Weed For Period Cramps: Does CBD Help Period Relief?

Women use cannabis for PMS symptoms.

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DOES WEED FOR PERIOD CRAMPS ACTUALLY WORK?

  1. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS): Its job is to keep the body balanced – and it helps balance all the body’s systems to keep them working efficiently and properly. 
  2. ECS + Menstrual Periods: After the brain, women’s pelvic region contains more cannabinoid receptors than any other part of the body.
  3. ECS + Cannabis: The ECS can be worn down by poor quality food, pollution/chemicals, pharmaceuticals, stress, aging, or genetics. Support from CBD or THC can help restore balance in the body – and solve for women’s common monthly symptoms. That’s why we highly recommend weed for period cramps; it provides more for period relief than you’d think!

MENSTRUAL CRAMPS, AKA DYSMENORRHEA: SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, TREATMENTS

Cramps are a result of inflammation, which CBD has been proven to reduce – 20x more than aspirin.

Menstrual cramps are due to prostaglandins release as the endometrial tissue breaks down and women have a period. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more severe menstrual cramps. Cannabinoids are proven to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. Cannabis can effectively impact, and soothe, the pelvic area. The impact is immediate: pain subsides within the hour. Weed for period cramps soothes inflammation in the uterus, decreases the sensation of pain, and relaxes the muscle contractions that induce cramps. The best period relief you could ask for.

CANNABIS FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS

What is endometriosis?

According to Mayo Clinic, endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue (similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus) grows outside your uterus. The disease is mostly known for its painful symptoms and is especially common among women in their 30s and 40s and may make it harder to get pregnant. Researchers think that at least 11% of women, or more than 6.5 million women in the United States, have endometriosis. One in ten women worldwide are impacted by endometriosis. Still, diagnosis is rare and treatments are invasive and disruptive – including surgery and medications with side effects that contribute to an already tenuous situation.

My diagnosis was literally called unexplained infertility. No one knew what was going on. I went to so many doctors, I went to everyone that you can go to in multiple cities across the country. Time is your enemy in fertility, especially in your late 30s, so getting an answer quickly to what might be going on can make a big difference in your chances of having a baby. And I share my experience here, I share it with people when they ask me about it because if it can help women who have unexplained infertility learn about endometriosis as a possible cause and then either rule it out or move towards IVF, then they can spare themselves years of uncertainty, expense, the emotional roller coaster. 

– Ellen Scanlon, co-creator of How to Do the Pot, has dealt with both Endo and IVF

Talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms of endometriosis such as debilitatingly painful periods, pain with sexual intercourse, heavy menstrual flow and/or infertility. 

good to know

Common experiences such as PMS, endometriosis, and PCOS are related to a deficiency in endocannabinoids. According to neuroscientist Dr. Michelle Ross, when you have one disorder of endocannabinoid deficiency, you may have other ones, too.

ENDOMETRIOSIS & PAIN

Women have the second-highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region (the highest concentration is found in the brain). But women with Endometriosis have a lower number of cannabinoid receptors in cells within their pelvic region. From what scientists understand, there are simply fewer receptors to receive the body’s natural chemicals for managing pain in places like the uterus. Those natural chemicals, of course, are endocannabinoids. Just a small deficiency then can cause massive pain. Cannabis seems for many patients to right the imbalance that takes a painful disease and make it excruciating. Treating pain is a big deal, especially when a woman’s pain is so often minimized. 

Cannabis can effectively impact, and soothe, the pelvic area. The impact is immediate: pain subsides within the hour. That’s because cannabinoids are proven to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. While THC can help relieve pain, preliminary research suggests CBD is more effective for reducing both endometriosis-related lesions and the spread of the condition itself.

Dr. Jess referred to uterine contractions. Yes, cramps. The joked-about monthly pain many women suffer are in fact small contractions – like you have in labor. When women are expected to play through the pain, it can be even more difficult to diagnose extreme cramping that can be a symptom of endometriosis. It can take a decade for an American woman with endometriosis to understand that her cramps are not normal. 

Dr. Michelle Ross, the neurologist you heard from in How to Do the Pot’s Endo Episode, cites the work of Dr. Ethan Russo, who has identified a few different conditions that may be linked to a deficiency and the ECS – essentially what happens when the body’s balancing method is thrown out of balance. The National Institutes of Health compiled 15 research studies that show that cannabinoid medicine has an impact not only on pain symptoms associated with endometriosis, but also on retarding its growth.

CANNABIS TO SOOTHE PAINFUL SEX

The best SUPPOS- ITORIES

CBD treats most symptoms that result from localized inflammation of the female reproductive system including the management of pain associated with endometriosis. This pain can extend to the most critical of connections: sex. 

If you suffer from pain during sex, prepping with a combination of CBD/THC can help.  Cannabis-infused lubes and suppositories can enhance sensation, promote arousal, reduce pain and anxiety, and increase the likelihood and intensity of orgasms. Lubricants are absorbed through vaginal dermis, and suppositories are for vaginal and anal insertion.

UNDERSTANDING ESTROGEN AND CANNABIS

Did you know that feeling effects of cannabis can be affected by your monthly hormones? A woman’s cannabis tolerance is inversely related to her estrogen level. Women are more responsive to the pain-relieving effects of cannabis and THC when estrogen levels are at their highest.

do the pot

If you consumed during Days 1-12 and tolerated it well, you should reduce your dosage by ½ and build up.

good to know

Common experiences such as PMS, endometriosis, and PCOS are related to a deficiency in endocannabinoids. According to neuroscientist Dr. Michelle Ross, when you have one disorder of endocannabinoid deficiency, you may have other ones, too.

WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, AGING + CANNABIS

A glossary to understand the stages of a woman’s reproductive health.

PREMENOPAUSE: Women still having periods and in reproductive years. Premenopausal women can develop a tolerance to THC quickly, and may be more vulnerable to negative side effects of cannabis such as paranoia, anxiety, or dependence. 

PERIMENOPAUSE: Women still having periods but experiencing some symptoms of menopause. Boosting levels of endocannabinoids or stimulating cannabinoid receptors with cannabis may help delay menopause.

MENOPAUSE: Periods have stopped for one full year. Cannabis can support symptoms such as insomnia, vaginal dryness, mood swings caused by drops in estrogen levels. 

POSTMENOPAUSE: Women may be able to stay on a stable dosage of THC or cannabis for the long-term, and may be less likely to feel anxious or paranoid from cannabis. Since menopausal and postmenopausal women have low levels of estrogen, they may be less responsive to THC and may require higher doses than premenopausal women to achieve the same amount of pain relief.

Any given month in a premenopausal woman’s cycle, your hormone levels fluctuate from the beginning to the end of that cycle. And so, of course, you have to realize that the way that we metabolize medication, the way that we respond to medication may be different at any given time. And that’s partly why women were left out of studies, because it was thought to be too costly to integrate women into those studies. It was much easier to do studies on pharmaceuticals and other entities using a male.

– Dr. Colene Arnold, OB/GYN
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