Up to 90% of reproductive-age women suffer from painful periods that can spoil their mood and derail their day. Over-the-counter pain medication can help to take some of the edge off, but for many women, that may not be enough. Additionally, others prefer to avoid NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) due to their potential side effects. CBD oil can help!
As a result, more and more women are turning to CBD for relief from uncomfortable period symptoms. One recent survey found that many women who regularly use cannabis believe that it helps them to better deal with an array of physical and emotional PMS symptoms. Can CBD really help deal with those pesky cramps and period pains?
How Does CBD oil Help With Period Pain?
To understand how CBD may help with period pain, it’s also important to understand what causes that pain in the first place.
The uterus actually prepares itself for your upcoming period all month. First, your body increases its production of estrogen, making your uterus build up its endometrial tissue. Then, after ovulation, the boost of progesterone helps to plump up the uterus’s tissue with blood and arteries in preparation for menstruation.
Once the body realizes that pregnancy is not happening, progesterone levels decline, beginning to reverse the previous process. The tissue in the endometrium begins to shrink and blood flow begins to be cut off, leading to pangs of pain. The loss of progesterone also results in less protection for the endometrium during this shedding phase, setting off a domino effect of acute pain.
Furthermore, this process causes the release of prostaglandins, chemicals that peak during menstruation. These chemicals don’t just cause normal monthly inflammation, but they also increase the sensitivity of pain-receiving nerves, trigger the constriction of blood vessels, cause heavier bleeding, and cause more intense uterine contractions.
The result of all of this is the pain and cramping that is usually associated with periods.
NSAIDs and Period Pain
Ultimately, much of the pain you experience during your period is due to normal inflammation.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin and Advil work to minimize this inflammation and reduce pain at the same time. When it comes to periods, they don’t just reduce overall inflammation; they also inhibit the COX-2 enzyme responsible for producing prostaglandins.
However, NSAIDs can also have gastrointestinal side effects like stomach bleeding and ulcers. Taking too many of them can increase the likelihood of experiencing these side effects. Moreover, people with certain gastrointestinal problems, or with a history of ulcers, should probably avoid them altogether.
Periods, CBD oil, and Inflammation
Thankfully, NSAIDs aren’t the only way to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme. Research shows that CBDA, the acidic precursor to CBD, also inhibits the COX-2 enzyme. Additionally, CBD is able to do so without causing the gastrointestinal distress that NSAIDs cause.
Moreover, cannabinoids like CBD are believed to have systemic effects. CBD is believed to interact with cell receptors and ion channels in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) in order to produce a variety of different effects. The ECS is a physiological system that works to keep the body in balance by regulating crucial functions such as stress, appetite, sleep, and pain.
Additionally, CBD is believed to directly influence the perception of discomfort through its interactions with TRPV1 (transient receptor potential channel subfamily V) receptors. TRPV1 receptors are thought to play a significant role in how you experience pain. CBD is believed to desensitize these receptors, making uncomfortable sensations less intense.
CBD is also believed to inhibit the breakdown of certain naturally produced endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that work with your body’s endocannabinoid system to keep it working properly. After they finish their work, they are broken down and recycled. However, research indicates that CBD may be able to slow this process down, possibly allowing endocannabinoids to do their job for longer and increasing the duration of their effects.
How to Use CBD Oil for Better Health
How can you use CBD oil for relief? There are a couple of ways.
The easiest way is to apply the oil sublingually. Just squirt some tincture under your tongue and keep it there for 5–15 minutes (the longer the better). This allows the CBD inside the oil to be absorbed by membranes under the tongue and inside the mouth, from where it can be carried into the bloodstream. Swish the remaining oil around your mouth, swallow it, and wait 10 minutes before eating or drinking anything.
Many people prefer sublingual applications not just for its simplicity, but also because its effects can kick in pretty quickly. When applied sublingually, you can expect CBD’s effects to kick in within 15–30 minutes.
If sublingual application isn’t your thing, you can also swallow the CBD oil directly out of the dropper. This will allow it to be processed by your digestive system, just like a CBD edible. However, the digestive process can take quite a bit of time, and sometimes effects won’t kick in for anywhere from 1–2 hours after ingestion. Additionally, edibles have a lower bioavailability rating, meaning that less CBD will enter your bloodstream than if using a different consumption method.
Another option is to add CBD oil to your favorite drink or liquid-based food like yogurt or pudding.
Of course, taking CBD oil doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t also take NSAIDs as well. Combining the two could provide even more relief and may be a good option for those who don’t have gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, bringing some CBD oil into the mix could help you take fewer NSAIDs to achieve the relief you’re looking for.
Looking to take advantage of these potential CBD oil benefits for PMS pain and cramps? Check out our shop to buy CBD oil right now and test these CBD oil benefits out for yourself. We also carry a wide selection of other CBD products which may help with your symptoms, including infused capsules, edibles, and patches.