Painful periods are one of the most common medical conditions in the country, affecting millions of women every month. Yet despite the huge number of home remedies and “life hacks” for dealing with them, there are still few effective treatments that don’t rely heavily upon pain medications.
But cannabis-infused tampons — just introduced to the women’s alternative health market — may offer an alternative. These vaginal suppositories, which have been infused with compounds found in cannabis plants, are one of the most promising potential treatments for PMS in recent memory. Proponents say they can relieve painful menstrual cramps, reduce bloating, ease constipation, and possibly even help to balance the mood swings that so many women experience during their periods.
In addition to the average woman with the average period, women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) stand to gain the most from the development of cannabis tampons. PMDD is a relatively unknown condition, but is thought to affect around 10 percent of women in America. It causes more severe symptoms than the average period, and can have a damaging impact on mental health over time.
Although not all women experience the same menstrual symptoms, as of yet there is no standard treatment to cover the most common ones in a holistic way. Moreover, the fact that many women experience them on a monthly basis makes them wary of turning to conventional medications that could do their bodies more harm than good in the long run.
If researchers are correct, cannabis tampons could offer the all-natural, chemical-free solution that women have been searching for. But as with any products, there are pros and cons to using them.
One of the major advantages to using these products is the fact that they could be a viable alternative to traditional pain medications. At the moment, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen are commonly used to treat period pain, but as many women can attest to, they’re often ineffective. A common response is simply to use more, but this can potentially lead to other problems, as heavy use of these medications has been linked with significant side effects like stomach bleeding.
Not only could cannabis tampons provide relief without such side effects (or getting you high, at least according to most manufacturers’ claims), they also work for longer periods of time, according to anecdotal reports from women who’ve used them. These claims haven’t been confirmed by clinical studies yet, but that could be changing soon as the government relaxes restrictions on cannabis research.
Another advantage of using cannabis tampons is the fact that they may address more than just period pain, but also the myriad other symptoms that most women experience during a menstrual cycle. Right now, women who experience severe periods tend to rely on a number of different products to manage individual symptoms.
For example, they might take a pain medication for cramps, a laxative to ease constipation, skin care products to help with hormonal acne, and even sleeping pills to help with sleep problems during their cycle. However, due to cannabis’ unique interactions with the body’s endocannabinoid system, these tampons have the potential to tackle all of these issues at once by restoring balance to the body’s hormone levels, which are the root cause of many period symptoms.
Cannabis tampons do come with some downsides, however, and perhaps the significant drawback to using them is the exorbitant price tag. A pack of eight Foria cannabis tampons, for example, comes in at $72, a cost which is simply out of the reach of most women, considering it’s a monthly expense. It’s possible to make your own, but it’s a delicate process that requires no small amount of technical know-how, and many prefer the simplicity of taking a CBD capsule or THC gummy bear.
Another issue is that they aren’t particularly convenient. The instructions for use say that you should lie down, insert one of the tampons, and wait approximately 15 minutes for the compounds to get to work on relieving your symptoms. This is all very well and good if your period is considerate enough to only arrive when you’re at home, but for the majority of women who find themselves caught out in the workplace, a classroom, or anywhere else, this is just not realistic.