Cramps. Irritability. Migraines. Bloating. Insomnia. Breakouts. Exhaustion. Sound familiar, ladies? Periods: they are the monthly “gift” that impact each person a little differently, but I think we can all agree that finding more holistic treatments to get you through some of the annoying symptoms of menstruation can be tough.
For me, one of the most intrusive and annoying symptoms I have during my period is restless legs. I can barely keep my legs still for a movie, and it is especially noticeable at night. Couple that with a few hormonal migraines and severe cramping, and I am not very much fun to be around, nor do I feel truly present. I am also unfortunate enough to have fibroids (abnormal growths/tumors that develop in or on your uterus), which only intensify the cramping. I was skeptical that CBD could help with this honestly, and I had already been through a whole range of prescribed medications to help combat some of my more severe period symptoms. I wanted to find something that wouldn’t bring a bunch of other unwanted side effects or dependency on the drug itself.
When I finally tried a CBD tincture during one particularly grueling night of restless legs and migraine fatigue, I was pleasantly surprised. My pain levels were diminished, and my legs were finally calm enough that I could drift off to sleep and get through the worst of the migraine. The skeptic in me was worried it was a coincidence or placebo effect, so I tried it again. I have now replaced melatonin with CBD as part of my nighttime regimen, and I up my dose during my period, and have found that it greatly reduces my symptoms, with no side effects. This phenomenon got me thinking–how does this all work?
While I haven’t been able to find any specific studies on CBD for period pain, there are numerous studies out there focused on general pain. One study showed that CBD could help reduce inflammation and pain-related behaviors in rats. This was of particular interest to me, since a lot of the pain women feel during our periods is the result of inflammation. During your period, your uterus contracts to help expel its lining; prostaglandins which are linked to pain and inflammation, trigger the uterine muscle contractions. Women with higher levels of prostaglandins tend to have more severe cramping. Our levels of prostaglandins are often most high at the beginning of our periods. My thinking is, if CBD is shown to reduce inflammation, and inflammation is linked to some of your symptoms, logically it follows that CBD could help reduce these cramps. While this research is promising, it is noted that rats and people react differently to different stimuli, and more studies are definitely needed to understand all the potential benefits CBD might have to offer. I am excited to see more research done on the topic, and what impact CBD could have on women’s health.
For me, it really depended on the type of pain I was experiencing, and when I was experiencing it. I think it’s also important to keep in mind we are all different, and our bodies all respond to things differently. For cramping and general aches and pains, I found a topical solution, like Asha’s CBD Salve, worked best. For times when I was experiencing deeper aches and pains, including migraines, a few drops of the Asha Fresh Mint 30mg Tincture did wonders. For my bedtime regimen, I preferred the gel capsules like Asha’s Everyday Formula 25 mg CBD Softgels before I laid down for bed.
Bottom line is, I had to experiment to find what worked for me, and I imagine what was true for me won’t be true for everyone else. What I do hope is that CBD is able to help lighten the less-fun side effects of having a period.