Jessica Shepherd, MD, Verywell Health's Chief Medical Officer, is a board-certified women's health expert and nationally-recognized speaker addressing physical, sexual, and emotional health.
How marijuana is meant to achieve the relief remains unclear. At its heart, menstrual cramps are triggered by the release of inflammatory compounds, called prostaglandins, during menstruation. Women who produce are excessive amounts of prostaglandins are more likely to experience severe cramps.
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Not surprisingly, there is a lack of quality research regarding the benefits of medical marijuana in treating menstrual pain. Even so, cannabis has a long history of use in gynecology. Back in the late-19th century, Sir John Russell Reynolds, Queen Victoria’s personal physician, was said to prescribe hemp tincture to relieve the monarch’s painful menstrual cramps.
At this point, we don’t really know how safe medical marijuana use. Although many people presume it to be safe, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) warns that the long-term consequences of marijuana use are still unknown.
The body is populated with a vast quantity of cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 and CB2, found mainly in the central nervous system but also in the lungs, liver, kidneys, and joints. These are the same receptors that naturally-occurring compounds, called endocannabinoids, attach to.
Thanks to pharmacological-grade Epsom salt, apricot kernel oil, avocado seed oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, aloe vera, essential oils, and oh yeah, sun-grown cannabis, this isn’t your average bath soak. We highly recommend it come that time of the month when you’re feeling especially crampy and achy, as its medical cannabis promotes relaxation and yes, epic pain relief. (Plus, it has a luscious, warm, and woodsy scent.)
Just when you never thought you’d never see the likes of a vaping pen on Byrdie, well, here we are. (All in the name of preventing period pain, of course.) But despite their perhaps eyebrow-raising reputation, these CBD and THC pens from Dosist can work well for pain management and are infused with custom blends of all-natural terpenes. You’ll need to locate them at participating retailers, though (and prices may vary).
If you’re in the market for a hard-hitting topical that has the potential to offer hours of pain relief, this all-natural botanical balm might be a good option. It’s enriched with hydrating coconut oil and the award-winning 3:1 ratio formulation has more than 400 mg of cannabinoids per jar.
Professional Thoughts on Products
Decadent dark chocolate (lots of it) and our period go together like peanut butter and jelly—it’s a winning, no-brainer combination. Then, go ahead and add 90mg of THC and you’ve reached another level of bliss entirely. Enter Défoncé (translated to “stoned” in French), a bougie and irresistibly cannabis-infused chocolatier lessening period qualms for women everywhere (or at least for those who get major cravings.) MedMen recommends its “Dark+” iteration, which boasts 90mg of THC and 81% pure cacao. Just try to limit your consumption—with 18 pieces per bar, you’ll get roughly 5mg of THC per bite. (A true test of self-control, we know.)
According to a MedMen spokesperson, Foria’s beloved suppositories have been carefully crafted to maximize the muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving benefits of cannabis without a psychotropic effect. Boasting antispasmodic and pain-relieving properties, you’ll apply the suppositories directly to the area in need of relief —yes, they go directly into your vagina. Not all that surprisingly, they’re one of MedMen’s best-selling products.
Boasting a sweet and soothing cooling sensation, this extra-strength body spray offers fast-as-lightning pain relief perfect for those who suffer from PMS-induced cramps. It’s handily optimal for all skin types, conveniently sized, and expertly balances a small percentage of cannabis with other natural botanical pain relievers like arnica, juniper, peppermint, and clove. Simply spray one to two pumps of mist on your targeted area and wait a few seconds for it to dry.
1. As an anti-inflammatory, CBD can limit the degree of inflammation and swelling, which can both lead to pain.