Guest post by Autumn White
CBD has the potential to help with so many physical and mental ailments. It is no surprise that one ailment millions of women deal with every month is next on the list to be considered. Does CBD help with menstrual cramps? Personal experience will always be the best way to answer this question, but we can always turn to history and current research for answers.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a compound found in cannabis. It is not psychoactive, in fact it counteracts the THC effect. Strains high in CBD and low in THC can relieve pain without making you high. Research shows that it reduces pains , inflammation and more. CBD also inhibits the prostaglandin-producing enzyme. This enzyme is the reason inflammation is triggered, blood vessels constrict and uterine contractions are caused.
What Happens During Your Period?
Estrogen begins to increase in the body, which triggers the uterus to grow endometrial tissue. Once you ovulate, progesterone is increased which triggers the tissue to plump with blood in preparation for a child. If not fertilized, the progesterone stops flowing and the tissue and blood saved for the child begin to sloth off. This decrease of progesterone triggers Prostaglandins which cause inflammation, pain sensitization, vasoconstriction, uterine contractions, and heavy bleeding. As mentioned, CBD inhibits prostaglandins, which are the trigger of the pain.
History of Cannabis Use for Pain
Since policymakers have been wanting to legalize cannabis, a plethora of rumors have surfaced. When researching if cannabis can help menstrual cramps, you will find articles claiming that a personal doctor of Queen Victoria had prescribed her cannabis. What really transpired was this doctor Russell Reynolds was a physician to the entire royal household, not particularly the Queen, and she herself had many medical professionals responsible for her care. He did not claim until 1890 (Queen Victoria was past the age of menstruation by this time) that cannabis “‘when pure and administered carefully, is one of the most valuable medicines we possess”.
Policymakers turn to these unsubstantiated claims due to the fact that they work. People won’t do the research to see if the claim is true. People feel comfortable with the idea of legalizing something that was once appropriate long ago simply because of that reason. The best way to really know if cannabis is helpful with cramps is testing.
Can CBD help with Menstrual Cramps like Marijuana does?
There is a big difference between taking CBD than smoking a marijuana joint. CBD is extracted from the plant and depending on how it can be void of its terpenes and other elements it actually needs to work. Finding a CBD product that actually has the content it claims it does, is a feat all on its own. Businesses like Amazon even sell “hemp oil” which is not the same as CBD Oil Tincture. The bioavailability of any CBD product is also hard to prove. Smoking CBD hemp flower will most likely give you the greatest effect because it bypasses your digestive system. Even taking a tincture only yields a measly 27% likelihood of actually being absorbed into your system. Topicals are a popular choice but there are double the amount of companies selling fake topicals because they are so cheap to produce.
How Should I test if CBD is the right treatment for me?
Since most doctors won’t tell you outright to try CBD, it’s going to be a big effort on your part to decide if CBD works. First, trying to find real and legitimate reviews of certain brands is the best way to start. Using forums and facebook groups not run by business owners are great ways to find real people who have tried certain brands. Once you find a brand you trust, microdosing CBD in whatever delivery method you choose is best. Keep a detailed diary of how you feel. Always be aware of the placebo effect, which is when your brain tricks you into thinking that whatever you just took is actually providing you with relief. Education is your best friend in this testing phase. Reading up on scientific-based articles can help you understand how cannabis works and if CBD is right for you.
Does CBD Help with Menstrual Cramps?
There is plenty of research that points to the pain reduction effects of cannabis. Discoveries of how CBD can reduce inflammation and help with chronic pain do exist. One could assume that these healing properties would also work with menstrual cramps. Always consult a physician if you are experiencing pain that is debilitating.
Guest post by Autumn White