As anyone who menstruates can tell you, periods aren’t fun. Physical symptoms of menstruation can include tender breasts, bloating, muscle aches and joint pain, headaches, acne, and cramping. We’re regularly asked the question “Can I try CBD for cramps?” It’s a great question – let’s chat about it.
For 10% of people who menstruate, cramps can be particularly debilitating. They can be so bad that a person can’t get out of bed or go about their daily lives. The most common ways to treat these cramps include taking an anti-inflammatory medication, going on birth control, and using hot water bottles or heating pads to alleviate pain and inflammation.
However, there may be a better option. While additional research is needed, CBD may be helpful for reducing the pain, inflammation and other symptoms associated with menstrual cramps. Below, we outline the emerging science on the issue — and offer purchasing tips if you decide to try CBD.
What Research Says about CBD and Cramps
Menstrual cramps — or dysmenorrhea — involve period pain in the lower abdomen, typically occurring just before and during a menstrual period. The severity of these cramps can vary significantly, with some people in so much pain that they cannot continue their normal activities.
Beyond typical period pain, cramps may be caused by conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and cervical stenosis. All of these conditions are associated with pain and inflammation in the abdomen and pelvic region.
Traditionally, menstrual cramps are treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve. A prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) may also be used. Hormonal birth control can also help to alleviate the severity of cramps for some people. Each of these treatment options carry significant side effects.
As you may already know, CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of naturally-occuring chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. These compounds are known as cannabinoids. Another well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the intoxicating component found in marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a feeling of being high or stoned. We’ve got plenty more information on CBD in our Beginners Guide.
Research on how CBD affects the human body is still in its preliminary stages. However, scientists believe that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body.
Scientific studies have found that CBD may promote health and wellness by interacting with one or more of the three components of the ECS: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. This may include relieving pain and inflammation when the ECS is triggered by painful conditions such as menstrual cramps. A recent study found that CBD may help to alleviate chronic pain and reduce inflammation by affecting ECS receptor activity.
According to a 2018 review of research performed over a 43 year period, CBD may be effective at relieving multiple types of pain. Researchers concluded that CBD can help with pain management without the negative side effects associated with traditional treatments.
A 2016 study of rats with arthritis found that CBD gel applied topically helped to reduce both pain and inflammation in affected joints. Other studies involving rats found that CBD is effective in relieving pain at surgical incision sites and chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
So Does CBD Really Provide Period Pain Relief?
The short answer is that it may. While research on this issue is still developing, CBD may also inhibit the production of prostaglandins. The cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme system is the major pathway for certain acids to be converted into prostaglandins. CBD may selectively inhibit COX-2 activity, which may affect prostaglandin production — and reduce menstrual cramping. That would mean that in addition to relieving cramps after they start, CBD may prevent them as well.
CBD may also help people who experience other symptoms with their menstrual cramps. Studies have shown that CBD can reduce nausea and vomiting. For anyone whose digestive system is affected by menstrual cramps, CBD may be helpful.
What to Look for When Buying a CBD Product for Cramps:
Since the production of hemp was legalized in the United States through the 2018 Farm Bill, the market for CBD has exploded. In many ways, this is a positive development, as it makes CBD more readily available to people throughout the country. Unfortunately, because CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, it can be hard to know what you are getting when you pick up a bottle of oil or edibles at your local pharmacy or big box store.
There are ways that you can make sure that you are buying a safe, effective product. When shopping for CBD, look for products that have been independently tested by third party laboratories. Most reputable CBD product manufacturers will post these results on their websites, so that you know exactly what you are buying.
If you have questions about a product, how it was made, or what it contains, reach out to the store for help. A representative should be able to assist you and answer any questions about a particular product. If they can’t or won’t work with you, then you may want to shop at another retailer.
Best CBD Products For Cramps
If this is your first exposure to CBD, you may not know where to start or which products would be best suited to help with cramps. We’ve put together recommendations below based on both our own experiences and customer testimonials.
Huron Hemp is a trusted and reputable brand in the CBD industry, dedicated to providing high-quality and sustainable hemp products. With focus on farming practices and environmentally-friendly cultivation methods. Huron Hemp ensures that their products are not only effective but also ethically produced.
Private Reserve is Huron Hemp’s full spectrum tinctures which contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes that hemp offers. It has the highest CBD content for its price. It is very effective for those searching for pain and inflammation relief.
Huron Hemp offers a wide range of CBD products, including tinctures, topicals, and edibles, designed to meet the diverse needs of their customers.
They provide detailed lab reports for each product, allowing customers to verify the purity and potency of the CBD they are purchasing. With Huron Hemp, you can trust that you are getting a reliable and trustworthy CBD experience.
Gummies are one of the fastest growing products in the CBD market today. They are more bioavailable than a softgel and taste better than a liquid. The CBD Living “Calming” comes in the Original 10mg of CBD per gummy which is perfect for more moderate pain. If you need something stronger than try the Extra Strength at 25mg of CBD per gummy. They come in a variety of flavors making them the perfect on the go of daily CBD. These are made 100% natural and lab tested to ensure a guarantee for accurate dosing and uniform quality. They are also vegan!
It’s no secret that the application of heat is a good way to get cramping muscles to relax. Hot baths can help to increase blood flow, which in turn eases muscle cramping. When you combine a hot bath with the soothing effects of CBD, you get a true recipe for relief and relaxation. The bath bombs from CBD Living contain 100mg of CBD and are produced without the use of harsh chemicals or fragrances, but if you are pregnant or nursing you should consult with your registered healthcare practitioner first. They go beyond lovely smelling essential oils (no worries – they do smell amazing) to provide real relief. They come in 4 scents:
- Zenful Amber Bergamot– joins Bergamot with Cinnamon, Orange, Cedarwood and Fennel to elevate your mood and relieve stress.
- Refreshing Coconut Lime-unites Cucumber, Juniper Berry and Sea Buckthorn with 100mg of CBD to send your senses on a tropical vacation.
- Soothing Eucalyptus– blends Peppermint, Arnica, Lemongrass and Ginger with 100mg of CBD to invigorate the scenes and calm skin.
- Relaxing Lavender– fused with Jasmine, Clove, Lemon, and Ylang-Ylang and combining 100mg of CBD to help you destress and unwind before bed.
Pure Ratios CBD Patch
This patch can last up to 96 hours! Yup! You read that right. 4 whole days worth of CBD targeted pain relief. Pure Ratios CBD patch has 40mg of CBD and is perfect if you have trouble remembering to use tincture of capsules.
You can apply the patch directly to the area in need so that the CBD can be absorbed to interact with the cannabinoid receptors in that area. CBD creams and massage oils can work similarly to patches, but patches tend to be a more consistent solution. Once cream is absorbed by the skin, the effects of the cream can start to taper off. CBD patches like the Pure Ratios patch use a time release to release CBD consistently over a period of time.
Buy High Quality CBD from Green Wellness Life
If you are interested in using CBD to manage the symptoms of menstrual cramps, Green Wellness Life is a great place to start. While we aren’t doctors and can’t diagnose or treat any medical condition, we can provide you with scientific research to help you make a decision. We can also offer insight into the best CBD products on the market for your needs.
Every product that we sell has been independently tested, and is made from industrial hemp grown in the U.S. You can use our product finder to choose a product, or reach out to us with any questions or to get help picking an item. We are available by phone Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 866-244-4223, or via email. Our team has significant knowledge about CBD, and is excited to help customers learn more about the best products for them.