I Tried 7 Cannabis Products For Menstrual Cramps

by Marley Russell

If you have menstrual cramps, chances are you’ve tried everything — prescription pain medication, traditional Chinese herbs, acupuncture, massage, witchcraft. But one of the hottest new PMS solutions out there? Cannabis products for menstrual cramps.

Actually, people have been using marijuana to deal with menstrual pain for a long time — Queen Victoria was even said to employ the help of Mary Jane for just this purpose. Now, with marijuana legalization taking America by storm, more people are finding the relief they need from painful menstrual cramps (and honestly pretty much every other medical condition you can think of). If you go to a medical marijuana club or check out websites looking for cannabis products for menstrual pain, you’ll be inundated with a cornucopia of options. But which is the best cannabis product for cramps?

I tried some of the top products to ease my menstrual cramps in order to find out, and here's my verdict. Note that these are by no means the only offerings on the market — they are just the ones I tried.

How Cannabis Period Products Work

Before we get into my review, it's important to note that most of these products are designed to help alleviate your cramps, not to get you high. (Although, as you'll see, some of them did make me feel a bit loonytunes.)

Lots of medical cannabis products talk about a CBD-THC ratio. You may have heard about THC, because it’s the psychoactive component of marijuana (aka what makes you feel high). CBD, on the other hand, is what researchers have found to be the main medicinal component of marijuana. It’s what makes your body feel good, counters nausea, distracts your brain from pain, etc. There’s so much to say here about CBD and THC, but the important thing to know is that CBD doesn’t really work without a bit of THC. That means all of these products have THC in them, and can be picked up by a drug test. You can only buy these products legally in states where medical or recreational marijuana is legal — like California, where I tested them.

OK, now that that's cleared up, let's move onto what I thought of the seven products I tested.

1. Foria Vaginal Suppositories

Foria suppositories were the first cannabis menstrual product I tried, and they remain my favorite. They are usually marketed as the “marijuana tampon,” which isn’t exactly true, because that makes it seem like they are tampons soaked in cannabis product. In reality, Foria is actually a cannabis product that you put in your vagina — it doesn't catch menstrual fluid.

What It Was Like To Use

The first time I inserted one (which you do as you would a non-applicator tampon), I laid on my back with my knees up. After around 10 or 15 minutes, my whole painful pelvis suddenly unlocked. It was like all my pelvis muscles had been holding their breath and suddenly let it out, all at once. It was magic. I may have cried. It was like mainlining medicine straight to my uterus muscles.

Since, I've used a Foria suppository if I want to have sex but am feeling crampy — they do provide a tiny bit of numbness to some people, although that hasn't been my experience. For me, they make sex feel tingly and great!

At $44 for four suppositories, Foria is not cheap. They are best for use before bed — or at least when you’re not about to stand up right after (because you want the medicine to stay up in there and not drip out). Each serving has 60mg of THC and 10mg of CBD, but it doesn't make you feel high — it just alleviates all your pain.

2. Whoopi & Maya “Soak” Bath Salts

It’s common knowledge that heat is a good way to get cramping muscles to relax. Hot baths or showers can also help by increasing blood flow to your uterus area and causing the muscles there to relax. The geniuses over at Whoopi & Maya (yep, as in Whoopi Goldberg) created a cannabis Epsom bath salt to merge the pain relief powers of cannabis with that of natural heat.

What It Was Like To Use

I drew a warm bath and dumped just a little under half of the jar in. The instructions said to use the full tub in one go, but I thought, This stuff is precious! And I have to say, I was lucky I scrimped, because it is potent. I soaked for around 30 minutes, during which time I got increasingly relaxed and bendy. After a few minutes, my cramps were gone! This relaxed no-cramp feeling lasted for around five hours.

The bath salts made me feel pretty high (body and brain) for a few hours, so I wouldn’t suggest using this before doing anything important or operating serious machinery. This is a THC-heavy product for sure — 25mg of THC per 8oz container. But it cut the cramps pretty quickly and the medicinal effects lasted for a long time. (Also, a quick safety tip: the salts made the bottom of my bathtub a bit slick, so beware of slips. If you don’t live alone, scrub down the tub after so you don’t accidentally dose whichever roommate decides to bathe next.)

One 8oz jar of this normally retails for $12-$15 (it’s a range because the product is only sold at dispensaries, so it depends which store you go to). And, like I said, the instructions said to use the whole thing — but I’d start with one-third. This stuff is very strong!

3. Whoopi & Maya “Savor” THC Raw Cacao

Whoopi & Maya also make a couple raw cacao products — that’s right, I’m talking THC-infused chocolate. The instructions say you can use this to make hot chocolate, put it over ice cream, or just eat it by the spoonful.

What It Was Like To Use

One night, when I was feeling both crampy and cozy, I took a spoonful and made some hot chocolate. Within around 20 minutes, my cramps started to melt away in a subtle way — not all of a sudden, but more like a slow abatement. They were replaced with a pretty intense body high, kind of like eating a special brownie.

The hot chocolate definitely got me high, so it’s probably not the best thing to drink if you have to work in the near future (although I tried the THC one, and there is a CBD option that won't have that effect). It also had an oily texture to it, which made it not quite as pleasant to drink as just regular hot chocolate. I personally like eating a tiny spoonful of it on its own — it somehow doesn’t have as oily of a taste solo, and you get the same body results.

A 2oz tub of this retails for $14 to $18, with a 4oz tub going for $27 to $30.

4. Cannabidiol CBD Tincture

Remember how CBD is the medicinal element of cannabis? Well you can get it super concentrated. I tried the Cannabidiol CBD Tincture, which has a 15:1 ratio of CBD to THC. This means it is a super potent painkiller — but doesn’t make you feel high or wacky.

What It Was Like To Use

I tried just a couple drops of this tincture under my tongue and it worked like magic in around five minutes. It just erased the pain, but didn't leave anything else in its place (like a very bendy or relaxed feeling). I felt totally functional and normal — it didn’t make me feel high at all. This makes it an excellent product to use on your way to work (or in my case, so you can successfully get out of bed).

I do have to say that this wasn’t the most delicious experience of my life. This product is olive oil-based, and drinking olive oil (even just a little bit under the tongue) isn’t the most pleasant. But it works — and you can wash it down easily with pretty much anything.

This was also the most expensive product I tried, at $60 a ml. However, that’s a lot of product — you’re not going to tear through it as quickly as you might think.

5. Whoopi & Maya “Relax” THC Herbal Tincture

Whoopi & Maya also developed a tincture. It's THC-based, not CBD, so it definitely has psychoactive properties.

What It Was Like To Use

Just around five minutes after putting a drop of this on my tongue, my body was relaxing and my pelvis unclenched. So in that way, it was identical to the CBD tincture. The difference is that my brain also felt a bit slower than usual due to the high THC content. The biggest "drawback" to this product, I'd say, is that it’s absolutely delicious. I had to remind myself that the more I had, the higher I’d feel, otherwise I would have had way too much.

The Whoopi & Maya tincture is significantly less expensive than the CBD one, most likely because CBD is a lot harder to extract than just making a tincture with marijuana as-is, which is mostly THC. A 1oz bottle costs $27-30 and a 2oz one for $45-50.

6. Whoopi & Maya “Rub” Body Balm

Lots of companies are making topical body balm to combat cramps, which intrigued me, because I always think of menstrual pain as so internal that anything topical wouldn’t reach it. I was interested in checking out Whoopi & Maya’s body balm, since the rest of their products are so potent.

What It Was Like To Use

The first time I tried this out, I was feeling really bloated and had deep, radiating pain in my uterus and lower back. I put the balm on my skin in these areas — I had to warm it up between my hands first, because it’s pretty hard in the tin. It gave me some relief topically, along with a bit of numbness (which wasn't unpleasant, because I knew it was working) and didn’t give me a body high.

What worked even better was making DIY suppositories from it — I froze little scoops into tiny balls, which I then put up my vagina. This worked super well, as did scooping some of the balm directly into my vagina. For both of these, it gave me a bit of numbness, but not anything scary or annoying.

This stuff retails at $18 to $20 for a 2oz tin and $36 to $40 for a 4oz.

7. "Love Your Ladyparts" Skin Balm

I was also excited to try another skin balm called “Love Your Ladyparts” — how could I resist that amazing feminist marketing? This product is designed and marketed for use on skin, the vulva, and inside the vagina.

What It Was Like To Use

The maker told me that to alleviate cramps, I should put a heaping spoonful into my vagina and let it melt into my pussy walls. This worked really well, relaxing my vagina in around 15 minutes and not causing any numbness. However, it was pretty messy (a spoonful of anything in there is going to create some mess); I actually used it with a pair of THINX so I didn’t have to remain horizontal forever. But the relief was excellent and it didn’t make me feel loopy.

This retails for $32 for a 2.7oz jar.

The Bottom Line

If you live in a place where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, your cramps are getting you down, and other painkiller options aren’t working, I would recommend checking out any of these products. I had my favorites, like Foria and the cannibidiol CBD tincture, but all of them helped my cramps (which are very severe) significantly.

Here's to a future world where everyone with cramps can access these pain management materials without fear of the law.

Images: Marley Russell; Giphy; Whoopi & Maya, Foria