Is CBD really effective for period pains and which products should you use?

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Is CBD good for periods?

It’s often marketed as the new miracle natural solution everywhere, but is CBD is really good for periods? Period pains can be so excruciating. Sometimes it’s hard to go on about your day without turning to something for pain relief. I have bad symptoms (really bad cramps, feeling super bloated, mood swings and trouble regulating my emotions etc) every month. As the years went by I felt more and more uncomfortable using pharmaceutical drugs to address this natural phenomenon in my body. Especially on such a regular basis… There had to be other ways to address this worldwide age-old phenomenon.

I started doing some research on more natural pain relieving solutions for menstrual symptoms. I found that CBD is a natural, efficient alternative. CBD has proven pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that can really help your body through this difficult part of your cycle. Because it comes from cannabis it’s gotten a really bad rep over the years. Researchers and doctors have overlooked its great potential for women who experience really bad period pains. Thankfully with the legalization of marijuana in a few countries such as the US or Canada that’s starting to change over the past few years.

In this article I’ll explain how CBD is really effective for period pains and why it’s just a great viable option for menstrual symptoms !

How does CBD help period symptoms?

Studies on cannabis are very limited due to restrictions on cannabis use and research. For that reason, unfortunately there is no research being done today on whether CBD is really effective for treating menstrual symptoms.

However there are studies done on CBD and pain relief so we can look into those. We can also look at the numerous personal testimonies found online and around us from women who have tried CBD to alleviate their menstrual pains. There are a few reasons why CBD is good for period cramps and menstrual pains that we’ll get into in this article.

Research has shown that CBD, or cannabidiol, has proven pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have also shown that CBD can help with mood swings. Let’s look into how that could apply to menstrual pains and why that could show CBD is effective in treating period symptoms.

Is CBD good for period cramps?

When you have your period your body will start to release a lot of inflammatory prostaglandins. These are what cause your cramps. They are hormones that trigger the muscle contraction of your uterus so that your body can expulse everything it needs to. The higher number of these hormones your body releases during your period: the more pain you’re going to feel. Taking this into account, studies have looked at the impact of anti inflammatory drugs on these hormones and thus on period pain relief. Many have proven that they are indeed effective at reducing the amount of pain women have on their period. 

Now the good news is that multiple studies, such as this one published in 2020, have demonstrated that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. So while studies on cannabidiol and period pains have yet to be done, these findings suggest that CBD can reduce inflammation and thus suggest that CBD is good for alleviating menstrual cramps.

To summarize : period cramps = your body releasing inflammatory hormones → anti inflammatory drugs are efficient against period cramps → CBD has proven anti inflammatory properties!

CBD has proven pain-relieving properties

Really bad period cramps can often prevent you from working, running errands or just basically anything that requires you to be a functioning human. The pain can sometimes be so excruciating that it’s impossible to continue your day like you normally would without taking a painkiller.

A study carried out early 2021 showed that while CBD doesn’t reduce the intensity of pain we feel, it can make it seem less irritating. This suggests that taking CBD will help you feel like the pain is more manageable. It’s not an instant pain killer like some pharmaceutical drugs however CBD will help the pain feel less unpleasant and reduce your period pains.

Moreover research sugests that CBD is a viable anxiolytic, meaning it can help you feel less anxious and just generally more at ease.

Does CBD help with PMS symptoms?

During the menstrual cycle we experience the complex interaction of many hormones. This has a very concrete impact on our mood, especially before we get our period. Premenstrual syndrome (aka PMS) is an array of physical and emotional symptoms (bloating, mood swings, fatigue, headaches etc) that appear 14 to 7 days before we get our period. Sometimes it can be hard to manage your emotions and not succomb to mood swings, and that’s okay! But how does CBD help with hormones and how exactly can CBD affect your menstrual cycle ?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell-signaling system present in our body that interacts with all cannabinoids, including cannabidiol. This 2021 article explains well how it works. Basically the ECS is responsible for balancing and regulating body processes that control everything from our mood, sleep, immune system function and metabolism. A Yale 2016 study concluded that the female reproductive system and the ECS are intricately linked. It also revealed that the highest concentration of the endocannabinoid anandamide is found in the uterus. This suggests CBD can have an active role in hormone regulation and help with PMS symptom relief.

Using THC for period pain

Now that we know how CBD is efficient at treating period pain, you might be wondering: what are the advantages of using THC to help period pains? Is it something I can combine with CBD use? 

A few women, like Bizzy Whitting, have shared their experience and have noted that CBD just isn’t a powerful enough pain killer. For some people it works better if they combine it with THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound and thus isn’t necessarily for everyone. Basically THC is the component of cannabis that “gets you high” so if that’s not something you want to experience – stay clear of it.

However THC does have proven pain relief properties. Not enough research has been done for us to understand exactly THC’s role in pain relief but multiple studies have shown that it can help reduce the feeling of pain. THC also has been shown to help treat insomnia, so if you’re having trouble sleeping because of a painful menstrual cycle THC might be more efficient than CBD. For that reason, some women have reported that they prefer combining the use of THC as well as CBD for period pain relief.

How should I take CBD for period pains?

If you want to try using CBD as a period pain relief the good news is there’s many ways you can do so! We added a list here so you can find the form that’s best adapted to your needs.

Edibles or CBD oil drops in your drink

A good way to take in CBD without changing up your routine too much is to incorporate it into what you’re already eating or drinking! CBD oil can be added to food (turning it into what is commonly called an ‘edible’) or to a drink such as your morning coffee. If you’re looking for recipes we have a whole section filled with delicious edible recipes. If you’re into comfort foods while on your period this is the ultimate combination. You can stuff your face with delicious CBD infused treats that alleviate your pain and warm your soul up.

CBD softgels

If you’re looking for a straightforward way to use CBD without having to incorporate it to anything or if you want to be able to take it in a discreet manner then softgels are probably right for you. These little capsules contain everything you need and there’s a whole range of them adapted to help you sleep, reduce anxiety or alleviate pain. 

CBD topicals

Another option is to use CBD is through topicals that you can directly apply to where it hurts (this is pertinent for headaches or bloating and stomach cramps). Oils, creams, lotions and salves are perfect if you want to use CBD to alleviate period cramps. Directly applying to your skin helps muscle tension and is also a convenient way to use CBD if you’re not a fan of its taste.

Vaping or smoking CBD

Some people also like to use CBD to treat period pains  by vaping or smoking it. Smoking comes with health risks that you won’t have if you use CBD differently but if you already smoke cannabis you might want to try strains with higher CBD ratios. Vaping isn’t much safer either, we won’t get into it because there’s a lot of ongoing research but it doesn’t look like it’s a much better alternative for your lungs. In any case, if that’s what you’re looking for there’s a lot of great CBD strains that you can use for period pain relief.

Take a CBD bath

woman reading in a bathtub

Last but not least if you love winding down in a warm relaxing bath then you’re going to love CBD bath bombs! Soaking in a hot CBD bath can help reduce inflammation and improve your blood circulation. And as an extra bonus, research has also suggested that CBD can help moisturize your skin, you’re going to feel like a real Cleopatra in your bath.

Last but not least if you love winding down in a warm relaxing bath then you’re going to love CBD bath bombs!

Soaking in a hot CBD bath can help reduce inflammation and improve your blood circulation. And as an extra bonus, research has also suggested that CBD can help moisturize your skin. Must buy if you want to feel like Cleopatra in your bath.

How to choose CBD for menstrual cramps

what CBD product should you use for period pains

Once you decide what type of CBD you want to use (oil, cream, softgel etc) you’re probably going to easily find a lot of brands that market these types of product. It can quickly be overwhelming especially when you’re a new user. How do you choose quality CBD? Don’t worry, we got you.

There are multiple factors to take into account, and if you’re interested in a longer explanation Crystal from DailyMarijuana has detailed them fully in this article. We created a summary that covers all the important points.

What to take into account when choosing a CBD product:

  • is it made by a company that provides third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab and provides evidence of this testing?
  • is the source of CBD indicated?
  • does it contain THC?
  • is it free of heavy metals, pesticides, and molds, according to the COA?
  • what is the CBD concentration?
  • what CBD type is it?
  • is there an ingredient list and are those ingredients sourced?
  • can you find the company certifications and manufacturing processes?
  • can you find any customer reviews?

How much CBD should I take for menstrual cramps and pains?

If you’re wondering how much CBD should I take for PMS? Or how much CBD should I take for menstrual cramps? There is no “right” answer to this question. The answer is going to vary depending on individuals.

The general recommendation is to start low enough and to slowly increase the daily dosage until you find the desired effect.

Depending on how bad your pain is you might want to start with a dosage of 10mg to 20mg per day. If you want to try a higher dosage I recommend you increase it by 10mg and that you give yourself enough time to assess how the change of dose is having an effect on you. It’s important to be attentive to how your respond to every dose and monitor it so you can find your ideal amount. 

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Is CBD a viable long term solution for menstrual symptoms?

Is CBD is good for period pain? Yes for me it is, but after all my research on the subject I understand that it’s not as easy as that. I found many different testimonies online, some saying that CBD was very effective at treating their period pains and others quite the opposite. To me what this shows is that it’s a very personal experience and you won’t know until you’ve tried it for yourself.

 

Is there even ONE answer to the question “what is the best pain relief for period pain?” ? There is no “right” answer to this question, each woman is going to experience her pain differently and remedies that work for some might not work for others. Basically there is no miracle solution, if you have really bad period pain or suffer from endometriosis this won’t be ultimate cure to your aches but it could help you so why not try it. Test and try different stuff! It’s not because it didn’t work for some people that it won’t work for you.

 

A lot of testimonies online have shown that CBD can be a good pain relief for period pain so while it may not be an instant cure it can help you find some extra comfort in that difficult time of the month. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of pharmaceutical drugs you take on a monthly basis this might be a good solution. Using cbd on days were your pain is more manageable or combining it with other solutions on days where its just horrible can contribute to alleviating menstrual symptoms.

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