March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. A month dedicated to the painful condition that affects 1.5 million women in the UK.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissues similar to the lining of the womb start to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, causing extreme pain.
Each time a woman goes through the bleeding phase of their menstrual cycle, so do the endometrial cells. Unlike the uterus lining, there is nowhere for the endometrial cells to exit the body. This is what causes the pain, inflammation, and in some cases, the formulation of scar tissue.
Many experience the excruciating pain and heavy periods associated with the condition, and in some women, fertility is affected. Sadly, no one knows what causes endometriosis, or why some women suffer and others don’t.
According to Endometriosis UK, it takes an average of seven and a half years from the onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis. This long delay can cost the economy £8.2 billion each year in treatments, loss of work and healthcare costs.
Current treatments for this condition are limited. Painkillers, hormonal contraception, surgery to cut away scar tissue are commonly prescribed. For the more severe cases, the only option may be to have a full hysterectomy to remove part or all of the tissue.
Why are some women turning to CBD?
More and more women are turning to CBD to help with their symptoms. But why is this?
Research has proven that CBD helps with pain relief. Everyone has an endocannabinoid system, which is formulated of endogenous cannabinoids and receptors. The human body is filled with these receptors, which can be found within several areas of the body, including the central nervous system. CB1 is the more abundant receptor, which can be found in pain circuits.
Compared with other endometriosis treatments, CBD is a natural and side-effect free alternative. Due to the close relation to the endocannabinoid system, CBD can also have a direct impact on the female reproductive tract functionality.
Research has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, along with offering pain relief. In addition to this, there has been further research to show that it could affect the development of the endometrium tissue in several ways.