How to use CBD for menstrual pain

CBD for menstrual pain

Menstrual pain is a reality that many women face every month. Finding effective and natural ways to alleviate this discomfort is essential to improve the quality of life of these people. In this regard, in recent years, CBD oil CBD oil and CBD creams have gained popularity as an option for menstrual pain relief.

In this post by Cannactiva we explain how you can approach the treatment of menstrual pain through gynecological osteopathy, pelvic floor physiotherapy and the use of CBD products. Eva Federici, osteopath and physiotherapist specialized in feminine health and sexology, and founder of the center ReActiva Sants center, gives us a detailed explanation.

CBD in the treatment of menstrual pain

What is menstrual pain?

Menstrual pain, technically known as dysmenorrhea, is a common disorder that affects a high percentage of Spanish women (between 20% and 60%, depending on age). In 10-15% of cases, this pain is severe (1).

The symptoms, which vary from mild to severe, can manifest themselves in different types of pain (spasmodic, constant or mixed), as well as in their intensity, duration and location. In addition, they may include abdominal pain, pelvic pain, migraines, fatigue and mood swings. Sometimes, period pain can indicate the presence of endometriosis (2), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (3) or other pathologies that are important to detect or rule out through a specialist medical visit. However, there are also numerous cases in which no pathology is detected, and at such times medicine offers no solutions other than hormonal treatments to inhibit the menstrual cycle (4) or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (5).

Gynecological osteopathy (6), perineal physiotherapy (7), nutrition (8) and the use of CBD (9) are natural approaches that can have a significant impact on quality of life in situations of gynecological pain, both with and without associated pathology.

CBD oil for menstrual pain
Menstrual pain can be an opportunity for self-knowledge.

As a therapist and a woman who suffered from menstrual pain for many years, I strongly believe in the need to become aware of what happens in each phase of the menstrual cycle, to know our body and how it reacts to each hormonal fluctuation. This represents the first step in addressing pain. A woman’s menstrual cycle acts as an indicator of the state of health of both body and mind (10): if pain persists every month, always during the same menstrual phase, it indicates that something is not working properly.

What is CBD?

The cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Although cannabis is known primarily for its psychoactive component (THC), CBD is different in this regard and does not produce the typical “high” or altered mental perception effects associated with marijuana use.

CBD is being investigated for its potential pain relief benefits. Given its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, CBD may be a promising natural option to help women decrease the pain experienced by women during the menstrual cycle.

Treatment of menstrual pain with CBD

What to do to get rid of period pain?

The treatment of menstrual pain can be approached from several perspectives. Nowadays, it is common for women to resort to the use of analgesic drugs such as Ibuprofen, Enantyum or Naproxen, or hormonal therapies, such as birth control pills and progestogen subdermal implants, which inhibit ovulation, resulting in a “false menstruation” without pain. However, there are other equally viable and effective treatment options, such as:

  • Manual therapy: gynecological osteopathy and perineal physiotherapy.
  • Body awareness: meditation and breathing practices.
  • Guidelines such as anti-inflammatory CBD cream, CBD oil, use of heat or cold and stretching.
  • Exercise adapted to each phase of the menstrual cycle.
  • Diet therapy: food as our first form of medicine.

We are talking about natural tools that act on different body systems. In particular, osteopathy and nutrition take into account the inflammatory-digestive state, the nervous system and the level of stress and rest, the vascular, osteo-articular and myofascial system of women (6).

Below is a description of some of the treatments we use to address menstrual pain at our center.

Treatment of menstrual pain from osteopathy and physiotherapy

In the field of osteopathy, the fundamental premise is that the body has the ability to heal itself. Manual techniques, such as massage, are used to promote this natural healing process (11). The goal is to maintain and restore the balance of organs such as the uterus, ovaries, bowel and glands that balance menstrual and endometrial physiology.

Through osteopathy, we address possible structural problems by giving mobility to restricted areas, and also functional problems by improving blood flow that could be the cause of pain (12). Only after identifying whether the problem is of mechanical, hormonal, metabolic, vascular or mixed origin, is it possible to plan a successful treatment.

In some cases, pelvic floor physiotherapy intervention is required, especially when pain has led to the development of vaginal and/or abdominal contractures (13).

The treatment approach to menstrual pain varies depending on the type of pain and the specific case. We work as a team with several professionals to achieve the best results. In addition, there are complementary recommendations to the treatment such as:

  • In cases of spasmodic pain, which is intense and almost rhythmic, it is important to relax the uterine musculature. Applying heat to the abdomen may help reduce menstrual pain. Heating pads, cloth bags with salt or hot dried legumes, or towels dampened with hot infusions can be used to provide warmth.
  • When the pain is constant, an intervention at the circulatory level is required. It is recommended to practice deep, slow breathing, gentle stretching of the buttocks and Kegel exercises to stimulate circulation. Another useful tip is to perform a vascular massage in the shower, using fine salt to exfoliate the buttocks, sacrum and lateral fascia of the thighs, and then finish with cold water on those areas.

In both cases, the use of CBD is suggested to reduce local inflammation, through CBD lubricants, CBD creams for the genital area or CBD oil applied on the area. These treatments can be supplemented with CBD drops.

Massage with CBD creams for menstrual pain

The CBD creams are used in physiotherapy to treat various kinds of pain. These creams are specifically formulated and combine cannabidiol with other analgesic and anti-inflammatory plants, such as arnica, hypericum, devil’s claw and mimosa. Generally, they are creams with an intense and pronounced aroma, which are quickly absorbed and can be massaged in.

In my personal opinion, I recommend massage in the abdominal area as well as in the lumbar and pelvic areas. However, there are also numerous cases in which this self-massage can be extremely effective at the cervical and cranial level (14). In addition, this type of massage can influence the pituitary and thyroid glands, as well as the vagus nerve, which extends from the skull to the uterus, regulating its function. The properties of CBD, in conjunction with essential oils, generate a double effect both from the skin entering into circulation, and on the nervous system, through aromatherapy (15).

How to take CBD oil for menstrual cramps?

From a broader body perspective, CBD drops CBD drops drops have the ability to reduce inflammation in the body, which can contribute significantly to relieving menstrual pain. The recommendation to use CBD oil as a solution for menstrual pain, especially from the ovulation phase to the first days of menstruation, is becoming more and more common.

In situations where inflammation is due to digestive problems, it is essential to address nutrition in a complementary manner along with the incorporation of a specific CBD regimen in the form of drops (16).

CBD dosage for menstrual pain

As for what dose of CBD to take for menstrual pain, there is no one amount that works for everyone, as the response to CBD varies from person to person. On the other hand, although numerous studies support the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of CBD, there is insufficient data on the use of these products specifically for menstrual pain. Empirical doses of CBD users for gynecological pain have been reported, ranging from 1 mg to 2000 mg of CBD per day, administered orally or inhaled (9). This wide variability in dosage is because CBD affects each person differently, due to factors such as metabolism, weight, history of cannabinoid use and other personal particularities. From Cannactiva, we can report that some women have reported using doses of 3 to 5 drops (between 15 – 25 mg of CBD) of 10% CBD oil for menstrual pain, 3 times a day. Women with severe pain use the same dosage but of 20% CBD oil, equivalent to 30 – 50mg of CBD.

Generally speaking, it is suggested to start with very low doses and wait a few days to evaluate the effects of CBD. In addition, it is crucial to consider the possible interactions of CBD with medications, so it is recommended to consult a professional before using CBD products.

In conclusion…

Treatment of menstrual pain goes deeper than simply applying a cream, performing a massage or adhering to general dietary guidelines. From my professional background and personal experiences, it is crucial to keep in mind that menstrual pain is composed of biological, psychoemotional and social aspects; this complexity should never be overlooked. Therefore, I strongly support the importance of understanding the physiology of the menstrual cycle, analyzing each variant of pain in each woman, and adopting a multidisciplinary approach that goes beyond the medical.

The synergy between gynecological osteopathy, nutrition, integrative gynecology and sexology is revealed as the essential factor for a truly comprehensive approach from a biopsychosocial perspective.

If you are thinking of using CBD to relieve menstrual pain, my recommendation is to seek the advice of a team of specialists capable of conducting a specific study on your type of pain. This team will provide you with personalized advice and the necessary tools to approach your treatment in a realistic and successful way. In case you are in Barcelona, from the ReActiva Sants center we will be happy to assist you.

Consult a healthcare professional for more information and personalized advice on the treatment of menstrual pain before using CBD. Cannactiva products are not medicines and are intended for external use. We remind you that this is an informative article that is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat any disease or symptom. Its content can complement, but never replace, the diagnosis or treatment of any disease or symptom.

Book recommendations by Andrea de Cannactiva

Andrea Rezes has been part of the Cannactiva family for many years and is one of the people responsible for the customer service and training we provide. Upon reading this post, she told us about some readings that she would recommend to all women and that we share in case anyone might be attracted:

We will give birth with Pleasure, by Casilda Rodriganez

It provides historical and anthropological information that gives us a perspective on the liberation that can come from understanding our uterus from both a physiological and emotional approach. Rodriguez deeply explores how pain experienced during both the menstrual cycle and the birthing process manifests as somatization in the body, rather than being considered normal, even in cases of low intensity pain. Throughout the book, it is revealed that our body has been ingeniously designed, not only to mitigate pain during childbirth, but also to allow the possibility of experiencing orgasms in this process. The text also challenges conventional thinking by suggesting that the true center of female pleasure lies in the uterus, rather than the clitoris or the G-spot. In essence, it invites us to reconsider our understanding of the female anatomy and gives us a more liberating perspective on the body and its natural processes.


Book endometriosis, the chalice and the sword

The Goblet and the Sword, by Riane Eisler

Another highly recommended book that its reading has meant a before and after in my way of understanding our world and society. It tells a new story of our cultural origins, in which the conflict and warfare of the sexes have been neither divinely nor biologically ordained, and demonstrates that a better future is possible, firmly rooted in what happened in our past. Eisler presents a conceptual framework for studying social systems with special attention to how a society constructs roles and relationships between feminine and masculine. Based on archaeological, anthropological and historical evidence, the author argues that humanity, in its origin, was not centered on struggle and competition, but rather on inclusion and participation.

Referencias y fuentes de información
  1. Andersh, B., & Milson, I. (1982). An epidemiologic study of young women with dysmenorrhea. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 144, 655-661.
  2. Al Adib, M. (2018). Let’s talk about Vaginas. Madrid: Anaya (Oberon).
  3. Mendelson, Z. (2020). Pussypedia. Paris: Larousse.
  4. Martinez, M. Gestagen-only contraception: noncontraceptive benefits. Review of the data, 125-134.
  5. Brooks, P. (1998). Use and benefits of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. American Journal of Medicine, 104, 9-13.
  6. ReActiva Sants. (2019). Menstrual pain is not normal: How osteopathy can help you.
  7. Walker, C. (2015). Physiotherapy in Obstetrics and Urogynaecology. Madrid: Elviser.
  8. Ciebiera, M., Esfandyari, S., Siblini, H., Prince, L., Elkafas, H., Wojtyła, C., Ali, M. (2021). Nutrition in Gynecological Diseases: Current Perspectives. Nutrients, 13(4), 1178. doi:10.3390/nu13041178.
  9. Cannactiva Blog. CBD and Endometriosis.
  10. Pope, A., Wurlitzer, S. H. (2018). The Indomitable Power. Madrid: Kraicon.
  11. ReActiva Sants. History of Osteopathy.
  12. ReActiva Sants. Gynecological Osteopathy.
  13. Eva Federici. Cervical self-massage guide on YouTube.
  14. Eva Federici. Self-treatment guide of the skull on YouTube.
  15. Eva Federici and Carolina Martignetti. Healthy nutrition and proper nutrition for menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) on YouTube.

Eva Federici
Physiotherapist, Osteopath specialized in gynecology, Sexologist. Founder of the ReActiva Sants Center

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