For about half of the population, each new month brings with it the familiar cycle of cramps, pains, soreness, and irritability. In some cases, these symptoms may even be debilitating- preventing you from engaging in your normal activities. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There is a simple remedy for all these period related complaints, also known as PMS – remedies that have been in use for thousands of years. And no- it’s not Midol, it’s the cannabis plant.
For many women, the first signs of PMS tend to occur 1-2 weeks before their period and tend to stop after they’ve received their period. The symptoms are different from woman to woman, but the more common symptoms include:
- Breast pain – This can occur anywhere from a day to a week prior to getting your period and is a result of increased progesterone in the body. It basically causes your milk ducts to swell. This sudden expansion, as you can imagine, can be quite uncomfortable and cause tenderness and a heavy, dull pain.
- Mood changes – Mood swings are one of the most common and frustrating symptoms of menstruation. The fluctuation of hormones in your body tends to lead to mood swings. It can definitely be annoying to feel that your own emotions are completely out of your control. At times it may even seem like you’re riding the world’s least fun roller coaster. You’ll probably become a bit grouchy, and you may experience crying spells. These mood swings tend to disappear once your period starts.
- Skin Problems – Another common PMS problem is acne. The drop in estrogen levels at this point in the menstrual cycle makes breakouts unfortunately common.
- Fatigue – Fatigue is a highly common symptom of PMS, as is sleeping problems. Fatigue or sleeping disorders may often start one week before your period and disappear as you get your period.
- Food Cravings – Smoking cannabis isn’t the only thing that gives you the munchies. Some women experience cravings that send them running to the fridge. You may crave chocolate, sugars, sweets or even salty food. Furthermore, you may have cravings for specific foods while other foods will repulse you.
- Nausea – Some women also experience Nausea. This tends to occur if your period is late.
In most cases the symptoms of PMS are mild, but according to statistics, 32% of women report moderate-severe symptoms that affect some aspect of their life. Furthermore, according to recent research, 3-8% of the women suffer from what is known as PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder), a severe case of PMS which causes symptoms such as suicidal thoughts and insomnia.
What causes PMS (premenstrual syndrome)?
PMS remains a mystery to doctors because of the wide-ranging symptoms and the difficulty in making a firm diagnosis. While researchers are constantly trying to pinpoint the exact cause of PMS, most evidence suggests that PMS results from the changes in sex hormones and brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters.
What are the Common Treatments for PMS?
If you approach 10 different doctors, you’ll most probably get 10 different answers. While each medical practitioner’s approach may differ from another, most physicians will agree that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet can help to reduce the symptoms of PMS. Some recommendations include;
- Exercising frequently
- Salt restriction before the menstrual period
- Reducing caffeine intake before menstruation
- Limiting the amount of alcohol intake
Natural Treatments for PMS
Unlike Pharmaceuticals which can sometimes be overwhelming to your body, mother nature has been known to assist with PMS. Herbs are known as adaptogenic, meaning that they communicate with your system and help your body get back into balance. 4 common herbs include:
Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus)
In several clinical studies, Chasteberry has been found to reduce specific symptoms associated with PMS. Some include breast pain or tenderness, irritability, depressed mood, anger, and headache.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
For hundreds of years, maca was used by different cultures to enhance fertility assist with menstrual problems and symptoms of menopause. It has been found numerous times to be an effective herb for PMS.
Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Black cohosh is an amazing herb for PMS, especially for those suffering from irritability and sleep disturbances. In addition, this herb is known for providing relief for menopausal symptoms.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon balm has been used for centuries for its calming effects and helps with PMS-related anxiety and insomnia.
Marijuana as a Medical Treatment for PMS
Similar to herbs the Cannabis can also help to relief the symptoms associated with PMS. The chemical compounds in cannabis release cannabinoid receptors to map over to the brain’s naturally generated endocannabinoids, easing pain, anxiety, depression and stress – symptoms associated with PMS. Furthermore, Cannabis can help with mood swings. This time it’s not CBD but THC that binds to brain receptors and produces more balanced emotions.
As research continues to understand the healing properties of CBD and THC, more states are adopting medical marijuana as a form of common treatment for different conditions. In California, for example, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), an extreme form of PMS, is listed as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
5 Marijuana Best Strains for PMS
Here are the top marijuana strains that should be on the top of your list.
Cannabis Strain #1 – White widow
This amazing hybrid marijuana strain, 60% Sativa (mind) / 40% Indica (body), gives users a euphoric and powerful energetic high. White Widow will appear on most top 10 lists as it is known for being the ultimate therapeutic medicine. This cannabis strain is superb for stress relief, as well as combating depression and easing physical pain.
Cannabis Strain #2 – Orange Kush
This Indica-dominant hybrid cannabis strain has a tangy citrus flavor. Patients say it promotes deep physical relaxation and is perfect for relieving stress and lifting moods.
Cannabis Strain #3 – Blue Dream
This strain is another popular strain and is known for helping those who suffer from conditions such as PMS. The reason why Blue Dream is so effective is because it relieves pain, while producing the popular cerebral effects of Sativa. Estrogen helps to mellow out the mood swings associated with PMS.
Cannabis Strain #4 – Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze is an award winning Sativa strain. It is a mix of Skunk, Northern Lights, and Haze. Super Silver Haze is known to produce energetic and long lasting effects that uplift Patients. It’s perfect for fighting off stress, depression, and pain that is often felt during the weeks before a woman receives her period.
The Advantages of Ingesting Marijuana
Ingesting cannabidiol (rather than smoking it) is known to be a more effective form of treatment for pain related problems. This is because the marijuana is absorbed by the body and tends to stay in the system for a longer period of time.
Drinking marijuana in the form of Cannabis tea is known to have a moderate skin-clearing effect. This is thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol, as well as it anti-proliferative nature. This means that a nice cup of cannabis-infused tea or cocoa could be just the thing your skin needs.
Eating marijuana edibles is also an extremely common form of treatment used by women who suffer from PMS symptoms. It prevents Nausea often caused by smoking and is known to help with cramps. By eating cannabis, you can actually kill two birds with one stone. Satisfy your chocolate craving and reduce cramps with a helping of some canna brownies.
Final Thoughts About Cannabis and PMS
While the potential for cannabis in managing women’s health is outstanding, very little research has been conducted in the area. This is thanks, partially, to the fact that medical marijuana has and still is illegal on a Federal level.
With all that being said, if you’re not satisfied with the limited relief provided by traditional painkillers, or if you just don’t want to keep taking more and more all day, cannabis could be your solution. Please note that it is extremely important to consult with your marijuana doctor before choosing to use cannabis as a treatment for any condition. Also, it is extremely important to obtain it through legal procedures.
Got any experience with marijuana as a treatment for PMS? Let us know how it works for you by posting in the comments below or on our Facebook post.