CBD for PMS: How CBD Can Help Relieve The Symptoms Of PMS
As women, most of us have been there. Those uncomfortable symptoms that starts rearing their ugly heads a couple of days or sometimes even weeks before we start our period. Mood swings. Headaches. Irritability. Depression. Sleep disturbances. And eventually the dreaded bloating and cramping.
These symptoms form the basis of what is generally called premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – physical and emotional symptoms that appear roughly a week or two before menstruation starts.
According to a 2011 American Academy of Family Physicians Report, 80% of women experience at least one symptom related to PMS, with 30% exhibiting enough of them to warrant a full-blown PMS diagnosis.
Medical treatments generally involve trying to subdue symptoms through the use of diuretics, painkillers, oral contraceptives, and other forms of suppressing ovarian functioning. But what if there is another, more natural option? One that provides relief while at the same time restoring the natural balance within your body?
CBD for PMS
Although there are no specific medical studies investigating cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment PMS symptoms per se, there are several studies that do make the link between the two, where CBD has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for symptoms of PMS.
Cramping, Aches & Pains
As far back as 1999, Harvard scientists noted that CBD can be highly effective in treating symptoms such as muscle spasms and cramping, with a more recent 2007 study explicitly showing that CBD is effective in treating pain and inflammation.
In addition, a 2017 review paper found 9 different studies showing CBD to be an effective antispasmodic. This means that CBD relaxes smooth muscle tissue, in turn effectively relieving uterine, intestinal and bladder cramping often associated with PMS.
Mood Swings, Irritability & Depression
One of the most debilitating symptoms of PMS is the dreaded mood swings, irritability and depression that sets in a couple of days before menstruation.
Luckily, CBD is also effective in helping to stabilize mood, in addition to helping alleviate and mediate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although the investigation of mood disorders predominantly involve animal models and clinical populations, they do seem to be generalizable to larger populations, including women who suffer from PMS.
Yet another symptom associated with PMS is hormonal acne, and many women experience the frustration of pimples popping up just before their period starts.
The topical application of CBD has shown to not only decrease sebum production, but also to treat skin inflammation (read the study here), making it a promising therapeutic agent for treating acne.
Many women experience insomnia and restlessness as part of the constellation of PMS symptoms. On the other extreme, some women find that they are excessively sleepy and fatigued right before their period.
A 2017 scientific review article took a look at over 65 studies investigating the effects of cannabinoids on sleep. Although there were some mixed results from those studies, the majority of the results showed that CBD in particular is very effective in helping to regulate wake-sleep cycles.
More specifically, CBD may have therapeutic potential for relieving sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as improving REM sleep and daytime sleepiness.
The main reason why CBD is so effective in treating the symptoms associated with PMS is due to the homeostatic effect that phytocannabinoids such as CBD have with the body. All vertebrates have what is called an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for creating an ideal environment for all biological and physiological systems to perform optimally (read more about it here).