CBD oil for menstrual cramps? Does it actually work? We’ve done a deep dive, so buckle up. Here’s everything you need to know about CBD and period pain.
What Is CBD?
Let’s start with what CBD is and what CBD isn’t. According to CBD wellness brand, House of Wise, “CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound extracted from the cannabis plant.” It is just one of many naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana plants.
While cannabis may be best known for it’s recreational uses, CBD does not contain any significant amounts of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that causes users to experience a “high”.
Essentially, CBD has many reported benefits but any sort of recreational value is not one.
CBD & Period Pain
CBD isn’t a miracle cure, but it may help to reduce inflammation which can, in turn, help with reducing the severity of period related symptoms, like menstrual cramps. Natural remedies like utilizing heating pads and herbal teas can also be helpful first steps to ease painful pms symptoms.
CBD users have reported reduced inflammation, less severe mood swings, overall pain relief, and even less anxiety. While most of the claims about the benefits of CBD are anecdotal, there is some evidence that it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with things like menstrual cramps and pain caused by endometriosis. Honestly, we think that anything that could offer a level of relief from your menstrual cycle warrants taking a closer look.
Other ideas to help reduce period symptoms:
- A heating pad placed on the lower abdomen
- If possible, get plenty of rest. Easier said than done, we know.
- Reduce sodium, sugar, & caffeine consumption just before and during your period
- Avoid foods that are known to cause you to be more gassy or bloated
- Move around. Regular exercise has been proven to help relieve PMS symptoms
CBD Product Types
CBD comes in a wide array of forms to meet your needs, so let’s get to it!
Gummies are an easy way to use CBD, and unlike other options, they don’t have [often] breakable packaging which makes them convenient for on-the-go. Most we’ve found come in a range of concentrations from 5mg to 50mg of CBD. One of my favorites is the stress gummies from House of Wise. They contain 15mg of full-spectrum CBD, which means that it contains beneficial compounds that are naturally found in the cannabis plant.
CBD Tinctures, Tonics, & Drops
Tinctures, tonics, and drops are best taken under the tongue, but some people also like to add them to beverages. They come in a wide array of strengths and dose quantities. A couple of great options are the Foria Tonic with CBD (available in orange, mint, or unflavored) and the Stress Tincture from House of Wise.
Some brands also use hemp seed oil as a carrier, which is naturally rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Daye is a unique brand of tampon that coats their tampons with CBD. While it may seem a little strange, the idea of inserting medicines (and like things) into the vagina is not new. There is some reason to think that applying CBD locally may help provide relief, though I am not aware of any studies on this specifically.
If you’re interested in trying the out, you can save 20% by using code PUTACUPINIT on their website.
CBD Suppositories and Melts
Suppositories and melts, like these Relief Melts or Intimacy Melts from Foria, can be inserted vaginally and may be used to ease discomfort, from things like period pains, or used in connection with sexual activities to enhance pleasure.
Similar to melts, lubricants can be used both for relief or pleasure. Be sure to check with the brand you buy to be sure that it’s safe for internal use. The Intimacy Sex Oil from Foria is safe for both internal and external use.
Using a vape pen seem to be a popular option, but it’s one that I don’t feel comfortable recommending. Generally speaking, vaping, smoking, or otherwise putting substances into your lungs can be risky. If you choose this option, I do recommend seeking out a brand that you feel very comfortable with, and also doing research to know what you may want to look out for to avoid.
Is CBD Safe?
CBD is considered safe. That said, everyone is different and reactions aren’t impossible. According to the Mayo Clinic, CBD is often well tolerated but may cause some mild side effects.
Potential side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Drowsiness & fatigue
Care should also be taken if you’re on medications that it may interact with, so definitely talk with a trusted healthcare provider and/or a pharmacist if you are on any medications. Cannabidiol can affect how your body metabolizes other drugs, for example with blood thinners and nsaids like ibuprofen. It is also not advised to use these products if you’re pregnant.
The Food and Drug Administration (or FDA) does monitor the use of and associated claims made by companies in their marketing. If you’re interested, there is more in-depth information on the FDA website, here.
Is CBD Legal?
The legality of marijuana varies by state, and while no states ban the use of CBD, there are restrictions on the types of CBD allowed. CFAH has a great breakdown of the legality by state, as well as information on what type of CBD (hemp derived or marijuana derived) and how and where to purchase in your state.
According to them the difference is that hemp contains abundant amounts of CBD and only trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%), while marijuana has higher THC amounts and CBD content that will vary by strain.
Have you tried CBD to help alleviate period pain?
I’d love to hear about your thoughts or experience of using cannabis and/or CBD products for menstrual pain relief in the comments.