How To Use CBD to Combat Menstrual Pain
Once a month (roughly), women with healthy reproductive systems who are still in their child-bearing years get a visit that isn’t necessarily welcomed.
Bloating, cramps, irritability, and weight gain often accompany this visit, which often prompts a call into work sick or cancel plans with friends.
Menstruation may not be a pleasant experience, but it’s a sign that a woman’s reproductive system is working.
But all those symptoms that come with it can interfere with everyday life, particularly when it comes to menstrual cramps.
While some women may experience mild cramping, others go through excruciating pain that can leave them buckled over.
Luckily, there are pain medications that are potent enough to curb this pain and discomfort. But many of these medications can also come with unwanted side effects, including stomach pain, heartburn, and even ulcers.
However, there is a more natural supplement that has been shown to have pain-alleviating properties that may be effective at targeting pain associated with menstrual cramps – cannabidiol (CBD).
In this article, we will share what CBD is and how can the cannabinoid can provide relief from menstrual pain.
Why Do Women Experience Pain With Menstruation?
Before we get into CBD’s role in alleviating menstrual pain, let’s answer one question first: why exactly do women experience cramps when they menstruate?
The simple answer is that menstrual pain is a result of muscle contraction in the uterus.
In women who are in their reproductive years and get periods roughly once a month, the uterus is preparing for a potential pregnancy. The uterus builds up its endometrial tissue in an effort to prepare itself to carry a fetus, and following ovulation, a surge of progesterone helps to boost up this tissue with arteries and blood.
If pregnancy does not occur, menstruation takes place, which is why women bleed during this time.
As progesterone levels decrease after the body is told that no pregnancy is taking place, the tissue in the uterus shrinks and blood flow to the arteries is cut off.
This is when the endometrial tissue prepares to shed and pain can be experienced.
Menstrual pain often includes cramping in the pelvic region, stomach, lower back, and even in the legs.
Along with the cramping may also come from nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhea. More severe pain may be the result of a higher level of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that trigger uterine contractions.
CBD: What is it and How Does it Work in the Body?
CBD is a type of cannabinoid that is sourced mainly from hemp plants. It’s a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which means it does not induce any mind-altering effects in anyone who consumes it, unlike another abundant cannabinoid in the plant: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD’s effect on the body stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the body, which is filled with a ton of CB (cannabinoid receptors) mainly found in the nervous system and immune system.
This complex system is tasked with maintaining homeostasis in the body, however, when the body’s internal environment is not in perfect equilibrium, all sorts of issues can arise.
From pain, inflammation, nausea, and beyond, the ailments that can come about as a result of the lack of homeostasis in the body are plentiful.
But when CBD is introduced to the body, it can interact with the CB receptors of the ECS system, which can, in turn, help to foster certain effects, including relieving pain.
How Does CBD Work to Relieve Pain?
Clinical trials of CBD for pain has uncovered a great deal of evidence encouraging its use in treating various types of pain, including pain associated with menstrual cramps.
Not only is CBD effective at relieving the pain associated with menstrual cramps, but its reach is much further and can encompass pain relief associated with other types of medical issues, including arthritis, surgery, acute injuries, and others.
As mentioned, CBD influences CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system to induce specific effects, including pain relief. These receptors are small proteins that are attached to the membranes of cells all over the body and receive chemical signals from various triggers that prompt the body’s cells to respond in a certain way.
CBD can help the receptors respond in such a way to create pain-relieving effects in the face of issues that stimulate pain. Several studies have already been conducted, and continue to be conducted that link the consumption and application of CBD to pain relief, including for menstrual cramps.
Recent research on CBD and its application as a pain-relieving agent through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system is well documented.
How to Take CBD to Deal With Menstrual Cramps
There are several ways to consume CBD in an effort to tackle pain resulting from menstruation. Here are some of the more common modes of consumption to help women deal with the pain associated with their menstrual periods.
CBD capsules – For those who are new to the world of CBD, capsules might be the ideal mode of consumption. Capsules are already precisely dosed, making it easy for novices to take CBD and know exactly how much they are consuming.
CBD capsules are also easy to take, discreet, and can be easily transported, much like any other type of pain-relieving medication that may otherwise have been used to calm menstrual cramp pain.
CBD tinctures – A great way to get relief from menstrual pain rather quickly is to take CBD sublingually. Using a dropper, CBD tinctures can be applied directly under the tongue, allowing the cannabinoid to be directly absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth.
By consuming CBD this way, there is no need for it to have to be metabolized in the digestive system, and instead, the cannabinoid can directly enter the bloodstream to take systemic effect.
Allowing the CBD to absorb under the tongue instead of exposing it to the digestive system helps to preserve more of the CBD, which means less CBD needs to be taken and results can be experienced faster.
CBD sprays – Another mode of CBD consumption that allows for fast delivery of CBD to the cells of the body is through the form of a spray.
Oral CBD sprays are trending more than ever now and for good reason too. Not only are they discreet and pocket-sized, but they deliver a high-level dose of CBD in microdroplets.
These microdroplets get taken directly to your bloodstream allowing for quick absorption and the best results — no relying on the digestion system to do the work.
CBD edibles – Edibles are also a great way to take CBD for menstrual cramps and come in a variety of different products, including cookies, candies, gummies, and even chocolate truffles.
With edibles, however, the CBD must be digested first, which means it may take a little while before the effects are felt. That said, once the effects do kick in, they can be long-lasting.
CBD May Help With Menstrual Cramps
CBD has plenty of medical applications, and pain relief is one of them.
In fact, the alleviation of pain is one of the more common reasons why consumers choose to take CBD, and with plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD works to relieve pain, it may be worth trying to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with menstrual cramps.
Though, if you are new to the world of hemp-derived products, we recommend that you speak to your primary healthcare professional before consuming.