How to Use CBD for Perimenopause Plus Other Key Questions (and answers)
We've gone through extensive research on CBD's effects across many pathways thrown upside-down by perimenopause.
You can get the main list here.
Let's say you're like me in 2017 and you want to try it.
How do you use CBD in perimenopause?
Let's get real practical.
There isn't hard research on CBD and perimenopause so we'll have to tease it out of the research we do have.
I'll also use my personal experience and that of our customers to sketch a potential pathway.
Of course, work with your naturopath or doctor with any supplement.
Everyone's situation is different.
Every woman's perimenopause is different.
Here are the basic questions we'll address:
- How do you use CBD for perimenopause - how does it work
- How fast does CBD work for perimenopause
- How long does CBD last in perimenopause
- When should I take CBD for perimenopause
- How often should I take CBD for perimenopause
- What does CBD feel like when taken for perimenopause
- Can I take CBD with hormone replacement therapy
- Can CBD take the place of hormone replacement
- Can I take CBD with my medications for perimenopause
- Is it safe to take CBD during perimenopause
- How much CBD should I take for perimenopause
- What's the best CBD for perimenopause
Let's get started. We'll also link out to more comprehensive articles on specific topics.
Roughly 1 million women are entering perimenopause every day.
It's estimated that 1/4th of them, about 250,000, will have debilitating transitions (Hello, my name is Andrea. Perimenopause hell story is here).
If you've read any of the other articles, you'll know that we go deep into NIH research.
Here...we're going to keep it as lighter fare. Practical questions.
How do you use CBD for perimenopause
Perimenopause is primarily driven by a flux in estradiol and a continuing drop in progesterone.
Learn all about that at our perimenopause versus menopause or CBD for perimenopause reviews.
If you feel like you're losing your mind or literally dying, they'll go a long way to explaining why this is happening.
Now….keep in mind that CBD can not fill in the holes that estradiol (primarily) and progesterone occupied.
We're asking too much there.
Estradiol is a master regulator across almost every pathway in the body and brain for women.
What CBD can do is support the different pathways through this period of flux.
Two big examples tied to anxiety, depression, mood, and host of other effects:
- Serotonin function (see CBD versus SSRI for perimenopause)
- GABA function (see CBD and perimenopause anxiety)
Estradiol is a major booster for serotonin and progesterone (its metabolite, allopregnanolone) is a major booster for GABA, the "brake" pedal in our brain.
Research shows that CBD directly balances both systems.
- Serotonin function is all over the gut and mood.
- GABA function is all over mood, sleep, and even pain.
We really go deep into supplement estradiol (our main estrogen) or at the least, Siberian Rhubarb (good for the non-growth side of estrogen pathways) because we first have to plug the holes in the boat before bailing out the water with CBD.
Do not underestimate the power of estradiol (and you thought we were going to say the Dark Side).
Speaking of Dark Side, perimenopause is all about flux, so we can use CBD to help balance the effects of this sometimes severe (crying one minute and irritable the next) fluctuation.
Here are the most pronounced reasons to use CBD based on research:
- Helps to balance neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA, dopamine
- Powerful anti-inflammatory and calms immune response (autoimmune is a huge issue at this time)
- Powerful booster for brain repair and growth (see CBD and BDNF or CBD and neurogenesis)
- Helps to support gut function including the gut barrier (see CBD and gut barrier)
Keep this in mind….
- Estradiol is primarily a pro-growth agent in the body (which is why skin and hair respond so well to its level)
- Progesterone is primarily a buffer against estradiol with anti-inflammatory and calming effects
CBD works on both levels!
- Neurogenesis is literally brain repair and growth of neurons
- Antiinflammatory effects are in the domain of progesterone
But no substitute!
Also, check out our reviews of:
The first two are showing very interesting effects for longevity and age-related issues (i.e. cancer, etc).
Here are reviews by perimenopause symptom with lots of research:
- Can CBD help with perimenopause mood changes
- What are CBD's benefits for perimenopause sleep
- Can CBD help with perimenopause aches and pains
- Can CBD help with perimenopause weight gain and issues
- Can CBD help with perimenopause allergies or histamine response issues
- Can CBD help with perimenopause brain fog or cognitive issues
- Can CBD help with perimenopause fatigue and exhaustion
- Can CBD help with perimenopause blood pressure or heart palpitation issues
- Can CBD help with perimenopause neuropathy, tingling, and numbness
- Can CBD help with perimenopause anger and irritability
- Can CBD help with perimenopause migraines
- Can CBD help with perimenopause nausea
- Can CBD help with perimenopause anxiety
- Can CBD help with perimenopause depression
Let's get to the nuts and bolts of it to understand how to best use CBD for perimenopause.
How fast does CBD work for perimenopause
There are two ways to take CBD.
If you place the drops under your tongue for up to 60 seconds, it can speed its delivery and increase the amount that makes it into your bloodstream.
The effects generally occur in 15-20 minutes via this route.
Otherwise, if you swallow the drops, the effects generally take about 30-40 minutes to start.
Peak CBD is generally around 4-6 hours after taking it.
Taking CBD after a meal can both extend the duration and allow more to get past your liver.
Research is showing the blood levels are still present for 24 hours+ (albeit at a lower level) and some studies showed effects lasting a week or more (CBD and neurogenesis speaks to this).
How long does CBD last in perimenopause
If peak CBD is about 4-6 hours, you can argue for taking it 2-3 times a day.
I actually take one dose in the morning and one at night (for sleep).
Some of the effects are more long term such as gut barrier support and neurogenesis.
Indeed, these may be long-lasting benefits.
The general trend is to break down your total daily amount into 2-3 doses and take with meals.
Always take at least 4 hours away from medication (see CBD and perimenopause medications) and work with your doctor/naturopath.
CBD uses the same liver pathway as 60% of the medications on the market.
Make sure to read those carefully and work with a naturopath to guide you through the process.
When should I take CBD for perimenopause
2-3 times a day is ideal.
I take 150 mg in the morning and 150 mg before bed.
Taking it with food is best since it slows down the liver processing of your CBD.
Sleep issues are critical during perimenopause so before bed is very popular.
Again, always take away from medication and work with a naturopath or doctor with any supplement...especially if you take other medications.
Also, I will take a separate dose as needed:
- A doctor's appointment
- Especially stressful day or night
- The Holidays!!
How often should I take CBD for perimenopause
- With CBD at 4-6 hours, quicker than that doesn't make sense.
- This logically points to using CBD with 3 meals or less.
Taking CBD with food allows it to bypass the liver breakdown process for longer.
Studies show that this can increase bioavailability (how much gets into the bloodstream) by 4x's.
What does CBD feel like when taken for perimenopause
CBD is not psychoactive like its cousin THC.
You will not feel a "high" feeling.
The most-reported feeling is that of calm.
That being said, if taken during light periods (middle of the day), it can actually make you alert.
Very fascinating and it speaks to the underlying endocannabinoid's system (which CBD support) role in balancing other key systems.
The best way I can explain it is that it raises my stress threshold so I'm no so on edge.
Again, estradiol can do somersaults and there are times and I literally feel like I'm vibrating.
Can I take CBD with hormone replacement therapy
We did a full review on whether you can take CBD with HRT.
Primarily because we were curious ourselves.
I take estradiol/estrone and oral progesterone.
We already went through the safety of estradiol supplementation at our estrogen guide here.
What about CBD's effects on hormones?
After all, the endocrine system (hormones) is one of the systems heavily integrated with our endocannabinoid system and THC has been shown to have all kinds of effects there.
If you take oral progesterone (like I do) and CBD together, it can decrease the effects of progesterone.
Oral progesterone provides its greatest effect via metabolites like allopregnanolone as a result of liver processing.
If CBD is occupying that liver pathway, more progesterone will get excreted before being converted to wonderful allopregnanolone (the basis for the new blockbuster postpartum depression medication).
I just moved it around and took the CBD 4 hours away from progesterone (if oral).
That took care of it and I felt the great effects of progesterone for my sleep again (I take it at night).
Can I take CBD with my medications for perimenopause
As we mentioned above, CBD uses the same P450 pathways in the liver as 60% of the medications on the market.
This can boost or decrease the levels and durations of medications depending on how they're processed.
For this reason, always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement.
The general rule is to take CBD at least 4 hours away from any medication.
We did a deeper review of CBD and perimenopause medications here with a focus on:
- CBD versus SSRIs (the go-to remedy our medical community has for perimenopause)
- CBD versus Benzos (the first line and hopefully short term offering for anxiety)
- CBD versus Tylenol, acetaminophen, and NSAIDs
The first two are the de facto approach for women in the mid to late 40's as things start to come unglued without any thought (in my experience) to support hormones.
It's ridiculous when you read through the research.
Check out that full review on CBD and perimenopause medications and of course, work with a trusted professional with any supplement.
Is it safe to take CBD during perimenopause
The safety of CBD has been well established (see CBD safety or any reason not to take CBD here).
Perimenopause doesn't change this equation.
We wanted to rule out the HRT question since that's the big difference between perimenopause and everything that came before.
Again, take it away from oral progesterone.
The effects on estrogen appear minimal (not true for cannabis smoke by the way).
Of course, take away from medications and after working with a doctor/naturopath.
This brings up a key question where there's lots of confusion and many brands that are taking advantage of that confusion.
How much CBD should I take for perimenopause
It's always best to start with a low amount and test your response.
This is generally regarded at 25-35 mg (about one dropper for 1000 mg bottle; ½ of a dropper for 2000 mg).
From there, you can go up and gauge how you feel.
I take a total of 300 mg per day for a reason.
Research on neurogenesis (the real effect of SSRI's) shows that it peaks at 300 mg.
This is critical for anxiety, depression, and supporting estrogen's pro-growth effects (minus cancer - see CBD and cancer here).
Many customers report benefits with doses from 80 mg to 150 mg.
Studies on sleep showed benefits at 160 mg so that makes sense.
I'm just after the maximum benefit for supporting the nervous system. Check out CBD and BDNF to understand what's really happening there.
Very fascinating as we get older.
This dose level is higher than the vast majority of what's on the market.
Let's go there now.
What's the best CBD for perimenopause
Just yesterday, a client emailed about CBD that actually increased anxiety!
She wanted to know what on Earth could do this.
Unfortunately, bad actors on the market can do that.
We covered it quite a bit in the following:
There are probably two things at play there.
- Full-spectrum CBD causing histamine response (see CBD isolate versus full spectrum for anxiety)
- Bad product with contaminants, THC (See CBD versus THC for anxiety), heavy metals, etc
That's why we MUST have 3rd party testing.
We actually test twice since our entire family uses it (can be found on any product page).
These are the mandatory requirements:
- Organically grown in the US at an FDA registered farm
- 3rd party tested
- THC free
- No pesticides
- No solvents
- No heavy metals
- No mold
- No bacteria
Have you noticed that your allergies keep creeping up during your 40's?
Little by little, you can't eat certain foods or use certain cosmetics?
That's histamine response (thank you progesterone for leaving) and we don't want anything that's going to cause a histamine response.
All that plant material in full-spectrum (or hemp oil for that matter) are the wrong direction.
All the research we've covered (100's of NIH studies now) are based on CBD isolate.
Not full spectrum. Not hemp oil. Not whatever most of the market is selling.
CBD by itself.
That's why we focus on CBD isolate oils only.
Back to the dosage question.
300 mg is a lot. Many brands out there will have 250 mg in the entire bottle.
That's not going to work for me.
For this reason, we purposely priced the CBD at the lowest cost per mg of CBD on the market.
3-6 cents depending on the bottle.
Many brands are charging more for 250 mg than we change for 1000 mg.
It makes us angry because they're taking advantage of people with a product that can really help.
I suffered at the hand of a brutal perimenopause (that story is here) and our goal is to help other women avoid what I went through.
If you have questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We're happy to help in any way.
Be well. Be informed. Let's help each other.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.