“Does weed help with period cramps?”
It’s a question that’s become increasingly popular as cannabis and its applications become more and more mainstream. In fact, treating menstrual cramps with cannabis dates back to the England of Charles Dickens. Queen Victoria (whose reign began June 20, 1837, and continued until her death on January 22, 1901) used marijuana for relief of severe menstrual cramps.
Prescribed by royal physician Sir J. R. Reynolds, Queen Victoria began using cannabis in 1890, roughly seventy years after it was first brought to England by Dr. W. B. O’Shaghnessy. Victoria was so impressed by its effectiveness, that she expanded her use of it beyond just relief from regular monthly discomforts, using it to lessen the symptoms of morning sickness and even as an “obstetrical anesthesia.”
Back to Basics, Cannabis and Pain Relief
Cannabis use has been well documented to provide relief for many conditions due to its potent pain relief and anti-nausea qualities. And now, because of its ability to encourage muscle relaxation, it is once again being looked at to provide relief from period cramps; pain that was recently found to be “officially” as bad as a some forms of cardiac disease.”
Professor John Guillebaud, (University College, London) made the declaration recently by reporting that research revealed period pain can be as severe “as having a heart attack.” Adding that most men don’t “get it” and because of that “it hasn’t been given the centrality it should have.”
Why Marijuana Helps With Period Cramps
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), two primary chemicals in marijuana help the uterine muscles in the body to relax, in a similar way that it provides relief from the muscle spasms associated with Multiple Sclerosis. There is also evidence to support that cannabis has a positive impact in soothing the emotional symptoms typically associated with Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (a more severe form of PMS). Cannabis is also well-know to help eliminate insomnia and reduces general anxiety.
Is there any research to support it?
Sadly, due to impediments resulting from current federal laws, researchers remain in a constant uphill battle to gather data, run trials and collect vital information to help discover marijuana’s full potential (including if it cannabis suppositories can alleviate the pain associated with period cramps).
But there is hope, and a ton of anecdotal evidence from women around the world to support its use. We know from existing research that cannabis can reduce pain, we are also aware that THC can reduce anxiety and nausea – the most common symptoms of PMS for which patients seek treatment.
Mike Aldrich, physician and cannabis historian, said he has “heard many anecdotal reports” from patients on how marijuana helps with period cramps and pain. On the other hand, Charles Bollmann of the University of New Jersey doesn’t support the use of cannabis for menstrual/period cramps. He claims “menstrual cramps are easily treated with conventional methods.”
With awareness and understanding of the medicinal effects of cannabis for a variety of medical conditions spreading, more and more prominent personalities are stepping up to raise awareness, some are even launching their own products!
“I have grown granddaughters who have severe cramps, so I said this is what I want to work on.” – Whoopi Goldberg, Vanity Fair
Last week Whoopi Goldberg announced that she had joined with Maya Elisabeth — one of medical marijuana’s leading “canna-businesswomen” — to launch a line of cannabis-infused products geared at providing relief from the symptoms of menstrual cramps.
“Whoopi & Maya” offers a wide-range of products including edibles, topical rubs, tinctures and even a bath soak. Goldberg said discretion was a key feature in the creation of her product line because it allows you the option of getting relief without “getting high.” The topical rub, for example, could be used for lower back pain while at work while a cannabis-infused bath soak at the end of the day may be just the remedy you need.
The idea of a cannabis rub for PMS is not a new thing. Remember Queen Victoria? Back in the day, a topical rub was made by combining cannabis and lamb’s fat, then massaged into the breasts for relief from and dispersal of swelling. (Thankfully more pleasant carrier oils, like olive, avocado seed, apricot kernel and jojoba have replaced presence of lamb’s fat! )
“Maya & Whoopi” isn’t the only product on the market either. Foria currently offers a line of feminine goodies that, while aimed primarily at enhancing the sexual experience, does contain a 4-pack of “relief suppositories” which promise to “deliver the medicine directly to where it is needed most.” It’s essentially a CBD-based product for menstrual pain and period cramps. And most recently, a company called Livia (not cannabis-related) launched an Indigogo campaign for their feminine product, which they advertise as the “off switch for menstrual cramps.” It works by tuning into the “wavelength frequency of your menstrual pain and blocks the pain from registering in your body.”
Emily (Aspen, CO): I swear by it. Vape or tea to get me over the hump of pain once a month.
Freida (Inglewood, CA): For me, there wasn’t ever really a debate. I have been using cannabis for pain relief for years. I refuse to consume toxic chemicals to heal my body. That kind of logic never has and never will make sense to me.
(the Netherlands): I guess you’d call me a hippie. I mean I’m all about being natural and yeah, menstruating is natural, but I don’t believe in unnecessary suffering, so I take a natural remedy.