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Medical Marijuana and Menstrual Cramps

By Danyal Swan March 17, 2022

Painful menstrual cramps are a burden many people suffer during their period. For some, the cramps can be so intense that they need to take pain medication just to get through the day. For others, the side effects of medications can make life unbearable. There have been many medical attempts to find a cure for menstrual cramps, but so far, there is no one definitive solution. Many people are also hesitant to take medicine for their menstrual cramps that is not natural, and this is because they do not want to ingest chemicals that can be harmful to their bodies.

The good news is there’s now a natural option for addressing this prevalent issue: medical marijuana for menstrual cramps.

The Rise Of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana has become increasingly popular and more widely accepted in recent years. Marijuana has been used to ease many conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. There is also evidence that it can effectively quell chronic pain and inflammatory conditions.

As of today, 36 states have recognized the plant’s impact on health and wellness. Each has legalized marijuana for medical use, recreational, or both, allowing for their constituents to use marijuana to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Cannabinoids, the active ingredient in the marijuana plant, are similar to beneficial chemicals our own bodies make, which are involved in appetite, memory, movement, and pain3. They have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation, pain, and nausea, with few side effects.

Can Cannabis Help In The Relief Of Menstrual Pain?

Can Cannabis Help in the Relief of Menstrual Pain?

Menstrual cramps are caused by the release of the hormone prostaglandin by the uterine lining, which triggers spasms and cramping. This causes a lack of blood supply to the uterus, causing extremely painful spasms. For some women, the intensity of cramps can be unbearable, formally called dysmenorrhea.  

There are not currently many solutions to stopping dysmenorrhea. Painkillers are the most common form of treatment, but they can often have negative side effects, particularly when used over extended periods of time - this is key, as the average woman menstruates from age 13-52, for 3-7 days each month. That’s a total of 10 years of menstruating, meaning that women who use over-the-counter pain medications may be at a higher risk for unwanted side effects.  

OTC medications are not the sole solution - many have also tried birth control to prevent or stop dysmenorrhea. This has been shown to help some, but the side effects, which can include include weight gain or mood swings, so it’s not always the best choice for everyone.

For some, menstrual cramps can be so intense that they interfere with daily activities. This can be debilitating, frustrating, and affect mental health. It is not uncommon for women to miss work or school because of menstrual cramps.

The Endocannabinoid System And How It Relieves Menstrual Cramps

The endocannabinoid system is a complex cell-signaling system identified in the early 1990s by researchers exploring THC, a well-known cannabinoid. This system regulates different parts of our bodies, including sleep, appetite, mood, memory, reproduction, and fertility.

Medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for many types of pain, including menstrual cramps. Cannabis is a natural pain reliever that works by inhibiting the body’s release of pain signals. It has been shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating menstrual cramps, allowing much easier cycles for those who menstruate.

The use of medical marijuana for menstrual cramps is not a new idea - in fact, Queen Victoria has been said to use cannabis tinctures for her own cramps - but it has gained more popularity in recent years.

What Methods Of Cannabis Can I Use To Ease Period Pain?

When it comes to using cannabis to treat period pain, there are a few different methods you can choose from. The onset time and duration of effects are key pieces to keep in mind, particularly for those in debilitating pain.

Here are some of the available options on the market today for menstrual cramp relief:

Consuming Medical Cannabis By Smoking

The most popular way to consume cannabis for pain relief is by smoking it, and this is because the cannabinoids enter the body quickly to help with the pain. People use different methods to smoke, but it’s important to take extra precautions when smoking around others.

Onset time: ~5-10 minutes
Duration of effects: ~2-4 hours

Vaping Medical Cannabis

Vaping is another popular way to consume cannabis for pain relief. Some people feel it’s a healthier option than smoking, and it doesn’t produce any odorous smoke. You can buy a vape pen or cartridge to use with your own cannabis or concentrate of your choice, or you can purchase convenient pre-filled cartridges. You can choose from a variety of flavors and THC levels to find the one that works best for your pain relief needs.

Onset time: ~5-10 minutes
Duration of effects: ~2-4 hours

Ingesting Medical Cannabis Through Edibles

Although edibles have a slower onset than other methods, they are effective for longer periods of time. The best part is that you can choose from a wide variety of edibles to suit your tastes, including fruity chews and baked goods. There are a variety of different edible options available at different medical marijuana dispensaries, and packaged edibles are a great way to closely monitor your dose.

Onset time: ~30-60 minutes
Duration of effects: ~4-6 hours

Applying Cannabis Topically

If you’re looking for an alternative way to consume cannabis and don’t want to smoke or vape, you can try topicals. This involves using cannabis oil or cream rubbed directly onto the skin. Some people find this option extremely effective for pain relief, and it works very quickly. You can find topical options at some dispensaries that come in a variety of different strengths. You can test which strength works best for you by starting with a lower dose and then increasing it as needed.

Onset time: ~15-30 minutes
Duration of effects: ~4-6 hours

Using A Cannabis Vaginal Oil

Vaginal cannabis oils, like Ease Cannabis Oil, are formulated to be applied on the outside of the labia as well as internally without interrupting the delicate pH balance of the vagina. Ease oil can be applied by spraying directly, spraying on your fingers to apply, or spraying onto a tampon. Because the vaginal region is mucosal, cannabinoids may effectively and quickly provide relief.

Onset time: ~15-30 minutes
Duration of effects: ~4-6 hours

Medical marijuana may be effective in treating menstrual cramps, providing a new option for people looking to treat their pain that is natural. There are many different options available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks depending on what you’re looking for. It’s best to talk to a doctor to see if medical marijuana is the right choice for you.

The Benefits Of Relieving Menstrual Cramps With Medical Marijuana

While using medical marijuana to relieve menstrual cramps is a relatively new idea in the medical world, some people have been doing it for years. If you are thinking about treating menstrual cramps with medical marijuana, here are some perks to the alternative medicine:

Reduces Inflammation

One of the main causes of menstrual cramps is inflammation in the uterus. Medical marijuana is proven and able to reduce inflammation and help treat the root cause of this problem.

It’s Natural

Medical marijuana is a 100% natural medicine. It’s safe to use, and side effects are rare. This is a relief to many because the side effects of other medicines are sometimes worse than menstrual cramps themselves.

Healthy Alternative Analgesic

Some find that other treatments, like ibuprofen, can be harsh on their bodies. A healthier alternative is needed for those who are looking to find relief from menstrual cramps. Medical marijuana is a great choice because it is both gentle and effective.

When Is It Time To Start Discussing Medical Marijuana For Menstrual Cramps With Your Doctor?

If you are experiencing severe menstrual cramps that are not responding to over-the-counter medications or home remedies, it is time to discuss medical marijuana with your doctor. Menstrual cramps can be debilitating, so it is important to find a treatment that works for you and allows you to get back to your life.

Find The Right Cannabis Product For Your Menstrual Pain

Find the right pain for your menstrual cramps

If you’re ready to try a more natural solution for your period cramps, first speak with your doctor about medical marijuana. If you are already a medical cardholder in Florida and would like to discuss your personal needs and what products are right for you, feel free to contact our Customer Care Team. We are here for Ü with answers, seven days a week.


  1. Hill, K. P., Palastro, M. D., Johnson, B., & Ditre, J. W. (2017). Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 96–104.
  2. Savage SR, Romero-Sandoval A, Schatman M, et al. . Cannabis in pain treatment: clinical and research considerations. J Pain. 2016;17:654–668 [PubMed]
  3. Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245–259.
  4. Russo E. B. (2016). Beyond Cannabis: Plants and the Endocannabinoid System. Trends in pharmacological sciences, 37(7), 594–605.
  5. Akerman S, Holland PR, Goadsby PJ. Cannabinoid (CB1) receptor activation inhibits trigeminovascular neurons. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007;320:64–71. [PubMed]
  6. Barrett ML, Scutt AM, Evans FJ. Cannflavin A and B, prenylated flavones from Cannabis sativa L. Experientia. 1986;42:452–3. [PubMed]

Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.

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