Can weed relieve menstrual pain?
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Top things to know:
Cannabis is believed to have therapeutic uses for illnesses and pains, including menstrual discomfort
Researches are still scarce, but some studies already show effectiveness of cannabis on the relief of menstrual pain
Worldwide, there has been a noticeable trend in favor of legalising cannabis for medical and recreational use
If youвЂ™ve ever visited a healthcare provider for painful periods or cramps, you may have been recommended anti-inflammatory pain medicines or hormonal birth control (D). However, people with menstrual pain often look for other alternatives to painkillers and birth control (B).В
Medicinal plants have been used by many cultures for thousands of years for the treatment and prevention of diseases and their symptoms (A). Cannabis is one such plant that may relieve or lessen menstrual pain (12). Menstrual pain is commonвЂ”about half of people who menstruate have some pain for one to two days each cycle (C).
The use of cannabis (also called weed and marijuana, among other names) for the treatment of pain has been identified in various places around the world pre-Christianity. ItвЂ™s believed that medicinal cannabis was introduced to European medicine when physicians first observed the use of the substance in India. The introduction of cannabis in the Americas may have occurred when African slaves who were taken to Brazil brought the plant with them (2).В
What does research say about weed and the menstrual cycle?
Cannabis is believed to have therapeutic uses for a variety of illnesses, including but not limited to chronic pain, headache, epilepsy, symptoms of multiple sclerosis and gastrointestinal disorders (E).В
The science around cannabis and its ability to relieve menstrual pain is scarce, and more research is needed. In 2015, researchers from the University of British Columbia, asked a sample of 192 women if they had used cannabis to relieve menstrual pain. Marijuana is available for purchase from dispensaries in Vancouver.В
Of all the women surveyed, 85 percent said they had used cannabis for menstrual pain and almost 90 percent of these women said it was effective at relieving the pain (12).В
These participants said that the most common ways they consumed cannabis were smoking and eating. Other research indicates that using it might have side effects on the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle.В
A study of 47 women between 17 and 29 years old who habitually consumed cannabis for at least one year found alterations in progesterone, prolactin and testosterone.В
Compared to women who didnвЂ™t use cannabis, these women had more frequent menstrual variations, including shorter cycle length and heavy periods (16). This study didnвЂ™t look specifically at period pain, but the results might have indications for period pain since frequency and intensity of bleeding can impact pain.
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A global panorama of cannabis use
Worldwide, there has been a noticeable trend in favor of legalising cannabis for medical use. But before digging into the details of current legislation in some Western countries, it’s important to clarify the uses of this substance and understand the arguments that usually accompany its prohibition.В
Uses of cannabis
There are several possible types of cannabis usage:
Medical purposes: usage eases symptoms of diseases or assists in treating an existing diagnosis.
Scientific purposes: usage as a tool to investigate the substanceвЂ™s roles in people’s health or diseases (3).
Recreational purposes: usage for pleasure.В
The status of cannabis around the world
For governments around the world, the more well-known reasons for prohibiting the use of cannabis are:
The psychotropic aspect of cannabis, meaning the alteration of the central nervous system.
The addictive aspect , or the difficulty in controlling its consumption.
The prohibition, in addition to criminalising the consumption of cannabis, imposes several inhibitors to conducting scientific research (3).В В
Countries like Canada, United States and the Netherlands are remarkable for having opener politics around cannabis. When it comes to Canada, since the 17th of October, 2018, it has allowed the recreational and medicinal use (5). In the United States, more than 20 states allow its medicinal use, and in the Netherlands since 2001 the medicinal and research uses have been allowed, and under strict control the purchase and consumption of soft drugs have been allowed (3).
As cannabis becomes more popular and mainstream, novel ways of using it for sexual and reproductive health are emerging. Vaginal suppositories and bath salts with THC are being marketed to people with periods as a solution for cramps (15). ThereвЂ™s even arousal lube with THC marketed to intensify sexual pleasure (15).
This diversity of approaches for the consumption and use of cannabis might help increase its popularity. Ideally, as more people use cannabis for period pain, researchers will produce more science about the risks and benefits, in hopes that we learn all the effects of cannabis for women and people with cycles.
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Ideally, as more people use marijuana for period pain, researchers will produce more science about the risks and benefits.
Here’s How To Use Marijuana To Cure Your Period Cramps
My periodВ lasts a hellish six days, withВ cramping on the first and last days. I’ve never experienced pain so bad I can’t walk,В but I feel decidedly gross throughout the week.
Lately, instead of popping Midol to deal with theВ pain, I’ve beenВ smoking weed for relief.
Marijuana takes my mind off the misery that is menstruation, helping me completely forget I have a wad of cotton shoved up my vagina. My stomach stops feelingВ achy and bloated, and instead I just get the munchies.В While recent studies show that marijuana can help relieve pain, there hasn’t been enough researchВ into the effects of smoking pot on your period for physicians to recommend itВ yet.
Unfortunately, I can’t claim to be the genius who came up with this brilliant alternative method to dealing withВ period struggles. Using cannabis to treat menstruation pains has been going on for centuries.
Swollen, painful breasts were a problem for women way back in the 11th century, too. For relief, they used a cannabis topical cream mixed with lamb fat. The mixture was said toВ “disperse the swelling.”
One of the earliest forms of period painВ relief for women came in a little bottle of dysmenine, a cannabis-based syrup. It was prescribed to women duringВ the 17th century, designed to treat everything from “nervous hysteria” to cramps.
Even Queen Victoria’s royal physician prescribed cannabis delivered by syringeВ to ease her royalВ menstrual strugglesВ back in the 19th century.
The days of dysmenine are long over, but we have modern options available for ladiesВ who want to trade Midol for marijuana. Today, innovative mindsВ have gotten creative with weed’s many menstrual uses.
If you ever thought aboutВ sticking a nug ofВ weed up your vagina instead of a tampon, that basically exists already.В ForiaВ vaginalВ suppositories are made of three ingredients: organic cocoa butter, CBD isolate and CO2 distilled THC oil.В The product, though not yet FDA approved, relaxes muscles andВ provides relief from cramps.
The suppositories come in a 4-pack that costs $44. Each suppository is considered as one dose. You can purchase them online, but you need to have a medical marijuana card and must join the brand’s medical marijuana collective.
The magic of Fiora is that you don’t experience a head high, but the THC is absorbed into the bloodstream directly. The high is noticeable but won’t interruptВ daily activities. You also have to freeze it for 15 minutes before inserting it so it doesn’t dissolve too quickly.
You won’t find any medieval lamb fat to rub on breasts, but there areВ cannabis-infused topical creams out there you can try. Again, there are a lack of studies on the effectiveness of these products, butВ cannabis has been proven to help with swelling.
Apothecanna has a $40В calming body cremeВ that helps ease tension and, aside from anti-inflammatory cannabis, boastsВ ingredients like lavender and chamomile. Anyone can buy lotions containingВ CBD, but products that contain THC must beВ purchasedВ from select storesВ in states where marijuana is legal.
These products are good alternatives for womenВ who want to explore cannabis as a remedy to period pain without actually lighting up. If smoking weed is no problem for you, however, there areВ different strains of weedВ to help with different menstrual symptoms.В However, the way it makes you feel variesВ for everyone. Some women have found that smoking weed regularly causes their periods to be irregular and shorter, while othersВ experienceВ increased blood flow.
A strain called Blue Dream, for example, isВ a favorite to help with moods, relaxation and handling cramps. It’sВ a strain hybrid, providing more of a pain-reducing body highВ andВ helping lift spirits. LeaflyВ makes it easy to research strains, their qualities and availability if you’re interested in conquering your period pain by lighting up.
While I appreciate В innovations in cannabis technology, I’m going to keep getting my pain relief the old-fashioned way, by smoking. I’m already using my period as an excuse to polish off a full-size bag of peanut M&Ms, why not blame it on the munchies, too?
My periodВ lasts a hellish six days, withВ cramping on the first and last days. I’ve never experienced pain so bad I can’t walk,В but I feel decidedly gross throughout the week. Lately, instead of popping Midol to deal with theВ pain, I’ve beenВ smokingвЂ¦