Updated on August 24th, 2023
Menstrual cramps have been an issue since the dawn of humanity. Most women quietly suffer as the established medical system offers few working remedies. Yet, CBD for menstrual cramps is both highly effective and safe to use.
On average, 50% of premenopausal women regularly suffer from menstrual pain, according to an article in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Dysmenorrhoea is the medical term for painful menstruation. For premenopausal women, a lining builds up in the womb every month. This lining is shed at the end of the period cycle unless, of course, a pregnancy occurred during this period.
According to a 2012 study, 84% of women have had menstrual pain, and 43% reported to have pain every period,
In order to remove this lining, muscles start constantly contracting and relaxing, until the layer flows out of the body. These irregular contracting and relaxing muscle movements inside a woman’s lower abdomen often causes cramps and the typical pain related to that.
Hemp Oil (CBD) Alleviating Menstrual Cramp Pain
CBD is a strong painkiller without adverse effects, as shown by multiple scientific studies.
In some cases, pain from menstrual cramps can be reduced or completely alleviated with hormonal birth control pills or anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs, as research has shown. Almost all women suffering from period pain have tried at least some of these ‘big pharma’ drugs.
Although, so far, there is no specific research on the effects of CBD and/or cannabis in relation to menstrual cramps, there is a wave of anecdotal evidence flooding the world. In relation to menstrual cramps, CBD is scientifically proven to be effective in:
- Relieving pain
- Curing inflammation
- Alleviating spasticity and cramps (muscle relaxant)
- Balancing out mood swings
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Long-Term Side Effects of Birth Contol Pills
- Mood Swings and other emotional problems
- Blood Clots
- Facial Brown Spots
- Reduced Sex Drive
- Breast Tenderness
NSAIDs Side Effects
Besides the fact that NSAIDs have shown rather weak results in scientific medical research (see research study section) -working only with 31 out of 100 girls and women- there are serious risks involved with regular usage of NSAIDS:
- Liver Problems
- Kidney Problems
- Ulcers and other GI problems
- Increased Heart Failure Risk
There is significant evidence providing the efficacy of CBD against pain, inflammation and cramps.
A study from 2010 on endometriosis in rats provides evidence that endocannabinoids might regulate the innervation of the disease’s abnormal growths and that exogenous cannabinoid agents can be effective in reducing endometriosis symptoms. Endometriosis is a disorder with severe menstrual cramps as one of the symptoms.
This study gives hope for CBD as a promising new direction in developing badly-needed new treatments for pain suffered by women with menstrual cramps.
A lab study in 2016 investigated the number of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors in women with endometriosis and compared them with those levels in women without endometriosis. The study draws a parallel between the severe pain and cramps during menstruation and an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body.
And as we all know – or should know by now – CBD (or cannabis in general) works to restore the balance of the endocannabinoid system. This would explain why so many women claim that CBD is giving them a pain-free period.
In 2010, scientists from the New Zealand Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group carried out a clinical test on the efficacy of NSAIDs in relation to dysmenorrhoea. The study, although concluding NSAIDS to be effective, warns about the “significant risk of adverse effects”.
Six years later, this 2010 study was reviewed, revealing that only 31 out of 100 girls or women experienced pain relief from NSAIDS. They did, however, point out that in some cases adverse effects were reported in the timespan of these tests alone. Considering this, it can only be assumed that long-term use would be even worse.
So far, we have found no information about clinical trials on the treatment of menstrual spasms and cramps with CBD or cannabis. But, there is a ton of clinical evidence for CBD and cannabis being very effective with MS-related spasms and cramps. Check out the research section where we gathered a handful of the most prominent trials and studies.
A study on fibromyalgia pain in 2014 showed medical marijuana was far more effective than the three FDA approved drugs.
Dr. Ethan Russo from the University of Washington wrote a study in 2002 in which he mentions that cannabis was used to mitigate pain for difficult childbirth dating back to 2000 B.C.E. He also writes that there is evidence of cannabis being used as a women’s medicine since the Egyptian pharaonic times of 1534 B.C.E.
Some evidence suggests this may have been going on since 3000 B.C.E.
The historical review of Dr. Russo even points out that in China, as described in an old (1596) book from Li-Shih-Chen, cannabis flowers were used for menstrual disorders.
The New York State Assembly bill A00582 is ordered for a third reading. If passed, New York will be the first State adding dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) to the list of covered conditions for lawful medical use of marijuana.
CBD Oil for Menstrual Cramps Dosage
Our frequent readers will know that we always start by pointing out that the cannabidiol dosage for menstrual cramps depends on the severity of your pain and cramps.
Mild Menstrual Pain Symptoms
Start with 30mg or 40mg per day split over two dosages, and monitor the results. You will feel when an increase is needed. If so, increase by 10 mg per day, monitor and either keep that level or add another 10mg.
Severe Menstrual Pain Symptoms
Start with 60mg or 70mg per day in two or three dosages and monitor the results. You can find your comfortable dosage level by doing incremental steps of 10mg and monitoring as described above.
CBD Period Products
To get an overview of all the CBD products available, you can simply take a look at the product section of iDWeeds. Although you theoretically use all products to alleviate menstrual cramps, there are some differences between them in terms of efficacy.
In general, the best effects are achieved at the lowest dosages when the CBD is administered close to the affected area – in this case, the lower abdomen. Therefore the most effective product you can use is CBD suppositories inserted in the vagina.
Edibles for Menstrual Cramps
As suppositories are probably harder to come by and use, people often use cannabidiol infused edibles. They are also very discreet, but you need to take into account that they take between half an hour and four hours to take effect.
CBD Tincture for Cramps
Like edibles, tinctures are easy to come by and simple to use. They can be mixed into drinks or food, but you still have to take the long lead time into account; however, you can also drop CBD tincture drops under your tongue, let them absorb for at least a minute, then swallow. It is best to follow it with a glass of water if you don’t like the hemp taste, in case you took an unflavored tincture.
Success Stories of Women with Menstrual Cramps
We have carefully collected CBD testimonials for this particular condition to serve as proof and inspiration to others. Do not hesitate to record your own experience and share it with us so we can add it to this list and help thousands more patients.
Overview of Scientific Studies and Reports
If you are interested in the medical proof and not scared of reading through some professional medical jargon, check out the studies below.
Scientific Research Studies on Menstrual Cramps
- 2010/01 – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for Menstrual Cramps
- 2010/08 – Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs
- 2010/12 – Endocannabinoid involvement in endometriosis
- 2012/06 – Prevalence of menstrual pain in young women: what is dysmenorrhea?
- 2016/06 – Period pains – Anti-Inflammatory drugs help
- 2017/04 – The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management
- 2006 – A non-cannabinoid receptor mechanism by which CBD can decrease inflammation
- 2006 – Clinical trial with 58 arthritis patients
- 2007 – CBD exercises potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
- 2010 – Cannabidiol causes a self-defense system against inflammation
- 2012 – Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain
- 2007 – CBD effectively mitigates chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rats
- 2012 – Cannabidiol suppresses inflammatory pain
- 2010 – A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of Sativex, in subjects with symptoms of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis
- 2011 – THC & CBD oromucosal spray (Sativex®) in the management of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis
- 2012 – Clinical efficacy and effectiveness of Sativex, a combined cannabinoid medicine, in multiple sclerosis-related spasticity
- 2013 – Sativex long-term use: An open-label trial in patients with spasticity due to multiple sclerosis
- 2016 – CBD/THC Oromucosal Spray for Multiple Sclerosis-Related Resistant Spasticity in Daily Practice
- 2017 – Multiple sclerosis symptoms and spasticity management: new data.
- 2017 – Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol/Cannabidiol Oromucosal Spray (Sativex®): A Review in Multiple Sclerosis-Related Spasticity.