Before medical marijuana programs existed, only 4% of adults worldwide reportedly used marijuana. That number is rising as more states create medical programs and legalize recreational marijuana.
Legal or not, plenty of women regularly use marijuana to relieve menstrual cramps simply because it works.
Painful menstrual cramps are no joke
If you haven’t experienced severe pain from menstrual cramps, you’re lucky. For many women, menstrual cramps mean being of commission for days or even a week. Some women have no choice but to call in sick to work or skip school.
In the medical world, a painful period is considered a condition called dysmenorrhea, and you can learn more about it here.
Marijuana replaces pain with euphoria
In addition to the lack of side effects, there’s another reason people use cannabis instead of pharmaceutical drugs. While cannabis relieves pain, it also induces euphoria. Harvest House of Cannabis explains why euphoria is often the result of using medical marijuana:
“THC, the primary cannabinoid in marijuana, and anandamide are basically like twins. They both bond to our CB1 receptors, eliciting similar euphoric responses for most people.”
For many who suffer from chronic pain, euphoria is a welcomed experience. It’s not always enough to dull or ease the pain. The feeling of euphoria is a refreshing experience that acts as a recharge for people to bounce back into everyday life.
People with dysmenorrhea don’t get access to medical marijuana – yet
Obtaining a medical marijuana card requires documented proof of a qualified health issue. For example, according to Leafly.com’s list of qualifying conditions by state, California’s qualifying conditions include:
• Chronic pain
• Persistent muscle spasms
• Severe nausea
• Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) or, if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or physical or mental health
There’s just one problem with this list. Menstrual cramps aren’t listed. Technically speaking, menstrual cramps should qualify since they are chronic and persistent for many women. However, prescribing medical marijuana for cramps is up to a woman’s physician.
Menstrual cramps might become a qualifying condition
Knowing the pain-relieving properties of cannabis, one company has already created a product specifically designed to relieve period pain. The product is called Foria Relief, and it’s a suppository meant to be inserted directly into the vagina.
Currently, if a person wants access to Foria Relief, they need a separate ailment to qualify for a medical cannabis card. However, Vice.com reports that state lawmakers are working to add menstrual pain to the list of qualifying conditions.
Can’t women just use CBD? Is a medical marijuana card necessary?
In recent years, both THC and CBD have become popular remedies for people seeking pain relief. Until 2018, people seeking CBD for pain relief needed a medical marijuana card. The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD federally legal by removing hemp from the list of Schedule I substances. Although hemp-derived CBD is now federally legal, all CBD products claiming therapeutic benefits must be approved by the FDA.
Why would anyone go through the trouble of getting a medical marijuana card when they could just get CBD instead?
While both THC and CBD have been shown to be exceptionally effective for pain relief, many people prefer CBD due to its non-psychoactive properties. However, there are two issues with CBD:
• Many people need a high dose of CBD. Many people report the need to take high doses of CBD to feel relief, which means it costs significantly more than THC.
• Not all CBD products are equal. CBD is most commonly produced as oil, but not all products are the same.
There is a difference between “30mg of hemp oil” and “30mg of CBD.” While CBD is an isolated extraction of one cannabinoid, hemp oil contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenolics that work together to produce pain-relieving effects. In other words, pure CBD sounds good, but isn’t as effective as the full spectrum.
If you suffer from painful periods, consider trying cannabis
If your menstrual cramps are painful, consider using cannabis to relieve the pain. If you already have a medical card, you’re all set. If not, talk to your doctor or seek out a medical marijuana doctor in your area. If you can’t get a card because you don’t have a qualifying condition, it’s only a matter of time before painful periods are added to the list.
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