CBD for Menstrual Cramps

Episode 238

Show Notes

Cannabis for Period Cramps

80% percent of women experience period pain at some point in their lives, and menstrual cramps are the top complaint. That’s probably why we get so many questions about CBD for period cramps. In this episode, we look at how weed can help ease menstrual discomfort. We’ll discuss the science behind CBD’s soothing effects and its benefits as a natural alternative to traditional pain meds. If you’re interested in learning more about how CBD for menstrual cramps can fit into your well-being routine, join us as we explore real stories and research that highlight its growing use and effectiveness.

“Advil helped with the cramps, but it didn’t help with that still unidentifiable pain that I have in my lower back. What did help was using CBD. And that’s part of the reason why I never looked back after trying it for the first time. It became a passion for me so quickly because I was in such desperate need for it.” – Kerrigan

If you enjoyed this episode, we’d recommend tuning into episode 148, ‘Living with Endometriosis? Here’s Why Women Trust Cannabis to Help,’ and episode 32, ‘Blackberry Kush: Period Pain Fighter”.

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[00:00:00] Ellen Scanlon: This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.

[00:00:12] Ellen Scanlon: Support for How to Do the Pot comes from Cann. Cann is a sparkling weed drink that ships right to your door in most states. If you’re looking for an easy and fast way to feel better, Cannes Lowboy line has 15 milligrams of CBD and only one milligram of THC, which is my choice for helping to relieve painful cramps.

[00:00:36] Ellen Scanlon: Try promo code DoThePot for 20 percent off when you visit drinkcann. com. That’s drink C A N N.

[00:00:50] Kerrigan Behrens: Advil helped with the cramps, but it didn’t help with that still sort of unidentifiable pain that I have in my lower back. What did help was, using CBD. And that’s part of the reason why I never looked back after trying it for the first time. It became a passion for me so quickly because I was in such desperate need for it.

[00:01:18] Ellen Scanlon: Welcome to how to do the pot, a podcast, helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m your host, Ellen Scanlon.

[00:01:31] Ellen Scanlon: You just heard from Kerrigan Behrens, the California based founder of Sagely Naturals and the CEO of Eleni Health, a company helping to relieve menstrual and pelvic pain. Did you know that one of the top searches on our website, DoThePot. com, is for CBD for menstrual cramps? We know you want to hear about it, and I’m happy to comply.

[00:01:55] Ellen Scanlon: 80 percent of women experience period pain at some point in their life and menstrual cramps are the most common complaint. I’ve shared before on the show that I have endometriosis. It’s a painful disorder where tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus in places where it doesn’t belong.

[00:02:19] Ellen Scanlon: I laugh sometimes because when I was working on Wall Street or getting my MBA, I have to say, I did not expect to be talking about my menstrual cramp so publicly and I’m happy to do it because I believe every woman should know about endometriosis. It affects one in 10 women and the symptoms can be so debilitating that women often end up in the ER.

[00:02:49] Ellen Scanlon: Yet did you learn about endometriosis from your OB or in any sex ed classes as a young person? Endometriosis has more than a dozen symptoms and many women think that their leg, hip, or back pain, their GI issues, painful sex, extremely painful cramps on par with labor pain are normal. Because of what I experience every month, I feel very passionate about helping women with any kind of menstrual pain.

[00:03:22] Ellen Scanlon: And that’s what we’re here to talk about today. How cannabis can be an extremely effective treatment for painful menstrual symptoms. We’ll break down why CBD works for menstrual cramps and give you tips for how to find the right products so you’re all set for your next cycle. If you have more questions about endometriosis, check out episode 207.

[00:03:52] Ellen Scanlon: Have you signed up for our newsletter yet? You don’t want to miss out on this twice a month resource that continues the conversation on how to feel confident about cannabis for health, well being, and for fun. Join the thousands of subscribers who are already reading and responding. This is your direct line to me.

[00:04:13] Ellen Scanlon: Just hit reply and let me know what you’d like to hear more of on the show. You can go to DoThePot. com to sign up and thank you so much for supporting the show.

[00:04:34] Ellen Scanlon: Dr. Jessica Knox, a Harvard trained physician and co founder of the life sciences company Pivotal Holdings, helps us out with a refresher on period pain. First, what are menstrual cramps?

[00:04:48] Dr. Jessica Knox: For a lot of the reproductive issues, whether it’s dysmenorrhea, right? So that’s menstrual cramps, which is probably one of the most common things that women experience, um, as related to our sex.

[00:05:01] Dr. Jessica Knox: Dysmenorrhea is due to basically prostaglandin release. As our endometrial tissue breaks down and we have a period, prostaglandins are released to cause uterine contractions and cramping, to cause inflammation.

[00:05:15] Ellen Scanlon: Cannabinoids are proven to have pain relieving and anti inflammatory benefits. How does CBD help reduce painful cramps?

[00:05:23] Dr. Jessica Knox: We know that CBD can inhibit the enzyme that creates prostaglandins. So if we can use CBD on somebody who has menstrual cramps, we can often reduce their pain because we’re reducing the root cause. Kerrigan Behrens,

[00:05:40] Ellen Scanlon: who you heard from at the beginning of the episode, has dealt with debilitating menstrual symptoms since she was in high school.

[00:05:47] Ellen Scanlon: When she found CBD, everything changed.

[00:05:51] Kerrigan Behrens: In 2015, when I saw it on a friend’s kitchen counter, it was CBD honey. I basically ran over to it and was like, can I have some? And I dissolved some into a cup of hot water, and an hour later, I. My body was just more relaxed than it had been in a really long time.

[00:06:14] Kerrigan Behrens: And when you deal with chronic pain, I don’t think you even realize how much your body tenses up between anxiety and then pain. I think I’m just in a constant state of tension, clenching my muscles. And so that was the first thing that I noticed was that I, my body kind of relaxed. And then I noticed that I was in less pain.

[00:06:36] Kerrigan Behrens: And then I noticed That it was also feeling less anxious than I normally do. And that was the true aha moment. Wow, this, this is going to change my life.

[00:06:48] Ellen Scanlon: CBD soothes inflammation in the uterus, which decreases the sensation of pain and relaxes the muscle contractions that induce cramps. The endocannabinoid system or the ECS is a system in your body similar to the nervous system or the cardiovascular system.

[00:07:08] Ellen Scanlon: We all have one, and it’s responsible for regulating homeostasis, or balance, in the body. Dr. Jess explains more.

[00:07:17] Dr. Jessica Knox: The endocannabinoid system is this complicated, intricate communication system within our body that modulates All of our other systems. So, so most people know about the cardiovascular system, our heart, they know about the neurological system, the respiratory system.

[00:07:32] Dr. Jessica Knox: These are the systems we all learned about in health class in high school, right? But nobody learned about the endocannabinoid system. Even still, I graduated from medical school in 2012. The endocannabinoid system, the primary components have been discovered by the early 1990s. 20 years later, I was not learning this in medical school, but the endocannabinoid system, really important system that’s sort of balancing and modulating all of these other systems in our body to maintain what we call homeostasis or balance in our body.

[00:08:02] Ellen Scanlon: The ECS can be worn down by poor quality food, pollution, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, stress, aging, or genetics. For today, what you need to know is this. After the brain, women’s pelvic region has the most cannabinoid receptors than any other part of the body. Cannabis can effectively impact and soothe the pelvic region.

[00:08:28] Ellen Scanlon: Support from CBD or THC can help restore balance in the body and solve for women’s common monthly symptoms. And women have known about this for, well, Forever. One of the earliest references to cannabis consumption by women comes from ancient Mesopotamia. It was used to help ease painful menstrual symptoms, often in combination with mint, saffron, and beer.

[00:08:57] Ellen Scanlon: There is physical evidence too, including a 4th century tomb of a woman who died in childbirth that contained carbonized fragments of THC metabolites. We can presume that cannabis was used to ease the pain of childbirth. A little more recently, in the 1880s, cannabis oral extracts and tinctures were used to treat uterine hemorrhages, cramps, and more.

[00:09:24] Ellen Scanlon: Even England’s Queen Victoria was known to use cannabis for menstrual pain.

[00:09:38] Ellen Scanlon: Matthew Gerson is a pioneer in sexual health and the founder of Foria, a California based health and sexual wellness company rooted in the proven wisdom of plants.

[00:09:50] Mathew Gerson: Dating as far back as people have been writing about plants in medicine, women have been singing the praises of cannabis for menses and for menstrual pain.

[00:09:58] Mathew Gerson: And so it was very much out there in the open, but for a number of reasons, there just hasn’t been a lot of research dollars spent on studying painful menstrual cramps. And which is amazing. It disrupts the lives of hundreds of million or billions of people every year. And we don’t really have a lot of options.

[00:10:19] Mathew Gerson: My doll is the over the counter option that a lot of people look to. And it was a pickup truck that got rebranded. And they put some new chemicals in it and then pitched it as a pain drug for, for menstruation.

[00:10:31] Ellen Scanlon: For me, Foria’s Relief Melts with CBD are a pain relieving staple. Vaginal suppositories are a solution for period pain that not a lot of people are familiar with.

[00:10:44] Ellen Scanlon: Kiana Reeves, FOREA’s Chief Education Officer, shares more about the different types of suppositories. Suppositories can also help to increase sexual pleasure.

[00:10:55] Kiana Reeves: Suppositories for intimacy were really designed to help internal muscle structures get a high dose of cannabinoids that will help the muscles relax, soften, allow for more blood flow, receive those kinds of vasodilating benefits.

[00:11:11] Kiana Reeves: They both enhance pleasure and they’re not just reducing pain for people. They’re also enhancing the pleasure experience because the more blood flow you get into the region, the softer those muscles are, the better everything feels to touch, to penetration, to any type of movement. It really allows you to be much more in the experience of pleasure.

[00:11:31] Kiana Reeves: And so every product we have in our intimacy line is directly enhancing people’s pleasure. experience with pleasure. And if they do experience pain, it’s helping diminish that as well.

[00:11:43] Ellen Scanlon: Dr. Jess has one more reminder before you buy. The

[00:11:47] Dr. Jessica Knox: question should always be, what is the quality and safety of my cannabis medicine?

[00:11:54] Ellen Scanlon: Hemp derived CBD can be purchased online and ships to all 50 states. In more and more states, you can now buy hemp derived THC products like cannabis beverages and edibles. CBD or THC products purchased from a licensed dispensary must pass rigorous state testing requirements to be sold, but hemp derived products are not regulated.

[00:12:21] Ellen Scanlon: Look for brands that have a certificate of analysis or a COA. And make sure that the company is testing its products for safety. I trust hemp derived THC products from brands like Can, Happy, Kiva, and 1906.

[00:12:48] Ellen Scanlon: Now let’s talk about today’s high five, the five ways that cannabis helps battle cramps without over the counter or prescription meds. Number one, inhaling cannabis is the fastest way to relieve pain. Within a few minutes, you’ll feel better after vaping or smoking. If you’ve listened to our most recent strain battle, episode 233, you’ll remember the strain Blackberry Cush, a well known period pain fighter.

[00:13:19] Ellen Scanlon: It can help relax menstrual cramps, as well as the anxiety, stress, and insomnia brought on by hormonal changes. Blackberry Kush is an intoxicating strain, so take it slow unless you’re ready to be pleasantly horizontal on the couch. If you try a strain with high THC, remember that it will help with pain and may not get you that high.

[00:13:44] Ellen Scanlon: When you try cannabis with the intention of finding pain relief, it will deliver more of that pain relief and less of a high. If you’re not in pain and try the same strain, the euphoric effects of the weed will be more potent. I have a quick story about this very phenomenon. Recently, I went to a cannabis event at the beautiful Sonoma Hills Farm in Petaluma, California.

[00:14:11] Ellen Scanlon: The morning of the party, I got my period and started to feel symptoms of endometriosis. For me, very painful cramps that were making it hard to even walk normally. I took a bunch of CBD and got in the car to drive up. They’re still in pain. I really wanted to go to the party. It was celebrating a super fun collaboration with the beloved Bay Area ice cream brand, Humphrey’s Slocum.

[00:14:38] Ellen Scanlon: Humphrey’s Slocum has a popular ice cream flavor called Secret Breakfast. For this partnership, Sonoma Hills Farm created a strain called Secret Breakfast. And in return, Humphrey’s Slocum created an ice cream flavor called Pink Jesus, named after a favorite strain from Sonoma Hills Farm. The Pink Jesus ice cream is.

[00:15:00] Ellen Scanlon: Amazing, a coconut base with rose raspberry and a lavender cream caramel. So delicious. And it’s available for all of April. Go check it out for sure. And what about the weed? So I’m at the farm with the secret breakfast joint in front of me, which has almost 29 percent THC, which is a lot. I took a baby inhale.

[00:15:28] Ellen Scanlon: Not sure smoke even came out of my mouth. I didn’t want to be high right then and I didn’t feel high. What I realized a little later was that I felt energetic and I was not in any pain. No pain. I could barely walk an hour before. I felt great for the whole party, and a few hours later, the pain came back.

[00:15:54] Ellen Scanlon: That tiny hit from the joint, with a higher percentage of THC than what I usually choose, really helped to relieve my pain. My husband came with me to the party. He took a small hit from the same joint, and he felt high. He wasn’t using it to get out of pain, and so the intoxicating effects were much stronger.

[00:16:16] Ellen Scanlon: Just keep that in mind if you’re smoking flour or pre rolls for pain. Number two, oil tinctures. Midol typically kicks in after 15 or 20 minutes, and so do cannabis oil tinctures. Hold the oil under your tongue for 30 seconds. 30 to 60 seconds, you can increase your frequency for a few days before your period for the best results.

[00:16:41] Ellen Scanlon: You may need more milligrams than you think, so check in with yourself and pay attention to how much CBD is in each dropper. A small dose is 10 milligrams and a larger dose is 50 to 100 milligrams. Equilibria is a brand whose CBD products I have been using daily for years. Equilibria oil tinctures are called Daily Drops, and you can use the promo code DOTHEPOT for 15 percent off.

[00:17:12] Ellen Scanlon: I’ll add a link to the show notes. Number three, topical creams. Rub a cream or lotion on the painful spots on your lower abdomen or your back And they can also be used on your temples to help with hormonal headaches The best topical CBD for pain that I’ve found is from Louisiana based Crescent Canna I love their CBD freeze roller, and I think that the best one has 5, 000 milligrams of CBD which is a lot It works and it’s expensive.

[00:17:48] Ellen Scanlon: We have a promo code, DoThePot for 25 percent off. Number four, suppositories. A vaginal suppository is a treatment that goes right to the source. It looks like a very small tampon without the applicator. If you’re experiencing cramps, wash your hands and put the suppository in just like you would a tampon.

[00:18:11] Ellen Scanlon: You can choose to put a tampon in afterwards and remember to lay on your back for 15 to 20 minutes so that it can do its work on your pain and you don’t lose any of the product once it’s turned from its solid form into liquid. I use relief melts with CBD from Phoria and they ship nationally. Number five, beverages.

[00:18:36] Ellen Scanlon: Drink a CBD rich cannabis beverage for relief within 15 to 30 minutes. Cann is a sparkling weed drink that ships to your door in most states. Their Lowboy line has 15 milligrams of CBD and one milligram of THC, which is my choice for helping to relieve pain. Try promo code DOTHEPOT for 20 percent off.

[00:19:01] Ellen Scanlon: If you live in or will be visiting the Bay Area this April, don’t miss the Pink Jesus ice cream at Humphrey Slocum and the Sonoma Hills Farm secret breakfast pre rolls available at local dispensaries. If you like this episode, please share it with a friend. We love new listeners and are here to help everyone feel confident about cannabis.

[00:19:30] Ellen Scanlon: Thank you for listening to How To Do The Pot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit do the pot.com. Are you one of the thousands of people who love how to do the POTS newsletter? If you’re not getting it, please sign up@dothepot.com. And if you like how to do the pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts.

[00:19:52] Ellen Scanlon: It really helps people find the show. Thank you to writer Joanna Silver and producers Mattie Fair and Nick Petrie. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How to Do the Pot.



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