Endometriosis & Cannabis

Happy March! Spring rain, spring training, and a note of awareness to an issue that women around the world struggle with; endometriosis. Approximately 10% of all women suffer from painful episodes as endometrial issues affect their daily life. Many lose out on work, social events, and overall quality of life because of unpredictable symptoms and pain.

In endometriosis, the endometrial tissues that line the uterus begin spreading outside into external tissues. Spasms and contractions occur in these other locations when ovulation or menses begins, which can compromise functioning. Pain during sex, heavy bleeding, and fibroids can intensify this misery. Conventional treatment consists of NSAIDS like Motrin to treat pain and inflammation, and hormone therapy to alter endocrine activity. Surgery to remove these growths is often futile because the tissue growth reoccurs. Endometriosis is a primary cause of hysterectomies and may shorten childbearing years.

Research into the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) shows reduced expression of receptors in the cerebrospinal fluid of those who suffer with endometriosis. Lower receptor counts stem from a lack of our own endocannabinoid production creating a cycle of imbalance. Lower levels of Anandamide or 2-AG may be due to genetics or lifestyle factors of poor nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management. As the master regulatory system in the body, the ECS should detect and stop the spread of erroneous tissue, but an ECS signaling deficiency lacks in response.

Normally the female reproductive system contains abundant cannabinoid receptors on cell membranes that would reduce inflammation and correct endocrine imbalances. When endocannabinoids are available, receptors multiply creating more docking locations. If one supplements with the phytocannabinoids from cannabis, the compounds can saturate these same receptors to keep them properly relaying messages to restore balance. This can reduce symptoms such as painful spasms, inflammation, fibroids, and may help with sleep and mood. Over time this may slow the proliferative growth of external tissue, halting the progression of the condition for some women.

Flexible options are available to women who would like to use cannabis products to accomplish their goals. Step 1 can be a daily dose of a full spectrum CBD tincture or capsule to lessen the overall symptoms and severity. Step 2 may be using a topical to soothe pain in the abdomen, pelvis, and back during flare ups. Step 3 may include inhalation of low dose THC, providing immediate physical relief with added emotional benefits of relaxation and energy. Step 4 may be vaginal suppositories that provide localized relief in varieties of CBD & THC. These natural benefits do not cause side effects like NSAIDS and may reduce the need for surgery.

There is hope for healing, and we will continue to educate and coach women across the globe towards natural healing with cannabinoid medicines. Make an appointment for you or a loved one, and explore the Green Nurse Approved CBD Marketplace to find vetted product categories for relief today. We even have a new collaborative program with Danielle Simone-Brand, author of Weed Mom in our newest program “Cannabis Wellness for Moms”. We hope you can welcome Spring with a little more joy this year!

Blessings to you from all of us at Holistic Caring & The Green Nurse
Elisabeth Mack, RN, BSN, MBA

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