s CBD is increasingly being used as an analgesic, Molly Codyre finds out how it holds up against period pain.
t the age of 17, I went on the pill. Partly because I knew that I was heading off to university, and that by all odds I was likely to do the deed soon enough, but predominantly because it was recommended to help with my period cramps. After endless stints in the school nurse’s office, and one particularly bad day when I almost blacked out walking from bathroom to bedroom, it became apparent that my period pain wasn’t ‘normal’. The word endometriosis was chucked around, though no diagnosis was ever made. But the pill helped dull the pain and made having a uterus bearable.
A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that 20 per cent of women under 25 had missed school or work due to period pain, and a further 40 per cent had found that it severely affected their ability to concentrate. While there are no statistics showing how many women go on the pill specifically to ease menstrual pain, it is widely touted as a beneficial side effect of hormonal contraception. A 2017 article even analysed how each different form of contraception ranked in the pain relief stakes.
But what if there was another option – one that didn’t involve hormone-altering medication and the various downsides that come along with it? CBD has been having a moment in healthcare recently, with discussions around its possible benefits, including pain relief, anxiety relief, and the management of cancer side effects, including nausea. Studies around this are still in their early stages, but, while the positive effects are yet to be confirmed, what has been published so far looks promising.
Cannabidiol (also known as CBD) is a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in marijuana. A study published in the Baylor University Medical Centre Proceedings journal discusses the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of CBD, and states: “We are just beginning to understand the impact of phytocannabinoids and their clinical applications. It is important for healthcare providers to be aware of CBD use in their patient population.”