Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Three-quarter of women who menstruate experience Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS. PMS symptoms include nausea, migraines, or irritability in the days leading up to your menstrual cycle. About five to eight per cent of menstruating women have Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD with more severe psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, mood swings, or extended feelings of irritability. Furthermore, over half of the people who menstruate suffer from varying degrees of pain during menstruation.
CBD can help to manage some of the symptoms associated with menstruation. Here are three ways that CBD can improve your menstrual health.
1. CBD can help relieve menstrual pain and nausea
During menstruation, the endometrial cells that line the uterus break down and release an inflammatory substance called prostaglandins. Menstrual pain occurs when prostaglandins block the uterine blood vessels, causing contractions and cramping. Severe menstrual cramps can trigger nausea. Moreover, when prostaglandins go into the bloodstream, it can lead to other PMS symptoms like nausea and some menstrual headaches. CBD, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), relieves menstrual pain and nausea by inhibiting the enzyme COX-2 - which causes the production of prostaglandin. In other words, CBD can lower prostaglandin production and reduce menstrual pain and nausea. Unlike NSAIDs, CBD does not have gastrointestinal side effects on your body. Hence, CBD can be a relief method for menstrual pain and nausea.
2. CBD can help manage migraines
Decreased levels of the hormone oestrogen before the start of menstruation may cause some people to experience migraines. The interaction between oestrogen and the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) pathway plays a role in the onset of migraines during menstruation. Changes in oestrogen levels regulate CGRP. Increased levels of CGRP, when oestrogen is low, result in migraines during menstruation. However, the endocannabinoid AEA can also regulate CGRP levels.
How does CBD come into play? CBD increases the concentration of AEA in the bloodstream and lowers the levels of CGRP. While reduced oestrogen before menstruation can impact CGRP concentrations, CBD interacts with our body’s natural cannabinoids to help manage migraines. CBD can also alleviate headaches caused by prostaglandins as it does for pain and nausea.
3. CBD promotes emotional wellness
Anger, anxiety, depression, irritability, and mood swings are common psychological symptoms of PMS and PMDD. Moreover, for menstruators who have pre-existing mental health issues, PMS or PMDD can worsen their emotional state. As oestrogen levels drop during the menstrual cycle, so does serotonin. The drop in serotonin leads to more emotional symptoms during menstruation. While NSAIDs manages pain, they do not relieve the mental symptoms of PMS or PMDD. CBD, however, has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties. CBD stimulates the serotonin receptors, creating a calming and stabilising effect on the brain. Hence, CBD can promote emotional stability and wellness during menstruation.
You can try one of our Adam’s Organix CBD oil to help manage some of your menstrual symptoms. You can even order an Ubergreen CBD Chocolate if you have a craving during your period.
Be sure to consult your medical practitioner or gynaecologist before using CBD, especially if you are using a hormonal contraceptive method. CBD may interact with oestrogen in birth-control pills, making them less effective.
Do not use CBD if you are pregnant since blocking CGRP poses a risk to foetuses.