Could taking CBD reduce period-related symptoms?

Published Mar 15, 2023 09:18 a.m. ET
Unsplash / Annika Gordon

For many women, a menstrual cycle can be an uncomfortable and painful experience. From cramps and bloating to mood swings and headaches, period-related symptoms can have a significant impact on daily life. While over-the-counter pain relief medication and other traditional remedies can be helpful, many women are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) as a natural alternative. In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits of taking CBD for period-related symptoms, as well as some alternative pain relief methods.

What is CBD?

CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce the “high” associated with marijuana use. CBD is believed to have a range of therapeutic benefits, including reducing pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

CBD and period-related Symptoms - What does the science say?

While research on the use of CBD for period-related symptoms is limited, there is some evidence to suggest that it could be an effective treatment option. In a 2015 study, researchers found that CBD reduced the intensity of pain and discomfort in women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2019 found that CBD was effective in reducing anxiety and improving sleep in people with anxiety disorders.

In addition to reducing pain and anxiety, CBD may also have anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial for women experiencing menstrual cramps. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that CBD was effective in reducing inflammation in women with endometriosis, a painful condition that can cause menstrual cramps.

While the evidence is promising, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on period-related symptoms.

How to take CBD for period-related symptoms

If you’re interested in taking CBD for period-related symptoms, there are several ways to do so. Here are a few options to consider:

CBD Oil or Tincture: CBD oil or tincture is a concentrated form of CBD that is taken sublingually (under the tongue). This method allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream quickly and may provide fast relief from pain and discomfort.


CBD Edibles: CBD edibles, such as gummies or capsules, are a convenient way to take CBD. However, they may take longer to take effect than other methods, as the CBD must pass through the digestive system before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

CBD Topicals: CBD topicals, such as creams or balms, are applied directly to the skin and may be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in specific areas of the body.

It’s important to note that CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, and the quality and potency of these products can vary widely. When choosing a CBD product, be sure to do your research and look for products that have been third-party tested for purity and potency.

Alternative pain relief methods for period-related symptoms

While CBD may be a helpful tool for managing period-related symptoms, there are also a number of alternative pain relief methods that women can try. Here are a few options to consider:

Heat Therapy: Applying heat to the abdomen or lower back can help to relieve menstrual cramps. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or take a warm bath to achieve this effect.

Exercise: While it may be difficult to motivate yourself to exercise when you’re feeling crampy and uncomfortable, physical activity can actually help to reduce pain and improve mood during the menstrual cycle. Gentle activities like yoga or walking can be particularly beneficial.

Herbal Remedies: Some women find relief from period-related symptoms by using herbal remedies.

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