Got the painters in? Code red, falling to the communists… as if that wasn’t cringe-worthy and painful enough throw in those menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, headaches, anxiety, and cravings to boot and I think it’s safe to say we’re probably all just about ready to curl up into a ball and go to sleep. With over 90% of women in the UK suffering from period pain and 50% from menstrual migraines I thought I’d share with you how CBD can help your period – the pain, the mood swings, and even regulating your hormones for the long term.
I find it crazy to think that 90% of the UK’s lovely ladies are suffering from cramps of which almost 60% have found that it affects their ability to work, and 10% of women are affected by Endometriosis worldwide. Throw in the heavy usage of ibuprofen to treat period pain and you’re bound to end up with stomach and kidney problems, and that’s where cannabidiol comes in to play. But first, what causes all of these horrible pains?
Why Do Women Suffer From Period Pain and Other Problems?
Now, in a lot of ways I count my lucky stars – I’m lucky that I don’t suffer from cramps, like at all, but I’m also one of those very unlucky women that suffer from severe bleeding which regularly leaves me anaemic and zapped for energy. The bleeding is so bad that sometimes I have had to change through both a full absorbency pad and tampon every 20 minutes for the first 2 days of my period and that often means changing through 3 pairs of trousers and underwear daily because of leaking and waking up through the night to change to prevent destroying my bedding. You’ll all be pleased to know though that after having a billion blood tests and scans the verdict is that clinically there’s nothing wrong with me. What is interesting though is that heavy bleeding and heavy cramping ladies have a lot in common with their bodies.
Being an anti-inflammatory CBD works in a similar way to NSAIDs however it comes without those awful digestive complications and takes it one step further by stopping your body from producing too much of the enzyme responsible for producing prostaglandins…
I have to say it – our bodies are pretty amazing machines – at the start of your cycle your body increases estrogen levels to cue your uterus to start building up endometrial tissue, once you’ve ovulated you get a little boost in progesterone which increases the blood supply and plumps these tissues up to create a nice cosy little home for that prospective embryo.
Sadly, when your body realises that you won’t be storing a precious little lifeform for the next 9 months in that cosy womb of yours, your progesterone levels decline again, prostaglandins are produced, and your endometrial tissue begin to shrinks, squeezing those lovely blood vessels that have been plumping the tissue up, making them suffocate until they die which is what starts causing those pesky cramps. Your dead tissue begins to fall away from the uterine wall which is what you’re losing when you experience your period.
Let’s get back to those prostaglandins I mentioned earlier – these little nasties trigger an inflammatory response in the body, making you more sensitive to pain and causing uterine contractions to quite literally choke and cut off that blood supply to the endometrium. It’s like a heart attack in your womb, and the higher the level of prostaglandins in your body, the more severe the pain. Again, if like me you’re a heavy bleeder you are likely experiencing heavy bleeding as a result of excessive inflammation that makes the tissue damage even more severe. For others, it can mean headaches, migraines, and yes, even diarrhoea. Periods are so glamorous hey?
For those of you yet to have babies, this is pretty much the same process you’ll go through when you start labour. In fact, I was given prostaglandins to induce labour with my first child and I had the most severe reaction ever – yes, we both almost died and I had an emergency, lights out, C-section. I later found out I was mega hypersensitive to prostaglandins and so I can’t help but think that’s again why I bleed heavily. Maybe it’s not because I produce a lot of prostaglandins but because I’m just sensitive to them.
How CBD Oil Can Help Your Period
As I mentioned before NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like ibuprofen are usually prescribed for menstrual pains but although useful they can cause digestive issues which might not be favourable if you’re already prone to them. Again, for endometriosis sufferers, this longterm use can actually cause complications with the kidneys too so if you can stay clear then do.
Being an anti-inflammatory CBD works in a similar way to NSAIDs however it comes without those awful digestive complications and takes it one step further by stopping your body from producing too much of the enzyme responsible for producing prostaglandins in the first place. Poifect! CBD is also a great muscle relaxant so it can relax the contractions of the uterus decreasing the pain levels, this in turn also helps the blood flow to increase to the oxygen-starved tissues and provide some further pain relief.
… take CBD regularly throughout your entire cycle to bring some balance to your hormones. If you wait until you’re in agony or heavily bleeding it will be too late to reduce the levels of prostaglandins in your body.
Now, CBD can be used in 2 ways; to regulate and to treat. What I mean by regulation is that you would take CBD regularly throughout your entire cycle to bring some balance to your hormones. If you wait until you’re in agony or heavily bleeding it will be too late to reduce the levels of prostaglandins in your body. But, if you supplement with a low dose of CBD regularly you should see things improving every month. Again the same goes for treating anxiety too – supplement regularly and you’ll see this reduce almost completely. To treat and manage any existing pain or anxiety keep a higher dose in your handbag, gym bag, or bathroom cabinet and feel some much-needed relief whenever needed. I’d highly recommend using liposomes or oil tinctures for instant relief and capsules for supplementation as having a pill for some reason makes it psychologically easier to get into a routine. Or at least that’s what I find!
I had a big break from taking CBD and those months were when I was bleeding my heaviest, now I’ve been back on it for a few months it is levelling out again, it’s more a change every hour to 2 hours affair which for me is a massive improvement, it means I can actually do the school run without bleeding through my clothes or at least worry about that happening. I can also now exercise on my period whereas before I could barely breathe or keep myself alive because I felt like I was just hanging on for dear life and surviving.
Although medical marijuana has now been made legal in the UK, the US is already way ahead of us, with many women managing their periods with recreational marijuana, but there’s one company that I urge you to check out if you’re US-based – Foria. Foria sells a selection of CBD and THC based products for women, but one forward-thinking product that caught my eye, in particular, is their ‘Relief’ Suppositories, dubbed as ‘weed tampons’ they are supposed to provide instant relief in 20 minutes without a high from the THC. They’re made from organic cocoa butter, CBD, and THC and are free of pesticides, heavy metals, microbes and other toxins. For those of you that are stuck in the UK with me, and the rest of the world, you can make your own suppositories at home with coconut oil or cocoa butter and CBD. If you decide to do this you’ll need to figure out how many suppositories you’ll be making and then dose accordingly – about 10mg-15mg per suppository.
It’s worth noting that few other things can help with managing PMS and other menstrual symptoms such as taking a magnesium citrate supplement, evening primrose oil, using heat to manage pain, regular exercise, and a healthy balanced diet free from processed foods and sugars and organic whenever possible. It’s also really important to switch to organic cotton tampons or a menstrual cup as regular rayon tampons are bleached, resulting in the production of dioxin, a well-known hormone disruptor. And don’t think non-organic cotton tampons are safe as pesticides will have been used in farming, again containing lots of endocrine disruptors that will result in hormonal problems. I’ve used a Mooncup before (you can read about it here) but since my flow has been too heavy I use organic cotton pads and I also have an amazing organic tampon subscription through a small company called Ohne who use 100% biodegradable packaging including their applicators. If you want to purchase through Ohne you can get 50% off your first box by using the code REFVTING5GQI6 – I’m not affiliated with them but as I’m a customer I’ll get £5 credited to my account. Once you’ve registered you’ll be able to do exactly the same for your friends too!
Peppermint CBD Brownies
I came up with this recipe for CBD Brownies when I got a bit fed up with taking tinctures and liposomes all of the time, don’t get me wrong they’re great but I’m a typical Sagittarius and I don’t like to have the same things day in and day out, because well, I get really bored. So, as raw cacao is rich in magnesium it can work in synergy with CBD as it also works by relaxing the smooth muscle of the uterus and reduces pesky prostaglandins that cause period pain. It’s also why we usually end up craving chocolate at that time of the month. Raw cacao also contains high levels of iron which let’s face it, ladies, we all need every month, as well as tryptophan a mood-enhancing chemical that aids in the production of that feel good neurotransmitter serotonin.
These Peppermint CBD Brownies will give you a 10mg hit of CBD to numb period pain, regulate your hormone levels, and fight menstrual migraines and nausea. That and they’re just darn tasty.
I also decided to use walnuts for similar reasons – they contain a nice amount of magnesium, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B6 which helps to regulate your hormone levels for a healthier menstrual cycle. I opted for Truth Naturals’ Peppermint CBD Oil Tincture as it’s really refreshing and if you suffer from period nausea and headaches it can help to reduce migraines, is a natural nausea remedy, and it will uplift and energise you. If you’re UK based and looking for an amazing CBD supplement I’d highly recommend Truth Naturals as all of their supplements are organic and free-from gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, artificial flavours, sweeteners, and colours. If you do place an order don’t forget to use my exclusive discount code ‘GEORGINA10’ for £10 off your order.
Enough of my waffling though, these brownies are super refreshing, chocolatey, chewy, and they have a nice crisp sugar-free icing that melts in your mouth for a full sensory experience. Because let’s face it we all need that extra bit of TLC every month!
- 1 cup/200g Medjool/Deglet Noor pitted dates
- 1 cup/100g walnut halves
- ¾ cup/100g cacao powder
- 2 tbsp/20g coconut sugar/maple syrup
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 6ml Truth Naturals Peppermint 500mg CBD Oil Tincture
- 2 tbsp/25g cacao butter
- 2 tbsp/25g coconut oil
- ½ cup/100g xylitol (powdered)
- ¼-1 tsp spirulina (for colour)
- 4ml Truth Naturals Peppermint 500mg CBD Oil Tincture
- Grease and line a small brownie tin (I used an 8.5″ x 6.5″ tin) with greaseproof paper, be sure to leave enough excess so that you can lift the brownies out. Alternatively, use a loose based tin.
- Combine all of your ingredients for the brownies into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times before processing until the mixture forms a smooth ball. Be sure to scrape down the sides frequently using a spatula to ensure that the ingredients mix process thoroughly.
- Drop in your brownie mixture and be sure to press down firmly until evenly distributed. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.
- Whilst you're waiting for your brownies to firm up it's time to make your icing. Add your cacao butter and coconut oil to a heatproof bowl and place over a bain-marie on a low heat until melted. Stir in your powdered xylitol, spirulina, and CBD.
- Remove your brownies from the freezer and pour over the icing, spreading with an offset spatula. Return to the freezer and freeze for another 30 minutes until set.
- Remove from the freezer and remove the brownies from the tin. Using a clean knife slice into 16 equal squares, wiping the knife between cuts. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
I used the 'Peppermint' flavoured tincture but any of the other flavours would work equally as well.
*All cup measurements used are UK cup measurements and so 1 cup = 250ml. Please note that the prep time is largely setting time.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post. I am a Truth Naturals affiliate and was sent some wonderful CBD goodies to create delicious recipes with. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. If you buy anything from the Truth Naturals website using any of the links contained with my post and use the discount code ‘GEORGINA10’, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission to help keep my blog up and running. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact me.