Can You Use CBD for Period Cramps? (Studies, Products, FAQs)



Can I use CBD for period cramps? Is it effective?

Which CBD products may alleviate period pain?

CBD could reduce inflammation and relieve pain, so you may want to use it for menstrual cramps. 

But look: CBD is no magic bullet for period cramp relief

You could try it as self-medication — instead of over-the-counter and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for cramps.  

Keep reading to learn everything about CBD and period cramps.

Jump To:

Can You Use CBD for Period Cramps? 

Currently, no data supports CBD as a treatment specifically for period cramps (menstrual pain or dysmenorrhoea). 

The research is still limited.  

But since CBD can relieve pain and inflammation, you could use it as a self-medication for menstrual discomfort. 

Let’s discuss this in more detail.

1. What are Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual pain occurs when the walls of the uterus tighten to help shed the uterus lining.

For the walls to contract, your body increases the hormone prostaglandin, which causes menstrual cramps. This is known as primary period pain.

The pain can sometimes be caused due to other reasons — known as secondary period pain (more on that later). 

You may also experience bloating, lower back pain, nausea, and diarrhoea. Ugh

Wait, it gets worse… 

Period pains can cause emotional distress and mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings. 

Did you know: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms worsen as you age? PMS symptoms peak between your 30s and 40s — as you approach menopause (perimenopause). 

So how does CBD help relieve this severe pain? 

Keep reading. 

2. How CBD May Relieve Menstrual Pain 

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the many cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp plants. 

The CBD extract from these plants comes in various forms, such as: 

  • CBD isolate: CBD isolate is pure CBD.
  • Broad spectrum CBD: Broad spectrum CBD contains CBD and other compounds found in cannabis plants but no THC. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
  • Full-spectrum CBD: contains every cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, including THC.

Here’s how CBD may help with menstrual pain:

  • The CBD molecule interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors, mainly CB1 and CB2 receptors.
  • These cannabinoid receptors regulate bodily functions like sleep, mood, pain, energy, and more.
  • CBD modulates the activities of CB1 cannabinoid receptors, signalling your body of inflammation, etc.
  • These receptors then regulate the brain’s response to pain.   

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What Studies Say About CBD for Period Cramps 

There have been limited studies focusing specifically on the benefits of CBD for menstrual cramps. 

Here’s a round-up: 

  • Cannabis compounds have been proven to relieve chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, etc. A review of multiple studies concluded that since women with PMS often suffer from many of these symptoms, CBD may be an effective remedy for period pain.
  • Various clinical studies suggest CBD is a well-tolerated and safe natural compound exerting analgesic effects in neuropathic pain, inflammatory pain, and more.
  • According to a 2019 research, women with endometriosis self-rated cannabis and  CBD oil as the most effective options for relieving pain — compared to physical interventions, such as yoga, stretching, and other remedies. 
  • However, a literature review noted that the only pharmaceutical product containing CBD and used for chronic pain management is Nabiximols (Sativex). However, this drug contains CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). So it’s unfair to attribute the pain relief properties to CBD alone. While some CBD-only products are available, they aren’t pharmacological and don’t have sufficient clinical trials to support their efficacy. 

Bottom line?

More large-scale human trials are needed to effectively understand the correlation between CBD and menstrual cramping and pain. 

But you could still use CBD supplements (CBD oil, CBD cream, CBD edibles, or CBD capsules) to alleviate pain and inflammation caused by your menstrual cycle. 

Important: CBD products are food supplements and should NOT be confused with medical marijuana (aka medical cannabis).

Want to find a reliable CBD product for menstrual pain and cramps? 

We got you covered.

How to Use CBD for Period Cramps: Top CBD Products

You can try CBD in various ways to ease cramps caused by menstruation. 

Some of the best CBD products include:

We know what you’re thinking…  

How much CBD should I take for period cramps? 

It varies from person to person. 

Everyone’s menstrual cycle differs based on the number of prostaglandins produced while shedding your uterus lining. 

The more prostaglandins, the more severe your period cramps will be. 

Severe menstrual symptoms would mean a higher requirement for CBD. 

GreenBox recommends: 

  • For mild symptoms, try 25mg/day; for moderate symptoms, 50mg/day; and for severe symptoms, between 70-100mg/day. 
  • New to CBD? ‘Low and slow’ is the way to go! Start with a low dose of 20-50mg/day, observe its effects and gradually increase it. 

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4 FAQs About CBD and Period Cramps 

Still got questions about CBD and menstrual cramps?

Let’s answer them. 

1. Does CBD Stop Periods? 

No. CBD does NOT influence your natural menstrual cycle. 

So, what influences your period?

Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, rise and fall naturally throughout the month. This variation in hormone levels controls your menstrual cycle.

While there is no way to stop your period, there are ways to delay it. These include taking the combined contraceptive pill back-to-back (skipping the dummy pills) or a prescribed medication called Norethisterone. 

2. Can I Put CBD Oil on My Tampon?

Putting CBD oil on tampons (or using CBD tampons) is NOT RECOMMENDED by gynaecologists and medical professionals. 

To date, there’s no evidence to support this notion. 

Using CBD tampons may lead to some adverse effects, like: 

  • Disturbing the balance of acid and bacteria in your vagina. 
  • Increased risk of a yeast infection (thrush). 
  • Inflammation of the vagina (known as bacterial vaginosis), causing discharge, soreness, and an unpleasant odour. 

3. What Other Period Pain Relief Alternatives Are Available?

According to a 2019 study, most women opt for self-care methods to alleviate their menstrual symptoms. 

These pain-relieving methods include: 

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Low-intensity exercises such as yoga and stretching. 
  • Heat therapy involving a hot water bottle or heating pad. 

Interestingly, the participants reported that low-intensity exercises provided them with more period pain relief than painkillers and other OTC medications. 

4. What Causes Extreme Menstrual Cramps?

Whether physical (menstrual cramping) or mental (mood swings), every woman has experienced some symptom of menstrual discomfort in their life.

But for some, side effects like extreme menstrual cramps may indicate an underlying medical condition. 

These can include: 

Medical Condition   Definition   Symptoms 
Endometriosis   Chronic condition where endometrial cells grow outside the uterus.   Pelvic pain, periods lasting longer than 7 days, heavy periods, bleeding between periods, etc.  
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) Hormone disorder that occurs during the reproductive years.   Irregular periods, heightened levels of androgens (male hormone), polycystic ovaries, etc.  
Fibroids  Noncancerous growths that form inside or outside the uterus.   Severe period cramps, pelvic pressure, heavy periods, lower back pain, etc.  
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) Bacterial infection of the female reproductive organs.   Pelvic pain, cramping, vaginal discharge, discomfort during intercourse, etc.   
Cervical Stenosis (aka closed cervix)  The opening of the cervix is slim or completely closed.   Cervical stenosis often causes no symptoms but can cause missed periods, painful periods, and abnormal bleeding.  
Adenomyosis Thickening of the uterus caused by endometrial tissue growing into your uterus muscles.   Adenomyosis usually has no symptoms but can cause discomfort, prolonged periods, heavy bleeding, etc. 

What’s more?

An Intrauterine Device (IUD) can also cause severe period cramps, heavy bleeding, and irregular periods.

Try CBD Products for Menstrual Pain Relief 

Over-the-counter medication doesn’t always do the trick for period cramps. Plus, there’s no magic pill to eliminate premenstrual syndrome and painful periods.

So while the jury is still out on CBD for period cramps, you could give it a shot as a self-medication option. 

Ready to try CBD? 

Visit GreenBox for the best CBD products in the UK!

From high-quality CBD gummies, capsules, and oils to CBD bath bombs, creams, and balms, GreenBox has you covered.

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