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cbd salve for menstrual cramps

At $44 for four suppositories, Foria is not cheap. They are best for use before bed — or at least when you’re not about to stand up right after (because you want the medicine to stay up in there and not drip out). Each serving has 60mg of THC and 10mg of CBD, but it doesn’t make you feel high — it just alleviates all your pain.

One night, when I was feeling both crampy and cozy, I took a spoonful and made some hot chocolate. Within around 20 minutes, my cramps started to melt away in a subtle way — not all of a sudden, but more like a slow abatement. They were replaced with a pretty intense body high, kind of like eating a special brownie.

What It Was Like To Use

It’s common knowledge that heat is a good way to get cramping muscles to relax. Hot baths or showers can also help by increasing blood flow to your uterus area and causing the muscles there to relax. The geniuses over at Whoopi & Maya (yep, as in Whoopi Goldberg) created a cannabis Epsom bath salt to merge the pain relief powers of cannabis with that of natural heat.

What worked even better was making DIY suppositories from it — I froze little scoops into tiny balls, which I then put up my vagina. This worked super well, as did scooping some of the balm directly into my vagina. For both of these, it gave me a bit of numbness, but not anything scary or annoying.

The Whoopi & Maya tincture is significantly less expensive than the CBD one, most likely because CBD is a lot harder to extract than just making a tincture with marijuana as-is, which is mostly THC. A 1oz bottle costs $27-30 and a 2oz one for $45-50.

But what exactly happens within the body after both compounds are ingested? And on a more specific note, how does any of this have to do with debilitating PMS symptoms like cramps, sleeplessness, anxiety, and the like? Well, this is where it gets scientific (i.e., complicated and interesting), so I reached out to Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD, at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

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.)

CBD + THC Decoded

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.)

Here’s the honest to goodness truth of it: I’m not an expert on cannabis for PMS. In fact, I’m not an expert on cannabis in general. And while I could blame this on the fact I grew up in a state where smoking weed was illegal (not that that stopped anyone), my hunch is it has more to do with that one time in Amsterdam when, after consuming an astonishingly potent space cake (note: “Cake” might have actually been plural), I woke up the next morning high as a kite, proceeded to get lost in the cobblestoned streets of Leiden, proceeded to take the wrong train *not* to the airport, and thus, ultimately missed my flight back to Galway, Ireland, where I was living at the time. And as my first time experimenting with the stuff, it wasn’t, shall we say, ideal. So fast-forward four years later and here I am living in Los Angeles (where taking a hit is as normal as bringing your dog into Whole Foods) with a bad taste in my mouth for weed—very un-Angeleno to say the least.

Friedman elaborates, “First off, many of the over-the-counter CBD-containing creams have other scientifically proven analgesic compounds like menthol, camphor, and capsaicin, so it’s hard to know what’s doing the heavy lifting. Second, we have a good amount of animal data, but not many human studies, where topically applied cannabinoids are concerned. So to be honest, who is to know without the clinical science,” Friedman tells us. That being said, he reassures us these types of treatments (again, if high-quality and trustworthy) certainly won’t hurt you, and it’s worth experimenting if you’re interested in an alternative way to treat PMS symptoms. (And live in a state or region where these types of products are legalized, of course.)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) commonly used to treat menstrual cramps—like Advil (ibuprofen) and Celebrex (celecoxib)—block the production of prostaglandins by binding to COX receptors in the brain and other tissues.  

This suggests that THC and CBD are most beneficial in treating chronic neuropathic pain and inflammatory joint disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Even so, a 2018 review from the University of Alberta suggests that the benefits may be small.  

What the Evidence Says

At present, there is no compelling evidence to support the use of medical marijuana in treating menstrual cramps. However robust the testimonials or anecdotal evidence may be, they lack any clear explanation of how the drug is meant to work. Do not be swayed by manufacturer claims that may or may not be true.

While THC and CBD are thought to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, how they do so differs from other anti-inflammatory or analgesic agents.

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.