For the final installment of our chronic pain series, we're focusing on female-related concerns and how CBD can be a saving grace in the treatment of them.
Many people with female reproductive systems the world over are turning to our favourite non-intoxicating cannabis compound (see our article on CBD for Female-Related Concerns here) to help them address the pain symptoms of conditions like endometriosis and PMS.
CBD's power to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with these conditions lies in its anti-inflammatory (see our article on CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory here) and pain relieving properties (see our article on CBD for Pain Relief here), which serve to reduce bloating, cramps and general sensitivity and discomfort.
Not only that, but CBD's mood elevating benefits can also help to address the anxiety, mood swings and depression that both PMS and endometriosis can elicit in sufferers.
This condition of the female reproductive system involves the tissue that normally lines the uterus growing outside of it - usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or intestines.
This triggers inflammation in these areas and can cause severe pain in the lower abdomen, lower back and pelvis, as well as during sexual intercourse or menstruation.
In CBD's effort to achieve homeostasis (balance) in the body, it can stimulate receptors within the endocannabinoid system that can mitigate the intensity of this inflammatory response.
An endocannabinoid called anandamide - known as the "bliss molecule" - also helps by regulating and reducing your body’s sensitivity to pain.
When anandamide binds to a receptor, it communicates with cells to stop sending out so many pain signals, which essentially helps to numb the discomfort.
A study in 2010 looked specifically at how endocannabinoids might help to alleviate symptoms of endometriosis as well as mitigate the formation of abnormal growths as a result of the disease. Their conclusion was that cannabinoid agents had potential to be effective at both:
"These findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system contributes to mechanisms underlying both the peripheral innervation of the abnormal growths and the pain associated with endometriosis, thereby providing a novel approach for the development of badly-needed new treatments."
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS)
Two of CBD's primary properties are relieving pain and reducing inflammation - just like that of the swelling of the uterus due to the bleeding of cells in its muscle wall during the menstrual cycle.
If you take CBD oil every day like you would a supplement, you will find that when that time of the month comes round your usual cramps and aches should be less intense.
You might also find your mood to be more stable, and your sleep more easily sustained. And even if you take CBD just over the days of your period, you should still feel these benefits.
Another CBD treatment option would be a CBD topical product - such as the Dr Kerklaan PMS Cream or Pain Cream, or even our Goodleaf Body Lotion.
These creams would be applied to your abdomen and stomach area for targeted, localised relief of the pain and swelling that occurs during this uncomfortable time in the menstrual cycle.