If you get a period, you probably have experienced period cramps at least once — and figured out that the pain-relief options aren't always aces. Considering the average person with a period will have a cycle for about 40 years, according to the Office of Women's Health, that can be a *lot* of cramps.
Enter Foria Wellness and their recently-launched Basics Suppositories for menstrual cramp relief. For $72, you get eight suppositories containing 100mg of active CBD, which are inserted into the vagina (like a tampon) for menstrual pain relief. "Compared with CBD edibles and tinctures, these suppositories activate local receptors much faster," the product description claims. (CBD, in case you missed it, is a compound naturally found in cannabis that, unlike THC, will not get you high; also unlike THC, it is available in states that do not offer medical marijuana.)
According to a report by The Guardian in 2017, cannabis-infused tampons for period pain provide quick, powerful relief for cramps as far as anecdotal reports go, but more studies are needed to confirm how they work in controlled clinical trials. To that end, Foria has enlisted Dr. Stacy Gruber, PhD, Harvard Medical School Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) Program and the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core (CCNC) at McLean Hospital, to head up a new study on the efficacy of Foria Relief, a CBD and THC-infused suppository from the company.
According to a press release sent to Bustle, this is the “the first-ever study to explore the specific impact of a commercially available cannabinoid-based product on menstrual cycle difficulties, including primary physical and psychological symptoms." The study will track how 400 people react to using the CBD and THC-infused suppository during their periods through self-reporting. (By the way, if you live in certain areas of California, you might be eligible to participate in the study.)
“To date, although little research has examined the efficacy of medical marijuana for women suffering from menstrual symptoms, several studies have shown that medical marijuana appears to alleviate symptoms that overlap with those associated with menstrual cycle difficulties including pain, sleep disturbance, irritability, and depression,” the press release says.
Many people use ibuprofen for menstrual pain, notes Medical News Daily, which offers non-addictive pain relief. But side effects can include nausea and stomach issues, and people with heart problems should check with their doctor before using it. LiveScience noted in 2017 that while it’s possible that medical grade cannabis is a viable option for period pain relief, studies need to examine the possible effects of long-term use.
Suppositories, in comparison, can provide localized pain relief, but with no psychoactive effect — meaning that these may relieve your cramps, but they won’t get you high (unlike other methods of intaking THC). Since some research already shows the potential pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis, Foria’s upcoming study might shed light on if and why cannabis works for menstrual symptoms, and whether or not side effects are possible in some people. Isn't science cool?
Readers should note that the regulations and data surrounding marijuana, CBD, and other related products are still developing. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Always consult with your doctor before trying any substance or supplement.