How Cannabis Can Treat Menstrual Pain

It is unlikely that there will be a woman who has never experienced pain during menstruation – and some of us these days only manage to lie down and suffer. The pain is unsettling, does not allow you to do ordinary things and work fully – and it seems that all means are good in the fight against it. In particular, in the United States, there are cannabis “tampons” specifically designed to relieve menstrual pain. Finding out if marijuana can really help.

Why menstruation hurts

Many women at any age face painful periods. Sometimes their cause lies in certain diseases, but pain can also occur with a completely healthy reproductive system. In this case, discomfort in the lower abdomen and pain in the abdomen, back, and head are the work of prostaglandins. These chemicals are responsible for transmitting pain signals from receptors to the brain – and it is during menstruation that some women have more of them than needed, especially during uterine contractions. Some people endure pain more severely than others – this is due to genetic characteristics.

Natracare's organic cotton period products, including; tampons, applicator tampons, pads, curved panty liners
Photo by Natracare / Unsplash

Of course, pain relievers do not help everyone equally, and they have enough side effects. Hormonal contraception has a good effect – it replaces the natural cycle with an artificial one, at the same time eliminating all the accompanying problems. But, of course, this method is not for everyone. Traditional methods (for example, certain yoga poses or decoctions) work mainly due to the placebo effect. The extreme option is an operation that destroys the nerve endings inside the uterus, but this is a complex intervention that does not provide guarantees. In general, the question of how to make your periods less painful remains open.

What does marijuana have to do with it

One way to relieve pain is to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus so that spasms do not release pain mediators. The main active ingredients in marijuana are cannabinoids, in particular THC and CBD. The former is psychoactive and helps relieve pain, while the latter reduces inflammation. Together, they relax the muscles. According to Broadly magazine testing, it really works: the discomfort disappears about twenty minutes after the suppository is applied, and no psychotropic effects are observed. True or not, it is difficult to say – there are no reviews or studies on this topic in scientific journals.

When should we wait for pain-relieving tampons

It is unlikely that we can seriously count on the fact that someone will come up with special hygiene products to help us get through a difficult period. Perhaps this is due to the fact that menstrual pain is not a matter of life and death, and if it does not pose a threat to reproductive health, then it is not very interesting for researchers and pharmaceutical companies. After all, there are already enough painkillers on the shelves of pharmacies. Besides, the topic of legalizing marijuana, and its use is too explosive, and medicine has not yet decided what is more in cannabinoids – benefit or harm.

Of course, cannabis has been used for pain relief since time immemorial, but evidence-based medicine has so far focused more on the harmful effects of marijuana. Marijuana has been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain, suppressing nausea in people undergoing chemotherapy, and improving sleep. But if in people with end-stage cancer the benefits of the pain-relieving effect of marijuana clearly outweigh the possible harm, then it is too early to talk about the balance of benefits and risks with monthly use in young healthy women.

Besides, given the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids, they are now actively studying how they affect the nervous system – for example, whether they can help with epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease. Much of the research on marijuana is still focused on the harmful effects of its non-medicinal use – but the medical community has come to recognize that there is not enough data on the properties of cannabis.

The Foria company created “tampons” with marijuana – it specializes mainly in lubricants, which include cannabis extract. After marijuana was legalized in several states, the company came up with aids to help relax during sex. And then it was decided to use the pacifying effect in order to help women cope with pain during menstruation.

In fact, these are, of course, not tampons – they do not absorb secretions. These are suppositories, that is, candles that are composed of cocoa butter (they say, hemp healing candles smell like cookies) and cannabinoids. The active ingredient is absorbed through the vaginal mucosa and reduces muscle spasms. Manufacturers claim that the dose of drugs is such that it relieves pain, but cannot cause euphoria.

Anastasia Fetter

Anastasia Fetter