Dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation is a very common condition in females in their early 20’s and 30’s. It usually begins around the time of menstruation. Symptoms typically last less than three days.
Symptoms of dysmenorrhea can include; but are not constrained to, tenderness and discomfort in the groin, lower back discomfort, thigh and hip pain, dizziness, puking, and diarrhoea. In women who menstruate, it also happens to be one of the most known origins of pelvic discomfort.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined dysmenorrhea as the most important cause of chronic pelvic pain because of its effects not only on those who suffer from it, but also on the greater society, as it significantly effects people's productivity and quality of life. It is estimated that anywhere from, 50-90% of women experience dysmenorrhea each month, yet it goes drastically underreported since it's historically been considered a normal part of menses in many societies, leaving most women who have this ailment don't go to the doctor and suffer alone.
Therefore, it is beneficial for society at large, to find more ways to manage this condition that causes a great deal of pain and discomfort and is also associated with depression and anxiety, with the potential to severely affect a person’s overall Quality of Life.
Why are Periods Painful?
During an individual's menstrual cycle, the endometrium thickens in preparation for potential pregnancy. After ovulation, if the ovum is not fertilised and there is no pregnancy, the built-up uterine tissue is not needed and thus shed.
Prostaglandins and leukotrienes are released during menstruation, release of prostaglandins and other inflammatory mediators in the uterus cause the uterus to contract and can result in systemic symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloating and headaches or migraines.
NSAIDs and birth control pills are commonly used medication for controlling pain during menstruation, but they have side effects of nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, peptic ulcers and diarrhoea. Prolong use of birth control pills also affects hormone production which leads to imbalance of hormones.
CBD Oil for Cramps
The use of cannabis for menstrual related issues dates back thousands of years in Traditional Indian Medicine. In Ayurveda, use of Cannabis or Vijaya is mentioned for quickly relieving pain during menstruation. According to Ayurveda, Pain mainly occurs due to increase in Vata dosha. Vijaya being an Ushna potency medicine, it reduces Vata dosha and hence subsides the pain. Also, due to Increase in Tama guna, the capacity of the brain to sense the pain is reduced by Vijaya/ Cannabis and hence pain sensation is reduced.
Due to presence of Cannabinoids like CBD have shown to reduce cytokine and chemokine levels post administration of cannabis-based medication, which suppresses inflammatory responses by binding to CB2 receptors present on immune cells and could help to alleviate period pain.
CBD slows down electrical signalling to muscles, increasing muscle relaxation, and reducing cramping. A few women may find CBD beneficial for anxiety linked to PMS as it also appears to be useful for reducing anxiety.
Hence, Hemp leaf extract works wonders in managing menstrual pain
Written by - Dr. Harshad Jain