The Science Behind Menstruation & Cannabis

Cramps, mood swings, and headaches — these are just a few of the dreaded symptoms women often experience monthly during their menstrual cycle. Painkillers and heating pads are often used during this time and can provide temporary relief, but cannabis can offer a more effective and natural solution. Cannabis has long been widely discussed in regard to the benefits for many disease states; however, founder Constance Finley is igniting discussion of the benefits of cannabis for women’s health, including how it can effectively manage menstruation symptoms.

Constance is happy to be part of a shift in the perception of cannabis among women and is pleased to be able to provide alternative care products that meet women’s health and comfort needs. “Women traditionally haven’t been users of psychoactive drugs like men. There’s a sort of rite of passage that men tend to have that women do not,” Constance explains. “The changing relationship women have with cannabis has been exciting to witness, and I look forward to seeing cannabis become a regular part of women’s healthcare routines and even wellness routines,” she continues. In a story regarding the fight against ending period stigmas, Allure called out Constance Therapeutics and Finley in particular for leading the conversation about cannabis and menstrual pain.

“I love the idea of having the start of the menstrual cycle as a time to take a 'sabbath' of sorts -- to use cannabis to manage symptoms and get in touch with one's self,” Constance added in a recent SWAAY article discussing cannabis as a more natural solution to combating many menstrual cycle symptoms. “This monthly break can help with prevention and regulation of symptoms that can be unbearable for some women – not only in the short term, but also over the long term.”

Menstruation and cannabis — what is the science behind it? The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates all of the body’s systems, helping to manage everything from the nervous system and pain receptors to circulatory systems and inflammation. Cannabis affects the ECS very similarly to the natural cannabinoids our bodies make on demand when needed and can act as a medicine that is broad-based, meeting multiple needs and comforting gently. It can do a lot of good with little to no interference in daily life unlike most other pharmaceutical substances.

Through our ECS, the bioactive compounds in phytocannabinoids (CBD, THC) control our underlying bodily and mental functions. CBD and THC both help to decrease pain or discomfort that might be associated with cramps, backaches and even headaches. These compounds can also help with stabilizing moods and decreasing bloating and inflammation of the body associated with the menstrual cycle. Hello Giggles also recently interviewed Constance about various home remedies for period cramps and why cannabis can be beneficial to the body. Because period symptoms vary from woman to woman, cannabis offers a “broad-based” solution that is not concentrated in one area, but meets multiple needs throughout the body.

So, where should one begin? Try a mild non-smoke delivery method such as a standardized, high-quality CBD in a vape pen. This can be super helpful for cramping, lower back pain, and irritability. “Use quality whole plant (not isolates) CBD and then move onto incorporating THC. Take notes so you can keep track of how you feel and adjust the strain or dose as needed. Keep in mind that the benefits of cannabis tend to get better over time while you will actually attenuate to the psychoactivity from any THC so symptom management will not interfere with regular life," adds Constance.

She concludes, “I look forward to seeing cannabis become a regular part of women’s health care and wellness routines. Women are finally giving themselves permission to slow down, take a break and prioritize their own well-being -- whether dedicating just a few minutes, hours or even days to practicing self-care.”