Vaginal dryness isn’t everyone’s favorite conversation topic, but for the countless women across America who are living through menopause, it’s an important one. Like menopause itself, it’s not a problem to be solved but simply a situation to manage — and according to scientists, it’s one where CBD oil might be able to help.
As with many women’s health issues (especially those relating to menopause and sexual health), vaginal dryness hasn’t been discussed much in the media. This is starting to change, however, and new information is making it easier for women to navigate this challenging time in their lives.
While vaginal dryness is a normal and natural part of being a woman, it can have a negative impact on one’s quality of life. A lack of lubrication can cause vaginal pain and irritation on a daily basis — the labia minora can become chafed, making them sore and inflamed. Women commonly find that their sex life and sexual pleasure is greatly affected by this, as intercourse requires plenty of lubrication to ensure that friction doesn’t irritate the most sensitive skin on the body.
Clearly, this isn’t ideal, and the pharmaceutical industry has been swift to offer up solutions. The range of artificial moisturizers and lubricants on the market today is staggering. Some of them are even infused with CBD and/or THC.
But applying a lubricant to the vagina every few hours isn’t practical for day to day life, and many women are in search of something that helps their bodies to produce natural moisture, rather than settle for artificial replacements. That’s where CBD oil (not to be confused with hemp seed oil) comes in.
It may sound bizarre: how could this cannabis extract (best known for its anti-anxiety benefits) possibly help with vaginal dryness? According to recent studies, the secret lies in CBD oil’s ability to stimulate a little-known — but highly influential — mechanism: the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (or ECS) is a network of receptors found throughout the human body. It’s responsible for regulating things like your mood, sebum levels in the skin, and fertility in women. Now, researchers believe that it’s also strongly linked to many of the symptoms we see in menopause, and as a result, CBD may be able to offer some relief.
As a potent natural anti-inflammatory, CBD can reduce inflammation and pain in the skin tissue surrounding the vaginal opening, known as the labia minora and the labia majora. Needless to say, this can make going about your daily routine much more pleasant and comfortable.
However, this doesn’t mean you should immediately start dousing your vagina in any old CBD oil you picked up at your local pharmacy. When it comes to vaginal health, it’s always best to avoid using topicals where possible, or you could find yourself dealing with a painful vaginal fungal infection. The skin in that part of the body is so sensitive (and CBD products are so poorly regulated) that the risk outweighs the reward.
Instead, the safest way to boost your vaginal health with CBD is to opt for a high-quality softgel capsule that contains full spectrum CBD oil. Capsules are preferable because there’s little danger of them irritating the tissue around the vagina, and full-spectrum oils are preferable because they contain the full range of compounds found in cannabis plants. Research shows that the interplay between them creates a synergistic effect, which makes them much more effective than “pure” CBD products.