The pain-soothing powers of cannabis have inspired a crop of new
“period pot” products.
Cosmo investigates whether plant medicine is a safe, effective panacea for menstrual misery.
by Virginia Pelley | photography by Dan Saelinger
COSMOPOLITAN FEBRUARY 2017 ISSUE
Elizabeth Miller — Within minutes of inserting one (RELIEF), her cramps started to melt away. She didn’t feel stoned, just relaxed. “Usually, I take ibuprofen,” said Miller. “This was better. It also seemed to help allay my crazies.”
More than half of American women suffer the monthly torment of severe period pain. One in 10 experience a shark week so sever, they can’t carry out everyday activities a few days a month.
There have been virtually no cramp-slaying scientific breakthroughs in more than half a century. The discovery that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, helped with period pain was considered a game changer. But let’s be honest, they’re hit-or-miss.
Period research is lacking too.
A search of the National Institutes of Health website for open U.S. clinical trials with the key words ‘menstrual cramps’ returned just five results.
FORIA launched in 2014 as a marijuana-infused lube brand. It added the vaginal suppository last year after urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman, MD, reasoned to the founder that, since its cannabis product helped women relax during sex, perhaps it could help pelvic muscles relax during menstruation too.
Read the whole article in the Feb. issue of COSMOPOLITAN Magazine.
Technology designed for women exploded in 2016, with new products hitting the market ranging from wearable trackers for expectant mothers to networking apps to help female professionals get ahead. "The online consumer market of women is a new phenomenon" in part because investors are waking up to the opportunity, says Anu Duggal, founding partner of the Female Founders Fund, a firm that invests in women-led startups. "The purchasing power of women is massive and becoming clearer."
Many of the female founders that made our list struggled for years to raise capital, but were able to convince investors in their vision through persistence and creativity (and of course, a solid business pitch). Miki Agrawal from Thinx, a period underwear maker, tells us she requested that one of her male investors wear a maxi pad during an entire meeting to get him to empathize with what women experience. Others like Morena Simatic, cofounder of wearables startup Bellabeat, had little trouble raising financing for a product designed specifically for women rather than a pink version of an existing product.
Five years ago, Harvard Business Review conducted a landmark survey of professional women and found that most felt vastly underserved in the marketplace compared to men. That's starting to change. "Women were a neglected category, until recently," says Simatic.
To compile this list, we asked a range of investors and entrepreneurs and solicited feedback from dozens of women. Here are their picks, in no particular order.8. SEX AND SEXUAL HEALTH: FORIA
Two words: Vaginal cannabis. Many of the women we spoke to raved about Foria Relief, a cocoa butter-based cannabis for the vagina that is designed to help with menstrual cramps and other sexual health issues. That accompanies Foria Pleasure, a product that aims to increase sexual pleasure through a lubricant spray. As one happy customer described the experience: "(It was) like my vagina was kicking back on the beach in Mexico, without a care in the world." Sex and sexual health is a notoriously underfunded space, but Foria has garnered rave reviews from users and continues to sell well in Colorado and California.
I Tried 5 Alternative Period Cramp Cures and Here's What Actually Worked
Five months, five methods, no ibuprofen.
By Hannah Smothers | Dec 01, 2016
"Foria is a newish company that’s either totally outrageous or doing the Lord’s work, depending on how you want to look at it."
According to a report from CNN, pain management is the most commonly prescribed use for medical marijuana in the United States. Foria's website says their little butter-encased suppository works to "directly impact the immune system and the nerve endings of the uterus, cervix, ovaries and surrounding smooth muscle tissues." Or in other words, it targets all the parts of you that hurt while you're on your period and tries to relax them.
The best instruction, though, was the one that said I should lie down for a while and relax. After cultivating my perfect vagina-weed environment, I messaged my editor, “ok it’s weed time,” and shoved the suppository into my vagina, with the help of a tampon applicator.
The accompanying instructions told me I shouldn’t necessarily feel high. But let me tell you. I felt high. Not, like, I-can’t-perform-my-job-anymore-today high, but definitely things-are-funny!!!! high. I ate my cookie and then also ate approximately 45 Annie’s white cheddar bunnies. And then also I ordered a sandwich. But! I totally felt no pain. My cramps, which had been firing away at full blast, subsided as my weed butter melted in my vagina.
In short, I loved these little THC butter bullets. Not quite enough to move to California (I don’t trust a state with that much sunshine), but definitely enough to hoard my remaining three for days when my cramps are truly awful.
Four "bowing deeply" emojis, because I was truly in awe of this weed butter vagina experience.
90% of women report suffering from PMS symptoms. Increasingly women have been taking pain relief in to their own hands, to look for alternative solutions, such as cannabis, which provides muscle relaxation and pain relief without getting "high". Enter cannabis suppositories called Foria Relief, which provide all these benefits, without the pharmaceutical chemical ingredients and side effects.
In a video for Buzzfeed, two women tried out the “weed tampon,” a new cannabis-based vaginal suppository aimed at relieving period cramps. Produced by Foria, a company known for its production of cannabis-based “therapeutic aphrodisiacs and healing products,” the Foria Relief suppositories are meant to serve as an alternative to painkillers by functioning as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever.
In the video, the women said that their main concern was that the TCH in the suppository would cause the same effects as it would if they smoked or ate it. Both women reported, however, that they felt clear-headed during the experience, and that they would recommend it to others. Evidently, it’s the perfect compliment to Whoopi Goldberg’s new line of marijuana-based period relief remedies.
Watch the video below.
See the article here: http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/10/28/2-women-test-out-weed-tampon-that-claims-to-relieve-period-cramps/
Created by Foria, the cannabis vaginal suppositories seek to take down cramps associated with periods. The handy little “tampons” were developed with our worst period moments in mind, and we’re feeling pretty grateful. One gynecologist told Racked that using cannabis for periods isn’t unheard of. According to Morton Barke, M.D., a retired gynecologist and medical director of a California medical marijuana evaluation center,
“We know that cannabis does help pain. We do see a lot of patients with dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is painful menstrual periods. It’s a fantastic modality to help patients.” - Sounds pretty darn good to us.
So what’s the science behind their products? ... They’re particular about their cannabis. Foria grows their cannabis in Northern California without the use of harmful pesticides. Which is basically one giant yay.
Their product contains THC and CBD. For those of us who aren’t super up-to-date on the inner workings of weed, the two key active cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis are THC and CBD. The cannabinoids in Foria products interact with the nerves and muscles that cause cramps, encouraging less painful periods. THC in the tampons helps take down pain, while encouraging ~good vibes~ in the brain, while CBD encourages muscles and nerves to chill TF out.
So far, people are loving these tampons. Folks who have tried Foria since they released the suppositories this past January have said they have less hardcore cramps as a result of the product. So that’s fantastic news.
Long story short? It just might be time to say goodbye to writhing around in pain while crying over your favorite rom coms, and, TBH, we can’t complain. As much as we ~love~ indulging in ice cream seven days out of every month, we’d much rather not be in total and complete agony.
When you’ve got a case of excruciating PMS cramps, you’d pretty much do anything to stop the pain. Now there’s an innovative solution out on the market — even if it might not be legal in every state.
Here’s the good news: This type of marijuana use isn’t for stoners. A new innovative company called Foria, which is known for cannabis-infused products like lubricants, has just released the “weed tampon.”
It’s the first to hit the market dedicated to treating menstrual cramps, but take note that it’s actually a suppository rather than an absorbent feminine hygiene product.
When it comes to organic sources of pain relief, marijuana is nothing new. It’s used to help with many ailments, including nausea and muscle pain. And with legalization sweeping across U.S. states and its many medical uses — from stopping seizures to treating cancer patients — this bud has gained legitimacy in the health and wellness industry.
The product, Foria Relief, is created “using a delivery system intended to maximize the muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving properties of cannabis without inducing a psychotropic ‘high,’” says the company’s website.
The cannabis suppositories are made with organic cocoa butter, THC oil and CBD isolate. Some women have reported that it smells like cookie dough or cookie butter. And it keeps getting better: For you ladies that aren’t interested in getting all squinty-eyed, this product can still work for you because the THC won’t make you high.
Here’s how it works: The capsule is blended with a 6-to-1 ratio of THC oil (approximately 60 grams — twice as much as the average joint) to CBD isolate. The THC targets the nerves to block out the pain, while CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, helping relieve muscle spasms.
The company says that the combination of THC and CBD used in the vaginal suppositories are specifically designed to “activate certain cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region when introduced into the body.”
In short, marijuana’s magical ingredients go straight to where they’re needed.
Thus far, the Food and Drug Administration has neither approved the product nor ran it through clinical trials, but Foria is marketing it as completely safe and user-friendly — claiming the cannabis is grown without pesticides and that the product is made with no harmful contaminants.
The suppositories are currently only available in California and do not require a medical-marijuana card (although they do require a physician’s letter). Check back with the site from time to time to see if it expands into other states.
Once a month, I live through literal hell for seven to nine days straight. My uterus is tied in knots and wrung out by the invisible fists of the devil himself. My soul touches the void. I pound ibuprofen and Tylenol by the handful for little to no relief. Eventually, I fantasize about removing my uterus all together because I see no other solutions in sight. What a life that would be, devoid of insufferable, never-ending menstrual cramps. Rainbows and butterflies and the ability to venture out into the world and skip down the street period-pain-free, instead of writhing and whining in my bed and ordering an XL, grease-soaked pizza to my door (which only ends up making me feel worse). Ah, the joys of owning a uterus.
If your menstrual experiences mirror mine, first of all, I’m so sorry, I feel you. Second of all, hold up – there could be a sliver of hope for us yet. Foria, a company known for its cannabis-infused products (including their well-renowned weed lube), has just released an ingenious and potentially life-changing product: marijuana-infused ‘tampons.’ I use the word ‘tampon’ loosely, because they aren’t technically classified as such: rather, the brand refers to them as suppositories. But, they are inserted vaginally in a similar fashion, and they’re a period product, so might as well call ‘em tampons (I guess?).
Anyway, here’s the lowdown on how they work:
The suppositories, which come in packs of four, are made up of only three ingredients – fair trade cocoa butter, THC oil, and CBD isolate from organically grown hemp. You stick it in your vag and, supposedly, the cannabinoids cause the nerves in the uterus, cervix, and ovaries to block out pain and relax the constricted uterine muscles (aka, the source of that nasty cramping feeling). Unlike something you ingest orally, (Midol, Tylenol, et cetera), the suppositories attack the pain at the source. The vaginal walls absorb the natural medications directly into the bloodstream, providing imminent relief.
They aren’t yet FDA approved, and there is no factual research to prove their effectiveness, but users, like this writer from Broadly, have reported nearly immediate and long-lasting results. “Within 20 minutes, my cramps totally disappeared,” said Mish Barber Way. “I was not surprised at how well the suppository worked. What I was surprised about was the longevity. Midol will wear off after about half a work day, and during most periods I'll pop six a day. But one Foria suppository did its job well into my evening.”
If, like me, you’re willing to try literally anything to relieve your menstrual misery, you can buy a pack of Foria Relief on their website.