Does CBD help menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps are thought to affect around half the global population, whether occasionally or regularly every month. While they are often dismissed as ‘just part of the menstrual cycle’, there are things you can do to help ease symptoms and discomfort brought on by menstrual cramps.
It is now thought that CBD has the potential to help combat menstrual pain and other symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle, which we’ll be addressing in this article. So let’s get started.
In This Article
- Capsules or gummies
- What is the best way to take CBD for menstrual cramps?
CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating inflammation and pain. There is some evidence to suggest that CBD has general pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties which could help to ease pain from menstrual cramps.
CBD, is not known to cause adverse effects in relation to pain relief and is well tolerated by most people.
Although there have been limited studies conducted to evidence how CBD can impact menstrual cramps, the general evidence around reduced inflammation and pain relief goes some way in showing support for CBD use with menstrual cramps. One study, however, has concluded that CBD could be a viable option for managing menstrual symptoms.
There are numerous ways to take CBD and it can be difficult to know which product is best for you.
It’s also important to highlight that you should consider the absorption rates of any product you look at to ensure high absorption.
Capsules or gummies
CBD capsules or gummies are taken orally and can contribute to the alleviation of menstrual cramps when swallowed. However, traditional capsules and gummies can take a long time to enter your system, and even then, you might not be absorbing enough to help combat your symptoms as around 90% of CBD ingested is destroyed by the digestive process.
This is why we say it’s important to look at the absorption rates of your chosen product. For example, our NextEvo Naturals capsules have been developed with our own Smartsorb technology which can get to work in as little as ten minutes, with a 4x higher absorption rate than most other products on the market.
If you do choose to use capsules or gummies to help with menstrual cramps, we’d advise taking them as soon as cramps are experienced so they can get to work quickly.
What is the best way to take CBD for menstrual cramps?
Because every woman will experience differing levels of discomfort during their menstrual cycle, it’s difficult to recommend a ‘one-size-fits-all’ method for taking CBD to help with menstrual cramps.
As capsules tend to have more scientific research behind them in terms of anti-inflammatory properties and how CBD can be used to alleviate pain, we’d say this is definitely a good place to start. As we’ve mentioned though, be mindful about the products you choose and always ensure they have high absorption rates - like our Smartsorb technology capsules and gummies.
You should always follow the recommended dosage provided on the packaging of the product you are using.
Likewise, if you are new to CBD and trying it for the first time, we’d recommend starting with a small dose and building up gradually until the desired effect is achieved. Everybody is different, so it's important to listen to your body and take cues from it to understand your tolerance level for CBD.
Generally speaking, if you use a CBD product with a high absorption rate, you will not need to consume as much as you would with low absorption rate products to get the relief you are looking for. Some CBD products will state a higher dosage of CBD than what is actually absorbed by the body, so always bear this in mind when researching products.
There are several factors for consideration when determining how long it will take for a CBD product to work. These include the type of product, the ingestion/application method used, the amount of pure CBD in the product and how much CBD is absorbed by the body.
For example, general research suggests that you will begin to feel the effects of CBD when vaping or ingesting sublingually within 15 minutes, while edibles and topicals can take around an hour or two. However, this information doesn’t state how much CBD you will actually be ingesting via any of these methods.
What we do know for sure, is that our edible products created using Smartsorb technology can get into your system in as little as ten minutes, helping you reach your desired effect much quicker than many other products available today. This is particularly important when it comes to relieving discomfort from menstrual cramps as they can often come on quickly and progressively get worse without intervention.
Some women experience cramps during early pregnancy which can often be mistaken for menstrual cramps. It’s extremely important to establish whether these cramps are due to pregnancy or the menstrual cycle before taking any CBD products.
The FDA advises against taking CBD, THC or marijuana in any form while pregnant or breastfeeding as there is currently very little research on the effects of them during this time.
As with many other supplements or medicinal products, there is always a potential for side effects or interactions when taking CBD in conjunction with other medications. A study by Harvard Medical School concluded that CBD can interact with other medications.
While CBD is generally well tolerated amongst most people, there is always a possibility that an interaction with other medication could cause your medication to lose effectiveness or even trigger a more serious reaction. We’d always advise speaking with your doctor before trying CBD alongside any other medication.
There are very limited studies available to determine whether CBD affects the menstrual cycle. However, we do know that hormones can be impacted by a number of external factors that can result in changes to the menstrual cycle, for example stress, anxiety and even exercise.
Some research has shown that the use of CBD can indirectly modify GnRH secretion, which is a key hormone when it comes to healthy menstrual cycles and reproductive health. This modification can disrupt hormones which can therefore affect the menstrual cycle. While CBD is well tolerated and safe to use, if you’re new to using it, we’d advise keeping a close eye on your menstrual cycle to look out for any changes.
If you’re keen to try CBD to help combat menstrual cramps, there are several options available to you. We’ve already highlighted several popular methods for using CBD to alleviate menstrual cramps, with one of the most common products being CBD capsules.
It’s always important to remember to research the products you’re planning to use before you start taking them to ensure they have a high absorbency rate that could better help you to reach your desired effect.
World Health Organisation - Cannabidiol: Critical Review Report
Online Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine - Is CBD a viable option for menstrual symptoms?
US Food & Drug Administration - FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
Healthline - How long does CBD stay in your system?
Healthline - The entourage effect: How CBD and THC work together
Journal of Cannabis Research - Cannabidiol use and effectiveness: real-world evidence from a Canadian medical cannabis clinic
US Food & Drug Administration - 5 things to know about delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol - delta-8 THC
US Food & Drug Administration - What you should know about using cannabis, including CBD, when pregnant or breastfeeding
Harvard Medical School - CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution
Cleveland Clinic - Can stress cause you to skip a period?
WebMD - Signs your period is coming