Menstruation is a natural part of a woman’s life, usually occurring once a month. However, menstruation can also result in a variety of other symptoms thanks to the hormonal flux and physiological changes during your period, including menstrual cramps. In many women, these menstrual cramps can be debilitating, causing significant problems in all facets of your life. The good news is that CBD suppositories may provide you with the relief that you need to not only find comfort, but also thrive in your everyday. Learn more about menstrual cramps and how CBD suppositories can help to ease your next period.
Understanding Menstrual Cramps
Medically known as dysmenorrhea, menstrual cramps and period pain are a direct result of your uterus contracting to expel the excess tissue and lining. These contractions are triggered by prostaglandins and other hormone-like substances that are involved in pain and inflammation. The higher the prostaglandin level, the more severe and painful the cramps.
For some, menstrual cramps can be a bearable annoyance. For many others, these cramps can be truly debilitating and interfere with everyday activities every single month.
What are CBD Suppositories?
CBD suppositories are simply pill-sized forms of CBD designed to be inserted into the vagina or rectum, where they dissolve and distribute CBD into the bloodstream to be received by the body’s cannabinoid receptors. The vaginal wall is highly porous, so any medication taken intravaginally can get absorbed directly into the bloodstream within a relatively short amount of time.
Unlike orally administered CBD, suppositories are much more direct and faster acting. When delivered via a tincture, capsule, or edible, CBD needs to be processed by your digestive system, which takes time and results in a small amount of CBD being destroyed by digestive enzymes. As suppositories are inserted internally, CBD is absorbed directly into bloodstream in its entirety, delivering fast-acting, targeted relief to the affected area.
Along with relieving period pain, vaginal CBD suppositories may help with fungal infections and vaginal dryness.
How CBD Works
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most prominent cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis plants next to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Unlike the latter, CBD is non-psychoactive and may provide a wide range of potential health benefits, including pain relief, physical relaxation, and improved mood.
As with all other cannabinoids, CBD works through the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors (classically CB1 and CB2 receptors). Specifically, CBD is known to affect signaling patterns in these two receptors indirectly, which can increase the body’s naturally produced cannabinoids. CBD can also affect non-cannabinoid receptors, including opioid receptors (known to play a role in pain management) and serotonin receptors (known to play a role in mood regulation).
How CBD Can Help Menstrual Cramps
Research on CBD’s effects on menstrual cramps is still limited, but given what we already know, CBD shows promise as a solution for period cramps.
- Anti-inflammatory properties – Studies show that CBD may help to reduce inflammation by down-regulating cytokines, chemokines, and other pro-inflammatory compounds.
- Pain relief – Other studies also suggest that CBD may help to relieve both acute and chronic pain in all forms.
- Inhibits prostaglandins – One of the most noteworthy studies found that cannabidiolic acid, a precursor to CBD, effectively inhibits cyclooxygenase, a prominent prostaglandin. Remember, prostaglandins are a big part of why you have menstrual cramps (and other period-based symptoms) in the first place.
- Muscle relaxation – Menstrual cramps are caused and exacerbated by contracting muscles lining your uterus. CBD and other cannabinoids are known to relax muscles and prevent spasms, which can further help to ease your cramps.
- Improved blood flow – The relaxation of muscles can also support improved blood flow, allowing for more oxygen and nutrients to your uterine tissue.
After using a CBD suppository, you can expect reduced severity of and general relief from the dull aches, stabbing pains, and cramps characteristic of period pains. The duration of pain relief can vary based on you and the concentration of CBD in the suppository, but larger amounts of 100 milligrams should offer relief for at least six hours after insertion.
Are CBD Suppositories Safe?
While most health professionals advise against inserting creams, gels, or other substances into your vagina, CBD suppositories are generally considered safe. The concern has to do with pH levels. Your vagina has a sensitive pH, and even the slightest alterations to pH levels can increase your risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
Thankfully, most CBD suppositories are made using coconut oil. Coconut and other natural carrier oils are neutral and shouldn’t cause any chemical interactions that result in sudden shifts in vaginal pH.
How to Use a CBD Suppository
As mentioned, CBD suppositories can be used both rectally and vaginally. Prior to insertion, place the suppository in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, which allows the oil to solidify, allowing for easier insertion. If you regularly experience period pain, plan ahead and place the suppository in your freezer leading up to your period or at the first sign of period pain. Many manufacturers suggest inserting the suppository while lying on your back with your knees up to your chest, which keeps you comfortable as the suppository begins to melt soon after entering the body. However, if lying down is not practical or feasible, suppositories can be inserted seated or as you would a non-applicator tampon. Due to the lack of research, there isn’t a standardized amount of CBD in suppositories, and the exact concentration of CBD you need isn’t known. A 100 mg CBD suppository should dissolve and provide relief within 20 minutes after insertion. Let the suppository dissolve completely before you insert a tampon. The best time and frequency to use a CBD suppository varies based on your cycle, but we recommend using a suppository as soon as you experience your first signs of pain. Most users can safely administer a suppository every three to four hours until pain subsides.
CBD suppositories, like Endoca’s 50 mg hemp CBD suppository, can provide immense relief for your cramps and other menstrual symptoms. Consult your doctor or Ob/Gyn prior to using a CBD suppository, and if you experience any discomfort, stop use right away.