Any girl can attest to the discomfort and annoyance one gets during their monthly period. Not only are the changing hormones messing with their emotions and mental state, but they also have to deal with bloating, the urge to eat everything, and worst of all menstrual cramps. All these are enough to want to cancel all the plans, curl up in bed, and cuddle a hot water bottle for the pain while watching back-to-back romcoms and 90s TV series.
These might not exactly describe what you go through each month but the sentiment is there – periods are annoying and have tortured womankind for thousands of years. The medical term for period cramps is “dysmenorrhea” and about 90% of women in their reproductive years experience it in varying degrees. There are different ways to treat it and cannabidiol could be one. But how? Below are the different ways CBD can help with period cramps.
1. Helps with Pain
As cannabis becomes even more acceptable and authorities around the world revise their restrictions on the substance, researchers are giving more leeway to study its full effects on the body.
CBD is well known for its pain-relieving properties. In fact, for thousands of years, it has been the primary drug that people use to treat various pains. CBD goes directly to the root cause of the problem by binding to pain receptors in the uterus to stop the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
During period cramps, the muscles in the uterus contract a tremendous amount before or during your period. The contractions are due to the hormone prostaglandins which are released in the uterine lining. When uterine cells are broken down during a cycle, prostaglandins are released which triggers the uterus to contract to facilitate the sloughing off of the uterine lining.
CBD may work as a muscle relaxer in the cause of period cramps. Research has found that cannabis plants contain two anti-inflammatory agents that are effective muscle relaxers:
CBD acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system which regulates the contraction of smooth muscles by dilating the blood vessels and increasing the blood flow to the area.
3. Alleviate stress
There are many different reasons why dysmenorrhea occurs – from uterine fibroids to endometriosis. But period cramps have also been attributed to lifestyle stress. A study found that dysmenorrhea is twice as common among women who report high levels of stress in the days leading to their period. In fact, 44% of the women who have high stress developed dysmenorrhea as compared to 22% with low stress.
It’s common knowledge at this point that CBD is a great stress-relieving agent. One reason people flock to dispensaries like a Cheapweed alternative is that they know the stress-relieving effects of CBD. It can help people suffering from anxiety. It’s also been used to treat people who have PTSD. Women who are prone to period cramps may use CBD prior to getting their periods to manage their stress levels.
4. Regulating the hormones
Among other factors, period cramps are also caused by increased production of hormones during a menstrual cycle. The most likely culprit, in this case, is the hormone prostaglandin which is responsible for uterine contraction. Doctors often prescribe hormone therapy in order to manage the hormone levels of the body during menstruation and decreasing period cramps.
CBD is able to interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly the receptors CB1 and CB2. These cannabinoid receptors aid in regulating the secretion of hormones. Furthermore, CBD’s ability to regulate the hormones can also help with other symptoms of PMS such as mood swings, weight gain, and anxiety.
5. Improves physical activity
Another treatment when for period cramps is physical activities through exercise. Doctors recommend that women on their light period days go for moderate exercise like walking or jogging. This can help with bloating and cramping as physical activity can improve blood circulation and also release endorphins, often referred to as ‘feel-good hormones.’
There have been a number of reports of people turning to CBD to encourage them to exercise more. This is because CBD helps with the discomfort from exercising and also eases muscle soreness the day after.
6. Promotes sleep
Period cramps don’t only affect the day-to-day activities of women, but it can also affect their sleeping pattern. Imagine trying to get enough shut-eye when your abdomen and lower back are cramping? To combat this, period cramp sufferers can turn to CBD’s ability to naturally encourage sleep and relaxation.
7. Addresses endometriosis
Dysmenorrhea can also be due to endometriosis, a condition where the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. This leads to pelvic pain and period cramps. Research is suggesting that CBD can be of great help when it comes to endometriosis due to its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
8. Helps with nausea
Dysmenorrhea, especially in severe cases, is often accompanied by nausea. Typically, this is caused by the chemical and hormonal imbalance that the body is currently experiencing during menstrual cycles. These changes are normal and nothing to be feared for but these symptoms can hamper one’s daily functions. CBD has been regularly recommended for people who are experiencing nausea. It resolves the problem in different ways:
- by regulating the body’s hormones to normal levels;
- addressing the pain from menstruation, and;
- reducing the contraction of the uterus.
Those who regularly suffer the worst kind of period cramps are often left bed-ridden or taken to the emergency room. It stands to reason that many teen girls and women have been looking for a solution to solve their monthly suffering once and for all and the answer could very well be cannabidiol.