From PMS to menopause and everything in between, women’s health issues can be some of the most painful conditions that half of the world’s population must face in their lifetime. Some go-to remedies include hot water bottles, ibuprofen and even hormone replacement therapy.
But many women are discovering the healing powers of cannabis for various women’s health conditions. Marijuana can deliver effective pain relief because the cannabinoids in the plant interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies. The ECS helps regulate processes that women experience during their periods like mood swings, heightened emotions and pain. Consuming cannabis boosts the cannabinoids in the body and helps ease these symptoms. There’s also been recent research into the relationship between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and estrogen that suggests THC may ease menopause symptoms.
If you or someone you know is looking for relief from painful cramps, hot flashes or mood swings, have a look at our top three questions and answers surrounding marijuana and women’s health from our Answers page. We hope these answers shed some light on how cannabis can help.
Q: How can marijuana make me feel better if I have PMS mood swings?
A few days before my period I get mood swings and feel very tired—I feel like the world is against me. Can marijuana stop this feeling? Answer @dredmunds: The short answer is, it might! The estrogen and progesterone cycles are responsible for mood swings many women experience during PMS and prostaglandins are responsible for pain and discomfort. There are several properties within cannabis that may be helpful for PMS in general.
Some women report that an indica strain can be helpful for alleviating pain and inducing relaxation in the evening.
Hybrid strains with both indica for comfort and sativa for mood elevation/stabilization have also been helpful. Some examples include Obama Kush, Blue Dream, and Dutch Treat.
Q: I'm going through menopause, and the hot flashes keep me up at night. What can you recommend?
I need to sleep, but am afraid that marijuana may exacerbate some of my issues with anxiety.
Answer: @lauriel Hot flashes are indeed one of the most difficult side effects of menopause. And when they’re affecting your sleep, that adds an additional layer of stress to your day. Some things you can do near bedtime, that are not cannabis related, are to avoid caffeine (including chocolate), alcohol, spicy foods, tight clothing, extra blankets and cigarette smoke.
Whoopi (Goldberg) and Maya make topical rubs, bath soaks and yummy sipping cacao chocolate treats specifically for women. At night, you can bathe in Whoopi & Maya’s Medical Cannabis Bath Soak. The soak promotes a state of deep relaxation and offers relief from the aches, pains and cramping associated with the menstrual cycle. Follow that bath with a Whoopi and Maya topical rub and you're on your way to deep relaxation.
Whoopi and Maya's CBD chocolate sipping cacao that would be especially good for you in the daytime, since CBD is known for its calming and anti-anxiety effects. Cacao enters your body through your endocannabinoid receptors just like cannabis, and releases an array of “feel good” chemicals that physically improves your mood. Coupled with cannabis this raw, organic cacao can help with inflammation, sleep, pain, irritability, joint pain, and the uterine cramping and discomfort associated with the menstrual cycle, all while providing for a truly health beneficial experience.
The high content of magnesium and iron the chocolate contains makes it desirable as these deficiencies become heightened during menstruation. A study from the Virginia University Health System discovered that magnesium supplements can reduce hot flash frequency in women from 52 to 28 per week—a 41% reduction.
Q: Best cannabis product for cramps?
_ I just bought Foria Relief but haven't yet tried it._
Answer: @VeronicaB: Hi there! We LOVE Foria products, and encourage our patients to try them out! Here is an article of ours that talks more about their suppositories: https://www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/56be5b9d17c1c1000c000061/menstrual-cramps-be-damned-with-new-cannabis-vaginal-suppository
You may also find this article helpful: Top 5 Marijuana Strains for PMS and Menopause - https://www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/58227fd8589a2b0008020469/top-5-marijuana-strains-for-pms-and-menopause [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jwJQL4m2bQ]
Photo credit: Cagatay Orhan