The last time I moved through my menstrual cycle I decided it was a good idea to go au naturel in combating pain and other period-related discomforts.
That means rather than popping ibuprofen to alleviate lower back and abdominal cramps, I turned to cannabis topicals, edibles and—for the first time—a suppository. For mood swings, which for me reach their full, bitchy apex in the days leading up to my period, I relied on the oral ingestion of CBD oil as well as smoking flower. And for my stubborn chest and back breakouts that only occur during this time, I decided to test out CBD soap.
For me, cramps are the worst just before things start flowing. Then my body gives me a short break, for a day, before the cramps show up in full force in both my abdomen and lower back. For the pre-show this cycle, I was caught off-guard and only had a 5 milligram edible on hand. I popped that, waited for Aunt Flo to descend and enjoyed the mild body high that also helped ease the pain.
The PMS stage is also when my break-out is the worst. I decided to try LEEF Organic’s charcoal and clay Nooks + Crannies soap which, at 5 ounces, contains 20 milligrams of whole plant CBD oil. There was no noticeable difference on my broken-out skin, though it did nicely moisturize my tattoos.
Pre-period is also when my mood is at its absolute worst. Honestly, I go a little crazy during the acute phase just before my period starts. When my anxiety, at an all-time high, sends me into rage spirals. I used White Fox’s Tranquility Tincture for that. It combines CBD with chamomile and other oils for an acute remedy that helps take the edge off my severe moods. I also made sure to have a few joints on hand at all times, so I could dip out of any annoying conversations with a convenient excuse and get pleasantly lifted while doing so.
For the return of the cramps after the start of my menses, I had a selection of Mary’s Medicinals transdermal patches on hand. The company sports a variety of options, including just THC or CBD, but I like to use the 1:1 (CBD:THC) 10 milligram patches. Combining CBD and THC makes the most of the effect, offering what I consider to be the best bet for pain relief at a relatively low dose.
I slapped one on my lower abdomen/upper pubic area, since the skin there is more venous than the lower back, and let the patches do their work. Within an hour, I hadnoticeable, but not total, relief. Because my cramps are uncomfortable but not debilitating, that was enough for me.
For some reason, this cycle was more brutal than others, my cramps extending into day three. I’ve had a Foria vaginal suppository on hand for about a year now and have never felt the need to test it out; I didn’t want to waste it. Desperate times call for invasive measures, though, so I stuck the potent Relief suppository with 60 milligrams THC and 10 milligrams CBD up there and waited 30 minutes for it to kick in. I’m not well-versed in suppositories, but damn. These work. My lower half felt like a cloud, mostly devoid of pain and a little bit fuzzy for the next several hours.
Seeing that menstrual discomfort largely centers around mental and physical pain for many women, it was no surprise that using cannabis in various forms should help alleviate symptoms. For me, the true delight was seeing just how many ways this plant can tackle various ailments, in ways big and small. I become more of a believer with each day.