Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that impacts 1 in each and every 10 ladies of childbearing age, from 15 to 44.
Becoming such a widespread situation, 1 would assume that there is a remedy for PCOS. However, up to this day, there hasn’t been any verified health-related breakthrough that can entirely heal this hormonal imbalance, only treatment options that can lower 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 applied as a therapy for PCOS.
In several research, cannabis has been observed to successfully treat discomfort and stomach cramps, relieve anxiousness and execute wonders with negative skin and hair, all of which are widespread 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 health-related situation that is brought on by an imbalance in female hormone levels.
Females who endure from the situation generate higher levels of the male hormone Androgen (steroid hormones that impact the improvement of the male reproductive method) in their ovaries.
The most widespread symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are:
- Irregular and really painful menstrual periods
- No menstrual periods, which can additional lead to distinct 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 guys frequently have hair (but ladies do not)
- Serious acne and oily skin
- Thinning hair and hair loss (male pattern balding)
- Enhance 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 threat. Also, these who are obese stand a great possibility of creating PCOS.
Females suffering from PCOS are at improved threat of creating a lot more really serious well being circumstances such as:
- Glucose intolerance or kind two diabetes (a lot more than 50% of ladies with PCOS create this situation later in life)
- Higher blood stress and higher cholesterol
- Mood problems 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 therapy largely depends on the extent of the symptoms the lady might 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 a lot more serious circumstances of PCOS, a mixture of a wholesome eating plan and medication is important for treating symptoms.
Females who do not want to turn into pregnant can turn to birth manage tablets to restore their hormonal balance and assist with regulating their menstrual cycle.
If a lady has created insulin resistance, she’ll have to have to appear to utilizing distinct diabetes medication.
In addition, for ladies who endure from complications connected with anxiousness and depression, distinct antidepressants can be prescribed.
On best of that, discomfort killers are a frequently applied medication that can be applied to assist alleviate painful menstrual cramps and pelvic discomfort.
What function does cannabis play in PCOS therapy?
In current years, cannabis has attracted enormous consideration to its health-related properties. But when it comes to PCOS, can cannabis treat or even remedy this hard situation? This is what we know so far.
Very first of all, cannabis is a broadly applied type of medication for discomfort therapy, a symptom that is frequently connected with PCOS.
Most ladies who endure from PCOS have really painful menstrual cramps, intense back discomfort through their menstrual cycle and at times abdominal discomfort due to the improvement of cysts in their ovaries.
In the case of depression, which is also a widespread symptom for ladies suffering from PCOS, marijuana can have each helpful 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 boost symptoms of depression, whilst decrease doses of THC and greater doses of CBD look to have the impact of an antidepressant.
So, cannabis can be applied as a palliative therapy for the several side effects of PCOS. But what we want to know is if cannabis can turn into a prospective health-related remedy for this unpleasant situation?
The endocannabinoid method and ovarian function
In order to totally fully grasp how cannabis can influence a hormonal disorder such as PCOS, we have to have to fully grasp the biological processes that come about in the female physique and the significance of the endocannabinoid method for reproductive well being.
The endocannabinoid method is a signaling network of the physique that consists of:
- Endocannabinoids (molecules designed by our physique that are structurally really equivalent 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 most important goal of the endocannabinoid method is to sustain homeostasis, or in simplified words, to sustain the balance of all physiological operations in our physique. This is the cause why all physiological systems in our physique have cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2).
CB1 receptors are primarily positioned inside the central nervous method and CB2 receptors are predominantly identified inside cells of the immune method.
Nevertheless, each of these receptors are also present in female sex organs and play a very important function 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 vital function in the menstrual cycle and fertility.
For the duration of the menstrual cycle, the ovaries undergo 3 series of modifications: the follicular phase, ovulation, phase, and luteal phase.
For the duration 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 via the blood to a woman’s ovaries exactly where they generate 15-20 eggs in the ovarian follicles.
Estrogen is then synthesized in important amounts from the preovulatory follicle to lower the levels of LH and FSH.
Reduce levels of these hormones will lead to the death of most of the made follicles, and only 1, dominant follicle will entirely mature to release the egg. This phase is known as ovulation.
Then comes the luteal phase when ovaries make a hormone known as progesterone, which assists thicken the lining of the uterus in preparation for a doable pregnancy.
The cause 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 all-natural course of action.
The impact of cannabinoids on female hormones
Science has found so far that CB1 receptors are localized in the hypothalamus, the brain regions exactly where the GnRH is made.
What this suggests 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:
- Reduce 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 initially to uncover the presence of an whole endocannabinoid method in the human ovary. It was also found that CB2 is concentrated at a considerably greater level in the ovarian follicle than CB1.
This locating could recommend that the endocannabinoid method has a really crucial immunological function in ovarian function, but this hypothesis has not been verified so far.
The endocannabinoid method (ECS) and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
When it comes to a direct connection amongst ECS and PCOS, 1 current study has identified that some of the most unsafe traits of PCOS (insulin resistance and obesity) might be connected with ECS activation.
This suggests 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 threat aspect for insulin resistance in ladies that endure from PCOS.
Primarily based on this study, 1 wouldn’t recommend utilizing cannabis as a therapy for PCOS, as it could potentially lead to the progression of PCOS.
On the other hand, a distinct study identified proof of improved C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, inflammatory cytokines and leucocyte count in ladies with PCOS.
In other words, PCOS could be an inflammatory course of action. And, we all know that cannabis is verified to be a fantastic anti-inflammatory.
Nevertheless, there haven’t been any research to obtain a direct connection amongst cannabis smoking and PCOS.
While the majority of research on the impact of cannabinoids on ovarian function have been performed in vitro, on animals, or on a smaller sample, it is been implied that PCOS could be tied to a dysfunction in the endocannabinoid method.
Cannabis-derived cannabinoids might distort the delicate connection amongst the ECS and the homeostatic mechanism in the female’s reproductive course of action.
As such, it is not advisable to use marijuana as a prospective remedy for PCOS or any other female reproduction-associated problems.
Obtaining mentioned that, there haven’t been adequate human research to prove a adverse linkage amongst cannabis consumption and female reproductive well being either.
All we know so far is that ECS plays a very important function in maintaining our reproductive well being in balance, and exogenous cannabinoids in cannabis are definitely playing a important function in maintaining or disturbing that equilibrium.
- Walker OS, Holloway AC, Raha S. The function of the endocannabinoid method 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 Program and the Female Reproductive Program. Yale J Biol Med. 201689(two):175–191. Published 2016