Like most women in the world, I bleed once a month. And you probably do too! It’s not the most pleasant thing in the world, but it’s a thing nearly every girl has to go through. “Eve just had to eat that apple” — so I’ve been told all my life from my extremely religious Christian grandmother. Now, here we are — “magically cursed” and left to deal with killer cramps, bleeding for days at a time, bloating, hormonal acne, headaches, back aches, nausea and more. Compared to this list of “period side effects,” there aren’t nearly as many products that specifically target women’s menstrual discomfort, which really sucks, because cramps are no joke.
Now, shit starts to get personal. I’m considered one of the lucky ones, as I have a predictable cycle. I bleed for about 4-5 days, give or take, which is pretty normal. But the days leading up to my period are brutal. I cramp on and off for about a week before my period even arrives, to the point of not being able to get out of bed. Over the counter painkillers work until they wear off and you have to take more, or it’s back to square one – pain! In search of a healthier, longer lasting remedy, I tried heating pad, teas, and alternative painkillers. Nothing really worked.
I never thought to smoke cannabis to relieve my period pain until my friend suggested I give it a shot, and it worked like a charm. Please note, I am not advising anyone to go out and roll a joint in the name of getting rid of your cramps (especially if you’re not a smoker or it’s illegal where you live). Although it was an amazing personal discovery, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to be under the influence every time I had an episode of week long cramps. This led to my curiosity in CBD and whether it was right for me. But first I needed to answer some of my questions before purchasing for my next cycle.
What is CBD and THC?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is extracted from hemp plants and is one of the many chemical compounds in cannabis. CBD is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in weed which holds the psychoactive effects in marijuana.
They both contain the same chemicals, the only difference is the arrangement of atoms, causing one (THC) to have psychoactive effects and the other (CBD) to serve as a kind of muscle relaxer. CBD has all the perks of cannabis without the added baggage of getting high as a kite, since CBD actually blocks the high associated with THC. However, they both have been turned to for pain relief, and have been said to have many health benefits, ranging from relieving anxiety to reducing various types of pain, including menstrual cramps.
How can CBD alleviate menstrual cramps?
During the process of our menstrual cycle, progesterone declines as our periods begin and inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins increase. When prostaglandins increase, it manifests in the body as inflammation, pain sensitization, and heavy bleeding. This is where CBD kicks in and saves us from our misery. CBD does this by increasing levels of anandamide and adenosine. These two neurotransmitters play a major role in the body’s reaction to inflammation and pain.
Because of the anti-inflammatory properties that CBD holds, it’s between 60 and 100 percent more effective than other painkillers, such as ibuprofen. It also doesn’t have the health risks associated with ibuprofen and requires a much smaller dose. For instance, let’s say you take two ibuprofen pills in the morning, and two more after lunch when your cramps start to kick in again. You’d be taking 800mg of ibuprofen to treat your cramps, while people using CBD only need a 15mg dose.
Is CBD illegal?
CBD and THC are illegal federally. However, appointed states have put laws in place to make them legal for medical or recreational purposes.
Can CBD show up in a drug test?
Unfortunately, CBD does in fact come up in drug tests because of the similar properties it shares with THC. CBD has traces of THC and vice versa, and, although in very low quantities, it is still enough to show up in drug tests. Both marijuana and hemp produce CBD and THC. However, marijuana has a higher concentration of THC. Hemp has a higher concentration of CBD. The average marijuana strain today contains about 12 percent THC. CBD can have no more than 0.3 percent THC, which isn’t enough to get someone high but is enough to show up on drug tests.
Does CBD have health risks?
CBD has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017. As stated on their website, “the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) concluded that, in its pure state, cannabidiol does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm. As such, as CBD is not currently a scheduled substance in its own right (only as a component of cannabis extracts).”
Will I try CBD?
After going on a CBD facts scavenger hunt, my findings left me even more curious. Unfortunately, CBD is still a developing study. There hasn’t been numerous and extensive scientific research on whether CBD is truly the answer. Some women, who have tried CBD multiple times in many different forms, have reported CBD to successfully relieve their menstrual ailings. As a result, I will give it a shot – after consulting with my doctor, of course!Loading Likes...