CBD for PMS: Can CBD Help with PMS Symptoms?

Chocolate, check. Blankets, check. It is important to prepare for your uterus’ scheduled monthly revenge for not being baby-filled. Having a PMS checklist of things you will need makes all the difference. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil may be a new item you’ll want to add to your PMS prep list. In this article, we will discuss CBD as a possible solution for painful cramping and monthly grump.

a woman bent over in pain

PMS and its Symptoms

Three out of four women experience this scourge of womanhood that is known as PMS.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collective term for a wide variety of signs and symptoms experienced by women 5 to 11 days before menstruation.

It typically goes away once menstruation starts. The cause of PMS is still unknown, but it is believed that it has something to do with the flux in sex hormone and serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

Symptoms of PMS can be physical, behavioral, or emotional. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Feeling upset, irritable, or anxious
  • Bloating 
  • Cramping
  • Tiredness or trouble sleeping
  • Breast tenderness
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Spotty skin
  • Greasy hair
  • Headaches

As you get to know your cycle, you can see these symptoms happening in recurring patterns. This allows you to be ready for them at the right time.

Endometriosis

Not only are some women stricken with these unpleasant monthly occurrences, but others also experience endometriosis before or after menstruation, or during or after sexual activity.

This condition is caused by tissues that grow outside the womb, causing extreme pain and other more serious issues.

Adenomyosis

This is a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (the myometrium).

Adenomyosis can cause menstrual cramps, lower abdominal pressure, and bloating before menstrual periods and can result in heavy periods.

Various Treatments for PMS

There are several ways to deal with the PMS symptoms that are leaving you miserable. Some of these treatments are prescribed by your doctor, some over-the-counter, and some can be easily found online or at a health food store.

Antidepressants: If PMS mood symptoms are interfering with the quality of life, doctors may prescribe antidepressants. However, these medications may cause the following side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Rashes
  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced blood clotting capacity
  • Diminished sexual desire, performance, interest, or satisfaction

NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are painkillers sometimes used for the treatment of cramps and breast tenderness. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Use these medications with caution as they can the following side effects:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

Ginkgo biloba L.: This study reported that Ginkgo biloba may be helpful in the treatment of PMS. However, side effects may include:

  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations
  • Stomach upset

Evening primrose oil: This study showed that evening primrose oil may be effective in treating several women’s health conditions, PMS included. However, the researchers warned that effects might not take effect in the body for up to 4 to 6 months.

CBD oil: You may have noticed most of these other treatments have many uncomfortable side effects. CBD may be a viable alternative.

Cannabidiol comes from the cannabis plant, along with many other cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Not only is CBD’s safety profile preferable, but the likelihood of abuse is also very low. More women are ditching the antidepressants and NSAIDs for cannabidiol to help with mood swings and bloating.

How CBD May Help With PMS

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies plays a huge role in our daily functions, by regulating things like our mood, pain, inflammation, sleep, and appetite.

Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids are said to interact with this system, essentially through the ECS’s cannabinoid receptors. These receptors enable the ECS to perform these important functions.

Severe menstrual cramps may be caused by high levels of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are compounds in the body made of fats that have hormone-like effects.

They can trigger pain and inflammation, which can then result in uterine muscle contractions. This study showed that CBD may reduce inflammation at different ECS receptors, allowing for the downregulation of the enzymes that contribute to the production of prostaglandins. 

This review on mice subjects suggested that CBD may interact with the receptors that are involved with motor control and pain perception. This interaction may diminish inflammation and heightened pain sensitivity.

So, to break it down, CBD may benefit PMS in the following ways:

  • CBD may limit the degree of inflammation and swelling, which can both lead to pain. Therefore, this may alleviate painful cramping.
  • CBD impacts nerve receptors that may help desensitize pain.

Let’s take a closer look at the clinical research available on the subject.

Clinical Research of CBD and PMS

Since things like medical cannabis and cannabidiol oil are still fairly new to the health care scene, research on these helpful products is still lacking.

However, we have gathered some evidence that is known on CBD, and how it may relate to the treatment of PMS and related disorders.

  • 2019: This review concluded that CBD is an alternative treatment option for menstrual symptoms including PMS pain.
  • 2016: This review suggests evidence that women with severe cramping associated with endometriosis have an impaired endocannabinoid system. What investigators demonstrated was that those with severe pain had lower expression of the endocannabinoid receptors as compared to those with mild pain, and in turn churned out higher levels of endocannabinoids to compensate. This suggests cannabinoids are important in the management of menstrual pain.

The following studies are about CBD and how it pertains to specific symptoms of PMS, though not specifically to the symptoms during the time of PMS.

Anxiety and Depression

Mood changes are one of the common symptoms of PMS sufferers. Since both anxiety and depression have a big effect on one’s mood, treating them may help improve overall mood. There has been some research on CBD’s effect on mental health conditions:

  • 2019: This study indicated that CBD may calm the central nervous system, reducing anxiety and improving sleep.
  • 2019: This study found that anxiety was decreased in 37 teenagers with social anxiety after repeated CBD dosing.
  • 2018: This study found that a single dose of CBD induced antidepressant-like effects on rodents. The researchers believed that the data supported CBD’s promise as a fast-acting antidepressant drug.
  • 2014: This review suggested that CBD has anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like effects on animal subjects.

Pain Relief

PMS is associated with many types of pain, including cramps, bloating, muscle pain, and headaches. Though we don’t have a lot of evidence of CBD’s role in PMS-related pain, we do have evidence of its role regarding other types of pain. Here it is:

  • 2016: This study suggests that CBD and THC combined may work as a muscle relaxant.
  • 2015: This study found that CBD was able to reduce pain and inflammation in rats with arthritis.
  • 2008: In this review, a CBD/THC oral spray called Sativex showed promise in the treatment of cancer pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and central and peripheral neuropathic pain.

Acne

Breakouts are commonly associated with PMS. CBD may show some promise of clearing up acne. Here is some associated research:

  • 2014: This study showed that CBD can suppress sebocyte proliferation. Sebocytes are cells that produce sebum, sometimes excessively, which can lead to acne vulgaris. This study also noted cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory properties which may be helpful in the treatment of acne.

Since these findings are still so new, deeper research is still needed on CBD’s effects on PMS.

Types of CBD for PMS Symptoms

CBD is popping up in many health and wellness products. Many of them may help relieve PMS symptoms. Here are some popular ones that we like:

  • Topical creams/salves/oil: Since CBD has been shown to promote the relaxation of muscles, pain, and inflammation, this may help soothe cramps that leave you incapacitated. Topical salves can be massaged on the lower abdomen. The relief of the cream or salve may not be as immediate as a tincture, but a gentle massage may help lessen discomfort. Try our Ease Functional Body Oil for painful period cramps.
  • Skincare: You don’t want to look bad when you already feel bad. Try this CBD facial treatment mixed with retinol to help banish those PMS breakouts.
  • CBD suppositories: Sometimes called a “weed tampon,” these suppositories have not been thoroughly researched. However, anecdotally they are said to be some of the best ways to support period pain. The cannabinoids are absorbed locally into the tissues that are inflamed and cramping thereby providing direct relief. Try CBD Relief Suppositories today for relief not only from menstrual cramps, but possibly from vaginismus, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, other pelvic and genital pain conditions, and relief of menopausal challenges.
  • Tinctures: CBD tinctures are the easiest to administer. Simply put a few drops under your tongue using a dropper or add to your favorite beverage. Our full-spectrum Ease CBG: CBD Oil is the perfect treatment when you need immediate relief.

Since CBD has boomed into the market, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had some trouble keeping up. For this reason, this market is not regulated.

Keep this in mind when selecting the products that are right for you. There are many brands out there that use low-quality ingredients, are sourced from questionable places, and do not undergo third-party testing, so you don’t know what is in your product.

It is important to remember that CBD products will vary in their efficacy due to how quality of the product.

a woman taking CBD from a dropper

Anecdotal Evidence for CBD Oil for PMS

Ease and Ease Functional Body Oil are quality CBD products for the treatment of PMS symptoms. But don’t just take our word for it.

Here are some helpful reviews from some of our satisfied customers who bought Ease Functional Body Oil:

  • “I had never tried any CBD infused products but as a recreational marijuana user I have always been interested in it’s healing, relaxing, and soothing properties. This body oil is absolutely incredible and melts the tensions away instantly. I apply it every morning and evening to my chronic pain areas (neck, shoulders, lower back, and knees) and use it specifically for period cramps (something I’ve struggled with since I was 12). I was so pleasantly surprised by how well this product works for me and although it took a little getting used to I am now obsessed with the scent. I highly recommend this product its relaxation in a bottle!!” --Stephanie H.
  • “I get really bad cramps related to, you guessed it, and not much helps. I’m usually just stuck in bed with a heating pad and some ibuprofen and pretty miserable. That is up until I tried Ease CBD Body Oil. I used this in the morning and reapplied right before dinner and was able to go about my day as if I weren’t shedding my interior lining. True relief I am so thankful for.” --Kirsten N.
  • “I was shocked at using this. I’d have neck pain or knee pain, and it would be difficult to sleep. But now, I sleep with this on my nightstand. I also have endometriosis, and this product is extremely helpful in managing my pain. I recommend!” --Lauren Renee K.

A satisfied Ease CBG: CBD Oil customer who used it for her adenomyosis:

  • “This is the first time I’ve tried CBG and I’ve noticed it calms me A LOT before bed. I take it at night and I sleep very well. The taste is great. I have bloating and pain from adenomyosis and have been using CBD for years - Juna especially helps keep those symptoms at bay for me.” --Mary G.

CBD on Your PMS Prep List

The use of CBD for period pain and other PMS symptoms is becoming more common.

As the research on this interaction continues to grow, we hope you try it to see if it can help you. The effects are minimal in comparison to other PMS treatments.

Alongside chocolate and a pile of comfy blankets, we hope there is now more room for CBD on your PMS prep list.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not provided to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. It should not be interpreted as instruction or medical advice to displace the advice of your doctor or other medical professionals. We recommend talking to your doctor to prepare a treatment plan for any disease or ailments.

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