Horrible Cramps? Marijuana Might Just Be the Answer
Women often rely on heating pads, painkillers, and their go-to chocolate bar to deal with PMS each month. And then there's Midol. Since the 1930s, the over-the-counter acetaminophen-based drug has been marketed to women for their "periodic pain." Beyond that, there haven't been many new mainstream medical options available to alleviate stubborn menstrual discomfort. Searching for remedies, women have turned to various holistic and alternative medicine treatments like chasteberry, Mayan abdominal massage, or acupuncture.
Perhaps we just need to look back to ancient times for another viable remedy: cannabis. Medical marijuana is now legal in 28 states and Washington DC, and cannabis is on the rise as an innovative solution for managing PMS. That's good news for women dealing with cramps, headaches, or irritability.
Relief For Common Symptoms
While marijuana has been a medicinal remedy for millennia, there is a lack of modern research on it. That's because it is difficult to acquire research grants from the National Institute of Health while pot is still illegal at the federal level. But a few promising studies do exist, and reviews of existing literature have concluded that cannabis effectively treats otherwise treatment-resistant conditions, including pain management. Despite the lack of research, many "green doctors" consider PMS a qualifying condition for a marijuana prescription to provide relief from common PMS symptoms.
The Various Products and Methods
When it comes to actual treatment, there is no shortage of specific period products. Foria Reliefrecently gained notoriety as the "weed tampon." A vaginal suppository you can use along with a tampon, it releases pain-decreasing cannabis in your uterus, helping to relieve cramps. The suppository can also be inserted rectally to relieve pain in the back and hip areas. Foria Relief contains both THC and CBD and does not cause psychoactive effects in most women, in part because it is inserted vaginally. While Foria is developing a study to further understand the benefits of vaginal delivery, the current understanding is that the suppository prevents the liver from processing THC, allowing the medicine to be absorbed locally without getting you high. In addition to reducing the effects of being high, CBD relaxes muscles and acts as an antianxiety and anti-inflammatory agent, according to the company.
Mathew Gerson founded Foria, which started off making a line of cannabis-infused female pleasure products. Gerson told us why it's important that women don't get high from the Foria cannabis suppository: "The number of women who could benefit from what it [cannabis] has to offer with respect to menstrual cramps is a much larger number if they didn't have to deal with being stoned." He says the suppository delivery method still allows for a high cannabis potency, but since it won't get you high, you can go about your day — going to work, taking care of your family, or enjoying time with friends. Currently, Foria is available only online to California residents with a valid physician's recommendation letter or at dispensaries in Colorado and California.
Since it doesn't get you high or put you into a more relaxed state, Dr. Berman says Foria might not be able to treat other symptoms of PMS, like irritability, but sees little downside to the product. "The only limitations are the regulatory restrictions state to state, that it takes 20 minutes to work, and you have to lay down." She also says the potential for abuse is always a concern when you're dealing with any drug.
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