Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that impacts 1 in every single 10 girls of childbearing age, from 15 to 44.
Becoming such a prevalent situation, a single would assume that there is a remedy for PCOS. However, up to this day, there hasn’t been any established healthcare breakthrough that can entirely heal this hormonal imbalance, only treatment options that can reduce or (if you are fortunate) remove the symptoms of PCOS.
In current years, having said that, there has been a lot of hype constructed up about cannabis becoming made use of as a remedy for PCOS.
In quite a few research, cannabis has been noticed to efficiently treat discomfort and stomach cramps, relieve anxiousness and execute wonders with negative skin and hair, all of which are prevalent symptoms of PCOS. But, can cannabis remedy PCOS?
Let’s hear what science has to say about it.
What’s Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a healthcare situation that is triggered by an imbalance in female hormone levels.
Ladies who endure from the situation generate higher levels of the male hormone Androgen (steroid hormones that influence the improvement of the male reproductive technique) in their ovaries.
The most prevalent symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are:
- Irregular and incredibly painful menstrual periods
- No menstrual periods, which can additional lead to various well being complications such as infertility and the improvement of cysts in the ovaries.
- Hirsutism or excessive hair on the chin, cheeks, chest and other physique components exactly where males usually have hair (but girls do not)
- Extreme acne and oily skin
- Thinning hair and hair loss (male pattern balding)
- Boost in physique weight
- Skin tags
The precise lead to of PCOS is nevertheless not totally clear. Some proof suggests it is a genetic illness, so if your mother, sister or close female relatives have PCOS, you are at a greater danger. In addition, these who are obese stand a excellent opportunity of creating PCOS.
Ladies suffering from PCOS are at improved danger of creating far more really serious well being situations such as:
- Glucose intolerance or kind two diabetes (far more than 50% of girls with PCOS create this situation later in life)
- Higher blood stress and higher cholesterol
- Mood issues such as anxiousness and depression
- Sleep apnoea
- Endometrial cancer
How is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome treated?
While there is no remedy for PCOS, it is a treatable situation. The course of remedy largely depends on the extent of the symptoms the lady may possibly have.
If the symptoms are not serious, for instance, altering unhealthy habits and losing weight can regulate and appropriate the hormonal imbalance of the physique.
For far more serious situations of PCOS, a mixture of a healthful diet regime and medication is vital for treating symptoms.
Ladies who do not want to grow to be pregnant can turn to birth manage tablets to restore their hormonal balance and enable with regulating their menstrual cycle.
If a lady has created insulin resistance, she’ll require to appear to applying various diabetes medication.
In addition, for girls who endure from issues related with anxiousness and depression, various antidepressants can be prescribed.
On leading of that, discomfort killers are a usually made use of medication that can be made use of to enable alleviate painful menstrual cramps and pelvic discomfort.
What part does cannabis play in PCOS remedy?
In current years, cannabis has attracted substantial interest to its healthcare properties. But when it comes to PCOS, can cannabis treat or even remedy this hard situation? This is what we know so far.
Initial of all, cannabis is a broadly made use of kind of medication for discomfort remedy, a symptom that is generally related with PCOS.
Most girls who endure from PCOS have incredibly painful menstrual cramps, intense back discomfort for the duration of their menstrual cycle and in some cases abdominal discomfort due to the improvement of cysts in their ovaries.
In the case of depression, which is also a prevalent symptom for girls suffering from PCOS, marijuana can have each valuable and dangerous effects.
While there is no consensus on this subject, the well-known opinion appears to be that marijuana with a higher dose of THC is going to enhance symptoms of depression, even though decrease doses of THC and greater doses of CBD look to have the impact of an antidepressant.
So, cannabis can be made use of as a palliative remedy for the quite a few side effects of PCOS. But what we want to know is if cannabis can grow to be a possible healthcare remedy for this unpleasant situation?
The endocannabinoid technique and ovarian function
In order to completely realize how cannabis can influence a hormonal disorder such as PCOS, we require to realize the biological processes that take place in the female physique and the value of the endocannabinoid technique for reproductive well being.
The endocannabinoid technique is a signaling network of the physique that consists of:
- Endocannabinoids (molecules produced by our physique that are structurally incredibly comparable to cannabinoids from cannabis).
- Distinctive metabolic enzymes that break down endocannabinoids.
- Endocannabinoid receptors that are positioned in the cell membranes and spread all through the physique.
The major objective of the endocannabinoid technique is to preserve homeostasis, or in simplified words, to preserve the balance of all physiological operations in our physique. This is the explanation why all physiological systems in our physique have cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2).
CB1 receptors are mostly positioned inside the central nervous technique and CB2 receptors are predominantly discovered inside cells of the immune technique.
Even so, each of these receptors are also present in female sex organs and play a crucial part in the regulation of reproductive well being.
Ovaries are the female reproductive organs that generate reproductive cells (gametes) for fertilization and reproductive hormones, namely estrogen, testosterone, inhibin, and progesterone. These play a essential function in the menstrual cycle and fertility.
In the course of the menstrual cycle, the ovaries undergo 3 series of modifications: the follicular phase, ovulation, phase, and luteal phase.
In the course of the follicular phase, a woman’s brain (the hypothalamus) releases the Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) that stimulates the secretion of two hormones in the anterior pituitary gland: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
These hormones travel by way of the blood to a woman’s ovaries exactly where they generate 15-20 eggs in the ovarian follicles.
Estrogen is then synthesized in considerable amounts from the preovulatory follicle to reduce the levels of LH and FSH.
Reduce levels of these hormones will lead to the death of most of the made follicles, and only a single, dominant follicle will entirely mature to release the egg. This phase is named ovulation.
Then comes the luteal phase when ovaries make a hormone named progesterone, which aids thicken the lining of the uterus in preparation for a probable pregnancy.
The explanation why I’m explaining all the phases of the ovarian cycle is not that I want you to recall study material from 10th-grade biology classes, but to clarify the effects that cannabinoids look to have in this organic method.
The impact of cannabinoids on female hormones
Science has found so far that CB1 receptors are localized in the hypothalamus, the brain places exactly where the GnRH is made.
What this indicates is that a higher level of endocannabinoids (made in our physique) and exogenous cannabinoids (from cannabis intake) restrain the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which additional suppresses the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the anterior pituitary gland.
Consequently, this harms the female gonadal function and decreases estrogen and progesterone production.
To place it just, chronic cannabis consumption can lead to the following:
- Lower in the concentration of the sex hormones.
- Disruption of the menstrual cycle.
- Delay in sexual maturation.
- Depression of the ovarian follicular maturation.
- Decline in female fertility.
One more study, published in 2009, was the very first to uncover the presence of an complete endocannabinoid technique in the human ovary. It was also found that CB2 is concentrated at a a great deal greater level in the ovarian follicle than CB1.
This getting could recommend that the endocannabinoid technique has a incredibly critical immunological part in ovarian function, but this hypothesis has not been established so far.
The endocannabinoid technique (ECS) and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
When it comes to a direct connection involving ECS and PCOS, a single current study has discovered that some of the most risky qualities of PCOS (insulin resistance and obesity) may possibly be related with ECS activation.
This indicates that an improved level of endocannabinoids in your physique and higher stimulation of the CB1 receptors (each of which take place by consuming cannabis) can be a danger aspect for insulin resistance in girls that endure from PCOS.
Primarily based on this study, a single wouldn’t recommend applying cannabis as a remedy for PCOS, as it could potentially lead to the progression of PCOS.
On the other hand, a various study discovered proof of improved C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, inflammatory cytokines and leucocyte count in girls with PCOS.
In other words, PCOS could be an inflammatory method. And, we all know that cannabis is established to be a wonderful anti-inflammatory.
Even so, there haven’t been any research to locate a direct connection involving cannabis smoking and PCOS.
While the majority of research on the impact of cannabinoids on ovarian function have been carried out in vitro, on animals, or on a tiny sample, it is been implied that PCOS could be tied to a dysfunction in the endocannabinoid technique.
Cannabis-derived cannabinoids may possibly distort the delicate connection involving the ECS and the homeostatic mechanism in the female’s reproductive method.
As such, it is not suggested to use marijuana as a possible remedy for PCOS or any other female reproduction-connected issues.
Obtaining mentioned that, there haven’t been sufficient human research to prove a damaging linkage involving cannabis consumption and female reproductive well being either.
All we know so far is that ECS plays a crucial part in maintaining our reproductive well being in balance, and exogenous cannabinoids in cannabis are undoubtedly playing a considerable part in maintaining or disturbing that equilibrium.
- Walker OS, Holloway AC, Raha S. The part of the endocannabinoid technique in female reproductive tissues. J Ovarian Res. 201912(1):three. Published 2019
- Gammon, C. M., Freeman, G. M., Xie, W., Petersen, S. L., & Wetsel, W. C. (2005). Regulation of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Secretion by Cannabinoids. Endocrinology, 146(10)
- Brents LK. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid Technique and the Female Reproductive Technique. Yale J Biol Med. 201689(two):175–191. Published 2016