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Pure Craft CBD offers CBD Oil 1000mg & 2000mg flavored CBD tinctures, CBD Gummy Bears, CBD Oil for Dogs and more! Discover Pure Craft CBD PURE CRAFT BLOG A look into the potential effects of cannabis on women’s hormones and what it could mean for those who suffer from hormonal imbalances. This is the most frequently asked question I’ve been hit with lately, and I think its a really juicy one because it highlights the potency that CBD can act within the body.

This Is Your Hormones On CBD: Cannabidiol & The Endocrine System

From growth spurts and acne to menopause and mood swings, hormones are behind so much of what we experience as humans.

The endocrine system is the hub of all hormone functions. Another system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is closely linked to it. Both systems are essential in keeping the body in a state of homeostasis (a state of balance).

The ECS is where cannabis compounds known as cannabinoids interact with the body.

Which begs the question: How does the cannabinoid CBD affect hormones?

To get to the bottom of it, we’re exploring:

  • The endocrine system and how it links to the endocannabinoid system
  • How CBD comes into play with both of these systems
  • How CBD might be able to help balance certain hormones

Meet Your Endocrine System

First, let’s make sure we’re clear on what the endocrine system does so we can understand where the ECS ties in.

The role of the endocrine system is to send messages in the form of hormones throughout the body. This helps regulate a broad range of organs and responses.

The endocrine system sends hormonal signals from one part of the body to another. Let’s take a look at the organs it’s composed of and what each of them does.

Endocrine System Organs & Functions

Endocrine organs secrete hormones, which makes them glands. Each endocrine gland has an assignment, secreting and sending hormones to a specific location where they do their job to keep the body healthy.

There are nine main endocrine glands:

  • Pineal body. In the middle of the brain, the pineal body produces melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
  • Hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is at the base of the brain. It secretes hormones that tell the pineal gland how much hormone to produce, which plays a key role in growth and development. It also controls essential functions like sleep, temperature, and blood pressure. It’s basically the master switchboard of the endocrine system.
  • Pituitary gland. Just south of the hypothalamus is the pituitary gland, which produces hormones that control growth and reproduction.
  • Thyroid. The thyroid gland creates metabolism-regulating hormones.
  • Parathyroid. The parathyroid gland keeps calcium levels stable.
  • Thymus. The thymus lives in the upper region of the chest. Up until puberty, it aids the body in building up T cells for immune health.
  • Adrenal. Housed on top of the kidneys, adrenal glands secrete hormones that govern blood pressure, stress, and metabolism.
  • Pancreas. The pancreas produces and secretes insulin, which is crucial for blood sugar balance.
  • Reproductive. One’s sex determines this endocrine gland. Ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, and testes produce testosterone.

As you can see, endocrine glands have some big responsibilities. We rely on the endocrine system to:

  • Sleep
  • Get hungry
  • Develop an immune response
  • Metabolize food
  • Balance blood sugar
  • Menstruate or develop sperm
  • Keep stress response in check
  • Motivate sex drive
  • And more!

When a part of the endocrine system isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to a hormone imbalance. This can cause complications — such as thyroid disease, Cushing syndrome, diabetes, sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction, and other health challenges.

Hormone imbalance may also lead to complications during puberty, menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy.

The Endocannabinoid & Endocrine Systems Connection

The endocrine system does a lot to keep a body in balance. But what keeps the endocrine system in check?

That would be the endocannabinoid system, also known as the ECS.

Made up of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids, the ECS is a network with far-reaching influence in the body.

  • Endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters that interact with receptors.
  • Receptors recognize your body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, as well as cannabinoids from cannabis. Once the cannabinoid or endocannabinoid is engaged, the receptor modifies how other body systems respond.
  • Enzymes break down endocannabinoids (and cannabinoids) once they’ve done their job. In some cases, enzymes might actually protect cannabinoids and endocannabinoids, keeping them in your system for longer.(1)

There are two main endocannabinoid receptors:

  • CB1 receptors have a home in the brain, including the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
  • CB2 receptors mostly live in the immune system.

One function of the ECS is to intercept neurological signals and control how those signals are transmitted. The research available right now suggests that CB1 receptors in the brain guide activity in the brain, directing a broad stroke of functions including:(2)

  • Stress response
  • Appetite
  • Food intake
  • Sexual behavior
  • Energy levels
  • Metabolic function

Like any system, the ECS can become unbalanced and cause health issues — this is called endocannabinoid deficiency disorder.(3) Research suggests that cannabinoids could aid in the stabilization of a flagging ECS.(4)

Scientists keep digging deeper into the ECS and its relationship with the endocrine and other systems. The ECS was discovered through cannabis research, and cannabinoids continue to be a topic of focus in the ECS research space.

Which brings us to the next piece of this puzzle: CBD….

How CBD Affects Hormones

As we learned above, when cannabinoids — like our friend CBD — come into the ECS picture, they mimic your natural endocannabinoids and mingle with receptors.

The receptors then decide what to do with their new clingy pals and what to tell the rest of the body about the cannabinoids. At the same time, the receptors are also sending word to the endocrine system. Here’s how this connection might affect these major hormones:

  • Cortisol
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Insulin
  • Melatonin

CBD & Cortisol

You might know cortisol by another name: the stress hormone.

Cortisol is indeed at the wheel of your stress response. Some cortisol here and there is a good thing — it helps your body respond to threats. But excess cortisol can result in anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, and other mental and physical symptoms.

CBD has been found to significantly reduce cortisol levels, likely by interfering with how much cortisol the adrenal glands secrete.(5)

CBD & Estrogens

A common misconception is that only women have estrogen. Not true!

Estrogen is produced in reproductive organs (ovaries or testicles) as well as adrenal glands and fat cells, which take orders from the pituitary gland. Estrogen determines susceptibility to breast cancer and other diseases while influencing sexual development and fertility and impacting mood and energy.

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Estrogen levels are often behind symptoms of PMS and menopause, causing anxiety and depression by changing serotonin levels.

Because estrogen has a big scope of function in the body, there’s still a lot to learn about how CBD could change them. It could lower estrogen through several pathways, directly and indirectly.(6,7) This could explain why many women feel benefits when they use CBD oil for mood swings and other PMS symptoms.

CBD & Testosterone

Just as estrogen isn’t solely a female hormone, testosterone is present in all sexes.

Low testosterone can cause low sex drive, depression, fatigue, mood changes, muscle weakness, and weight gain. In women, low testosterone could lead to fertility issues. In men, it can cause erectile dysfunction.

The hypothalamus sends a message to the reproductive organs to produce testosterone. When the hormone runs its course, it gets broken down in the liver. Initial research hints that CBD might reduce certain liver enzymes that break it down, which could be helpful if testosterone levels are low.(8)

CBD & Insulin

Insulin is produced by the pancreas, which responds to blood glucose levels.

When insulin is overproduced, the body has a hard time keeping blood sugar levels steady and maintaining a healthy weight, leading to diabetes and obesity.

So far, CBD shows promise for stabilizing insulin levels and blood sugar and aiding weight loss.(9,10)

CBD & Melatonin

Melatonin helps you feel sleepy when the hypothalamus says it’s time for some shuteye.

Although melatonin levels haven’t been measured alongside CBD usage in a research setting, better sleep is a commonly reported benefit of CBD oil. (Skim through our Reviews and you’ll see testimony of this!) With CBD interacting with CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus, it makes sense there would be a connection between CBD usage and better sleep.

If you struggle to feel sleepy at night, you might consider CBD oil with melatonin. It could be the helping hand your sleep hormone needs.

CBD & The Endocrine System: The Bottom Line

The endocrine system is made up of glands that circulate hormones throughout the body.

The ECS and the endocrine system are closely linked, and the ECS is the gatekeeper between CBD and the endocrine system. Through the ECS, CBD has an avenue to change hormone function, which could be useful for hormone imbalance therapies and overall wellness.

While research continues to delve into CBD’s therapeutic potential, CBD oil is a natural option for those looking for holistic hormone solutions.

Cannabis for Women: Does CBD Increase Estrogen?

May 9-15 is Women’s Health Week and the perfect time to discuss how cannabis can affect our bodies as women. While many focus on cannabinoids’ potential to help with pain, stomach distress, or a poor mood, some cannabinoids may assist with hormonal balance. We know that cannabis can impact our hormones, so does CBD increase estrogen levels?

Why is Estrogen Important to Women’s Health?

Estrogen is essential for a woman’s overall health and wellbeing. It helps regulate many body processes:

Regulate the menstrual cycle

Promote bone health

Protect against heart disease

Maintain healthy skin and hair

As we age, our estrogen levels naturally decline, which can cause menopause and many associated symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and mood swings.

Does CBD Increase Estrogen Levels?

That’s a complex question. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) may play a role in hormonal balance, but research is still in its early stages. A study on male rats found CBD might decrease testosterone levels, but we need more research to say for sure how it affects female humans.

Studies show that the ECS plays a critical role in female reproductive health. Research demonstrates endogenous cannabinoids inhibit ovulation in female rats. The ECS may also be involved in menstrual cycle regulation by interacting with the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries.

This isn’t enough information to make a definitive answer.

We have to leave CBD and estrogen as an open topic until we have more results.

CBD and ECS Balance

While we don’t know as much as we should about CBD, estrogen, and women’s health, there’s much more research and information from the scientific community about CBD and its ability to support endocannabinoid function. The ECS is vital to our health, and while there are many ways to encourage a healthy ECS, cannabinoids like CBD can help keep it in balance.

The benefits of CBD also help maintain symmetry within the body. Many people use CBD for a range of wellness needs, including:

CBD for Anxiousness

Anxiety and stress aren’t beneficial for your hormone levels. They can increase the production of cortisol, which can disrupt your menstrual cycle and make menopause more uncomfortable.

CBD may assist with relaxation and help to keep anxiety at bay. By keeping stress levels low, you may also be able to encourage a more regular menstrual cycle.

CBD for Sleep

Sleep is the best way to support your body and encourage hormonal balance. Our bodies produce growth hormones during sleep, essential for tissue repair, bone health, and regulating metabolism.

CBD may help you get a better night’s sleep by interacting with the ECS to promote relaxation. A good night’s rest can also improve your stress levels and help control weight.

CBD for Inflammation

Our research shows chronic inflammation may increase the risk of endometriosis, PCOS, and ovarian cancer. It can also worsen menopause symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats. CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects may help to ease pain and reduce swelling.

CBD for Skin Health

The skin is our largest organ, and it’s also full of cannabinoid receptors. When your hormones are out of balance, your skin may suffer. CBD’s potential to encourage cell regeneration and reduce inflammation may help improve the look and feel of your skin.

CBD may help to improve skin health by reducing inflammation and keeping the ECS in balance. A healthy ECS can promote cell growth and keep your skin looking its best.

CBD For Hair Health

A healthy scalp is vital for hair growth. CBD is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the hair from damage. It may also help to reduce inflammation and keep the scalp healthy.

CBD may help to improve hair health by reducing inflammation, keeping the scalp healthy, and encouraging cell growth.

CBD for Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. A healthy ECS can reduce the risk of heart disease and support heart health. CBD may help protect the heart by reducing inflammation and keeping the ECS in balance.

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CBD for Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a common problem for post-menopausal women. CBD may help to reduce inflammation and encourage bone growth. A healthy ECS may support bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Overall, strong bones are essential for a healthy body.

CBD to Manage Weight

CBD may help manage weight by reducing inflammation and keeping the ECS in balance. A healthy ECS can encourage cell growth and regulate metabolism. As the body loses estrogen, weight management becomes more difficult. CBD may help offset this weight gain by supporting a healthy ECS.

CBD for Gut Health

A healthy gut is vital for a healthy ECS. A healthy gut can reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems and support gut health. CBD may help to reduce inflammation and keep the gut healthy.

CBD for Overall Wellness

CBD may help support overall wellness by reducing inflammation and keeping the endocannabinoid system in balance. A healthy endocannabinoid system can encourage cell growth and support the body’s natural ability to heal.

CBD may encourage hormonal balance through a healthy body by supporting the ECS.

Final Thoughts on Cannabis, CBD, and Estrogen

We need more research to say for sure how cannabis affects female hormones. We know that the endocannabinoid system regulates the menstrual cycle and ovulation. CBD may also help to reduce anxiety and inflammation and promote skin health.

If you’re considering using CBD, or any cannabis product, talk to your doctor first. They can help you understand how it might interact with any medications you’re taking and offer guidance on the best dosage for your needs.

Pantry Food Co. edibles are an excellent way to add CBD to your daily routine. Our cannabis bites are available in various flavors and make a wonderful mid-day or evening treat as part of your wellness plan. Check out our list of CBD edibles today!

Does CBD Affect Hormones (and is it good or bad)?

This is the most frequently asked question I’ve been hit with lately, and I think its a really juicy one because it highlights the potency that CBD can act within the body.

Q. Does CBD affect hormones?

Hormones are special types of chemical messenger that enable one part of the body to ‘talk’ to another, so the body is constantly operating in synchronous harmony.

Collectively, the hormones and the glands they are released from are known as the endocrine system.

Glands are found throughout the body. Certain glands release specific hormones into the bloodstream so that they can travel to other organs and glands to control their function. This forms a communication network which is giving and receiving constant feedback to maintain optimal bodily function.

Some of the major roles of hormones are:

  • Fertility
  • Sex drive
  • Appetite
  • Metabolism
  • Mood
  • Energy

Levels of hormones naturally fluctuate depending on whether it’s day or night, and what stage of life a person has reached, eg adolescence, pregnancy or menopause.

Hormones can also become imbalanced throughout any stage of life. These imbalances can be part of the driving force behind chronic illnesses. One of the major challenges we face today is the impact of environmental toxicity on our hormones – plastics, industrial chemicals and pesticides all mess with the endocrine system.

Aside from reducing our exposure to toxicity, we can look for ways to support healthy hormones through the foods, herbs and exercise we engage with.

Major Hormones

  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen
  • Growth Hormone
  • Insulin
  • Cortisol

How does CBD affect hormones?

There are three main ways that CBD can change how hormones work in the body.


Cannabinoid receptors are found on major glands throughout the body. When these receptors are activated by our bodies endocannabinoids, this can alter the secretion of hormones, and change their impact on target organs.

Since CBD can also (indirectly) interact with cannabinoid receptors, it has the power to alter the synthesis and secretion of hormones as well.

Most changes in hormone synthesis and secretion start in the hypothalamus, when cannabinoid receptor 1 is activated. This starts a series of hormonal messages that trickle down to other glands, which then secrete their own hormones in response.

Cannabinoid receptor 1 is also found on most other glands and organs, so can control hormonal balance directly as well.


Cannabinoids like CBD can influence the ‘volume’ of message received at a target organ from a hormone. The sensitivity of a cell receptor for a certain hormone can either be increased or decreased by cannabinoids – increasing or decreasing the volume / strength of the message.


Hormones need to be cleared and disposed of after they have done their jobs, so continual balance can be maintained in the body. Cannabinoids like CBD can alter the speed of enzymes that break hormones down.

Thyroid Hormones

Although there’s no studies looking directly at CBD on thyroid hormones, there have been some which have looked at the effect of endocannabinoids on them.

Since CBD affects endocannabinoids, we can only speculate as to the effects.

Thyroid hormones TSH, T4 and T3 are all designed to rev up cellular metabolism, helping us mobilise energy to use it.

Endocannabinoids on the other hand encourage the sparing and storage of energy, in part by reducing thyroid hormones (1) .

Blocking endocannabinoids increases TSH, T4 and T3, which may help raise thyroid function (2) .

The effect of CBD could theoretically go both ways, since it can both dampen and stimulate endocannabinoids. Whether CBD may increase or decrease thyroid hormones might depend on someone being hypothyroid, hyperthyroid or having a normal thyroid.

Anandamide was found to suppress TSH only in hypothyroid and normal thyroid conditions (high TSH), and not in hyperthyroid conditions (low TSH) (2) .

This is potential evidence of an adaptogenic effect of (endo)cannabinoids, helping to balance individuals to their own needs. CBD may help endocannabinoids support individual balance.


Testosterone is an important hormone involved mainly in reproduction and sex drive, but also has other roles in regulating mood and energy.

Its mainly synthesised in the testes and ovaries, and is made in repose to hormonal signals from the hypothalamus (LH and FSH).

CBD has been shown to effect LH and FSH levels in monkeys, albeit at doses much higher than we would realistically use. After 90 days, LH and FSH were increased, but no changes were seen in testosterone, except a decrease at the highest dose (3) .

In rats and mice, higher doses (higher than most of us would take) reduced testosterone after 10 – 34 days (4) .

CBD has been suggested to reduce testosterone production by inhibiting the enzyme 17α‐hydroxylase, which makes Testosterone in leydig cells of the testes (4) .

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However, CBD also inhibits specific cytochrome p450 enzymes in the liver which break testosterone down (4) .

So theoretically, reducing the breakdown of testosterone may offset reductions in synthesis. But thats just speculation at this point. Also, these studies show a decrease in testosterone at high doses used mid term.

We need to see trials in humans before we can say anything concrete. But for men who want to take a cautious approach:

  • Use moderate doses (5 – 100mg/day)
  • Cyclical use: take a break every few months to washout accumulated CBD – sweating through sauna and exercise.
  • Exercise regularly to promote natural testosterone production whilst using CBD.

Estradiol E 2 ( Estrogen)

Estrogen levels are important because they influence sexual development, fertility, and susceptibility to female diseases such as breast cancer.

Estrogen is made in the ovaries, in repose to hormones LH and FSH released from the pituitary gland. Its levels in the body are also controlled by enzymes that make it and break it down.

Studies using CBD in cells found that it suppresses estrogen production directly, by inhibiting an enzyme that makes it from testosterone, called aromatase (5) .

Aromatase inhibitors are used to reduce estrogen levels in cases of breast cancer and post menopause (6) .

CBD also encourages the breakdown of estrogen by speeding up cytochrome p450 enzymes that break it down (7) .

Theoretically, this points to an anti-estrogenic effect of CBD, lowering levels of estrogen. But this has not been shown in animal or human research so far.

Moderate to high doses of CBD were not associated with changes in LH, FSH and estrogen after 90 days in female monkeys (3) .

More research is needed before any conclusions can be made on how CBD affects estrogen.

Growth Hormone

Growth hormone (GH), as the name suggests, signals for the reproduction and regeneration of cells, stimulating growth and development in the body.

A few benefits of increased growth hormone output are:

  • Strong bones
  • Increased muscle mass
  • More energy
  • Enhanced ability to burn fat
  • Improved exercise capacity

A single dose of CBD had no effect on Growth Hormone levels in 11 healthy volunteers (8) .

However other cannabinoids like THC, especially when used long term have been shown to reduce GH. THC reduced GH secretion from the pituitary gland via cannabinoid receptor 1 (9) , and reduced circulating GH levels in adults (10) .

Since CBD also interacts with CB1, long term use could affect GH levels. We need more studies to assess whether there’s a positive or negative effect of CBD on GH levels.


Insulin is a major hormone involved in the use and storage of energy. It has a great impact on body weight and energy levels, via regulating metabolism.

We need insulin to tell our cells when to take in sugar from the bloodstream. Healthy insulin levels mean we use sugar effectively in our muscles and liver, and don’t store too much in fat tissue.

Too much insulin is a driving force of weight gain and diabetes, and its often raised in repose to high sugar consumption.

In diabetic rats, CBD has been shown to reduce excessively high levels of insulin, whilst maintaining blood sugar levels (11) . This means CBD may help sensitise muscles and liver cells to take up sugar more efficiently, helping to maintain stable blood sugar.

CBD also reduces body weight gain in rats (12) . By reducing insulin, CBD may discourage fat cells from storing excessive sugar, which could reduce weight gain.

Unfortunately the only study in humans looking at insulin levels with CBD used a low dose, which did not affect insulin levels in the diabetic patients. However, CBD did increase the levels of another hormone gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) which controls the release on insulin, hinting at a possible effect on insulin with higher doses (13) .


Cortisol’s major role is as a stress hormone, and tells the rest of body that a stressful event is happening. Its produced in the adrenals, in response to sensory inputs to the hypothalamus from our experience of the world around us.

Short term spikes in cortisol are beneficial, as they allow us to be aware of potentially dangerous things in our environment that threaten our survival.

Unfortunately staying on top of bills, work and relationships can also be perceived as a threat to survival, and lead to chronic cortisol output and unresolved stress.

CBD is quite incredible at resolving stress, though. It essentially acts as a breaking system on the stress response, by acting (indirectly) through cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus. Effectively, CBD tells the adrenals to chill out on cortisol production.

Human and studies have shown CBD can modulate cortisol output (7) , (14) , (15) , and its one of the major reasons why so many people may find it soothing.


We’re still in the early days of research with CBD in general, even less so when it comes to its impact on hormonal regulation. Currently we are reduced to speculating based on the mechanisms of action from animal studies, without much idea of real world effects in humans.

CBD may be able to help ‘normalise’ bodily systems to a certain extent, including some degree of hormonal balance. But this may depend on the severity of the underlying imbalance in the first place, which in more severe cases CBD is unlikely to have a meaningful effect.

The reason for this relates to the fact that CBD does not have a powerful stimulatory effect on hormonal production, but more so in maintaining the balance between various different hormones. In light of this, CBD would not be a viable alternative to HRT, but may be complimentary to helping regulate the balance of hormones that are given in a supplementary way.

Its unclear what the benefits of HRT and CBD would be combined, and may be different between individuals. Its often the case that combining different therapies has a complementary and synergistic effect. If you are interested, its worth discussing this first with your Doctor or Endocrinologist.


Although there are (initial) changes in hormone levels with CBD, other studies suggest a tolerance can be developed to cannabinoids (16). Initial hormone changes may correct overtime, or are compensated for by other mechanisms (ie hormone receptor sensitivity). So basically, its too early to say with much certainty just how CBD affects hormones long term and what that translates to health wise.

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