As someone who recently got a copper IUD, my fears grew intensely when I found out that my already pretty painful period pains could be worsened by my own want to stay safe and avoid pregnancy. While there are many reasons women are tough, strong, and deserve everything in the world, the insertion of this safeguard against having a baby truly threw me for a loop. I have pretty high pain tolerance, and even I was kicking and screaming during this process. But what came after was cramping for days, longer stronger periods, and more. As someone who wanted a natural alternative to pain medication, I turned towards my go-to for menstrual pain, CBD. It worked wonders yet again and made getting an IUD bearable. But why I wondered? What was the reasoning for this? Was it a placebo or real? I decided to investigate. Keep reading for more.
What Is CBD And How Does It Work?
According to Healthline, CBD is the part of the cannabis plant that comes with key anti-inflammatory benefits, and you’re seeing it on everything from skincare products to tinctures. It’s from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the cannabis plant. “Cannabidiol—known as CBD—is one of over a hundred active compounds or cannabinoids found exclusively in the cannabis plant. CBD acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which reduces pain and inflammation. It’s been used for centuries to successfully provide pain relief to muscle aches, arthritis, joint pain, neuropathic conditions, headaches, and to aid skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, even sunburn, and bug bites when used topically.”
CBD also helps to reduce inflammation by impacting the endocannabinoid receptor activity in our body, thus reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. The combination of CBD and THC can be even more effective. In multiple human studies, the results are astounding, helping many with pain. There are many clinical studies that have confirmed that CBD reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibiting t-cell proliferation, and apoptosis.
The processes that CBD invokes are meant to inhibit your body’s immune system are significantly reduced when CBD is introduced to your body. CBD is naturally occurring in your body. Because of the things you eat, that you consume, your body’s inflammation stems from too many things to even count. CBD can even tell your body to change it’s harmful DNA expression and stop your body from inflammation.
Why does CBD work for period pain? There are a number of studies that could tell us why. According to Rory, “there aren’t any specific studies on CBD for period pain. But there are studies on CBD for pain in general. This means it might work for the hurt you feel around your time of the month. One study suggested that medical cannabis, of which CBD is a compound, can help with the treatment of chronic pain, but noted that the study wasn’t controlled. It has also been shown to help reduce inflammation and pain-related behaviors in rats.”
A second study that Rory that is interesting because of inflammation could tell us more. “Because a lot of the pain that you feel during your period is the result of inflammation. Prostaglandin, which is released after ovulation and right before your period starts, is an inflammatory chemical that contracts the muscles in your uterus, causing cramps. In fact, women with higher prostaglandin levels have been known to also have stronger, more painful contractions. So if CBD reduces inflammation, and inflammation causes cramps, the logic follows that CBD could reduce your cramps. It is, however, important to note that rats and humans don’t necessarily respond to chemicals the same way, so there are many steps between a study like this and the efficacy of CBD for period cramps. “
The enzyme that produces prostaglandin also might inhibit the ingestion and application of CBD. Because there is not extensive research, we don’t know the full extent of whether or not CBD actually works. But it’s safe to try and might actually help you feel a whole lot better during your menstrual cycle.
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