Updated: Sep 26
Menopausal Challenges and Discovering Solutions
So somehow, last year, I managed to invoke the menopause upon myself! I had only just turned 40 but I already had three children so thought this a blessing (I mean who wouldn’t after decades of period poverty?) but it turns out I was very wrong to get my hopes up. No, it turns out menopause at my age isn’t great at all...
The Impact of Medical Cannabis on Menopause
First of all - believe me when I say they do not call them hot flushes for nothing! There have been a few occasions now that I thought I was going to spontaneously combust on the spot! Secondly I have had mood swings that would put The Hulk to shame and that’s without going into the near crippling agony of ones hips slowly turning into brick dust! Thankfully I am a private medical cannabis patient with Integro clinic and a member of the Grow Access Project.
Advocating for Access and Understanding
This fantastic scheme is designed for people on welfare or veterans of the forces who may struggle with some of the costs of private medical care. If accepted onto this scheme your first appointment is completely free. This gave me time to save to pay for my prescription and on this scheme the medication is £1 cheaper per gram than elsewhere advertised. The re-prescription fee is also lowered to £10, from £30 originally.
Personalized Strains and Their Impact
So when I explained these hormonal imbalances to the doctor he managed to find me a great indica strain (Grow Herijuana T18) to aid with pain and sleep and some great sativas (Grow LA Sage T22 and Aurora CANvalue Delahaze) to help with focus and motivation.
The Science Behind Medical Cannabis
Since then I have researched further into how the MC is working better for me than the HRT patches that I get from the NHS. In the human body there are two well known cannabinoid receptors. These are known, more commonly, as CB1 and CB2. CB1 controls your motor skills, thinking, co-ordination, appetite, immune cells and pain perception. CB2 controls guts, kidneys, skeletal structure, bones, reproductive system, etc.
MC vs. HRT: A Personal Journey
As one of these receptors begins to malfunction with conditions (such as the menopause) the body is not producing enough Endocannabinoids to nourish it. The best way to solve this would be exercise. When you exercise your body produces natural endorphins which then boost the Endocannabinoid system into functioning correctly. But, being disabled with fibromyalgia, this was impossible for me so my body needed extra cannabinoids added into my system. And the easiest way is through medical cannabis.
MC: A Game-Changer for Menopause
But there is the science to back up my claims that MC beats HRT... When you become menopausal your estrogen levels drop rapidly and this can then affect your ECS. This affects your body leading to severe anxiety, shakes, sweats, lack of libido and insomnia etc. In premature menopause like mine (i.e. early menopause before 45) this can also lead to severe conditions such as Parkinson's, Dementia, Osteoporosis and can even increase your mortality rate.
Embracing Life with MC
Now HRT helped keep my estrogen levels at a good level, which has decreased the hot flushes a little, but the MC has helped me further. The pain is much more bearable now that I can dose my medication with my Mighty+. I can get out a little more on my mobility scooter and I feel much more motivated to simply live life.
MC: Unleashing Cognitive Abilities
People may like to brand us “dumb stoners” but I swear when I have had a dose of my MC I find myself remembering more things like song lyrics and useless information such as what year a song came out or even the record label.
Empowering through Sativas
Sativas have been very beneficial during the menopause as they help me keep my clarity and focus and make the most simple day-to-day task more fun, with my mood elevated and lowered stress levels... Great for fibromyalgia where stress can quickly literally turn into physical pain! I am an artist and I struggle now to find the motivation or capability to hold a paintbrush for long but now I have so many ideas it drives me crazy. I write more too as you can see!
Navigating the Emotional Landscape
Sativas have also helped my anxiety so that I don’t experience any violent mood swings or hormonal outbursts. I’m able to stop myself and “step back” and assess the situation first. This has done wonders for the people who have had to put up with me the year or so!
MC: Enhancing Daily Living
And my appetite is improved! I normally don’t get hungry a lot and often skip meals. But since beginning on the legal route and getting the right strains for my problems I have found a bonus benefit in being able to manage at least 2 meals a day.
Reclaiming Restful Nights
I’ve also slept much better since starting to dose correctly for me. Last year I was lucky if I could get 3/4 hours of sleep on an average night... I thought I was losing my mind. Glad to say it’s slowly starting to wake back up...I can understand why Thatcher was so cranky now; four hours sleep a night is enough to drive anyone senile! Glad to say that my brain is waking back up.
An Intriguing Option: CANNALUBE
Oh and if you folks want to wake up anything “lower South” during the menopause... did you know you can even make your own CANNALUBE?! Feel free to have a read of this very insightful little recipe from Leafly Magazine for more info!
Advocacy and Looking Ahead
Since becoming a legal MC patient my life has regained a lot of the freedoms that I thought lost when I became disabled. And it wouldn’t be responsible of me to say this is a cure all for every person out there - because it’s not. Simply put there are as many people out there as there are strains.
Legal Hurdles and Considerations
It is still a schedule 2 classed substances in the U.K. and still needs to be prescribed by a professional. You need to have a medical condition. This includes the menopause. You need to show that you have tried at least two NHS prescription medications have not worked. You also need to be able to afford and budget around getting your medication as prices for flowers can vary between 4 and 14 pounds per gram. Oils can costly but more beneficial to many chronic pain sufferers. They made me feel like I was stuck on a waltzers personally, much prefer to dose as and when needed.
Pushing for Progress in Medical Cannabis
Also vape cartridges are becoming available and more. This is still, very much, baby steps of a growing industry but the more people that sign up and inspire and share their experiences then the more the government has to push their finger out and make this more viable and beneficial to the menopausal of Great Britain! Before we all combust and take it with us!
Thanks for reading! Case Leigh.