Treating Menopausal Symptoms with Medical Cannabis

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In honor of World Menopause Day, we are bringing attention to the issues that women face when going through the menopause and how the use of medical cannabis can help treat the symptoms brought on by it.

Did you know that around one third of the UK female population are experiencing the menopause at this very moment? That’s around 13 million women. 

Typically, the menopause occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55. However early menopause can occur after cancer treatment and hysterectomies and when a woman's ovaries naturally stop producing normal levels of certain hormones such as oestrogen. 

With the menopause being a completely normal and natural part of life for women across the globe, it seems astonishing that the menopause is something that is shrouded in so much stigma.

The symptoms many women go through during this time are countlessly dismissed by our healthcare system due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. The result? Women are left feeling vulnerable, isolated, and ashamed by symptoms that are simply out of their control.

The British Menopause Society (BMS) have stated that menopausal symptoms affect more than 75% of women and over 25% describe severe symptoms. These last on average seven years, with one in three women experiencing symptoms beyond this time. 

It has been well documented in the media that when women who do reach out to their local GPs for help and guidance, they are often told in the first instance to do more exercise, loose some weight and to manage their stress levels better in an attempt to keep their symptoms at bay before any medical intervention is offered. 

When medical intervention is offered, it has been found that only 37% of people diagnosed with the menopause are offered hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as the only way of easing symptoms. 


Many are familiar with hot sweats being a key symptom of the menopause, but many are unaware of the numerous other symptoms that can be debilitating and have a huge impact on a woman’s daily life. 

Due to this lack of understanding culturally, sometimes even the women themselves may not realise why they are experiencing them.

The symptoms include:   

  • Low mood
  • Anxiety
  • Depression 
  • Insomnia 
  • Low Libido 
  • Poor Memory
  • Brain Fog 

Perimenopause or ‘menopause transition’ can begin years before the final menstrual period and may last between four to eight years.

Women experiencing perimenopause are less likely to be aware of what’s happening to them as the emotional symptoms can begin far earlier than any physical changes to the body. 

Interestingly, in a survey of almost 4,000 women by not-for-profit Newson Health Research and Education, which highlighted that 99% of women felt their perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms led to a negative impact on their careers. In a BMS National Survey in 2016, 47% of those who needed to take a day off indicated that they would not tell their employer the real reason behind their absence for fear they would not be understood. 

Why do we have this lack of understanding?

As a nation, we are obsessed with youth, how to stay youthful for longer, how to avoid aging, how to stop the clock and turnback time. The list is endless. And as such, some women feel as if they can’t talk about the transitions they are experiencing. Especially those facing early menopause. 

The other reason for this lack of understanding is our healthcare system. It has been revealed that 41% of UK universities do not have mandatory menopause education on the curriculum at their medical schools.  

Why Cannabis? 

Cannabis studies have been indicating that they can help manage menopausal symptoms. Female patients have discovered that the rebalancing of their endocannabinoid system, a system which is made up of signaling molecules that help regulate various processes, such as pain, memory, mood, immunity, and stress, can be helpful in managing numerous conditions which include anxiety, insomnia, depression and PMS to name just a few. Many symptoms of which are present in the menopause.

Overseas, many studies have been conducted due to legislation being in place for longer, which also suggests that an increasing number of women are turning to medical cannabis to help manage their symptoms. 

A study from the University of Alberta in Canada found that one in every three women near the menopause transition uses cannabis for symptom management. 

Similarly, the North American Menopause Society reported that out of over 200 women in California, who participated in the Midlife Women Veterans Health Survey, 27% reported having used or were currently using cannabis to help alleviate symptoms. 

Since the legislation of medical cannabis two years ago in the UK, there are more opportunities for women to seek help with medical cannabis to alleviate menopausal symptoms.

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