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Our period can throw us off-kilter each month.
With fluctuating hormones already offsetting our mood, period pain can sometimes feel like just another contender to deal with.
Causes of period pain
Period pain (or menstrual cramps) occurs when the walls of the womb tighten to help shed the uterus lining.
In order for the walls to contract, our body increases levels of prostaglandin chemicals which is the source of the pain.
These muscular contractions are a completely normal part of the menstrual cycle – however, there are times when period pain can be more severe, arising from medical conditions including endometriosis or from contraceptive devices such as the IUD (intrauterine device).
Period pain tends to be at its height when the bleeding is at its heaviest, usually when our period starts, and can last between 48 to 72 hours.
More than half of all women who menstruate experience this so you’re not alone if you find yourself struggling with discomfort each month.
Can CBD help with period pain relief?
According to evidence presented by The Clinical Journal of Pain, medicinal cannabis has been shown to promote pain-relieving effects for those with long-term chronic pain.1
During the first part of our cycle (from day 1 of our period until ovulation), we tend to have a higher level of antibodies and an increased response to inflammation so taking CBD could be beneficial.
Dr Amanda McKinney, Associate Dean of Health Sciences & Executive Director of the Institute of Human & Planetary Health at Doane University comments:
“CBD has well documented anti-inflammatory effects and can therefore be used to quell inflammation which is often the cause of many types of pain, including menstrual pain.”
However, since there is a lack of long-term clinical trial data, commercially available CBD products can’t be marketed with medical claims (so we do not say that CBD can be used to treat, cure or prevent illnesses).
On the other hand, there are over a million people in the UK currently using CBD in the UK as a holistic approach to wellness.
What is the best way to take CBD during your period?
CBD can be used in lots of different ways from CBD oils and sprays to edibles, capsules and topicals.
The method of delivery depends on your preference but in terms of bioavailability (the rate and extent to which CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream), CBD oils and sprays which are administered under the tongue tend to be absorbed faster.
If you’re new to CBD, we advise that you start with a low dose of 10mg (approx. 10 drops) and increase as required. As a precaution, we recommend that healthy adults take no more than 70mg per day.
More tips for period pain relief
Whilst our changing hormone levels can make us feel fatigued during our period, exercise releases endorphins - acting as both a natural pain-killer and an energy-boosting hormone.
The type of activity matters too, especially because of the changing hormone levels during the two stages of your cycle.
During the first phase of your cycle, oestrogen levels are low which can lead to increased muscle strength, making it the perfect time to engage in some resistance training.
During the second phase of your cycle following ovulation, oestrogen levels increase which is your cue to rest.
Why not incorporate some yoga in the days leading up to your period? You may find it helps you to relax and reduce cramps.
Placing a heat patch or hot water bottle over your abdomen can help boost circulation and relax the walls in your uterus, thus reducing pain.
Dehydration can make abdominal cramps more likely.
Aim to drink around eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day (about 2 litres) to help alleviate period pain and prevent bloating which can make symptoms feel worse.
Support your overall wellbeing
If you find yourself fighting to keep your eyes open during your period, try implementing a few anti-fatigue tips into your daily routine.
Working to support your everyday wellbeing is important, even when you’re not on your period.
Last updated: 18 February 2022