Almost every woman has had to struggle with dysmenorrhea, better known as menstrual pain. In some cases, the pain is so severe that the period becomes a real torture. Tea, hot-water bottles and some exercises might help alleviating the pain, but researchers found there might be an even more effective way to overcome the symptoms of menstrual pain, cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the components of cannabis plant. Among others, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most widely known and researched cannabinoids. They possess anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and analgesic properties that can help relieving the symptoms in a natural way.
During menstruation, certain hormones, called prostaglandins, induce the uterus to contract – causing cramps. These can be more or less severe. In this case, hormones are the cause of excessive abdominal pain during the period. They are also responsible for controlling the cycle. The symptoms and especially the severity can vary from woman to woman.
Symptoms of menstrual pain
The following symptoms may occur:
– dull, pulling pain in the abdomen
– headaches, migraines
– pain-sensitive breasts
– nausea, vomiting
– leg and back pain
– irritability, nervous restlessness
– sleeping disorders
Treatment with cannabinoids
Research has recently shown the effects of cannabinoids against menstrual pain. Cannabinoids work with the human Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is responsible for homeostasis affecting everything from sleep, appetite, pain, inflammation, memory, mood to even reproduction. The Endocannabinoid System explains why natural cannabinoids in hemp and other plants have therapeutic effects. Cannabinoid receptors (CB) together with endocannabinoids found in the human body form the Endocannabinoid System. It functions as a communication system between the cells of the human body.
The cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant are called exogenous cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. They can be delivered to the body through the food chain, mucous membranes, lungs, etc. When ingested, they interact with the endocannabinoid system, producing physical and psychological effects in the body. Among others, cannabinoids have analgesic, relaxing and anti-inflammatory effects. Research has shown that THC blocks pain, while CBD acts within the immune system, eliminating inflammation and the body’s ability to respond to pain and stress.
A number of studies have confirmed that cannabinoids can relieve women with menstrual cramps. In Canada the effectiveness of cannabinoids was tested with 170 women who consume cannabis to alleviate menstrual pain. Among the most common symptoms, women mentioned abdominal pain, headaches, nausea, diarrhea and general weakness. 152 women reported that they noticed alleviation of their symptoms with the use of cannabinoids.
In conclusion it can be said that cannabinoids offer a promising treatment that can help to reduce menstrual pain in a natural way. Here, it is recommended to consult with a specialized doctor to find the right dosage for the individual symptoms.