Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Could CBD relieve symptoms of PMS?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – or perhaps more commonly known as premenstrual tension (PMT) – is caused by the hormonal changes that take place during a women’s menstrual cycle. Symptoms of PMS are wide ranging, from sore breasts, bloating and fatigue, to trouble sleeping, feeling irritable or teary.
For a lot of women, symptoms are mild and manageable, but for others, symptoms can interfere with day-to-day functioning, work or relationships. For a few, PMS can be truly debilitating.
Around 50 percent of women seek medical help for PMS. There are many treatments available but very few have been proven to work, and some women are reluctant to take hormones or other drugs, which may have side-effects of their own.
So, could cannabidiol (CBD) have a role to play in easing symptoms of PMS?
First and foremost, CBD is well known for its anti-inflammatory effect, and therefore it’s certainly plausible that is could help ease painful cramps and other inflammation associated with PMS, such as breakouts on the skin.
It’s also suggested that CBD acts as an antioxidant agent and a muscle relaxer, helping to decrease anxiety and have a calming effect. Many women will tell you, the emotional symptoms associated with PMS are harder to deal with than the physical ones. Although CBD has not yet been specifically tested for PMS, studies have shown the benefits it can bring to those who suffer from depression and anxiety.
A bit of science
It’s good to think about these things on a cellular level, so you can really start to understand how it all works. Many people are unaware, but the body has its own endocannabinoid system (ECS) and internal cannabinoid receptors throughout the body – in our brain, central nervous system, gut, connective tissues and nerves. The ECS promotes homeostasis (which means maintaining a constant environment, or balance), affecting everything from our sleep, digestion, pain, inflammation, memory and mood.
Recent research has found that the ECS doesn’t just respond to endocannabinoids produced in our body, but also to external cannabinoids found in the cannabis plants, such as CBD. By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD promotes homeostasis, reduces pain sensation and decreases inflammation.
Although the use of CBD for PMS comes with a note of caution until more studies have been carried out, more and more professionals are exploring the benefits cannabis, namely CBD, could have for the treatment of its symptoms. There are also wades of anecdotes from women around the world hailing how cannabis has helped ease their PMS symptoms.
PMS currently has no cure. Many women search for a natural way to treat their symptoms – herbal remedies, aromatherapy, food supplements, reiki, even crystal healing. These types of therapies have very little, if any, scientific backing for their use to treat PMS, yet many women swear by them. The same applies to CBD. It’s emergence on the market, with promising results in early trials to reduce inflammation and pain, has thrown it into the limelight as a new, natural way to potentially treat PMS.