Can CBD Help With Hot Flashes?

  • Studies show that CBD has anti-anxiety properties that may help reduce hot flashes[1].
  • CBD has been found to affect serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer in humans[2].
  • A 2018 study found that CBD significantly reduced anxiety, depression, and stress[3].
  • Still, no substantial evidence indicates that CBD is useful for all menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes.

Why People Are Turning to CBD for Hot Flashes

A hot flash is reported as feelings of warmth in the upper body, such as the face, neck, and chest. It includes sweating, flushing, rapid heartbeat, and chills[4].

Hot flashes are also the most common symptom of menopause. It is the time when a woman’s menstrual period becomes irregular and eventually stops.

A study reported that up to 85% of menopausal women experience hot flashes[5]. Women may feel mild to intense hot flashes as often as several times a day.

It is not exactly clear what causes hot flashes. However, most research suggests that hot flashes occur when decreased estrogen levels cause the body’s thermostat to become more sensitive to slight changes in its temperature[6].

When the hypothalamus thinks the body is too warm, it starts a chain of events, such as a hot flash, to cool it down.

Some people turn to natural or alternative remedies to treat their hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. One of the options is the CBD oil.

CBD oil (cannabidiol) is a chemical compound derived from cannabis plants. It is touted as a natural, organic remedy for a wide range of health concerns.

Multiple studies suggest that CBD helps relieve symptoms relating to menopause.

According to a 2010 study, CBD has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties that may reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. It is found to affect serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer in humans[7].

A 2016 case study also showed that CBD oil reduced sleep disturbances and anxiety in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)[8].

In addition, researchers reported that CBD might play a role in bone density loss by interacting with a cannabinoid receptor[9]. Therefore, it was concluded that CBD might be able to reduce the rate of bone density loss that can occur during menopause.

Although CBD oil may be helpful for some of these symptoms, no evidence indicates that CBD is likely to be effective for all menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes.

How CBD Oil Works for Hot Flashes

CBD works on the body by interacting with cannabinoid receptors to help with various symptoms of menopause.

The body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) with two receptors, the CB1 and CB2. These cannabinoid receptors have a specific function in different parts of the body.

According to research, the ECS impacts female reproductive tissues and processes. This system plays an essential role in mood and temperature regulation, pain, sleep, memory, immune function, fertility, and reproduction[10].

A study reported that CBD affects serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain[11]. Since hot flashes have a neurochemical basis, CBD shows the potential to relieve these menopause symptoms.

CBD may also help with hot flashes by targeting one of their biggest triggers: anxiety. A 2018 study found that CBD significantly reduced anxiety, depression, and stress[12].

However, despite its promising benefits, there are limited studies on CBD and its impact on hormones and menopause. Similarly, CBD has not shown to increase estrogen, a hormone that reduces hot flashes[13].

Due to a lack of laboratory tests conducted, CBD’s safety and efficacy as a treatment for hot flashes have not been proven. According to research, the most recommended and effective treatment for hot flashes is hormone therapy[14].

The Pros and Cons of CBD for Hot Flashes

Pros Cons
CBD helps reduce symptoms related to menopause. There is no evidence to prove that CBD is safe and effective for hot flashes.
Studies suggest that CBD has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties[15]. CBD oil is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms.
Researchers have found that CBD was able to reduce sleep disorders[16]. CBD may cause side effects, including fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, drowsiness, and changes in appetite[18].
CBD may reduce the rate of bone density loss that can occur during menopause[17]. CBD may interact with certain drugs or supplements[19].

Conclusion

Many people have touted CBD oil as a natural remedy for a wide range of health conditions. It is believed to help reduce symptoms related to menopause, such as hot flashes.

Research showed that CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors and affects serotonin. It works to relieve different symptoms, including pain, stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

However, there is no scientific evidence that supports CBD’s efficacy and safety for hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms. Instead, hormone therapy is the most recommended treatment to reduce hot flashes.


  1. Zanelati, T. V., et al. (2010). Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: Possible involvement of 5-HT1A receptors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2823358/
  2. Cowen, P. J., & Browning, M. (2015). What has serotonin to do with depression?. World Psychiatry, 14(2), 158. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc4471964/
  3. Carpenter, J. S., Yu, M., Wu, J., Von Ah, D., Milata, J., Otte, J. L., … & Desta, Z. (2009). Evaluating the role of serotonin in hot flashes after breast cancer using acute tryptophan depletion. Menopause (New York, NY), 16(4), 644. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2714664/
  4. Freedman, R. R. (2014). Menopausal hot flashes: mechanisms, endocrinology, treatment. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, 142, 115-120. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc4612529/ 
  5. Santoro, N., Epperson, C. N., & Mathews, S. B. (2015). Menopausal symptoms and their management. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics, 44(3), 497-515. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890704/#R7 
  6. Erlik, Y., Meldrum, D. R., & Judd, H. L. (1982). Estrogen levels in postmenopausal women with hot flashes. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 59(4), 403-407. 
  7. Ibid. 
  8. Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of post-traumatic stress disorder: A case report.
  9. McHugh, D., et al. (2008). Inhibition of human neutrophil chemotaxis by endogenous cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids: Evidence for a site distinct from CB1 and CB2.
  10. O’Llenecia, S. W., Holloway, A. C., & Raha, S. (2019). The role of the endocannabinoid system in female reproductive tissues. Journal of ovarian research, 12(1), 1-10.
  11. Ibid. 
  12. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series. The Permanente Journal, 23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc6326553/
  13. Ruh, M. F., Taylor, J. A., Howlett, A. C., & Welshons, W. V. (1997). Failure of cannabinoid compounds to stimulate estrogen receptors. Biochemical pharmacology, 53(1), 35-41.
  14.  NIA.NIH.gov. National Institute on Aging. (2020). Hot Flashes: What Can I Do? https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hot-flashes-what-can-i-do 
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Machado Bergamaschi, M., Helena Costa Queiroz, R., Waldo Zuardi, A., & Crippa, A. S. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current drug safety, 6(4), 237-249.
  19. Brown, J. D., & Winterstein, A. G. (2019). Potential adverse drug events and drug–drug interactions with medical and consumer cannabidiol (CBD) use. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(7), 989.
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