Premenstrual syndrome – better known as PMS – affects three out of every four women who menstruate. PMS occurs after ovulation in the luteal phase and before menstruation. Typically, the effects of PMS are felt within the week before menstruation begins. It is believed that there are up to 153 symptoms of PMS, all of which are responsible for influencing a wide range of bodily functions varying in occurrence and severity.
That said, there are four primary ways in which PMS is experienced: PMSA (anxiety), PMSB (bloating), PMSC (cravings), and PMSD (depression). These symptoms vary depending on a delicate balance of estrogen and progesterone, and it is not uncommon to experience many or all types throughout a cycle. Additionally, one of the most common and debilitating symptoms experienced during PMS is premenstrual cramping. While completely normal, the contraction of uterine muscles combined with swelling can lead to severe discomfort and distress for some women.
Unfortunately, women and people who menstruate are still widely discouraged from openly talking about their health and bodies, making it a challenge to find effective and natural remedies during their menstrual cycle. At Calyx, we believe that your health and wellbeing should not be a taboo topic. Often, discussion of menstruation and PMS only occurs within a medical context. This has led to the medicalization of a normal, natural, and beautiful process experienced by nearly half the world’s population. It is our goal to broaden this conversation so that women can feel free to openly discuss their health in a medicalized or non-medicalized context, and be made aware of the myriad of therapeutic options made available to them. One of the most remarkable of these is CBD.
Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist and expert in pharmacology believes that our endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining homeostasis during this unbalanced time of the month for women, stating, “CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, and a muscle relaxer”, and that “anandamide, our main internal cannabinoid, helps to tamp down the stress response and return our hormones and nervous system to a normal balance”. CBD has been shown in clinical trials to enhance anandamide signalling in the body, suggesting the potential to alleviate the PMS symptoms many women experience on a consistent basis.
The use of CBD for menstrual cramps and other symptoms related to PMS is not a new development. In fact, cannabis and its constituents (like CBD) have been used to treat premenstrual symptoms dating back to 16th century Chinese medicine. Since then, we have deepened our understanding of how CBD interacts with our bodies, thus leading us to new therapeutic applications. Through acting on our endocannabinoid system, there are five known ways in which CBD for menstrual cramps can help to manage even the nastiest pain and other PMS symptoms. Read on for more information on how CBD can help you manage the often dreaded week before your period.
CBD For Menstrual Cramps
Severe to moderate menstrual cramping can be one of the most debilitating premenstrual symptoms. Fortunately, taking CBD can be extremely effective at managing pain and inflammation caused by premenstrual cramping pain. This is because CBD is known to have natural yet potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties . Through preventing a painful inflammatory response and relaxing tense muscles, CBD is an amazing alternative to traditional painkillers for premenstrual cramping. Additionally, CBD for menstrual cramps can make PMS symptoms more manageable through improving digestive functions and reducing inflammation and nausea throughout the body, attenuating discomfort and bloating. These symptoms can be proactively prevented by taking either our CBD capsules as soon as cramping starts. At 25mg per capsule, Restore is a good option for anyone who experiences mild to moderate cramping and bloating during their cycle. For more severe cramping and pain, the 50mg Repair capsules are a great option.
CBD for Breast and Lower Abdomen Tenderness
CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain regulating properties – initiated through the vanilloid receptor – can also significantly ease inflamed breasts, stomachs, and lower backs during premenstrual syndrome. Relief from period-induced inflammation can either be achieved by taking CBD orally, or by massaging our CBD-infused Smooth lotion directly to any sore and inflamed areas.
CBD for PMS (Premenstrual Mood Swings)
Premenstrual syndrome is characterized by hormonal imbalance, meaning that mood swings are common (but you probably already know that). Fortunately, CBD can help to recalibrate your emotional responses and bring everything back down to earth.
Through acting on the endocannabinoid system to create a calming effect (also known as an anxiolytic effect), CBD is able to attenuate mood swings experienced during PMS. Additionally, CBD helps to regulate the endocrine system (the system within our bodies responsible for hormone regulation and production) to ensure that your hormone levels remain more consistent during PMS. Keeping a CBD tincture on hand will ensure rapid relief from stress, anxiety, and mood swings whenever you need it.
CBD for PMS Related Stress and Anxiety
Boasting impressive anxiolytic properties, CBD can also help to manage increased stress and anxiety during PMS. CBD is known to inhibit the release of the stress hormone Cortisol, as well as slow the breakdown of endocannabinoid anandamide – responsible for keeping us balanced and stress free (anandamide was named after the Sanskrit word for bliss) Taking CBD leading up to your period can help to ensure your experience is as ‘blissful’ as possible.
CBD for Calm Hormonal Breakouts
CBD’s for menstrual cramps also has anti-inflammatory properties that has also been found to calm hormonal breakouts and reduce sebum production. While using a topical CBD would be most effective for treating breakouts, simply taking CBD for any of the above symptoms will help to calm any period related skin trouble rooted in inflammation. For more severe inflammation and irritation, CBD lotions and capsules can be used in conjunction for maximum therapeutic benefit.