It seems like a monthly plague. The throbbing, cramping pain in your lower abdomen that women know to be menstrual cramps. At times, the pain gets so intense it radiates to your lower back and spreads to your inner thighs.
Menstrual cramps come with being female, but how do you get relief?
For many women, menstrual cramps can feel debilitating. They may be temporary, but when they hit, all bets are off because sometimes these cramps can last for days on end. To make matters worse, some women even experience nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and headaches.
Common treatments including taking aspirin or some other kind of pain reliever, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen. Heat from something like a heating pad can also help, as can a warm bath.
But if you’re interested in holistic treatments, you may have wondered if CBD can help. After all, CBD products seem to be the latest and greatest. Let’s look at what menstrual cramps really are, and then take a closer look at the therapeutic values of CBD. Then you can better decide if CBD is the right answer for you.
WHAT ARE MENSTRUAL CRAMPS AND WHY DO WOMEN GET THEM?
According to the Mayo Clinic, menstrual cramps occur when the lining of the uterus contracts during monthly menstruation to expel the lining. Prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that are involved in pain and inflammation, trigger these cramps. Causes for menstrual cramps include:
- Endometriosis. Uterine tissue becomes implanted outside your uterus, most commonly on your fallopian tubes, ovaries or the tissue lining your pelvis.
- Uterine fibroids. Painful noncancerous growths in the uterine wall.
- Adenomyosis. The uterine lining begins to grow into the uterine walls.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease. Sexually-transmitted bacteria infects the female reproductive organs.
- Cervical stenosis. The cervical opening is so small it impedes menstrual flow.
Some women find relief by massaging their abdomen, exercising, eating light nutritious meals, practicing relaxation techniques or yoga, and taking vitamins B-6, B-1, E, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and magnesium. It’s also been suggested to reduce salt, alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake.
CBD AS AN INFLAMMATORY SYSTEM SUPPORT
Although much research still needs to be done, studies show that CBD appears to affect a certain group of molecules that are key to the inflammation process. And as we know, when inflammation occurs, pain isn’t far behind.
That’s why there’s so much interest in CBD and its many applications. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies for pain abound, but as interest in holistic treatments grows, so does the interest in CBD products and their ability to support healthy menstrual cycles.
Studies show that CBD interacts with certain receptors in the body’s nervous system, helping to support a better pain response. One study in rats showed that CBD reduced pain at a surgical site, while another showed that CBD appeared to reduce sciatic nerve pain and inflammation. The potential for CBD and inflammation support is encouraging.
One reason CBD has become such a popular go-to for inflammatory support is the lack of serious side effects. Dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness are among the most common CBD oil side effects.
WHY WOULD USERS TAKE CBD TO SUPPORT THEIR HEALTHY MENSTRUAL CYCLE?
CBD for menstrual support makes sense because research shows that CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help regulate our inflammatory response. The ECS regulates and balances many processes in the body in order to maintain internal balance and studies show that CBD oil may provide calming benefits.
When CBD interacts with the ECS, the areas of the body that tend to be affected by menstruation should benefit. CBD products can help promote relaxation of muscles, and menstrual cramps are caused by contractions of the uterine muscles. It makes sense CBD can help regulate menstrual cycles.
Try massaging a CBD balm into affected areas. CBD oil can also help with bloating and cramping by supporting a healthy digestive function. Take a few CBD drops a few days before your period to experience the effects.
DOSING CBD FOR MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
Using CBD in any amount for any condition always depends on the severity of the pain the individual is experiencing. It’s also important to note that CBD products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that labeling and content require a careful review by any consumer who chooses to use CBD.
As far as dosing, recommendations on how much to take can vary from person to person. However, CBD manufacturers recommend for menstrual support to start with a dosage of 30 mg or 40 mg per day, split over two doses, and monitor the results for effect.
Increase the dosage as needed by about 10 mg per day.
CBD FOR MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
Did you know that CBD now comes in suppositories for use in menstrual support? Remember to read labels so you understand if the product contains THC or not. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that gets users high, so you may want to steer clear of any pain reliever that contains it if you need to worry about drug testing.
Suppositories put the CBD right where you need it. Companies like Foria sell eight suppositories each containing 100 mg of CBD. The suppositories are manufactured with broad-spectrum CBD and organic cocoa butter and sell for $72 a box. Endoca sells a box of 10 suppositories each containing 500 mg of CBD for $52 a box.
And if you don’t want to go down there, traditional CBD oil like the kind sold by Bespoke Extracts is easy to dose orally with a dropper and simple to use.
Whatever you decide, research on the use of CBD for pain and inflammation continues to evolve, with endless possibilities on the horizon.