Am I Ok For HRT Blood Tests After Using CBD?
In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that patients on cannabidiol (CBD) experienced an increase in insulin sensitivity. If you’re wondering am I ok for HRT blood tests after using cbd? The results yielded from the study showed no change in levels of sex hormones or estrogen-to-testosterone ratio.
This article will provide you with information about what HRT is and what it involves, as well as providing a list of potential side effects to be aware of before proceeding with a blood test after using CBD products.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) refers to a range of treatments administered to a woman or man by medical doctors in order to replace natural hormones after they go through natural hormonal changes or stop working properly because of the effects of ageing. The treatment options usually consist of either synthetic analogues made by pharmaceutical companies or plant derived alternatives made by herbalists.
The goal of hormone replacement therapy is to restore normal levels of hormones and prevent further deterioration in reduced levels. The medical reasons for deciding to go on HRT are varied and may include:
- To relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, low libido and depression.
- To increase bone density after menopause.
- To prevent the risk of osteoporosis and pelvic organ prolapse after menopause.
- To restore fertility after menopause.
HRT is widely available, relatively inexpensive and does not come with the potential side effects associated with synthetic hormones. However, there are several drawbacks associated with HRT as well. Some of these include:
- The risk of developing thromboembolic diseases by taking synthetic oestrogens. Cardiovascular side effects such as hypertension, thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are other risks to consider. Women above 50 are most at risk.
- HRT can also alter brain chemistry causing mood changes. For some women HRT can cause depression, anxiety, aggression, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations.
- Unnecessary drug interactions and high doses of medication may be necessary to treat side effects. Women on HRT are also more vulnerable to the negative effects of alcohol and illicit drug use. Some of these side effects include weight gain, heart disease, blood clots and strokes.
- HRT has been associated with an increased risk of developing certain types of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
The researchers behind the study were interested in studying whether HRT made from synthetic oestrogen could lead to insulin resistance (a condition where cells do not respond to the action of insulin, a hormone that is produced by the pancreas). Insulin resistance can cause Type II diabetes, which is associated with cardiovascular disease. This can be serious enough to damage other body systems including nerves, blood vessels and eyes.
CBD and HRT
The hormone replacement therapy study was designed to measure how women would respond to a synthetic oestrogen which was produced from the extracts of the cannabis sativa plant. The name for this oil is cannabidiol (CBD), which has become popular as a treatment for several conditions including:
- Fibromyalgia in both men and women. Research shows it can reduce pain and improve sleep.
- Arthritis in both men and women. Research shows it can reduce joint aches and joint stiffness.
- Stress, depression and anxiety. Research shows that CBD oil can improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Acne in teenage boys. Research shows it can reduce acne severity, the amount of acne lesions showing on the skin and increase skin hydration levels.
- The rate of hair loss in men. Research shows it can improve hair health by slowing down the rate of hair loss.
However, the study’s aim was not to investigate these conditions. The researchers wanted to determine if HRT could increase insulin sensitivity even when administered to a group of healthy men and women under the age of 50. How was the study carried out?
The researchers recruited both men and women to take part in the study, which was designed to determine whether synthetic oestrogen could produce changes associated with insulin resistance even in a group of participants who were not at risk of developing Type II diabetes.
The study was conducted in two phases. In phase one, 120 participants were recruited and randomly assigned to receive either the treatment (synthetic oestrogen) or the placebo. Phase two followed and involved another 120 participants who received either the treatment or the placebo again. The researchers collected blood samples at baseline and at weeks 3, 6 and 12 to measure insulin sensitivity levels in the men and women.
The study found that those who took the synthetic oestrogen showed significantly higher insulin sensitivity (a decrease in insulin resistance) compared with those who took the placebo. The result was not significant among women but was found to be significant among men. However, the researchers did note that natural oestrogen did not produce the same results.
The researchers also analysed changes in body fat levels and fat distribution among men and women. They found a difference in how natural oestrogen affected women compared to how synthetic oestrogen affected men. Among women, taking synthetic oestrogen was associated with a reduction in abdominal fat, whereas among men taking synthetic oestrogen was associated with an increase in abdominal fat and a reduction in subcutaneous fat.