The average woman will have roughly 450 periods in her lifetime.
Symptoms of PMS can include social withdrawal, anxiety, bloating, fatigue, and a change in appetite.
However, PMDD symptoms are much more severe. They can often include intense mood swings that lead to a feeling of loss of control, migraines, insomnia, swelling, severe cramping, and tenderness and pain throughout the body.
Both PMS and PMDD can make women feel in desperate need of a stress management tool.
Our favorite — and one that’s been scientifically proven to be effective?
So, how can weed help you with stress management over the course of your menstrual cycle?
Read on to find out.
We get it: as a woman, there is nothing that sends you into a blind rage quite as quickly as someone (usually, a man) suggesting that the reason why you’re so emotional is likely due to the arrival of your period.
However, we’ve also all had those moments where we’re suddenly sobbing at a cheesy television commercial, or having a breakdown over the fact that the grocery store is out of our favorite ice cream flavor, wondering what’s really going on.
The takeaway here?
Stress and mood swings around your period can be incredibly difficult to predict.
Lots of us find that our stress levels can vary greatly according to where we are in our menstrual cycle — and that those levels aren’t always the same every month.
However, stress comes with severe side effects — which is why proper stress management is so important.
In addition to the emotional toll, stress can cause insomnia, tension and aches in your muscles, an upset stomach, and can even lead to disruptions in your menstrual cycle.
So, why all the emotional turmoil around your period?
Mainly, it’s because of a high fluctuation in hormone levels — especially your body’s estrogen levels.
Right before your period comes, your levels of estrogen will be at an all-time high. However, on day one of your period, those estrogen levels plummet. Then, they’ll go all over the map again over the course of your cycle. This can cause serious emotional stress.
Additionally, your body’s level of progesterone is also to blame. It follows the same up and down pattern of your estrogen levels but is what’s especially to blame for any depression that you feel in the days close to your period.
Finally, your body’s production of serotonin — AKA those “feel good” natural chemicals in your body — will also fluctuate over the course of your cycle.This hormonal imbalance is estimated to have some kind of an impact on the actual neurotransmitters in your brain.
When you have low levels of serotonin in your body, you can crave carbs, deal with intense mood swings, and even be faced with feelings of hopelessness.
While watching what you eat and even going for a quick run around the block can help you to manage your period stress?
Marijuana may be even more beneficial.
Let’s explore the link between marijuana and stress management now.
So, how can marijuana help you to deal with the hormonal and chemical imbalances created by your menstrual cycle? And how can it help to mentally relax you when you’re dealing with the symptoms of PMS or PMDD?
It all starts in your brain.
Your brain already contains natural cannabinoid receptors.
In addition to managing physical pain, these receptors are also what helps to control and regulate your emotions. These receptors create natural chemicals in your body that are designed to relieve anxiety and even create a fight-or-flight response to stressors.
This all takes place in the amygdala region of your brain — and during your period, hormonal changes can have a serious impact on your neurotransmitters.
The THC found in marijuana actually interacts directly with these neurotransmitters, attempting to restore your body’s natural balance of chemicals and hormones. It also causes your body to physically relax, which can help to gradually lower the amount of emotional pain and stress that you likely feel.
It helps your body to create more of the natural chemicals used to manage emotional stress, while also strengthening the potency of the natural chemicals that are already in your body.
However, if you’re using marijuana as a stress management tool, it’s important that you don’t overdo it.
Smoking or taking too much can actually compound your stress.
To stay on the safe side, we recommend no more than three puffs. When you’re shopping for your strain (more on that in a minute) look for those with a THC content of just under 25%.
Of course, in addition to mental stress, your menstrual cycle can often come with physical pain.
Cramps, aches, stiff joints (no pun intended)…you name it, your period can cause you to feel it.
Luckily, as well as marijuana and CBD oil work as a stress management tool, they also work wonders as a pain management tool.
By helping to supplement the amount of endocannabinoids, or feel-good natural chemicals, in your body. In addition to giving you that natural “high,” endocannabindoids also help your body to manage its response to pain.
While your body does produce endocannabinoids on its own, the THC content of marijuana also creates cannabinoids.
The cannabinoids created by THC last a lot longer than the ones created naturally in your own body. This means that you’ll be able to stay out of pain for longer and that the amount of pain you feel will also be lessened.
So, the next time your cramps are out of control? Take an edible or a few puffs of marijuana, and then chill out for a few hours — no heating pad required.
Whether you’re looking for stress management or pain management as it relates to your menstrual cycle, you need to be sure that you’re choosing the strain of marijuana that can get the job done.
Usually, when you’re looking for weed to manage PMS, you’ll want to look for Indica strains, as they provide a nice body high.
We especially love Purple Urkle, which has a THC content of between 18-21%. In addition to helping you deal with cramps, this strain can also help to calm your anxiety. Plus, it has an awesome sweet berry taste to it, which can help you to manage your cravings.
If you’re looking for something that will help you to fall asleep and manage more severe depression and anxiety related to your period?
Well then, we think that you can’t go wrong with the Hybrid strain Blackberry Cheesecake. This has a THC content of about 24%, so you’ll be feeling the effects of this one pretty quickly.
Additionally, you’ll feel incredibly mentally relaxed, as this strain can chase away those racing thoughts that come with anxiety.
Finally, we also love Obama Kush, an Indica strain with a THC content of between 14-21%.
It’s perfect for those dealing with extreme cramping and period pain, but can also help you to tune out negative, obsessive thoughts. This is also an energizing strain, so it’s great if you have a long workday ahead of you and don’t want pain and stress to slow you down.
Thanks to this post, you now have a much better understanding of exactly how marijuana in any form can help with stress management over the course of your menstrual cycle.
Of course, sometimes, the depression, fatigue, and anxiety that you feel may have nothing at all to do with your menstrual cycle. Instead, you might be dealing with another, even severe, form of mental illness.
While we always advocate for the benefits of talk therapy, we also want to encourage you to try marijuana as a natural way to manage the side effects of any mood swings or bouts of depression you’re experiencing.
Join our online community to connect with other people in your situation, and learn about how marijuana has worked for them.
Looking for a dispensary in your area, or in search of specific marijuana products?