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Hot Flash!

by Dondi Cobb  | Two Twisted Girls

Just a few months ago, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) released exciting results from a new study of menopausal women and their treatment of choice for their worse symptoms. It seems women today are choosing, more often, to relieve the harsh symptoms of menopause with cannabis than other, more traditional ways, such as hormone replacement therapy. One in four, to be exact. But that wasn’t the biggest surprise I found while researching this story.

While testing as post-menopausal, I personally have never experienced any symptoms of menopause. I don’t know why. I consider some of the trauma that occurred in my life during those years.  Maybe I just got a pass. I dealt with the death of my mother and husband.  I suffered two heart attacks.  I was not sitting around waiting for a hot flash.

When asked to write this story, considering this part of life had been a blur, I started scouring the web for the symptoms of menopause, figuring I would see potential uses for cannabis in these ailments.

The list was fairly well known to me, hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, body aches, vaginal dryness, loss of sex drive and, well, pretty much the common signs of aging. I could definitely see how cannabis could help with all except the biggie, hot flashes. The most common complaint I’ve heard concerning menopause is hot flashes. How could cannabis possibly help here?

To understand how cannabis helps with hot flashes, we must first understand our endocannabinoid system, which I know very little about. However, I do know that each of us possess one.  Apparently, estrogen is a part of our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Somewhere along the line, God must have thought, I’ll throw this one in for the ladies. Thank you!

We all have estrogen, and my understanding is, as we age and go through menopause, our estrogen levels lower. So, our ECS, that is scattered throughout our bodies and holds estrogen, has receptors that THC binds to, or seems to recharge. It’s complicated. So complicated, that we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the potential health benefits of this healing plant. But it’s certain, something is going on.

For over two years, I‘ve moonlighted at a medical marijuana doctor’s clinic, Skyping with doctors, meeting and uploading patients. I’ve met a fair representation of Oklahoma patients and the majority are aging, educated and looking for less harmful alternatives to their growing list of pharmaceuticals.  When applying cannabis to the symptoms of menopause, it seems we have most covered and the majority of health experts agree that a combination of cannabis and hormone therapy may be even better. One thing is certain, every woman is different and the secret to discovering the magic mixture that works best for you is trial and error.

It’s very well known that the most common uses for cannabis are pain and insomnia. Therefore, it would be reasonable to believe cannabis would be beneficial for these menopausal symptoms. Cannabis is also commonly used for the treatment of depression and anxiety, mood swings. Topicals work in a different way but are a wonderful option to help with vaginal dryness. I make a secret potion that, when used correctly, will light your fire, ladies. It is seriously Viagra for women. And, now that I’ve learned the secret to unleashing natural estrogen in my body, hot flashes can be addressed. Whether you choose to smoke or use other forms, menopause symptoms are very easily and successfully treated with cannabis.

If your health care provider cannot see the benefits and recommend cannabis as a safe, alternative option, find someone who is educated on the wonderful benefits of this amazing plant.

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