Do these cannabis products actually ease menstrual pain?

With 80% of women experiencing menstrual pain at some point in their lives, it’s no surprise that a number of cannabis companies have been selling products claiming to alleviate period pain and other menstrual issues like PMS. But of course, just because the label on a product says it helps with a particular malady doesn’t mean it truly does.  Cannabis can relieve menstrual pain, said Jordan Tishler, MD, CEO of the medical cannabis clinic InhaleMD and Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. However, it’s THC, not CBD, that has a proven effect on pain, and the majority of the menstrual cannabis products on the market only contain CBD.  “Cannabis can be used to dull pain perception by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors that are present throughout our pain pathways,” Tishler explained. Some animal studies suggest a potential benefit of CBD for pain relief as well, while other research shows it may reduce inflammation. Period pain results from an increase in inflammatory hormones called prostaglandins, so cannabis — whether with THC or not — may help with menstrual pain by decreasing inflammation, said Felice Gersh, MD, founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine. “Cannabis contains a very complex collection of plant-based chemicals that bind to our endogenous receptors that deal with pain perception, as well as reducing the initiation of inflammation by binding with endocannabinoid receptors on immune cells,” shared Gersh. To get more specific, we asked Tishler and Gersh to evaluate seven cannabis-based period products on the market. Here’s what they had to say.  CBD-infused pads  The brand Red Moon recently launched a line of menstrual pads, each infused with 10 milligrams of CBD — a concept doctors are skeptical of.  “Considering that menstrual blood would be saturating the pads, that would seem a negative to…

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