It’s Women’s History Month and women’s health IS women’s history. The way women have been treated historically by the medical industry and society- especially regarding our menstruation and reproductive system – is frought with erroneus thinking and misogyny. Don’t believe me? Then, look up what a chainsaw was invented for. You could also read about the many biases against women that are used to dismiss them during their menstruation.
For many, monthly menstruation is an exhausting and painful time. For others, it is a time of contemplation, renewal, and shedding. Regardless of how one views their menstruation, at one point in their lives they will experience pain from their monthly cycle. Pain levels vary and usually include cramping, headaches, bloating, and discomfort. Some individuals may also experience flare-ups and pain correlating with other conditions they have.
My menstruations have always been irregular and accompanied by a time of illness including severe bloating, vomiting, depression, inflammation, cramping throughout my body, and heavy blood flow. This is such an overall miserable monthly, and often bi-monthly, experience.
Wondering what this has to do with cannabis?
Some people will take Midol or other over-the-counter medication (OTC) to help manage their discomfort during menstruation. Personally, I prefer cannabidiol (CBD) and coffee. But, when the pain is extreme I will pair it with a CBD coffee, full-spectrum cannabis extract, a CBD bubble bath, and/or a few CBD gummies. “CBD is the 2nd most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is derived from the hemp plant and has no psychoactive properties so it does not get you high. CBD works with the endocannabinoid system inside our bodies. Studies and CBD user reports indicate CBD may help with a variety of conditions including managing epilepsy and other seizure disorders, anxiety, addiction, and chronic pain. CBD does have some side effects such as regular use may result in abnormalities in some blood tests.” (Grinspoon, 2021)
CBD and Menstrual Symptoms
Although research is limited as to how effective CBD is in managing menstrual symptoms,
“A study published in 2019, from the Online Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties may help with specific menstrual discomforts, such as lower abdominal cramps and low back pain.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) may be an alternative treatment for dysmenorrhea and other premenstrual syndromes (PMS), such as headaches and mood swings.
CBD may prevent prostaglandin production. Cannabidiol is known to inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) over cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), which means it may be promising as an anti-inflammatory and help with pain relief” (Smith, 2022)
My Personal Experience
While research is still limited as to exactly how beneficial using CBD is to manage menstruation symptoms, as someone that has had a menstrual cycle for 28 years, I have tried many OTC and prescribed medications to manage my dysmenorrhea. I have admittedly had the best results in using CBD products.
“I highly recommend incorporating CBD into your menstrual self-care regiment and into your daily life. “Amberdawn Speer
Please remember CBD comes in many forms and is sold as a supplement, so it is not regulated by the FDA and you need to research what is right for you. Go slow and report to your physician that you are using CBD in case of a negative side effect.
Also, I’d be remiss to say that if you are ever in Colorado and want to try a CBD coffee, there is a fabulous woman /couple-owned small business that is an espresso and snack mobile. It goes by the name of The Sacred Bean and is located in Pueblo, Colorado. Every month, when I need that extra CBD and coffee to manage my dysmenorrhea, I head over there. The experience is always uplifting and I get exactly what I need to help relieve my menstrual symptoms. Find them online for set up times on Instagram and on Facebook.
Grinspoon, Peter. “Cannabidiol (CBD)-What We Know and What We Don’t.” Harvard Health, 24 Sept. 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476. Smith, Fay. “CBD for Menstrual Cramps – March 2022.” CBD Clinicals, 10 Mar. 2022, https://cbdclinicals.com/best-cbd-for-menstrual-cramps/