The hormones in your body facilitate several different functions throughout your body. But for various reasons, your hormones can become imbalanced – with either too much of one hormone or not enough of another – and your health can be severely affected.
In today’s blog, we’re going to cover the function of your hormones in more detail, specific ways they can get imbalanced, and how CBD may be the answer to homeostasis amongst your hormones.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals that are natural to your body. They’re released into the bloodstream by glands, where they send out messages to your organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues. Essential to life and proper health, hormone signals tell your body what to do and when to do it.
So far, scientists have discovered 50 hormones within the human body. These hormones, along with the glands which create them, make up your endocrine system.
Together, these hormones control many bodily functions, including:
- An internal balance among several systems, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, water, electrolytes, and body temperature.
- Growth and development,
- Sexual function.
- The sleep-wake cycle.
As you can already imagine, when hormones become imbalanced – meaning there’s too much or too little of one or more hormones – your health, mental well-being, and more can be greatly affected.
Signs of imbalanced hormones
Due to the fact that your body is producing and using at least 50 different hormones – all of them contributing to their own bodily functions – there could be a wide range of symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, as it depends on which hormones are being affected.
If you’re a woman experiencing imbalanced hormones, your symptoms may include:
- Mood swings.
- Constipation or diarrhea.
- Irregular menstrual cycle.
- Pain in the abdomen or the back during menstruation.
- Low sex drive.
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
- Brittle bones.
- Excessive hair growth on the face.
- Rashes on the skin.
CBD, the endocrine system, and the ECS
Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound of the hemp plant, has shown a lot of promise when it comes to helping regulate hormones within the body.
This is because CBD has a significant impact on the endocrine system, including a wide range of important glands. 
Much of this is the result of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a network of chemicals (endocannabinoids) and receptors within your body, much like the endocrine system – and how it interacts with hormones and hormonal receptors. 
The ECS is where cannabis compounds like CBD interact with your body. CBD mimics the natural cannabinoids that your body produces, though research shows CBD is much more versatile and can even increase the effectiveness and longevity of your naturally-made cannabinoids. [3, 4]
Closely related to the endocrine system, the ECS helps regulate hormonal signals and levels.
Let’s now take a look at some specific hormonal imbalances, how they can affect you, then how CBD may help.
Estrogen, estrogen dominance, and the thyroid
For women, estrogen is produced in the ovaries, as well as adrenal glands and fat cells. An important hormone for women, estrogen determines susceptibility to breast cancer and other diseases while influencing development and fertility and impacting mood and energy.
PMS and menopause symptoms are typically caused by estrogen levels, causing anxiety and depression by changing serotonin levels.
Women may also be susceptible to something called “estrogen dominance”. This is an estrogen imbalance, where there’s either too much estrogen in your body or too little of another hormone called progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone regulate one another, meaning if your progesterone levels are too low, then you will be “estrogen dominant”, even if your estrogen levels are within normal ranges.
To even further demonstrate how your hormones are all linked and how intertwined your endocrine system is, this can affect your thyroid.
Thyroid is a hormone that regulates metabolism, energy levels, and sensitivity to other hormones – including estrogen and progesterone.
If your thyroid gland is underactive and your body isn’t producing enough thyroid, this is known as hypothyroidism. However, if you have estrogen dominance, this can block the production and uptake of thyroid hormones, causing symptoms of hypothyroidism, even if that’s not the actual issue. This often leads to misdiagnosis and the actual issue never getting resolved.
Thankfully, CBD may be able to help better regulate this hormonal imbalance. Research has found that CBD can lower estrogen levels back to normal levels through several pathways. [5, 6]
But what if the estrogen dominance is caused by low progesterone? Well, research is still new, but due to the way CBD works with the ECS, which is closely related to the endocrine system, it’s believed that the compound may be able to help realign the levels of estrogen and progesterone when they become unsynced. A 2022 study looked at CBD as a treatment option for seizures caused by imbalanced estrogen and progesterone levels. Researchers found CBD to be an effective treatment as it rebalanced these two hormones. 
It’s a misconception that only men have testosterone. The truth is, women have testosterone too, and it’s important for their health as well!
In women, a drop in testosterone can lead to low sex drive, fatigue, mood changes, muscle weakness, weight gain, and even fertility issues.
One way that testosterone levels can lower quicker than usual is by being broken down sooner than they need to be, a process carried out by enzymes in the liver. Research has indicated that CBD may be able to reduce the enzymes that break testosterone down, allowing for more stable levels. 
Also known as the “stress hormone”, cortisol is what’s released when you experience stress. While some cortisol is a good thing, as it helps your body respond to stress, too much can lead to anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, and other mental and physical symptoms.
See, the body doesn’t always know the difference between a real threat and a fake one. While cortisol may have been released by our ancestors to enable their fight or flight response when encountering a predator, you may be experiencing it when getting stuck in traffic. Then when looking at your bills. Then when listening to a coworker complain about their in-laws. It’s simply too much cortisol, and it takes a toll on the body.
Thankfully, CBD is privy to the fact that we don’t need so much cortisol being released due to day-to-day stressors. Research has found that CBD can significantly reduce cortisol levels by interfering with how much cortisol the adrenal glands secrete. 
Melatonin helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. It’s released by the hypothalamus in the late evening to make you feel sleepy and alert your body that it’s time to rest.
Though there hasn’t been sufficient research on CBD’s impact on melatonin levels, many people report improved sleep with CBD use (you can take a look at our reviews for examples of these). With the way CBD interacts with receptors in the hypothalamus, it makes sense that there would be a connection between CBD use and better sleep.
Produced in the pancreas, insulin responds to blood glucose levels. When overproduced, the body struggles to balance blood sugar levels. This imbalance can lead to weight gain and even type 2 diabetes.
Research shows that the ECS plays an important role in how the body responds to insulin, regulating it as needed. As a result, CBD use has shown promise in reducing insulin resistance and managing blood sugar levels. [10, 11, 12]
Finding your balance
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned throughout this blog post, it’s critical that you consider your hormones and the health of your endocrine system.
As mentioned earlier, the ECS works closely with the endocrine system, and CBD intake has only been shown to bolster the efficiency of both these systems.
Your body literally has receptors made for CBD.
When you give your body CBD, you give it something it naturally craves, helping to bring calm (homeostasis) to the systems of your body.
SomaLeaf’s CBD Turmeric RELIEF can provide you with a highly absorbable dose of CBD derived from organic hemp every day.
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