Over time, women may experience a whole variety of unique physical health conditions and concerns. Although many of them including PMS, hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, and menopause may come with their challenges and cause discomfort, most of them are inevitable parts of the female life cycle.
As one of the most popular natural wellness trends, studies have suggested that CBD may benefit female health and improve the overall quality of life. Read on to discover how women may benefit from using CBD…
WHAT IS CBD
CBD is a core ingredient in the cannabis plant, which is available in different strengths and forms. Often seen as CBD oil, but it is also available in personal care products, pills, powders, and MEDAHUMAN’s delicious drinks. CBD can be absorbed through the skin, ingested, or inhaled.
Potential Benefits of CBD for women:
CBD may have the ability to provide relief for women who suffer from hormonal imbalances. A small-scale study has indicated that CBD may help to regulate the secretion of one of our stress-activating hormones cortisol(1). High levels of cortisol can impact other hormone levels including thyroid-stimulating hormones and sex hormones. Any cortisol-reducing activities can therefore help to support overall hormone balance. In addition, when choosing hemp-based CBD products, you get a boost of omega fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid, both of which can contribute to hormone health.
One of the biggest beauty trends of 2020/2021 has been the rise of CBD skincare. It is believed that CBD may provide beauty benefits such as improving the look and health of skin, minimizing the appearance of dark spots, and helping to strengthen hair follicles. Studies have also indicated that CBD may help to prevent acne by regulating oil production and lowering inflammation, with the use of topical CBD also being used for skin rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. (2)
CBD may have the ability to help balance out mood changes, reduce sleep disturbances and lower the rate of bone density loss that can happen during menopause. The endocannabinoid system is a group of cell receptors, called cannabinoid receptors, found in the brain, organs, and tissues throughout the body. This system plays a crucial role in menopause.
There are cannabinoid receptors throughout the female reproductive system too, with menopause disrupting the endocannabinoid system. This can explain some of the effects of premenopause such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, and lower libido.
It has been suggested that CBD may help to reduce symptoms of menopause (3), with a recent small-scale study finding CBD could help to relieve chronic pain, lower inflammation and improve sleep – all concerns that can occur during menopause. (4)
Women have to face all sorts of pains throughout their life, from PMS to childbirth, with studies showing that CBD may help to decrease pain by interacting with the endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters.
Women suffering from chronic pain such as headaches, cramps, arthritis, fibromyalgia and more, have shown improvement in their pain levels by using CBD.(6)
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Studies have indicated that CBD may reduce stress and anxiety. CBD oil is often used by alternative medicine practitioners for patients with OCD and social anxiety. Since CBD activates receptors in the brain that produce high levels of dopamine, it may be effective for relaxing the mind and body, potentially reducing anxiety levels. (7)
Studies have shown that almost 72% of women have suffered from digestive problems, such as IBS within the past year (8). It has been suggested that CBD may help to regulate digestion and modulate bowel movements, with a study finding that CBD can alleviate the symptoms linked with digestive issues such as cramps, bloating, and nausea. (9)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151231/ (2)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J175v02n03_02 (3)
MEDA’s GLOW drink has delicate and nutritious ingredients from nature, including Aloe
Vera, Elderflower, Olive leaf, Vitamin C and Biotin, all of which are fantastic to get that glow
and nourish your skin from within. Read on to delve a little deeper into each of the
wonderful ingredients that have been chosen.
The wonderful Aloe Vera plant has been used as a method for supporting digestion,
skincare, bathing and other health benefits for centuries. Due to Aloe Vera being a source of
Vitamin E, C and Beta Carotene, it may help to strengthen and nourish the skin. Aloe Vera is
also effective for sun-damaged skin or wounds, and when used topically may help to relieve
and recover sun damage. (2)
Elderflower has a long history of being used in German medicine. Due to its rich Vitamin C
and antioxidant properties, it may help with premature aging, in addition to supporting the
regeneration and repair of cells by protecting your body from oxidative stress. (3)
Every part of the olive is packed with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that provide
nourishment for our health. Olive leaves have the highest antioxidant concentration of all
parts of the olive tree, thanks to the combined power of flavonoids, phenols and oleuropein.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning that our bodies cannot actually produce it, and
therefore we must rely on our dietary intake of vitamin C rich foods and drinks.
Vitamin C is transported to the skin, where it acts as an antioxidant and helps to strengthen
the skin’s barriers (4). In addition, Vitamin C plays a role in collagen production, a vital
protein that helps with skin structure.
Also known as Vitamin H, Biotin is a B complex vitamin that assists with converting food into
energy. Enzymes rely on Biotin to function, therefore it is so important for energy
production and helps the formation of fatty acids that may contribute to our skin health and
Evidence has shown that CBD may be beneficial for skin health and treating a variety of
skin conditions. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help with conditions such
as acne, eczema and psoriasis. (1)
Do you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep? Wired mind keep you up at night or stress waking you in the middle of the night? Whatever the trigger, a bad night’s sleep can leave you feeling low in mood, energy and productivity. And while there are many sleep hygiene tips and tricks you can try, sometimes we need a helping hand to take the edge off — especially when counting sheep just won’t cut it!Read on to learn how CBD can be a potentially calming antidote to contribute to a deep and restful nights slumber.
The relationship between CBD and sleep
CBD may contribute to a calmer and more restful night of sleep, thanks to its ability to help reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Stress significantly affects the quality and quantity of our sleep. This is thanks to Cortisol production. Cortisol usually peaks in the morning and falls throughout the day, but sufferers of insomnia may have higher cortisol levels at night (1). Elevated cortisol levels at night can interfere with your sleep hormones, particularly melatonin, leading to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
One small scale study that looked at 11 individuals who were either given a placebo or CBD supplement with a dosage of between 300-600mg found that CBD contributed to a reduction in cortisol output. As we know cortisol can interfere with our melatonin production, this would suggest that CBD’s action on cortisol could help those who suffer with sleep deprivation related to stress.(3)
If anxiety keeps you awake at night, CBD might be your bedtime best friend. A review in 2015 suggested that thanks to the interaction of CBD on serotonin receptors in the brain (2), this could reduce anxiety levels. Further, a 2019 CBD sleep study reported that 79.2% of the patients they tested felt less anxious and 66.7% reported better sleep after CBD administration (4).
How to use CBD for sleep
There are a variety of different ways to incorporate CBD into your everyday routine. CBD can be enjoyed in many forms including vapes, CBD oils, pills and edible sources such as gummies or MEDA Sleep and MEDA Calm CBD drinks which contribute to that blissful night’s sleep.
Other tips for a better nights sleep:
Make sure to get natural daylight exposure during the day, especially first thing in the morning. This can prompt our circadian rhythm which is governed by lightness and darkness.
Avoid caffeine later in the day, especially after 3pm. Caffeine can promote the release of cortisol which can interfere with our sleep hormones. If you want an uplift in the afternoon, reach for a MEDA Focus drink instead.Keep a routine. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Consider a meditation routine to help and clear the mind
Limit screen time in the evening and reduce blue light exposure one to two hours before bed. Consider blue light blocking apps on your electronics or wearing blue light blocking glasses.
The pacifist, philosopher and prodigious author, Aldous Huxley said, “there’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”
The global pandemic has been brutal. Despite being invisible to the naked eye, the pervasive, mutating virus has led to bereavement, isolation, financial loss, and, within its wide collection of symptoms, delirium and exhaustion. To navigate this unsettling period, it has become more important than ever to live life with a calm and kindly disposition while helping others to stay happy, healthy and strong.
However, being supportive to others is an attribute best practised when coming from a strong inner foundation. Taking a moment to relax away from worldly distractions allows the brain the chance it craves to recuperate. In a settled state, focus improves while you are giving yourself permission to find, perhaps in a long time, your own voice once again. And having a better understanding and relationship with yourself will help you have a more generous relationship with others.
Rather than the potentially numbing ‘Soma’ mandatorily prescribed to Huxley’s characters in ‘Brave New World’; allow yourself a MEDA moment on a regular basis while savouring sips of MEDA’s Calm premium CBD drink. Ingredients include lemon balm, lavender essential oil and chamomile to help reduce stress and restlessness while boosting mood.
As part of your MEDA meditation, consider forgiving yourself if you have not achieved brilliant fiscal highs during the agonising past months, or not always been the model parent. indeed cast aside the largely useless guilt you might have amassed in putting on a few pounds of weight which will soon fall off when the race of daily life returns to full speed ahead.
A calibrated, MEDA functional drink at a dedicated moment (aside from the tinnitus of a much-broadcasted world which itself needs need to heal) can bring inner peace which ultimately becomes highly coveted outer peace.
Douglas Blyde, Consultant to MEDA
Douglas Blyde writes for the London Evening Standard magazine and Annabel’s Club and is the author of annual restaurant guide, Wine List Confidential for Drinks Business.
Memorable experiences on his journey of tastes have included dining in, then ultimately legitimately escaping from the albeit dry restaurant at high-security prison, HMP Highdown, shooting, being blooded by, then eating grouse for lunch on the Glorious Twelfth of August in the Highlands, malt in hand, as well as odysseys to meet producers in South Africa, Lebanon, Thailand and China.
Douglas hosted the 50 Best Bars awards for William Reed and is a drinks consultant to both aristocrats and business leaders.
He has been realised as a cocktail, the ‘Jekyll & Blyde’ which originated at Fortnum & Mason’s 45 Jermyn Street restaurant and is now served at Fortnum’s 101 in Hong Kong.
It’s a fact: more than 6 million people have used cannabidiols, or CBD, in the UK 1. A compound which is extracted from the hemp plant — CBD is a non-addictive and non-psychoactive substance which is commonly used for therapeutic purposes. Simply put you’re not going to get high off CBD.
Across the pond CBD is considered a superfood but for many people here in the UK there are many question marks about its usage and how it should be administered. Incorporating this naturally occurring compound into your daily life can be a daunting prospect however it’s easier than you think.
Starting your day with CBD
If you love your morning latte but you’re not so keen on the post-caffeine jitters CBD can help with that. Caffeine in coffee can cause irritability, headaches, restlessness, sweating and anxiety. Adding CBD to your coffee can support the body as it comes off its caffeine high. Oh, and it works with tea as well.
For an attention boosting start to the day, try out MEDA Focus which contains liposomal CBD with espresso and rosemary.
Post Workout CBD
After a long day at the desk, hitting the gym or going for a run is a great way to de-stress. While regular exercise is great for our health, it can also cause pain, stiffness and inflammation. Research shows that CBD may inhibit the release of stress hormones, so adding a topical cream can provide soothing relief before or after your workout.
For joint and muscle support, try Medterra’s Rapid Cooling Cream, a combination of CBD infused with menthol and arnica.
Cheers to CBD
There are still question marks as to how CBD and alcohol interact but we know both of these ingredients help us to relax. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could be beneficial, and studies have shown that CBD can protect against alcohol-generated stress in the liver. But take it easy: we do know that the effects of both can be cumulative, so the more alcohol you drink, the stronger the side effects, and the same can be said of CBD dosing.
Sleep and CBD
It’s easy to feel a little stressed and overwhelmed at the end of the day. We’re told to wind down before bed with a routine that includes powering down the lights, the telly and phone. While deep breathing and meditation can help with your shuteye, you could also consider incorporating CBD into your evening routine.
Studies suggest that CBD triggers a better dream (REM) sleep, helping the body to repair and strengthen. It doesn’t depress the body’s central nervous system like sleep tablets or alcohol can, and it can be helpful in managing anxiety. Evidence shows CBD builds up in the system over time, so it may take two to three weeks of daily use for the effects to kick-in.
Sleeping beauties should try MEDA’s Sleep which contains CBD and zzz-promoting herbs such as valerian root extract and chamomile.
1 Centre for Medical Cannibis (CMC)
With sunshine comes spritz a plenty — cocktails on the rocks and a desire for bubbles and fizz! In an ideal world, your favourite cocktails would be low in calories, sugar and never followed by the lethal morning after hangover.
While alcohol is not the healthiest part of any diet, there are ways to enjoy summertime fun without having to forgo your health goals. A few tweaks and smart swaps can make healthy choices easy, delicious, and refreshing.
Here at MEDA, we have some of our favourite summer cocktails to share with you — providing all the cocktail fun without the high doses of sugar and calories.
Sunshine in a Glass
Looking for a refreshing and healthy sparkling CBD beverage? The MEDA Glow is a light and refreshing drink filled with flavours of elderflower and lime, and the MEDA Boost is a blend of cranberry and lime — both pair well with vodka or gin. While the MEDA Recover is an orange and pineapple flavoured drink that pairs well with mezcal or vodka and our MEDA Calm combines lavender and chamomile flavours and pairs well with rum or gin. Alternatively for an alcoholic spritz serve your chosen MEDA with a splash of Chapel Down.
For a refreshing alcohol free spacer try serving your MEDA with added sparkling water over ice. By adding sparkling water you are keeping yourself hydrated, warding off any hangovers or picnic in the park induced heatstroke.
Make a Frozen Medatini
Have you discovered MEDA’s healthed-up take on the Espresso Martini yet? The Espresso Medatini is a blend of premium Vodka, Cold Brewed Coffee, Madagascan Vanilla, Cacao and 10mg CBD. It is delicious! Not only is the choice of using premium ingredients a health win here, the Medatini has 50% less calories and sugar than a standard Espresso Martini!
Want to get even more chilled? Put your Medatini mix in a blender with a cup of ice and blitz until smooth (or leave a little texture if you prefer) or simply pour over ice cubes in a pre-frozen glass.
Tried your hand at a Mojito Mocktail or do you spend your weekend sipping on a gin-less G&T? You are not alone. According to Mintel’s Alcoholic Drinks Review last year, 27% of Britons are now drinking more low and no-alcoholic drinks compared to a few years ago (with an age breakdown of 42% between the ages of 18-24 and 45% between the ages of 25-34).
We asked our resident nutritionist, Clarissa Lenherr, to share her view about this new way of drinking, and whether it is worth jumping on the bandwagon.
What is NO-LO drinking?
NO-LO is the nickname for no alcohol or low alcohol beverages. In the UK, beverages can be labelled low alcohol if they have an ABV below 1.2%. For alcohol-free drinks, the beverage needs to be below 0.05% ABV.
These products can be anything from no alcohol to low alcohol choices such as MEDA’s new NO-LO range of deliciously flavoured drinks / mixers curated with CBD + Nootropics + Adaptogens + Nutrients — that are great tasting AND smart!
What is driving this trend?
One of the big players in this trend is the rise of the wellness movement. Consumers are more aware of the risks of excessive alcohol consumption and people are beginning to prioritise their health and nutrition.
With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, there has been a spotlight on alcohol and its potential negative impact on our immune system and mental health. A survey by Alcohol Change UK showed that more than one in three people in the UK reported stopping drinking alcohol or reducing the frequency of their consumption during the COVID-19 lockdown. This increased awareness and change in habits, is likely to have people shifting their gaze to making smarter drinking choices.
What are the benefits?
Alcohol consumption can influence our energy, mood, sleep, immune system, weight management, cardiovascular and liver health – to name a few. Therefore, anything that helps us reduce alcohol consumption, is likely to have a beneficial impact on our health. The NHS suggests a maximum of 14 units a week, so if you are consuming more than this amount, reaching for a no-low beverage might be the solution for you. Replacing a habit with a habit is often one of the most effective ways of making a change.
Some no-low beverages are paired with other beneficial ingredients. Take MEDA’s NO-LO Recover drink which pairs CBD with Ginger and anti-inflammatory Turmeric, giving you a delicious drink with a side kick of nutrition!
What to look out for?
Some no-low beverages can be filled with artificial sweeteners, caffeine and sugar. Make sure to read your labels and know what you are replacing with. There are no health benefits of picking up a non-alcoholic beverage and replacing it with a glass full of sugar!
A delicious choice would be MEDA’s Espresso Medatini which is 50% lower in sugar and calories than the average espresso martini. Plus the beverage is paired with CBD which can help offset some of the jitters you may get from consuming too much caffeine.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding CBD right now. So much so that one could be led to believe that taking CBD just once will ease all our ails and turn us into some bullet proof, high achieving super human.
That’s a lot of pressure for one little molecule from the humble hemp plant. The truth is, CBD is like any other nutritional supplement that should be consumed on a consistent basis to reap any rewards.
CBD And Hemp
To understand why, it’s important to understand just where CBD comes from and how it interacts with our bodies.
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is abundantly found in hemp. For hundreds of years, hemp was a major crop across Europe, the Americas and Asia. It was prized as a source of durable fibre, with whole navy fleets going to war on sails made from hemp. Its seeds were turned into nutritious oil, which also powered lamps and made soaps. Hemp flowers (where CBD is found) were also used in recipes, such as a rather delicious sounding tortelli found in an Italian cookery book from 1884 — a delightful dish served up to Pope Martin V in which boiled flowers and leaves were added to onion and breadcrumbs, and a 20th century Lithuanian traditional dish called “šnitka” (source European Industrial Hemp Association).
In the spirit of hippocrates’ adage ‘let food be thy medicine,’ many other countries such as Poland, Germany and Ireland used hemp to make healthy tonics and brews for various ailments or as general tonics.
Little did our ancestors know that by eating or drinking hemp, their overall wellbeing was benefiting from regularly consuming cannabinoids such as CBD. Unfortunately, fast forward to the 1930s and this all stopped with the worldwide prohibition of hemp and cannabis. Suddenly it was as if hemp had never existed, until CBD came onto the scene in the last decade.
Hemp, CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Back in the day when our forefathers sipped their hemp tea or munched on a hemp flower ravioli (if we happen to be of Italian origin), they would have been unknowingly feeding their body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Discovered in the 1990s, the endocannabinoid system is a vast network of receptor sites in our brain, central nervous system, immune system, and organs that are activated by cannabis-like chemicals called endocannabinoids. Likened to an internal dimmer switch, endocannabinoids are produced when there is too much or too little cell activity in order to bring about homeostasis, which is another word for balance.
The ECS is involved in all biological activity — sleep, appetite, pain perception, mood, inflammation, reproduction, and memory. And is dynamic in nature.
Special compounds in cannabis and hemp called cannabinoids, which include CBD, interact with our endocannabinoid system, increasing the signalling between the endocannabinoids and their receptors and even boosting the production of the endocannabinoids themselves.
A few hundreds of years ago, we would have been supplementing our ECS by consuming hemp in our diets. These days many people do it by regularly consuming CBD.
But why supplement our ECS in the first place?
Leaving aside whether you’re from a part of the world where hemp was regularly eaten, modern day life with its high stress levels, poor diet, excessive alcohol, and lack of sleep is playing havoc with our endocannabinoid system with an overall tendency to becoming endocannabinoid deficient.
Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency was first described by Dr Ethan Russo (a neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher) who found subnormal endocannabinoid levels in patients with IBS, fibromyalgia, migraines and MS — all conditions where there is some dysregulation in pain perception. It’s likely though that endocannabinoid deficiency could contribute towards everything from depression, anxiety and even autism.
Treat CBD just like any other health supplement
So in the same way that many of us take a vitamin D supplement in the winter months, perhaps we should all consider doing the same thing with CBD to replenish our endocannabinoid system.
To use the vitamin D analogy – if we are are vitamin D deficient we might show symptoms such as low energy, depression, and a greater susceptibility to colds and flus, whereas if we are low in endocannabinoids we may experience unexplained bouts of fatigue, anxiety, and sensitivity to pain. It’s a good idea then to give our ECS a helping hand to do its job by supplementing it on a daily basis with CBD.
Get your daily CBD dose with MEDA
Much is still to be discovered about the endocannabinoid system, in fact to this day, most medical schools don’t include the ECS in their syllabus. Not only that, until recently measuring endocannabinoid levels involved a painful lumbar puncture to get a sample of cerebrospinal fluid, which was doubly difficult as endocannabinoids are only produced on demand and immediately broken down as soon as their work is done.
It’s almost impossible to say whether someone is actually endocannabinoid deficient, or how much CBD we should take a day in order to keep our ECS topped up. However, data suggests that taking between 10-20 mg of CBD daily is sufficient for wellbeing purposes.
We’re biased of course, but we believe including a MEDA CBD drink containing 15mg of Micro-Liposomal Broad Spectrum CBD into your daily wellness routine is the perfect way to support optimum endocannabinoid functioning — giving your body and mind the best chance of enjoying balance, wellbeing, and vitality. Plus you get to enjoy the benefits of all the other nootropics, adaptogens and nutrients in our CBD drink range.
Why not give yourself a pick-me-up and sign for a MEDA subscription so that you can enjoy the benefits of taking CBD consistently. You will get a 10% discount on all MEDA products and be secure in the knowledge that your supply of CBD will always arrive safely at your door.
Staying well and healthy is all about maintaining balance in our lives. Eating right, doing regular exercise, and incorporating relaxation techniques like meditation, all help to keep our eyes bright and tails bushy. But what if we told you our bodies had an innate biological system working constantly to keep us in equilibrium, only most of us, including our doctors, do not know it exists?
It is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and was discovered in the 1990s when scientists were researching how the cannabis plant affects humans. They found a vast network of special receptors (CB1) on cells throughout our brains and central nervous systems which are not only activated by compounds in cannabis, but by chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG). Anandamide itself is a type of neurotransmitter, named after the sanskrit word for bliss, and is thought to play a key role in regulating mood and inflammation.
Soon after, scientists uncovered a second receptor (CB2) in the immune system, digestive tract, and major organs, naming this interplay between endocannabinoids and their receptors, the endocannabinoid system.
While the ECS may be new to the medical world, early examples have been found in sea squirts dating back 6 million years. In fact, every species with a spine boasts an endocannabinoid system. But that still leaves the question: what exactly does the ECS do?
The ECS – Bringing Balance to Our Bodies and Minds
Turns out, our ECS acts like a dimmer switch, increasing or decreasing cell activity within our bodies. It has been termed a homeostatic regulator and is involved in almost every single key biological function. Sleep, appetite, sexual reproduction, mood, memory, our immune system, cell proliferation, pain perception, and motor control are all regulated by our ECS.
We can think of our ECS as a bit like a conductor in an orchestra, ensuring no section is outplaying the other. But sometimes even a conductor can have an off-day, and the same goes for our ECS. In fact, endocannabinoid dysregulation has be found in many types of illness, including neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune conditions, and cancer. And endocannabinoid deficiency may be a contributing factor in conditions where there is an oversensitivity to pain such as IBS, fibromyalgia, and migraines.
So, it is vitally important to do what we can in order to keep our ECS working optimally. How do we go about this?
Supporting The Endocannabinoid System So It Can Support You
Scientists know that there is a direct link between cardiovascular exercise and the production of anandamide. In fact, recent studies go as far as saying that the famous ‘runner’s high’ is more related to anandamide than endorphins. Incorporating plenty of Omega 3 into our diet has also been found to support endocannabinoid brain signalling, while excessive alcohol intake can deplete the ECS.
But what about cannabidiol (CBD) and the ECS?
It is no coincidence that the endocannabinoid system is so widely talked about in CBD circles. While CBD does not directly activate either of the endocannabinoid receptors, it is thought to strengthen the ECS by blocking an enzyme that breaks anandamide down. So in effect, by taking CBD, anandamide gets to hang out in our body for longer doing its mood-boosting and anti-inflammatory work. And we could all do with a little more bliss in our life, right?
Supporting endocannabinoid health is a key motivating factor behind our mission at MEDA. Achieving wellbeing amongst the chaos of our beloved metropolis can only happen when we create balance in every aspect of our lives. MEDA’s bespoke CBD infused products will take you in the right direction, but it should always be accompanied by a nutritious diet, moving our bodies, and looking after our emotional health.