GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — There’s been a big movement towards finding more natural ways to cure what ails us. Honey for coughs, turmeric for arthritis pain and now marijuana for menstrual cramps.
Although if you ask Grand Rapids pain expert Dr. Marla Gendelman of Liberate Pain Management, it’s not anything new, “Cannabis has been used for PMS literally since pre-biblical times. They burned incense and it was used as topically and orally.”
Now it’s making a comeback. You can find topicals and oils in area medical marijuana dispensaries. Even Whoopi Goldberg has opened an online shop specializing in pain management for women.
Most recently, the company Foria has developed weed tampons, which are actually suppositories with cannabis that dissolve inside the vagina.
“It provides probably more importantly in this case relief from cramping. It’s an antispasmodic.” Dr. Gendelman adds they should give you about four to six hours of pain relief and help with other PMS symptoms, “It won’t do much for bloating we’ll admit that. But the feeling of yuck. The lack of appetite, the achiness, and the menstrual cramping it helps all of those. They shouldn’t feel high. They feel relaxed. The CBD is not psycho active. The straight CBD products are impossible to overdose on. There is not a way to do it.”
Dr. Gendelman’s says,”It seems like it’s a quality product. It is just using CBD, but I understand that that is what is available to us commercially.”
Very few medical studies have been done on the efficacy of marijuana for menstrual cramps and the FDA has not approved it for use as a pain reliever. But, that isn’t stopping many women from trying it.
Dr. Gendelman says to anyone woman considering using a marijuana-based product, “to consider getting quality advice to know exactly what her product is and where it’s coming from. And that it has had third party testing.”
Lake Effect Consulting is a medical marijuana dispensary in Portage. Rachel Fogleson with Lake Effect says they provide a few options for women looking to manage their menstrual pain most of their products are topical or oral, “Each dose is going to be a little bit more specific to what your needs are your pain levels and things like that.”
The Foria tampons are not available for sale yet in Michigan, but that could soon change now that recreational marijuana is legal. Fogleson says it’s a good thing, “There’s a huge market for women, but not a lot of products that are directed towards women.”
Dr. Gendelman agrees, stating “I think there’s going to be all kinds of things out there.” From skin care with claims to reduce your wrinkles to other products Dr. Gendelman says might make you do a double take, “There’s even CBD mascara, which I question the need for.”
Some products will push the boundaries of marijuana’s medicinal claims — others like the Foria weed tampons, will push the boundaries of your wallet at $11 dollars a suppository. Either way, it looks like women may start to have more choices when it comes to managing monthly pain.
We attempted to talk with local gynecologists about using medical marijuana for relief of menstrual cramps but were not able to find any that would comment on this new area of menstrual pain management. Their concerns were the lack of medical studies.
But that may soon change. In October Harvard University announced it is conducting an observational study of 400 women who have agreed to use marijuana suppositories for menstrual pain. The hope for researchers is that this is a first step towards clinical trials that may eventually lead to FDA approval.
Source: Free Press