If you’re among the countless women who are forced to endure the wrath of PMS (or you love one who does), with its cramps, bloating, headaches, and mood swings each month, then cannabis just might be the solution you’ve been looking for.
There’s no definitive proof yet—largely due to the federal government’s failure to declassify marijuana as a Schedule I drug and therefore limit the research available—but early studies, as well as firsthand accounts, suggest that medical marijuana can significantly abate a number of PMS symptoms.
Cramps, for many women, are the most uncomfortable side effect of a period. They can range from mildly uncomfortable to downright debilitating, making it impossible for people to complete their daily responsibilities. Cramps occur when the muscles in your abdomen contract to allow your uterine lining to shed each month. The muscle relaxant properties of cannabis—THC, more specifically—can help sooth the pain from these contractions and alleviate cramp discomfort.
In addition to painful cramps, headaches also accompany the monthly menstrual cycle for many women. Severe period headaches—sometimes called menstrual migraines—can seriously impact concentration, focus, and general productivity. Fortunately, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis are shown to significantly reduce the severity of headaches, sometimes eliminating them altogether.
There’s physical period pain and then there’s mental period pain. Depressive thoughts and feelings are another hormone-induced side effect of PMS that too many have to combat. Studies on both THC and CBD’s effects on depressed moods suggest that ingesting the drug can boost serotonin levels in the body—your “feel-good” hormone—and mitigate these feelings substantially. And unlike antidepressants, which often take weeks to take effect (and are likely overkill if a person is only depressed during PMS), taking cannabis can improve your mood after just one dose.
So we’ve covered physical pain and mental pain, but what about the awful diarrhea that rears its head with a woman’s monthly visitor? Yep, cannabis can help that too. Cannabis’ aforementioned ability to ease cramps and reduce inflammation in your body can also alleviate gastrointestinal distress. Specifically, in early studies, cannabis has been shown to reduce hypermotility, which is a fancy word for when food moves too quickly through your gastrointestinal tract.
How To Use Cannabis For PMS
When it comes to best treating those PMS symptoms with cannabis, you have a few options with respect to how you use it.
If you’re not keen on getting high with your pain relief, then applying cannabis topically via cream or lotion is your best bet. There are a number of topical pain-relieving cannabis lines available and all you have to do is apply it directly to wherever you’re most uncomfortable for effects.
Teas And Edibles
When topical application isn’t enough, ingesting an edible or drinking cannabis-infused tea is a great option for pain relief. Edibles have a knack for bringing more powerful body-high experiences than other modes of ingestion, which makes them among the best options for your most painful period days.
Of course, you can always just smoke the flower if you’re looking for quick and easy relief. It’ll be more effective than topical application and is generally not as intense as an edible high. Plus, its effects are immediate, so you can easily moderate how much or how little you want/need.