Menstruation is a fundamental reality of life, so it is time to talk about it. Every woman you know who is post-puberty and pre-menopause bleeds from her vagina every month. So, being squeamish about this subject is ludicrous and potentially harmful. Millions of women worldwide suffer in silence as they go through the Because CBD might help reduce inflammation and chronic pain, it might also help reduce menstrual cramps and other period-related symptoms, like headaches, lower back pain, and sore breasts. But because there are many CBD products on the market, it can be challenging to sift through products and find high quality CBD.
Best CBD for Menstrual Cramps
Menstruation is a fundamental reality of life, so it is time to talk about it. Every woman you know who is post-puberty and pre-menopause bleeds from her vagina every month.
So, being squeamish about this subject is ludicrous and potentially harmful. Millions of women worldwide suffer in silence as they go through the agony of period pain.
You heard right—agony. Menstrual cramps are not just discomfort, irritability, and aches; they can mean severe pain. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians , painful menstruation affects the lives of one in five women. Yet, not many medical researchers take it seriously enough, given the little research on it.
A top expert in gynecological pain at NorthShore University Health System, Dr. Frank Tu , does not hide his dismay that most physicians prescribe OTC painkillers like ibuprofen to deal with period pain.
For him, this is not good enough. Why? His patients describe the pain as “almost as bad as having a heart attack.” Other patients draw similarities between period pain and slipped discs pain-wise. These give you a hint of how bad menstrual cramps can be.
So, what causes them? The two leading causes of period pain are endometriosis and primary dysmenorrhea . The latter typically affects women just getting into puberty with abnormal uterine contractions due to hormonal imbalance, noted to be the common cause.
The hormone in question is prostaglandin, which is created when the uterine lining breaks down during menstruation. The thicker the uterine lining, the higher the amounts of prostaglandins released.
The other potential cause of menstrual cramps—endometriosis—happens when cells that should ideally line the uterus grow in the wrong places, e.g., the ovaries and fallopian tubes. When they shed, they can cause intense pain.
This tissue can also grow in the bladder, intestines, and, in rare cases, the lungs and even the brain! Typically, the body responds by attempting to cover up such lesions with scar tissue, leading to severe menstrual cramps.
It can be difficult to distinguish between endometriosis and primary dysmenorrhea because both conditions sometimes co-occur. Indeed, it is estimated that 20% of women have dysmenorrhea, while around 10% have endometriosis.
Moreover, endometriosis is not an easy diagnosis and can take up to 10 years to get an accurate diagnosis.
Other known causes of period pain are:
- Fibroids: non-cancerous cells that grow within the womb and often cause heavy and painful periods.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease is an inflammation of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and womb by bacteria, causing them to inflame.
- Adenomyosis: when tissue that should ideally line the uterus grows inside the muscular womb wall, causing pain periods.
- Contraceptive devices: the intrauterine device (IUD) can sometimes cause painful periods, especially in the initial stages of use.
Doctors do not clearly understand why some women suffer more than others, leading to speculation that genetics may be a factor.
Despite the staggering number of women who suffer from severe period pains every month, there are limited remedies. For both conditions, patients can use painkillers like ibuprofen to dull the pain or contraceptive pills to reduce blood flow during menstruation.
Surgery can be done to remove the extra tissue with serious side effects like infertility. If less invasive options do not yield the desired results, hysterectomy is also an option.
However, some medical experts think it is far too “over the top” for most women, and even then, there is no guarantee the pain will end permanently.
Period pain may not be life-threatening, but it is a painful condition that can interfere with the quality of life. Moreover, the existing treatment options are far from ideal.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has made a name for itself recently thanks to its all-curing properties. Even though cannabis research is still in its early stages, existing studies suggest cannabinoids may be beneficial.
For instance, a growing body of research suggests that CBD has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.
Consequently, it has become a vital component of medical therapies such as those used to treat neurological conditions like epilepsy. Its painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties have made it a popular remedy for muscle recovery in sports .
Further, there is evidence that it may help treat painful conditions like arthritis . Research is ongoing to understand the full extent of CBD’s health benefits, so who is to say that it may not help manage period pains?
Ways to try CBD for period pain relief
One of the advantages of CBD is its versatility. After extraction from cannabis plant matter, it can be infused into practically anything. As a result, there are many ways of using CBD to help with wide-ranging health conditions.
CBD comes in various forms: oils and tinctures, creams and lotions, edibles, and vapes. Depending on your reason for taking CBD, here are some of the top methods you can take it.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and is porous. This essentially means what you put on it is as significant as what you put in your body.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health investigated the skin’s absorption rates of contaminants in drinking water. It was discovered that the skin absorbed roughly 64% of the total pollutant load.
Another study showed the face is more permeable than other body surfaces, with the genitalia and underarms having a 100% absorption rate.
What we put on our skin enters our bodies. CBD can penetrate the skin, but unlike other forms of CBD products, it will not enter the bloodstream. The skin has many cannabinoid receptors, and applying CBD topically stimulates the endocannabinoid system via those receptors.
Once inside the skin, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors, providing relief from pain and inflammation.
Topical CBD can help relieve pain in the abdomen , groin, and lower back during menstruation since it works directly on the affected area.
Our Relief Cream packs 500mg of premium hemp CBD and potent botanicals like menthol, eucalyptus, and wintergreen oil to help recover sore muscles and provide quick cooling relief. It is made with premium US-grown CBD and is medically formulated to eliminate aches and pains quickly.
Adding tincture drops to your drinks
Most people use the terms “tinctures” and “oils” interchangeably. However, these two are different primarily in their carrier element. CBD tinctures use high-proof alcohol, while CBD oils use a variety of oils like MCT, coconut, and hemp oil.
Even though they are both taken sublingually, tinctures are faster-acting than oils because they have a higher bioavailability. A carrier element like MCT oil can increase the bioavailability of CBD because it has shorter fat chains than other oil types (e.g., hemp or coconut).
FOCL’s Premium CBD Drops may help you get relief from period pain and other sources of discomfort. Our CBD oil is made with premium homegrown broad spectrum CBD to ensure it does not have unwanted pesticide or herbicide residues. The carrier element—MCT oil—increases bioavailability in addition to supporting brain and memory function.
Add a few drops of this CBD oil to your morning cup of coffee to help with cramps by reducing inflammation. It comes in five delicious natural flavors with no grassy aftertaste to make it a joy to use!
Add CBD to a warm bath
Conventional oils do not mix well with water, so if you plan to add CBD to your water bath, go for liposomal CBD oil. These are designed for use with water or beverages and are meant to be taken quickly.
Compared to regular oil tinctures, which can take 20-30 minutes before the effects kick in, liposomal CBD gets going in 5-7 minutes, and the effects can last roughly 5 hours.
Derived from the Greek words lipos (fat) and soma (body), liposomes are tiny microscopic spheres that enclose a nutrient or drug and aid in its absorption. They are both water and fat soluble and made from phospholipid material similar to cell membranes. Phospholipids are known to boost drug absorption or prevent drugs from being broken down in the gut.
The liposomal delivery method improves the bioavailability of medicines and substances. Hence, it supports the movement of CBD into cells and tissues, thus making CBD users get the most out of their products.
Baked in edibles
Cannabis edibles are beverages and foods mixed with cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) for medicinal or recreational purposes.
Typical baked CBD edibles include cakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, and banana bread. You can make a range of edibles with CBD to enjoy this cannabis compound in more familiar territories.
Cannabis-infused foods have the same nutritional content as hemp seed or oil. Hemp contains high-quality protein, including edestin, albumin, and essential amino acids. In addition to pain and inflammation relief, CBD edibles have essential fatty acids that may help reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.
As a suppository
CBD suppositories are objects inserted into the vagina to dissolve, releasing CBD oil which is absorbed into your body. They are super helpful in managing period pain because they allow CBD to be absorbed straight into the circulatory system rather than via the GI tract.
This reduces CBD loss through the “first-pass” metabolism and ensures you get higher quantities of CBD in your system.
As the name suggests, CBD tampons are tampons coated with CBD in a carrier element like cocoa butter. Regular tampons treated with CBD drops can also serve the same function.
The intention of using CBD in menstrual products is to alleviate cramping. There is, however, no published evidence on the efficacy of CBD for period cramps. Furthermore, people respond differently to CBD. Some individuals find it useful and therapeutic, while others do not.
It is theorized that when used vaginally, CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the vaginal membrane. These receptors are a vital component of the endocannabinoid system, a signaling system that regulates numerous physiological functions ranging from sleep and appetite to mood, inflammation, and pain.
CBD tampons may help the cannabinoid’s localized activity and alleviate inflammation caused by uterine contractions that cause period pains. However, with minimal studies on vaginal cannabinoid receptors, it is unclear whether these assertions are valid.
In a lube
CBD is used for everything, it appears, including having sex. So, do CBD-infused lubricants confer any sexual benefits?
CBD is known to reduce inflammation, enhance blood circulation, and help relax muscles, making CBD-infused lubes a viable choice for women who experience pain when having sex.
According to sex therapist Diana Urman , CBD lubricants may improve arousal and sensitivity to touch, but they are not proven to get you in the sex mood. It might be taken before sex to help you “get ready faster” because it relaxes the muscles and increases blood flow.
Best CBD for menstrual cramps
Dr. Kecia Gaither , a board-certified physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology, recommends consulting a medical professional before using CBD-infused lubricants, especially if you are on other medications.
She advises women to examine a CBD lubricant’s contents and avoid those with artificial scents or chemicals. Oil-based lubes may weaken latex, rendering condoms less effective, so opt for water-based lubricants.
Alcohols (or anything that ends with “-ol”) can be harmful, causing irritation and dryness with time. Also, glycerin and certain sugars may increase the risk of infection.
Like with all CBD products, be careful about the brand or site from where you get your CBD. Dr. Michael Ingber , a urogynecologist, recommends CBD lubes from reputable organizations. One of the most credible CBD brands is FOCL .
With this in mind, here are some of the best CBD products you can use for menstrual cramps.
CBD gummies for menstrual cramps
It is worth noting that there are no studies on the use of CBD to manage PMS. Nevertheless, it has anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties that are well-established in research studies, hence its use in chronic pain problems.
There is anecdotal evidence that after three months of regular usage, patients who use high enough doses of CBD for chronic pain, including PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps, report reduced pain and other symptoms.
Depending on the nature of your pain, you may opt for fast or slow-release CBD products. The latter is ideal for intense, longer-lasting period pains. In this case, oral CBD is the best. Our Premium CBD Gummies with full spectrum CBD and non-GMO natural ingredients come in three tasty flavors to be fun to chew even as they help you relax and be pain-free.
How to take CBD oil for menstrual cramps
CBD oil is best taken sublingually. This method allows for faster absorption of the active ingredients into your system. Higher bioavailability means the effects kick in much quicker, making you feel better faster.
You can also add CBD oil to your favorite drinks and foods. So, if you are a coffee person, add a few drops of CBD oil to your morning or evening cup of coffee or tea. This applies to other beverages as well.
How much CBD should I take for menstrual cramps?
The best practice is to start “low and slow” and gradually increase the dosage if you do not feel better soon enough. Generally, it is recommended that you space out the doses by eight hours. So, do not go popping gummy after gummy if you do not experience the effects.
Keep in mind that CBD reacts differently depending on the individual. The precise bioavailability of oral CBD is not precisely known. A 2009 paper indicated it ranges between 4 and 20%. This implies if you take 100mg of CBD, only 20mg may end up in your blood. Since most CBD products contain less than 25mg of CBD, you will likely end up with even less.
Does CBD affect menstrual cycle?
CBD does not affect the menstrual cycle; you will still have periods like you usually do. However, being a relaxant, an analgesic, and an anti-inflammatory agent, it may help reduce period cramps and related symptoms like sore breasts, lower back pain, and headaches. It may also help correct hormonal imbalances.
CBD for Menstrual Cramps: Can it Help with Period Pain?
People use cannabidiol (CBD) for a bunch of reasons, including pain relief. And while research is still ongoing into the pain-relieving effects of CBD, what we know so far is promising.
Because CBD might help reduce inflammation and chronic pain, it might also help reduce menstrual cramps and other period-related symptoms, like headaches, lower back pain, and sore breasts.
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But because there are many CBD products on the market, it can be challenging to sift through products and find high quality CBD. Below, in addition to exploring how CBD can help with menstrual cramps, we also list several high quality products that we’ve extensively vetted.
How can CBD help menstrual cramps?
Sure, you can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen to relieve cramping and other uncomfortable menstrual symptoms. But these can sometimes produce unwanted effects like stomach issues. And if you have severe cramping, they might not work for you.
Some people swear by CBD as a natural alternative for dealing with period cramps. But does it work?
One 2020 review concluded that there’s not enough evidence to give solo credit to CBD for pain relief, especially since many studies involve products that also contain THC.
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According to research from 2019, women with endometriosis self-rated cannabis or CBD oil as the most effective at relieving pain, compared with physical interventions, such as yoga and stretching, and other remedies. But the survey did not evaluate whether cannabis or CBD oil was more effective than the other.
When it comes to CBD specifically, there’s currently no research on the effects of CBD on menstrual cramping.
However, some evidence does suggest that CBD alone might have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2016 study on rats, for example, found that applying CBD gel reduced joint inflammation and pain with no adverse effects.
These properties may help reduce painful period-related cramping and other uncomfortable symptoms during your period, including headaches.
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That said, research suggests that THC and CBD work best together, so if you’re looking for a CBD product to help with menstrual pain, consider opting for a full-spectrum one.
Ultimately, to better understand CBD’s potential role in pain management, more studies are needed.
How to choose CBD for menstrual cramps
Here’s what to consider when choosing a CBD product for menstrual cramps:
Research suggests that CBD may work better when paired with THC. When combined, they produce the entourage effect. That means if you’re looking for a product to help with cramping, a full-spectrum option may be the best option.
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For menstrual pain, you’ll likely want full-body effects, so opt for a capsule, gummy, or tincture. A topical gel or cream can provide targeted relief for things like back or muscle pain.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD products — at least, not exactly. They can issue warning letters to companies that make deceptive, unfounded claims. However, it’s still pretty easy for companies to misrepresent their products.
How can you be sure you’re buying a high quality product? Look for an up-to-date certificate of analysis (COA), and check that the info on it matches what’s on the product label. If you can’t find evidence of third-party testing? That’s a red flag.
Transparency doesn’t just involve making COAs readily available. Reputable companies will also be open about where they source their ingredients.
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Look for CBD made with U.S.-grown hemp — ideally, organic.
If you’re shopping specifically for pain relief, some topical products contain added ingredients meant to relieve pain, like arnica. Arnica also has warming properties that may help with period-related abdominal discomfort.
How we chose
We used standards for safety, quality, and transparency to make our selections. Each product selected:
- is made by a company that provides third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
- plainly provides evidence of this testing
- is made with hemp grown in the United States
- contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the COA
- is free of heavy metals, pesticides, and molds, according to the COA
- customer reviews
- any warning letters from the FDA
- any unsubstantiated health claims for the product or the CBD in general
ishonest’s pick of the 8 best CBD products for menstrual cramps
Vertly Infused Bath Salts
- Price: $
- CBD type: full-spectrum
- CBD potency: 100 milligrams (mg) per pouch
- COA: available on product page
If bath time is already part of your period week self-care ritual, consider adding these CBD-infused bath salts to the mix.
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The full-spectrum CBD Epsom salts contain a soothing blend of arnica, lemon, clary sage, and lavender to help you relax, unwind, and forget about cramping. The product is organic, vegan, and handcrafted in California.
Vertly’s founder recommends soaking before bedtime to promote relaxation and sleep.
GoGreen Hemp CBD Melatonin Softgels
In addition to CBD, these softgels contain calming chamomile oil and melatonin, which may help you get a better night’s sleep when cramps come on at night. Each bottle contains 30 broad-spectrum CBD capsules, and each capsule contains 1 mg of melatonin.
GoGreen Hemp has a rewards program for frequent shoppers, which is good news if you plan on buying these to battle monthly cramps. The company also offers an assistance program for long-term disabled people, veterans and active service members, and low-income households.
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Customers say they appreciate the excellent customer service. Many also claim that the CBD soft gels helped them sleep.
CBDistillery CBD Warming Cream
If you regularly grab a hot water bottle or heating pad when you have monster cramps, consider adding this warming cream to your anti-cramp routine. This broad-spectrum cream contains camphor, which provides a soothing warming sensation when applied directly to the skin.
Rub it on your abdomen to help dull the pain from period cramps. The cream also contains skin-nourishing ingredients like aloe.
Reviewers say it’s easy to apply and works effectively to relieve pain.
Elate CBD|CBN Sleep Blend
Nutrition for dry skin
This CBD oil from Elate also contains cannabinol (CBN), another cannabinoid thought to help with sleep. This mint-flavored, THC-free oil might help if sleep is evading you because of painful cramps.
Elate recommends taking a full dropper about 30 minutes before bedtime.
Seabedee Extra Strength CBD Oil
This ultra-potent CBD oil might help kick your painful cramps to the curb. Bottles contain either 1,500 or 3,000 mg CBD and come in flavors like vanilla and peppermint. This CBD oil also contains cannabigerol (CBG) and CBN, other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. The carrier oil is organic MCT oil.
Seabedee offers free shipping and a money-back guarantee.
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One reviewer calls the product highly effective, claiming they feel a mild calming effect after ingesting the oil.
CBDfx Calming Tincture
CBDfx’s calming tincture contains a mix of CBD and CBN. This tincture is available in multiple strengths, up to 4,000 mg. The full-spectrum blend is both vegan and gluten-free.
The company offers a 60-day guarantee and has a team of medical advisors on staff.
This product has over 800 positive reviews, and customers say the taste takes some getting used to, but the product works wonders.
Harmonious CBD Isolate
You No Longer Have to Live With Pores
Harmonious CBD Isolate might be the CBD product for you if you want to avoid THC. The product is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, and it’s made with organic hemp. It also contains organic MCT oil.
While the oil is potent, the high price tag might be a big downside for some.
PlusCBD Oil Gummies
These fruit-flavored CBD gummies might be a good option for people who hate swallowing pills but still want the benefits of an extra-strength CBD product. The gummies are available in cherry mango and citrus punch, and contain no artificial sweeteners. Each gummy contains 10 mg CBD.
PlusCBD sources their CBD from non-GMO hemp plants.
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Reviewers say the gummies help with pain and that they taste great and have a pleasant texture.
Benefits and risks of using CBD for menstrual cramps
Unlike THC, CBD is unlikely to cause side effects. Even if you do experience adverse effects, they’ll likely be mild. Possible side effects may include:
- appetite and weight changes
Be careful when using topical products, especially if you have sensitive skin. Read the ingredient list and do a patch test before using topical CBD products.
Talk with your doctor before using CBD products, especially if you’re taking any drugs or supplements, as drug interactions are possible.
How to use CBD for menstrual cramps
How to prevent pimples?
To use a topical CBD product, rub it directly on the area that’s causing you grief. If you don’t get any relief, you can use more after a few hours.
For ingestible products, check the product label for dosing guidelines. Generally, it’s a good idea to start with a low dose and work your way up. It can take time for CBD to take effect, though, so wait a few hours before taking an additional dose.
CBD oils, creams, sprays, gummies, and capsules are not guaranteed to get rid of your menstrual cramps. But there’s little risk involved in trying them.
More research is needed to determine the relationship between CBD and pain relief. Although some evidence suggests CBD may help with pain — particularly anecdotal evidence — there are no specific studies that look into the potential benefits of CBD for cramps.
Before you try CBD for period cramps, talk with your doctor. If you’re experiencing severe cramping, you may have an underlying condition that requires treatment.
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