According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anywhere from 11 percent to 40 percent of adults in the country suffer from chronic pain. And 70 percent of chronic pain sufferers are women. Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of women than men around the world; however women are less likely to receive treatment. Research has shown that women generally experience more recurrent pain, more severe pain and longer lasting pain than men.
Why is this? Women are often not taken seriously. When women have pain, they are told to suck it up, keep going, you have to go to work, take care of your children, partner, family, and just move on with life. And before you know it, the pain becomes “normal”.
We adapt to it.
Health practitioners routinely minimize women’s experience of chronic pain. These complaints are often dismissed as having a psychological rather than a physiological condition. Some women go undiagnosed for years, despite multiple trips to doctors and specialists—all the while being told that their symptoms could be stress-related.
We take a look at the subtle and drastic changes women’s bodies go through as estrogen levels go up and down more erratically including amplified symptoms of PMS, hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety and stress.
CBD can help put you in a relaxed state, which makes it a key ally in fighting stress. There are several biochemical reasons why.
Intense trauma and stress can temporarily rewire the body's nervous system and trigger our sympathetic nervous system, which activates our "flight or fight" response. Hyperarousal means higher blood pressure and adrenaline release, shallow breathing, and rapid heartbeat, all of which translates to short-tempers and blown fuses. It can also cause people to re-experience traumatic memories that create a cycle of being too agitated to relax and too stressed to sleep. These changes can impair the immune system's ability to respond to acute and chronic infections and can disrupt digestion, sleep, focus, and libido. It can also make people feel like they are in a fog or that everything is moving in slow motion. Sound familiar?
When our hormones continuously fluctuate or are imbalanced, we experience a variety of complications, from mood swings to anxiety to muscle aches, leg cramps and more. This contributes to increased anxiety and feelings of depression. REMEMBER: Our body functions as a UNIT! Everything is interrelated.
Many MDs operate in their own specialty “silo”. You might hear your GI doctor say “it's not a digestion issue, so maybe you should see your psychiatrist”!
Simply contending with overwhelming situations and information overload can affect some people so profoundly that they develop symptoms of depression, which can include:
- sensitivity to light and sound
- insomnia due to racing mind or trouble staying asleep
- irritability and jumpiness
- emotional sensitivity
- heart racing/palpitations
- blood pressure changes
- digestive issues
- Body pain
CBD is a holistic, integrative plant medicine that can ease the body into a state of calm. When used correctly, it can:
- improve mood
- reduce anxiety
- promote restorative sleep
- Decrease pain and inflammation
How can CBD help anxiety and stress?
Did you know that our brains make their own internal cannabis molecules? It's true. And one of them, anandamide (named after the Sanskrit word for bliss, Ananda), helps temper stress and balance the nervous system, so we are not spiraling out of control on high sympathetic overdrive. CBD directs the brain to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces a state of calm. It works well for social anxiety and everyday stress, plus more extreme forms of anxiety such as panic attacks.
The other side of the sympathetic nervous system is the parasympathetic nervous system, which releases all sorts of chemicals to help us feel relaxed and safe. The parasympathetic system regulates digestion, our connection to others, and sleep, which is the only time the body can repair itself. CBD helps to ease the body into the parasympathetic nervous system.