Cannabis prohibition has placed us in a strange place when it comes to CBD. Even though CBD doesn’t have intoxicating effects, our understanding has been hindered by its close relation to THC. Because of the demonization of cannabis, we are far behind where we need to be regarding treating specific conditions and the dose required. Our lack of understanding has placed the responsibility on the user to determine their dose. Recognizing the differences between males and females is one way to determine the dosage, type, and what administration method is right for you.
We’ve come a long way in these recent years, but CBD is still in a less than ideal place legally. The FDA considers it a drug, CBD companies have infused it into every food imaginable, and people take it as a supplement.
For now, the user must experiment with dosing to find the right amount for their body. We are far more alike than we are different, that being said, these small differences can give us insight into how CBD can be included in an overall wellness strategy to improve our well-being.
The biggest difference between men and women is the ratio of hormone production. Both genders are affected by the body’s ability to create estrogen, androgen, and testosterone. These hormones have a huge impact on our behavior, sex drive, muscle, and bone growth. The specific levels are what make men and women different.
The production of these hormones is regulated by the endocrine system. This complex collection of glands produces hormones that control metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood.
CBD and The Endocrine System
If you are familiar with the endocannabinoid system, you may have noticed similarities with the endocrine system. Experts believe the two are closely related.
The endocannabinoid system or ECS is a complex network of neurotransmitters, receptors, and enzymes that help our bodies stay in homeostasis. The ECS is believed to have a major influence on mood, memory, pain management, appetite, and the sleep-wake cycle.
A healthy ECS means that your body having an appropriate response to events. People that experience anxiety, inflammation, or sleep issues could have an ECS that is out of balance. The ECS may be responsible for the messaging that controls the production of the glands in the endocrine system.
The connection between the ECS and the endocrine system may have an impact on the production of major hormones including insulin, cortisol, and melatonin, according to research done by Cecilia J. Hillard, Ph.D.
The most promising research is around cortisol production. A study was done on human participants clearly showed that CBD interferes with cortisol secretion.
Increased levels of cortisol can lead to mood swings, weight gain, and anxiety. The most common reason for high levels of cortisol is excessive amounts of circulating estrogen. While increases in cortisol are generally believed to be an issue that affects only women, recent research has found that many men are suffering from chronic stress because of high levels of cortisol.
We are far from nailing down how to use CBD to manipulate the ECS and the endocrine system. Identifying that there is a relationship between taking cannabinoids and producing hormones is only the first step. To change lives, we have to know who can benefit from CBD. The dosage and schedule are critical in determining how CBD can be applied medically. Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet. It is up to the users to determine what CBD product and dosage can help them with balancing their hormone levels.
CBD and Sex
We’ve all heard that CBD is being used to help with inflammation, anxiety, and sleep. One of the latest applications for CBD is to help with intimacy. Both men and women are turning to CBD products to increase the frequency and overall satisfaction in the bedroom.
CBD companies have released products that are specifically catered to increasing sex drive. Combining natural plants and CBD is believed to increase hormone levels and could improve the sex lives of the users. CBD is also used in lubricants. Direct contact with the CB2 receptors in sex organs could create a more pleasurable experience.
Due to limited research and conflicting studies about cannabis and reproductive organs, we are far from understanding CBD’s role in our sex lives. CBD may increase libido in men and women, but we just aren’t at a point where we can be sure.
Men and Women Deal with Pain Differently
Of all the unknown surrounding CBD and the ECS, we can definitively say that women experience greater levels of pain than men, even when the stimuli are the same. Pain also has a more psychological effect on women.
Varying pain experiences mean that dosing can be much different for men and women. If a woman has a more intense experience, they may need a higher dose than a man dealing with a similar issue.
Non-Gender Differences to Consider
Many other factors go into finding that perfect dose that has nothing to do with gender. Body mass index can greatly influence the effect CBD has on the body. A 250-pound person may need a little bit more CBD than their 120-pound partner.
Drug tolerance, metabolism, and overall health all play a factor in how much CBD is needed to give the individual the maximum potential benefits.
Have a Plan, Monitor Results
We always recommend starting small for those new to taking CBD. Taking too much CBD doesn’t have any serious consequences, but some people have reported minor discomfort or appetite changes when dosing for the first time. Starting with a small dose is more about finding the perfect amount for your body. Working your way up to the optimal amount is the best way to find that sweet spot.
Before starting a CBD regimen, write down your goals. What do you want out of CBD? What areas of your life would you like to see an improvement? Have realistic expectations and monitor use.
Taking CBD once or twice probably won’t accomplish anything. CBD takes time to build up in the body. It needs to be taken consistently to have a positive impact on the ECS and the endocrine system. We recommend having a plan, taking CBD daily, experimenting with different dosages, and monitoring results. We will get to a point where experts will have a better idea of how much to take to help with specific conditions, but we just aren’t there yet. For now, it is up to the consumer to find the perfect amount.
TL;DR: CBD has come along way in recent years, but for now the user must experiment with dosing. The biggest difference between men and women is the ratio of hormone production. The endocannabinoid system or ECS is a complex network of neurotransmitters, receptors, and enzymes that help our bodies stay in homeostasis. The ECS is believed to have a major influence on mood, memory, pain management, appetite, and the sleep-wake cycle. Of all the unknown surrounding CBD and the ECS, we can definitively say that women experience greater levels of pain than men, even when the stimuli are the same.
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