CBD For Menstrual Cramps - What it Does and Doesn’t Do

When I write menstrual cramps, what words come to mind? Achy. Stabby. Stubborn. Debilitating. 

Around 80% of menstruators experience pain at various stages of their periods, some with pain so significant that it completely disrupts daily activities. CBD can diminish discomfort from period cramps and alleviate common PMS symptoms like mood fluctuation, nausea, and sleep issues.  

So, yes, CBD can help with period cramps, but it's important to recognize to what degree. In this article, we’ll explain the specific ways CBD can (and can’t) assist with menstration pain, as well as recommend specific products to help relieve related aches and pains. 

How CBD Can Help with Period Cramps

Overview of What CBD Can Do For Menstration Cramps

CBD oil offers a soothing remedy for menstrual cramps and associated symptoms such as headaches and lower back pain. By inducing relaxation in the uterine muscles where cramps originate, the use of CBD oil has gained widespread acceptance as an alternative to conventional over-the-counter pain medications for managing cramps. Furthermore, its interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors throughout your entire body enhances its effectiveness in dulling perceived physical discomfort on a broader level. 

What CBD Can’t Do For Menstration Cramps

Ok, so we know that CBD is a natural wonder drug, but we also know that it can’t do absolutely everything. Although CBD may help with period cramps, it cannot entirely prevent or eliminate period cramp pain. There’s also no science to suggest that it impacts the length or severity of your menstruation flow.

How CBD Helps Alleviate Period Cramps

CBD Limits Inflammation

CBD includes natural whole-body anti-inflammatory properties that your body innately knows how to use. The endocannabinoid system, made up of cannabinoid receptors, regulates functions such as pain and inflammation. The chief role of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis, meaning that it keeps and restores internal balance in your body like when you experience pain, inflammation, or stress. CBD binds to the endocannabinoid receptors providing anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving results. 

CBD Assists With Overall Pain Relief

Taking CBD for pain is one of its most common uses. CBD offers pain-relieving benefits for the whole body without the side effects that other medications can cause. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, CBD may reduce overall pain in the body by altering endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters that manage pain sensations in your body. 

CBD Can Reduce Stress, Which Contributes to Cramp Severity

Stress impacts your body in a surprising amount of ways, including hormone levels. As a result, multiple studies suggest that stress can contribute to cramp pain levels. Therefore, when menstraul pains arise, doing your favorite form of relaxation, whether that be meditation or receiving a CBD-enriched massage.

How CBD Can Play a Role in Reducing PMS Symptoms

Regulates Mood

PMS is caused by fluctuations in hormone levels leading up to and during the menstrual cycle. High estrogen and low progesterone are the typical hormonal imbalances that cause PMS symptoms such as mood swings. 

As we previously highlighted, CBD influences body’s endocannabinoid system along with neurotransmitters in your brain that are responsible for hormone and mood regulation. By integrating CBD into your daily routine, an increase in hormonal balance and a decrease in mood fluctuations may occur leading up to and during your cycle. 

Relaxation & Sleep 

Period cramping doesn’t only ruin your day, but also your night. Help maintain healthy rest despite the pain by using CBD-enriched sleep sprays. The CBD can reduce menstruation aches and put you in a peaceful state of mind that assists with sleep, and accompanying ingredients like melatonin, magnesium, and GABA help users stay asleep with fewer nighttime interruptions. 

Best Way to Take CBD for Menstrual Cramps

There are many ways you can use CBD, but the best way for period cramp relief is to use it sublingually (placing it under the tongue). This is because your mouth has many capillaries that absorb CBD without being metabolized in your liver, so this is the best method for immediate menstrual cramp relief. 

Another pain-relieving treat is a CBD-infused bath. Use our enriched bath bombs to heighten your bath water, enabling the combination of heat and CBD to relax your body and soothe period cramps. To learn more about CBD and other beneficial ingredients, read our article Period Cramps? Treat Yourself to a Pain-Relieving Bath.

Finally, if you want to combine CBD with foods with high anti-inflammatory properties, why not add it to a cramp-fighting smoothie? Examples of supplementary ingredients include tumeric, pineapple, acia, and blueberries, just to name a few.

CBD Product Criteria for Menstrual Cramps

Full-Spectrum CBD

There are many factors that impact the ability for CBD to help period cramps, but arguably the most impactful is the specific type. Your most powerful option is full-spectrum.

Full-spectrum CBD contains all the phytochemicals naturally occurring within the cannabis plant including CBD, trace cannabinoids, and terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD provides the entourage effects allowing all of the components to work together for a maximized effect to reduce pain and inflammation. 

Clean & Organically Grown

There seem to be a thousand different options for buying CBD oil these days, so it’s of the utmost importance to make sure you are buying high-quality products from reputable companies. CBD products made from organically grown United States hemp should always be your preferred choice. Also important to note is the extraction method that the manufacturer uses to create CBD products. CBD oil obtained through CO2 extraction contains a pure form of oil that does not include harmful chemical residues. You can’t be too careful in choosing natural and sustainable CBD-sourced products. 

Third-Party Lab Tested

Independent third-party testing of CBD assures exactly what is and is not included in a CBD product. This provides a guaranteed analysis showing exactly how much CBD is in each milliliter of the oil, along with THC levels, terpenes, pesticides, and heavy metal content.

Soothe Menstruation Cramps With CBD From Botanika Life

Botanika Life’s Elite Elixir is the perfect CBD oil product for period relief. The all-purpose Elite Elixir can be taken sublingually for a whole-body effect and also used on the skin for soothing, cramp-relieving results. With 1500mg of full-spectrum CBD and organic hemp seed oil, you can put a few drops of the Elite Elixir under your tongue to relax your mind and body. With potent ingredients and effective results, the Elite Elixir naturally helps ease anxiety, stabilizing your mood, while also decreasing your menstrual-related aches and pains.

 

Adding CBD to your bath can help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation in the uterus, reducing the pain of period cramps. With CBD Bath Bombs, CBD is absorbed through your skin’s pores allowing the healing attributes to reach the bloodstream faster than topical application. CBD Bath Bombs are a logical addition to anyone's monthly routine. By calming your nervous system, increasing muscle relaxation, reducing anxiety, and improving your mood, this is a great addition to your arsenal of anti-PMS products. 

FAQ About Using CBD for Menstrual Cramps

Will CBD make me feel drowsy or high?

With almost no side effects, taking CBD for cramps is a safe and effective way to reduce pain. However, if you take CBD to excess, drowsiness is possible. To limit this possibility, newcomers should take conservative amounts and make small, incremental changes to find the ideal dosage for their period cramps. For more tips, read Will CBD Make You Drowsy?

Take note, CBD alone can’t make you feel high. So rest assured that CBD alone is a natural means for aiding your period pain without any harmful side effects.

How much CBD should I use for my cramps?

Since everyone’s body reacts differently to CBD, it is best to start with a low dose and move up from there. CBD is most effective at an individual's ideal dose, so start with 10 to 25 mg, which may be effective and a perfect fit. If not, slowly increase by 5 to 10 mg if needed.  

Can I combine CBD with other pain relievers? 

There is no general consensus about whether it’s advised to take CBD with other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. There are no studies or reported interactions suggesting that it’s harmful to combine CBD with NSAIDS and similar drugs, so many would advocate taking the two together for period cramps. However, some sources have raised concerns that the two can increase the likelihood of side-effects. 

For more insights, read CBD & Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) - Comparison & FAQ.

Can teens use CBD for period cramps?

CBD can assist teens with various common issues, including period cramps. Our advice would be to notify your child's healthcare provider to confirm whether there are any concerns about interactions between CBD and your teen's other medications. Additionally, it's advisable to have an adult present when providing CBD to ensure proper usage.

Are there potential side-effects to using CBD for menstrual cramps?
Side effects from using CBD for menstrual cramps are typically rare and tend to be mild. While some individuals may experience issues such as dry mouth, fatigue, or changes in appetite, these effects are generally not severe. It's important to note that high-quality CBD products, following recommended dosages, and consulting with a healthcare professional can further minimize the likelihood and impact of any potential side effects of using CBD for period cramps. 

Additional Tips for Relieving Cramps

Thankfully, CBD is one of many ways to help address cramps. Consider combining CBD with one of the following to maximize relief:

  • Apply a heating pad or use a hot water bottle: The warmth helps relax the muscles and reduce the intensity of cramps.
  • Engage in light exercise or stretching: Gentle physical activity, such as walking or yoga, can increase blood flow and release endorphins to help ease cramping pain. 
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help prevent bloating and reduce muscle tension, which can alleviate period cramps.
  • Eat foods rich with antioxidants: In the piece above, we've discussed how antioxidants can help keep inflammation at bay. CBD isn't the only source at your fingertips, as the foods you eat can both reduce and contribute to inflammation. If experiencing severe cramps, seek out berries, leafy greens, red peppers, sweet potatoes, nuts, dark chocolate, and green tea.
  • Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Stress can exacerbate menstrual cramps, so incorporating mindfulness practices like deep breathing, meditation, or aromatherapy may help manage stress levels and alleviate cramping. Struggling to get into the right headspace? Sublingual CBD may reduce both racing thoughts and distracting sharp cramp pains, reducing barriers to meditation.

 

By Emily Wegener

With a unique background as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Masters Degree in Teaching and experience in Psychology, Emily spends much of her time researching and trying out new holistic healing modalities.