Can CBD Help with Menstrual Cramps?
Can CBD Help with Menstrual Cramps?
It’s that time of month again. And if you are like the up-to 90% of reproductive-age women who suffer from painful periods, this monthly ritual can completely derail your life. More and more women are turning to CBD to help ease the pain but how well does this natural remedy compare to NSAIDs like Ibuprofen or other big pharma pain killers?
Lets take a look at how cannabinoids’ anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, muscle-relaxing effects interact with your period. CBD is commonly used for its analgesic properties to treat ailments such as arthritis and other pains, but how well does it help with menstrual cramps?
How Do Periods Cause You Pain?
Your uterus prepares itself all month for menstruation. Your body’s increasing estrogen tells your uterus to build up its endometrial tissue. Then, once you have ovulated, and the boost of progesterone increases artery and blood build up on your endometrial tissue, your uterus prepares to welcome an embryo or for menstruation.
Once your body senses it will not be hosting an embryo, your progesterone levels decline. As your progesterone levels decline, your body tries to absorb as much blood from the endometrium, shrinking the tissue and cutting off blood flow to the arteries. It is at this time, without a proper blood supply, that your endometrial tissue prepares to shed, leading to pain. Without progesterone, the endometrium loses its protection which leads to the perfect conditions for inflammation.
The Inflaming Of The Uterus And It’s Effects
While your progesterone was declining, inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins were increasing. These Prostaglandins peak during menstruation, creating the following effects:-Inflammation
Studies indicate that women with higher levels of prostaglandins also have more painful or heavier periods.
CBD Vs. NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug)
When it’s that time of month, most women turn to Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs. How do NSAIDs work? They work by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for producing prostaglandins (COX-2). This means that NSAIDs could potentially decrease all the symptoms aggravated by prostaglandins (inflammation, contractions, and pain).
Unfortunately, NSAIDs can lead to unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects, because they inhibit another enzyme (COX-1). We believe you should use NSAIDS in moderation, and women with certain digestive issues might want to avoid them entirely.
In case you aren’t familiar, CBD (also known as Cannabidiol) is a natural compound found in cannabis. Unlike it’s psychoactive sibling THC, CBD won't make you high. Instead, CBD not only combats the psychoactive effects of THC, but also relieves pain, reduces inflammation and beyond. For a deeper dive into what CBD is, check out our CBD 101 article.
Scientists recently discovered that CBD, like NSAIDs, also inhibits the prostaglandin-producing enzyme. However, unlike NSAIDs, CBD preferentially inhibits COX-2 over COX-1, which means its anti-inflammatory benefits come without the gastrointestinal side effects.
CBD and other cannabinoids, found in Full Spectrum CBD blends like TerraVita’s, can also treat painful menstrual cramps in the following ways:
Due to the brain’s high density of Endocannabinoid receptors, CBD can be beneficial for other PMS-related symptoms, like mood imbalances, anxiety, and a lack of motivation. CBD is known to promote a series of sensations such as euphoria, sensory stimulation, positive mood enhancements, and sometimes even feelings of improved mental function.
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Recent studies point to CBD as a promising source of relief for inflammation, pain, mood conditions, and many more issues. However there is inconclusive science backing CBD in treating menstrual cramps. As more and more consumers turn to CBD for relief, the scientific studies will follow. Millions of people worldwide are turning to CBD at a rapid rate and it is widely becoming accepted as a natural alternative to the many pharmaceuticals human’s consume on a daily basis.