Cannabis and endometriosis


For millennia, cannabis has been used in various ways in the health of society. The first records of the use of medical cannabis date back to 2700 BC, and it is described in the Chinese book Pen Tsao, considered the first pharmacopeia in history. In this case, cannabis was included as an herb for joint pain relief, for treating gout, rheumatism, malaria, and others. But with the advancement of research, we know today that the potential of cannabis is much greater.


One of the indications for its use is in gynecology. And it is this specific use that is the focus of this work that I now present. As a natural gynecology therapist, I see the use of cannabis, specifically in women's health and well-being, of great value. Mainly in the treatment of women with endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease characterized by the presence of the endometrium outside the uterine cavity. And this causes many people who suffer from endometriosis to have pain, especially during their menstruation, and end up taking hormones, such as contraceptives, to inhibit their natural cycle, thus reducing the discomfort caused by the disease.


The main symptoms of endometriosis are pain and discomfort caused by inflammation of the mucosa. Some women also report pain during intercourse, bowel, and urinary problems, and some suffer from neuropathies, particularly in the extremities of the body, such as weakness, numbness, and pain caused by nerve damage. The symptoms will vary according to the location of the concentration of the cells.


The pain of endometriosis can be so great that it impacts different aspects of a woman's life. Many end up undergoing hysterectomies too young to get rid of the constant pain. Often pain medication fails to have the desired effect, and other treatments are taken into consideration – such as the use of hormones, for example – in order to inhibit the body's cyclicity and prevent menstruation. This approach mainly helps women who, because of endometriosis, have very heavy flows during menstruation.


Natural gynecology is a branch that looks at women's health and well-being from a holistic perspective, that is, women are not just a symptom. Life, habits, experiences, everything that happens in her life is an integral part of the process. Natural gynecology also seeks to look at symptoms and their relief through the use of herbs. What is often called ancestral rescue, since our ancestors treated themselves only with herbs. Natural gynecology practices do not only include the use of herbs, but also simple practices such as foot soak, hot water bottle, baths, vaporizations, etc. Often just including these habits during the menstrual cycle, people who menstruate already observe changes in symptoms such as cramps, for example.


More recently, women who menstruate and have cramps during their cycle choose, instead of taking allopathic medicines, to use tampons made with CBD. But in the case of endometriosis, it is very important that we look more deeply into the elaboration of a protocol that not only treats the pain that endometriosis causes, but also seeks solutions for the non-propagation of endometrial cells. For this reason, the use of medical cannabis is an option not only for pain relief, which is the only reason people with endometriosis take hormones, but also for controlling, decreasing, and possibly curing the disease.


Cannabis sativa is a plant in the Cannabaceae family, which can have three different types: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. They are made up of several chemical compounds, including cannabinoids. The human organism also produces cannabinoids, called, in the case of mammals – because it is not a human peculiarity –, endocannabinoids or endogenous cannabinoids, and they help to balance the body's functions. Therefore, when we consume such plants that have phytocannabinoids, their encounter with our endocannabinoid system makes the use of cannabis therapy. And as phytocannabinoid substances are of immense variety, so is the variety of pathologies for which cannabis can be effective as well.


Endometriosis is a disease that is not yet known exactly why it occurs. Scientists point out that it is likely to be a multifactorial disease encompassing genetic issues, immune abnormalities, and endometrial dysfunction. In recent years it has been found that people with endometriosis had a drop in the receptors of the endocannabinoid system which, as we saw earlier, is responsible for balancing the body so that it keeps its functions operating correctly.


According to the article “The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management”, published by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the uterus has a high density of cannabinoid receptors, including in the endometrium, that is, the treatment of endometriosis based on cannabis is very promising. . Another article, this one published in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology highlights research that found that endocannabinoids also regulate endometrial plasticity, modulating the migration and proliferation of endometrial cells. That is, the next connection between the endocannabinoid system and the female reproductive system is undeniable.


CBD has the ability to prevent the growth and migration of cells that cause inflammation, as it blocks the activation of the GPR18 receptor, which is responsible for the displacement of damaged cells. Like endometrial cells, cancer cells also multiply in the same way, and there is evidence that cannabinoids also have the potential to stop such cells from proliferating.


In a research carried out with mice published in The American Journal of Pathology, the use of THC, in this case, helped with pain sensitivity in the region. However, it had no effect on pain in any other area of the body, thus noting that the use of THC is quite effective in controlling pain caused by endometriosis.


In conclusion, the use of cannabinoids has the power to increase people's quality of life, especially those who suffer from chronic pain and diseases that apparently have no cure. It is urgent that more people have access not only to this knowledge but also to treatment. And that the use of cannabis is seen simply for what it is: a natural method of treatment for various diseases that has little contraindication and that adverse reactions are quickly controlled with the reduction of the dosage ingested by the patient.

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