.
Although more research is necessary, the positive impact of THC as a natural sleep aid is evident.
7.) Cannabis may enhance female libido
Sex can be excruciatingly painful for women with endometriosis.
A study by Italian researchers found that half of all women diagnosed with endometriosis experience painful intercourse.
Naturally, many women find that they also suffer from a low sex drive.
To make matters worse, feelings of guilt and shame can develop, making it extraordinarily difficult to have a healthy sex life.
However, cannabis offers hope.
Cannabis not only alleviates the pain associated with intercourse, it may also enhance a woman’s sex drive.
A study from Stanford School of Medicine found that cannabis users had more sex.
In fact, in comparison to non-users, cannabis consumers had 20% more sex.
The researchers were careful to note that the study did not prove a cause and effect relationship between cannabis and sex.
However, they did indicate cannabis might enhance libido.
For women suffering from endometriosis, the results are promising and a step forward in finding relief.