Updated: 14 hours ago
There I writhed. Shrieking like a demon, doubled over, with my eyes virtually popping out of my head,
I clutched my abdomen, dreaming of ways to rip it out.
What on earth was it, bad Chinese from the night before? Labor pains? Neither. Just that time of the month.
And un-frigging-fortunately, 4 out of 5 cringing women know way too well what I’m writing about. Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) curse at least that many of us throughout the fertile part of our lives.
You’d think that level and amount of pain alone would inspire us to find answers. And then there’s the lost productivity. One study showed women lost 9 workdays each year due to cramps.
Maybe it’s because we are the stronger sex when it comes to handling pain that we’ve settled on Midol as the be-all, end-all for our monthly rant-and-rave sessions with ourselves.
(Even though Midol was originally sold for headaches and toothaches before being remarketed to us as our Holy Grail.)
Whatever the case, it’s not a moment too soon to come up with a solution to such great pain suffered by so many, so often. Well, maybe a moment. Let’s dig into what menstrual cramps actually are before we set our sights on solving them, shall we?
What’s Happening Down There.
When our endometrial tissue—the tissue inside our uteruses—breaks down, hormones called prostaglandins are released to make our uteruses shrink. This is what we feel as cramps.
But why? Why do our bodies do this to us? It turns out it’s to literally create inflammation to help release this broken-down tissue. The double-whammy of it all is that this same hormone primes us for pain. Ugh. So now we have inflammation being fanned by a pain-booster in a vulnerable region, leaving us to wonder what we did to deserve this in a former life…
Can We Please Get to the Good Part?
But of course. What we need here is something to put out a fire and to offer pain relief. And once again, Hemp shows up on the scene with just those qualities to offer.
According to Dr. Jessica Knox, co-founder of the American Cannabinoids Clinics, Hemp slows down the enzyme that makes the hormone prostaglandins, limiting the amount of inflammation that happens in the first place.
In addition, Hemp has analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of its own, cranking up the relief from our monthly friend. It looks like it works alongside PEA, one of our endocannabinoids that has both anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of its own. It’s definitely one of our good guys, but it’s only released in tiny amounts in response to tissue damage or muscle injury. I say the more, the merrier when it comes to pain-fighters.
No Argument Here.
It seems like our bodies agree with me. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) manages both inflammation and pain, always aiming for homeostasis or healthy balance. And while there aren’t any studies that say Hemp directly affects menstrual cramps, there are plenty of them pointing to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving potential for menstrual pain management.
Let April Pride count the ways. She’s the host of the Podcast “How to Do the Pot.”
Vaping or smoking CBD for cramps is her first recommendation. The relief is nearly immediate.
Tinctures come next, kicking in within 15 minutes if you put a drop of oil under your tongue for 10-15 seconds.
Topical creams can be applied to your lower abdomen, your lower back, and even your temples to fight your period pain.
Suppositories are next on her list. I didn’t find these supported by old school research sources yet, but she recommends them highly, suggesting that you remember to lie down on your back for 15-20 minutes after inserting them like a tampon to give the CBD time to get into your system.
Cannabis beverages. Last but not least, she says teas can do the trick, altering your state from pain-filled to pain-free.
Put a Bow on It.
It’s not a big leap to consider Hemp as a possible healer of your monthly menstrual pain.
Its best-known properties— being both anti-inflammatory and analgesic- are just what we are looking for, if in hyper-specific areas.
Since there don’t appear to be any side effects, why not try it? You have nothing to lose but the pain.
And if you are looking to multi-task, rehydrate while you’re relieving your pain: Try MOVE Nano-Hemp Alkaline Water.