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CBD To Ease Menstrual Discomfort

Can CBD help women with PMS pain? In this article, we explain how CBD (cannabidiol) could alleviate the monthly discomfort.

That "time of the month" can be incredibly uncomfortable for so many women. Menstrual pain was reported by 84.1% of women, with 43.1% reporting that pain occurred during every period and 41% reporting that pain occurred during some periods in a study of 408 young (mean age = 23 years old) women. In any case, one in four females report pain experiencing distressing menstrual pain characterized by a need for medication and absenteeism from study or social activities

What are the symptoms of menstruation?

Serious mood swings, persistent cramps, lower back pain — the discomfort during PMS can have a lot of women dread their menstrual cycle.

Additional symptoms include:

  • Abdominal or pelvic cramping

  • Bloating

  • Food cravings

  • Irritability

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Breakouts

  • Tender breasts

  • Bowel issues

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Sleep deprivation

Does this sound like you?

Before going any further, this author wants to assure you that being female, living with periods for some four decades, childbirth and menopause lurking IS talking from experience and the shared experiences of other women. Back to the blog.....

Until recently, both women and their doctors were throwing their hands up when it comes to easing menstrual discomfort. Unfortunately, if we examine just one aspect of the multitude of symptoms to be experienced before or during menstruation doctors have limited responses, for example, offering painkillers for periods.

To ease menstrual cramps, your doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

But is this enough? Probably not given the above not exhausted list of symptoms!

Now that CBD has been proven to be an effective tool for dealing with so many symptoms — from stress and anxiety to pain and poor sleep — many women are trying CBD oil to help themselves.

The length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, but the average is to have periods every 28 days. Regular cycles that are longer or shorter than this, from 21 to 40 days, are normal.

Top things to know:

  • A normal period length for someone who’s not using hormonal birth control or an IUD is 8 days or less

  • Hormonal birth control methods like the pill, patch, ring, or IUD often make period lengths shorter

  • Copper IUDs may make period lengths longer

About 75% of menstruating women experience Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) each month. That means women have PMS every 2 to 3 weeks for decades until menopause starts. Unfortunately, there is perimenopause to deal with too, before the serious business of menopause!

Perimenopause, or menopause transition, begins several years before menopause. It's the time when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen. It usually starts in women's '40s but can start in their 30's or even earlier.

Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1 to 2 years of perimenopause, this drop in estrogen speeds up. At this stage, many women have menopause symptoms.

How Long Does Perimenopause Last?

The average length of perimenopause is 4 years, but for some women, this stage may last only a few months or continue for 10 years. Perimenopause ends when women have gone 12 months without having their period. If you are not sure, your GP can do tests to confirm where your body is at with this.

What Are the Signs of Perimenopause?

Women in perimenopause have at least some of these symptoms:

  • Hot flashes

  • Breast tenderness

  • Worse premenstrual syndrome

  • Lower sex drive

  • Fatigue

  • Irregular periods

  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex

  • Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing

  • Urinary urgency (an urgent need to urinate more frequently)

  • Mood swings

  • Trouble sleeping

In this article, we'll explain how CBD can help ease menstrual discomfort and how to use CBD oil for menstrual pain, mood swings, and other symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome?

PubMed Health describes PMS as "a set of physical and psychological symptoms that start anywhere from a few days to two weeks before a woman gets her monthly period." Thanks, PubMed!

When it comes to physical symptoms of PMS, they include, but aren't limited to:

  • Back pain

  • Breast tenderness

  • Debilitating abdominal pain

  • Digestive issues

  • Headaches

  • Joint and muscle aches

  • Sleep problems

  • Water retention

Mentally, periods can be equally exhausting posing a whole different set of challenges.

Researchers do not know exactly what causes PMS. Changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle may play a role. These changing hormone levels can affect some women more than others.

Women usually suffer from the following psychological symptoms during their periods:

  • Anxiety

  • Increased emotional variances to their normal feelings

  • Insecure feelings

  • Easily distracted

  • Self-doubt

  • Depression

It just isn't nice!

Although there are many natural ways to ease menstrual discomfort, finding a woman that will have the strength to even think about meditating or doing yoga when in pain can be challenging, and frankly, a big ask physically and mentally!

As we mentioned earlier, pain-killers may help with pain, but they won't help with anxiety. They won't help with digestive issues, and not necessarily give the relief required physically and mentally to ensure a better quality of sleep. And who likes relying on over-the-counter medications just to endure your period with some level of dignity? It just adds more hell to the hell!

Thankfully, this is where CBD can help us ladies out.

How CBD Can Help During Your Period

Here we explain how CBD can help you get through that difficult time every month with more dignity, less pain, and more of your usual self remaining intact.

CBD for Painful Period Cramps

Menstrual cramps are the signature symptom of almost every woman's period.

The lucky ladies don't experience the pain so badly. But for the not-so-lucky ones, the pain can become intolerable. It affects every aspect of the day. From work to sleep! I remember my younger sister being bedridden and curled up in a ball for several days every month, as a teenager. The GP's answer was Ponstan (Ponstan belongs to a group of medicines called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (or NSAIDs). These medicines work by relieving pain and inflammation. Although Ponstan can relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation, it will not cure your condition).

Cramps result from muscle contractions that are stimulated by raging hormones in a woman's body during the period. Hormonelike substances (prostaglandins) involved in pain and inflammation trigger the uterine muscle contractions. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more-severe menstrual cramps.

These contractions are similar to labor pains is the reason for 90% of pain experienced by women during menstruation.

CBD could help with that pain by relaxing the uterine muscles. CBD is a potent muscle relaxant and can prove very useful to reduce the intensity of period cramps.

You can use CBD both topically (for localized pain) and under the tongue, to deal with symptoms and cause.

CBD for General Pain and Discomfort

For some women, lower back pain is like clockwork each month telling them that it's "period time." For others, these are intense headaches or breast tenderness that herald the incoming misery.

The pain and discomfort routine often repeats each and every month and can last for the entire cycle.

These headaches can often turn into migraines, especially when a woman has been using birth control for a long time. Hormonal imbalances, too, can lead to migraines. Interestingly, scientists have recently discovered that migraine headaches can result from clinical Endocannabinoid deficiencies. CBD regulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS), so many women can use it to combat both their headaches and general discomfort.

CBD for Chronic Back Pain

In a report analyzing the use of CBD for chronic pain, researchers examined the results of several studies and clinical trials and concluded that "patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.

And here comes the best part: there are no proven negative side effects linked to using CBD for pain.

Taking CBD oil, capsules, gummies, or vapes when you notice the first signs of PMS (and throughout the whole period) can help ease the pain and general discomfort the majority of women struggle with on "their days."

CBD for Anxiety and Mood Swings

There's a reason why you don't want to cross a woman during her menstrual cycle. Her emotions can be all over the shop at that time. The horrible thing is that it is all-consuming, and difficult to control when combined with fatigue and pain.

Do you find yourself irritated one moment and crying the next?

Are anxiety and depression part of your cycle?

Do you become angry at the smallest of instances and give "daggers" to those you care about? You're not alone.

Countless women have problems with a whole spectrum of emotional swings during their cycle. Again, CBD may help ease these symptoms.

Research shows that CBD has both anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant properties.

For one, it acts on serotonin receptors in a similar way to some prescription selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI's) anxiolytics do. By making serotonin more available for the brain, it can help stabilize our emotions and reduce depressive behavior. Huge bonus!

Another interesting fact about using CBD for anxiety is how it engages with the Gamma-AminoButyric Acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. GABA is a key neurotransmitter responsible for slowing down the nervous system when we get too agitated. In a nutshell, GABA works by blocking brain signals, or neurotransmissions.

GABA is like a handbrake for the brain so we don't overreact when something stressful happens. By modulating the activity of the GABA receptor, CBD can help us stay calm and subdue emotional outbursts. This also helps with mental fatigue.

For women who experience mood swings during their menstrual period, CBD could help bring them to a state of calm, easing the anxiety and emotional turmoil they feel.

CBD for Sleep

CBD can help regulate our sleep-wake cycle on several levels. For me, that is music to my ears!

Firstly, lower doses of CBD taken in the morning can increase your levels of daily alertness. Our sleep-wake cycle heavily depends on how alert we are throughout the day.

If you feel fatigued during the day, your body will be more awake at night because it receives signals that you weren't doing anything energy-consuming that day. On the contrary, when you're more awake in the morning and afternoon, you'll be more tired in the evening — but in a healthy way — and able to fall asleep with ease. Yes, please!

On top of that, CBD has proved to alter pain transmission and alleviate anxiety which are both factors that have been identified as common causes of sleep deprivation.

Final Thoughts on Using CBD for PMS

If you're one of the many women who experience PMS pain and psychological distress during your period, you know how exhausting it can be.

Hopefully, after reading this article you can turn to natural resources for help in seeking to ease this discomfort. Studies show that CBD has the potential to improve the quality of many women's lives during that "time of the month".

Do you use CBD for PMS pain? If not, what main aspect of PMS would you like to get relief from? PM us for more information.

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