Endometriosis is a painful condition that affects around 1 in 10 women in the UK.
It is complicated to diagnose, and there is no cure, although treatment options are available.
A lack of understanding of the condition means it takes an average of 7.5 years to get a firm diagnosis.
Since endocannabinoid receptors can be found in the female reproductive system, there is hope that using CBD oil for endometriosis may provide some relief.
While CBD is not a recognised treatment for the condition, it is considered safe for most healthy adults to use.
In the absence of any firm medical data, some women are already choosing to explore CBD as an option to help ease their monthly symptoms.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- If using CBD for endometriosis might offer relief
- How to use CBD oil to enhance you overall health and wellbeing
- Tips to choose the best CBD oil for endometriosis in the UK
In this guide:
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis causes cells similar to those found in the uterus to grow outside the uterus.
These cells behave in the same way as the cells in the uterus and will bleed during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Hormones cause these cells to build up and then break down with the monthly menstrual cycle. But unlike those cells in the uterus, there is no way for the blood to leave the body.
This leads to inflammation, pain and scarring, as well as heavier and more painful periods.
Endometriosis can also cause extreme fatigue, depression, and problems with relationships and have a significant impact on an individual’s work and social life.
Endometrial cells can grow anywhere in the body, but they are typically found in the pelvis and abdomen. The cells can also develop in the Fallopian tubes and on ovaries, leading to complications with fertility.
How is endometriosis treated?
There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatments that may help lessen the symptoms.
The most common treatments include surgery, hormone treatment, or pain relief.
Surgery for endometriosis
Surgery can be conservative or radical. A conservative approach would involve removing or destroying the endometrial deposits to help alleviate the symptoms. However, this approach would not prevent the cells from returning.
A more radical approach could include a hysterectomy (removing the uterus) or an oophorectomy (removing the ovaries).
These treatment options would only be suitable if the patient is not planning to start a family.
Hormone treatment for endometriosis
Hormones could also offer some promise to help women deal with their symptoms. For example, oestrogen is thought to trigger the growth of endometrial tissue, so blocking oestrogen in the body could help reduce symptoms.
This type of treatment would make your body think it is pregnant, which means your monthly cycle would stop.
This would prevent the lining of the cells from breaking down and causing pain and inflammation.
Pain relief for endometriosis
Those with endometriosis may find their usual pain medication is not strong enough.
So instead, they might use a combination of pain relief techniques.
This typically includes heat therapy, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) machines, physiotherapy, and more potent painkillers, such as those which contain codeine.
These treatment options will not stop the advance of the condition, but can help individuals manage the symptoms.
Alternative treatments for endometriosis
CBD oil is increasingly being explored as a potential treatment for the pain and inflammation associated with endometriosis.
As of yet, there hasn’t been much research on the potential of CBD oil to help those with endometriosis.
How can CBD oil help with endometriosis symptoms?
How might CBD oil help with endometriosis?
It’s all down to the fact that CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of receptors that sends crucial messages between cells.
These messages help maintain balance – or homeostasis – throughout the body.
So, how does the ECS influence the symptoms of endometriosis?
The female reproductive system is full of ECS receptors – called CB1 receptors.
Those who suffer from endometriosis are thought to have fewer CB1 receptors, which suggests a deficient endocannabinoid system.
CBD helps boost the body’s ability to produce its own endocannabinoids by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down anandamide.
So CBD can help support your ECS, which in turn may reduce endometriosis symptoms.
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How to use CBD for endometriosis
CBD can be consumed in many ways.
But if you are planning to try CBD oil for endometriosis, always talk to a medical professional first. CBD is generally considered safe and is well tolerated, but CBD may interact with medications prescribed by your doctor.
So, which method is best for endometriosis? Here’s what you need to know:
CBD oil for endometriosis
Both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil are excellent options for helping relieve endometriosis symptoms.
Oils are best ingested sublingually (drops under the tongue) and have the advantage of being fast acting – you can feel relief after just 15 minutes.
CBD oil has high levels of bioavailability – meaning your body will retain high amounts of the active ingredients when choosing this consumption method.
Capsules are easy to take alongside other medications, so they are an excellent way to integrate CBD into a wellness routine.
However, they have a lower bioavailability than CBD oil and can take around an hour to take effect. On the flip side, the therapeutic effects of CBD may last longer when the compound is digested.
CBD topicals for endometriosis
CBD topicals are CBD creams that can be rubbed directly onto the skin.
Topicals can be effective if you are looking to reduce pain and inflammation in a specific spot. As such, they may help relieve the painful stomach cramps, which are common symptoms of endometriosis.
What is the right dosage of CBD for endometriosis?
If you are thinking about exploring CBD for endometriosis, first check that you are getting it from a safe and legal source. This will help you avoid products that contain low levels of CBD or high levels of THC.
Anyone exploring CBD oil for the first time should always start with a low dose and gradually increase it.
Your height, weight and age will also impact how your body metabolises the CBD.
Tips for choosing the best CBD for endometriosis UK
So, how do I choose the right CBD?
If you’re looking to use CBD for endometriosis, you’ll want to ensure you are consuming the best quality and most effective products.
With CBD, it’s important you’re buying products from a reputable seller. There are lots of sellers pushing sub-standard products, which are not only a waste of money but may contain ingredients you’re unaware of.
Make sure the product comes with a certificate of analysis – this is a document which breaks down the content of your CBD and details the composition of the product: including all important THC content.
At Evopure, we recommend choosing broad-spectrum products. As well as being CBD-rich, broad-spectrum products contain other beneficial cannabinoids, as well as all the goodness of terpenes and flavonoids found naturally in hemp plants.
Broad spectrum products also allow you to benefit from the entourage effect while ensuring you aren’t consuming THC.
And lastly, we recommend choosing organic products. While they might be slightly pricier, it means you’re safe in the knowledge you’re avoiding any toxins, contaminants or pesticides that might make your endometriosis worse.
Final thoughts on CBD oil for endometriosis
While CBD oil isn’t a cure for endometriosis, it may offer some relief for women suffering from debilitating and painful conditions.
More research is needed to determine the impact of CBD oil on endometriosis.
What we know is tentatively encouraging, though, with anecdotal evidence pointing towards CBD potentially being a good therapeutic tool for those suffering from the condition.