# What can CBD do for Endometriosis? – Qualis-est

What can CBD do for Endometriosis?

As CBD grows in popularity, the amount of research into its potential benefits is growing every day. One of the most important and emerging areas is in it’s treatment of a very common condition, called Endometriosis. Across the world 10% of women world-wide suffer every month - and that figure is not going down. [1]

 

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis (pronounced en- doh - mee - tree - oh - sis) is a condition where the cells of the human body that usually reside in the lining of the woman’s womb are found outside of this area - typically directly outside the womb and around the pelvis.

 

Women who suffer from Endometriosis (or Endo for short) tend to suffer one or most of the following symptoms:

 

  • Menstrual cramps that are severe
  • Painful intercourse (called dyspareunia)
  • Painful urination or bowel movements
  • Chronic back pain, in the lower, abdominal or pelvic regions
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Undiagnosed infertility or difficulty getting pregnant

 

During a normal menstrual cycle the human body releases hormones that regulate the processes associated with conception - if the conception doesn’t occur the body will release hormones to break down this layer inside of the womb and it is then discarded during the end of the period cycle. Sufferers of this condition however have these cells not only in the womb but also located outside of the womb.

 During the monthly cycle hormones prompt the Endometriosis cells to grow, then to break down and then bleed. This has the effect of causing internal bleeding and irritation, and also can lead to the formation of scar tissue internally. Tissue that has endometriosis can also occur around the ovaries, causing ‘chocolate cysts’, so called due to their appearance.

  

Is there a prevention or cure?

There is no prevention for this condition - however modern treatment options are usually limited to:

  • Surgery
  • Hormone treatment
  • Pain management
  • Nutrition
  • Complementary therapies
  • Emotional support

Surgery is, as it always should be, a last resort. There are a couple of hormone treatments available, but they don’t come free as many have numerous side effects. Most of the more popular drug treatment options can bring on an early-menopause symptoms which can have its own set of unpleasant side effects to contend with - In addition to the drug side effects like depression, dizziness, hot flushes to name a few.  

Pain management is currently a hot topic in health circles at the moment - the flip side potentially from the years of over-prescription of opioid medicines from companies promoting addictive painkillers as ‘pop a pill and forget’ remedies. Don't get me wrong - I am a firm believer in painkillers and medicines when directed at the appropriate causes, but recent research into the current opioid crisis[2] has not shown much improvement in the current climate.

Nutrition has a large part to pay when combined with other effective treatments for a wide range of conditions. Emotional support is also very often overlooked - health workers, supportive friend and partner relationships, these are all very important to keep alive and nourished when dealing with a chronic condition.

 

So how can CBD help?

 

CBD is a compound found naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabis has been used widely during history to treat mild to moderate pain - perhaps it’s most famous user was Queen Victoria (Queen of England between 1837 and 1876) and her personal physician, DR J. Russell Reynolds published an article in the Lancet promoting cannabis describing it as “Indian Hemp, when pure and administered carefully, is one of the most valuable medicines we possess”[3]

One of CBD’s most beneficial aspects is its ability to reduce the intensity of pain - in other words if you’re struggling and pain killers are just enough to cut it, CBD can reduce this pain to make it either more manageable, or to reduce it enough so that you can consider reducing your dependency on pain relieving drugs.

 

CBD Is also widely credited with being an excellent anti inflammatory agent when taken. Inside of every person is an Endocannabinoid system (ECS) that has control over the regulation of many of the body’s internal and external functions. The ECS system can release its own versions of naturally occurring cannabinoids! Just read that again - your own body can produce its own cannabinoids internally! The job of the ECS system is to maintain a balance internally at a cellular level - this is called homeostasis. It does this via the release of endocannabinoids when presented with a variety of stimuli, which can include pain, the feeling of hunger or stress, or in some cases inflammation. Research has shown that suggests many conditions where the ECS system is performing sub-par (including inflammation conditions) that using CBD can assist by increasing the amount of cannabinoids in circulation,[4] and therefore can ‘unlock’ the body’s response to increase its fight against these conditions.  

 

So where does this leave CBD and Me?

 

The use of CBD should be considered in the wider aspect of dealing with conditions such as Endo. The large amount of people suffering with this condition without diagnosis, and who go through intense and unwarranted pain every month is staggering. If users of CBD get some relief, either directly from the pain and inflammation reduction or from being able to ‘step down’ their prescription painkillers to a smaller dose or less potent or dangerous option, the potential benefits should not be overlooked.  

 

My personal story and why I’m passionate about CBD

 

My personal story started several years ago when me and my partner started trying to start a family. My partner always had difficulty every month since a very young age, and experienced multiple bouts of chronic pain, soreness and other symptoms of Endo. We also found that our ability to conceive was not helped and we struggled - both emotionally and physically - without being able to receive the correct diagnosis. It was only during the advanced states of our fertility journey with IVF that a particularly mindful doctor suggested that we may have Endo and we should get this looked at. If only we had known before, my partner having suffered essentially in silence for all this time, knowing that there was a perfectly legal and scientifically proven way to avoid the pain of this life long condition.

 

Now I’m in the privileged position of both hindsight and enterprise - having gone through the Endo journey with my partner, and now being in a position to offer a product that has the potential to help a large number of people. You don’t have to suffer in silence!


[1] "Facts about endometriosis « Endometriosis.org." 27 May. 2017, http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/facts-about-endometriosis/. Accessed 17 Nov. 2019.

[2] "Opioid Overdose Crisis | National Institute on Drug Abuse ...." 22 Jan. 2019, https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis. Accessed 17 Nov. 2019.

[3] "on the therapeutical uses and toxic effects of cannabis indica.." https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(02)18723-X/fulltext?code=lancet-site. Accessed 17 Nov. 2019.

[4] "Regulation of inflammation by cannabinoids, the ... - NCBI." 15 Apr. 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25877930. Accessed 17 Nov. 2019.

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