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How CBD Alleviates Menstrual Symptoms

Posted by Annette Crocker on
How CBD Alleviates Menstrual Symptoms


Rich in health benefits, CBD is now a hot market commodity that is lauded as having huge medical potential. A new player in medicinal science, CBD is emerging as a serious competitor against traditional pharmaceuticals. 

CBD is most praised for its apparent ability to provide pain relief, shadowing over-the-counter staples such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Better yet, evidence suggests the multifaceted substance demonstrates little to no health complications, unlike its pharmacological counterparts. 

As such, CBD is a crowd favorite when it comes to pain symptoms—including those that transpire during the menstrual cycle. 

What are Typical Symptoms of PMS?

Pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS) occur after ovulation and before the period cycle begins. Globally, PMS affects roughly 75% of menstruating women! Due to a fluctuation in hormone levels, women may experience up to 150 physical symptoms that include

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Swelling, pain, and cramps
  • Diarrhea, gas, and constipation
  • Swollen and tender breasts
  • Decreased light and noise tolerance

They may also experience emotional symptoms, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and sadness
  • Fatigue and sleep disturbances
  • Low sex drive
  • Changes in appetite and food cravings
  • Crying

A history of depression or family turbulence can exacerbate severe emotions. On the other hand, health-impacting habits such as smoking cigarettes, consuming caffeinated beverages, and over-indulging in sweets also worsen symptoms.    

Most women experience PMS in their thirties and through to menopause. In some cases, symptoms intensify with age, with some women developing Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). 

How Hormone Changes Result in PMS

The link between menstrual hormones and psychological and physical symptoms lies in the interaction between estrogen and serotonin. During this time, progesterone and estrogen levels rise, quickly dropping after ovulation. 

As these levels increase, symptoms such as breast tenderness and soreness begin to occur. When estrogen drops, so does serotonin. 

Traditional Methods of Treatment

PMS symptoms vary drastically among women and will either improve or heighten according to specific habits and treatment options. Symptoms such as cramping and migraines are easily remedied with over-the-counter medication, though they only serve as short-term solutions. 

Those experiencing swelling and irregularities might opt to correct hormonal imbalances with birth control pills or even relieve emotional disturbances with anti-anxiety medication. Though most pharmaceutical options are effective, incorporating physical and dietary lifestyle adjustments and alternative medicine are vital to providing long-term pain solutions. 

The Relationship Between CBD and PMS

CBD or cannabinoids are among the hundreds of chemical compounds derived from the hemp plant. Manufacturers dilute the substance in oil to sell as a non-psychoactive wellness product. 

Cannabinoids as a means of pain relief date back to 16th-century Chinese medical texts, though its health implications were limited to general research. Many have since believed in CBD’s ability to alleviate acute and chronic pain, which includes providing relief for menstrual cramps. 

In 2017, a study concluded its robust ability to reduce the emotional consequences of pain. Furthermore, research has identified powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that also eliminate acne—a common side effect of the menstrual cycle. 

Depending on the severity of symptoms, many women will turn to CBD oils, balms, lotions, and creams that are available for use topically or internally. Below are common symptoms that CBD is thought to help mitigate. 

  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Most women who suffer from PMS will typically experience bloating, nausea, and constipation. As per a 2011 study, CBD oil is believed to be effective in soothing stomach queasiness and regulating nausea. As such, regular ingestion is an excellent way to relieve general discomfort. 

  • Mood Swings
  • Hormonal imbalances are to pinpoint for emotional outbursts during the menstrual season. According to research regarding the link between depression and CBD, oils lessen mood swings during a cycle and demonstrate antidepressant-like effects

    CBD is a non-allosteric modulator—in layman’s terms, it is believed to directly inhibit harmful brain activities. Cannabidiol also supposedly enhances the effects of serotonergic receptors, which stabilize mood fluctuations.   

  • Insomnia and Hypersomnia
  • PMS is often a contributing factor towards sleep disorders, including insomnia and hypersomnia. In reality, women who experience PMS are twice as likely to experience sleeping problems before menstruation. As the body relies on an adequate amount of sleep to enhance functionality, lacking it—or getting too much of it—can result in severe fatigue, aches, and an inability to focus. 

    Contrary to popular belief, CBD is non-psychoactive, as legal amounts include less than 0.3% THC. Thus, patients are unlikely to develop a tolerance to it, nor does it demonstrate any risk of an overdose. 

    In contrast to its pharmaceutical parallels, CBD is thought to protect against human-made chemicals and toxins that eventually prove debilitating side effects. 

    The Science Behind CBD and Mitigating Pain

    The human body is equipped with an endocannabinoid system (ECS) and internal receptors. These cannabinoid receptors play a role in the brain and central nervous system, streamlining the gut’s digestive processes.  

    Overall, the ECS is responsible for maintaining a homogenous balance between cells. By ingesting CBD oil, the body’s internal cannabinoids function more efficiently, which may reduce stress and inflammation that magnify menstrual symptoms. 

    Studies show CBD allows the ECS to regulate central and peripheral nervous systems, where the pain is transmitted. As a result of PMS, some patients will experience bone and joint problems, leading to osteoarthritis unless early action is taken. 


    Nowadays, you’ll find no shortage of menstrual-related CBD products on popular eCommerce sites and at the recommendation of a few healthcare providers. While the use of CBD oil remains rampant among women suffering from PMS, patients can also choose to apply the product topically or even ingest hemp seeds. 

    Though scientific research regarding the link between CBD and PMS have yet to advance further, comprehensive studies demonstrate promising results. 

    From full-spectrum tinctures to more subdued isolates, shop with Solutions by Dr. Dave to soothe hampering pre-menstrual effects. All of our products are non-GMO, paraben and pesticide-free, and third-party tested to ensure positive results. Our high-quality, physician-formulated products aim to provide only the best hemp-derived formulations on the market. 

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