Weed for Endometriosis

Written by Manila Hoang March 10, 2022
The PlantThe Product

Cannabis is known to help with anxiety, eases pain and irritation and a plethora of other uses. With the continuous research of its benefits, scientists have recently found that patients who use cannabis to ease the pain of endometriosis are yielding incredible results. As our culture shifts to find alternatives to big pharmaceuticals, cannabis offers itself as a more holistic approach to medicine

Endometriosis is a chronic disease in which there is an abnormal growth of tissue cells either on the inside or outside of the uterus. The overgrowth of the endometrial tissue is caused by the excess amount of estrogen. Once the menstrual cycle is underway the excess growth will break down and shed, causing pain throughout the month.

But depending on the growths, also called lesions, the pain associated will differ. Some people will experience a range of symptoms and some may not have any symptoms. 

The symptoms are generally found in the pelvic area causing excruciating cramps. Other symptoms include having pain during sex, heavy menstruation flow or irregular menstruation, lower back stiffness, gastrointestinal issues and may cause infertility. 

Endometriosis affects 176 million women worldwide. Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis but many doctors prescribe hormone-balancing meds to ease the excess levels of estrogen through birth control pills, androgenic hormones, and injections. For the pain and discomfort, over the counter or prescription painkillers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen are commonly used. Sometimes, minimally invasive surgery is suggested to remove lesions as well. 

That being said, the side effects of the treatments normally prescribed for the disease may cause bone loss or even affect pregnancy. Other possible side effects of current meds include suicidal thoughts, worsening mood, and liver problems. With these major side effects, it’s no wonder people are seeking alternatives.

Yoga, stretching, and breathing techniques are also commonly practiced to relieve symptoms but there are only so many ways our bodies can twist and turn. And some people don’t have the ability for these practices due to physical ailments and restrictions. 

How Weed Works in the Body

Our bodies have what we know as the endocannabinoid system, also known as ECS. These molecules are made in our body and are similar to the cannabinoids in cannabis. These compounds are found on receptors throughout the body.

The receptors called CB1 are located in the central nervous system while CB2 receptors are primarily found in the peripheral nervous system. The body creates enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids after they’ve carried out their functions. 

Discovered more than 20 years ago, the ECS is known to regulate processes in the body like sleep, appetite, mood, memory, pain sensations and reproduction. THC and CBD are known to bind to ECS receptors but the two cannabinoids interact with the system in different ways. While THC proliferates cell growth, CBD minimizes production and decreases the chance of cell migration. Because THC alone can stimulate excess growth, patients should consider counteracting its effects with a balance of CBD.

Promising Research

Clinical research conducted by Strainprint Technologies Ltd., a Canadian data technology company, showed that women reported that cannabis effectively reduced the symptoms of endometriosis, particularly pelvic pain. They surveyed 252 women which had a total number of 16,187 recorded cannabis sessions. 

Published in 2021, their data shows that “cannabis appears to be effective for pelvic pain, gastrointestinal issues and mood, with effectiveness differing based on method of ingestion… Oral forms appeared to be superior compared to inhaled forms in the less commonly reported mood or gastrointestinal categories.”

Another study from 2010 revealed that cannabinoids had an anti-proliferative effect on tissue overgrowth. This means that cannabis has the ability to not only reduce the symptoms, but possibly could treat the disease itself. 

Though research for pain relief with cannabis is still developing, the results sound promising. With little to no side effects, weed is continuing to grow in popularity as a treatment for the symptoms. Strainprint Technologies is one of many companies jumpstarting this sector of clinical research, but there is still a need to delve deeper into this alternative approach.

Side effects of using cannabis include mood and appetite change, insomnia, dry mouth along with fatigue. Compared to the typical side effects we can possibly have from hormone-balancing pills, fatigue may sound more appealing than the symptoms associated with endometriosis. 

Now that we’ve gone over how cannabis can reduce endometriosis symptoms, how do we know what product would suit us best? Depending on the location of pain, there are various ways a patient can treat symptoms.

Spotting Real CBD in the Wild

Not all CBD is made the same. Healthline’s list of criteria helps users determine which CBD product is legitimate:

  • Must have proof of being tested with a third party ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • Made with U.S.A.-grown hemp
  • Must not exceed more than 0.3 percent of THC

Other criteria considered are:

  • Company certifications
  • Formula potency
  • Overall ingredients

Dr. Amy Gajjar on Honahlee explains that self-medicating with cannabis should start with low doses and increase if need be. She also mentions that endometriosis patients should begin by using CBD oil as a way to create a baseline for pain mitigation. If there happens to be breakthrough pain, then THC should be introduced into treatment alongside CBD. 

Packaged in a glass bottle with a dropper, oil application is simple and effective. CBD oils are taken orally and can be dropped under the tongue or added to food and beverages. Foria is among many brands producing oil— some of which include Lazarus Naturals and Saha Self-Care to name a few.

Magic in a bottle could possibly be real. CBD oils have gotten praise from multiple health and wellness sites to big magazine companies. Reviews claim that patients can finally take back their life and eradicate underlying pain with a few drops. Sounds nothing short of a miracle. 

Lotions and balms are another vehicle for treatment. The lower abdomen pain caused by either endometriosis or menstruation are directly targeted with topicals that will deliver quick relief. CBD patches can also do the same job. 

PureKana’s patch is fast-acting, easy peel and stick application and removal, and can last up to 4 days. Period cycles can last up to a week, and since this product is waterproof and long lasting, there wouldn’t be an incessant need to reapply. 

It’s made with a full-spectrum CBD meaning it contains all the beneficial compounds of the cannabis plant. Known as the “entourage effect,” CBD’s therapeutic effects are amplified with compounds like terpenes and flavonoids. Full-spectrum does include THC, but no more than 0.3%.

Patients will also get to choose from ingredients like broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Understanding the various forms of CBD will help differentiate the endless amount of products available. 

Broad-spectrum CBD, similar to full-spectrum, contains multiple compounds that heighten its effects. Though it has similar compounds to full-spectrum, it does not contain any THC. If patients are looking for the wellness benefit from weed without the psychoactive effects, broad-spectrum may be the CBD of choice.

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. It does not contain any of the cannabinoids found in broad- and full-spectrum, nor does it contain any THC. Though this is a highly processed ingredient, some say that CBD isolate is the safest to use. Because it does not contain the potential benefits from an entourage effect, it may not be sufficient enough to treat all pain. Plus, patients are prone to apply isolate in higher doses than other forms of CBD to counteract chronic symptoms. 

Taking back control of your sex life may be one of the more difficult symptoms to treat when it comes to endometriosis. For those who have pain associated with sex, CBD lube and suppositories are available and gaining traction amongst consumers. Just like other personal lubricants, it’s applied directly onto the skin and can be massaged in, while suppositories can be inserted rectally or vaginally. 

A person straddles a bed as they begin to lift their shirt over their body.
Daniel Faro, "Intimacy," Death to Stock

Allison Walton for Blood and Milk writes, “Like countless others, I’ve lived the vicious cycle of emotional and physical discomfort that fed frustrations and beliefs that my body was incapable of pleasure—and that living with endometriosis would therefore be a lifelong burden, sexually and otherwise.” 

Walton mentions that with the use of CBD lube her levels of intimacy rose since her focus was no longer on the consistent pain she had to endure. She also states that it has reduced her flare-ups and even intensified her orgasms. 

“As a result, this renewed appreciation, respect, and confidence within my own body has allowed me to more openly communicate my sexual desires and needs to my partner, especially during those times I fall victim to endometriosis pain.”

Allison Watson, Blood and Milk

If you’re looking to try CBD lube, BlackbirdGo.com offers a range of CBD products to assist with pain mitigation. Depending on the location, you may find Green Revolution at your local dispensary. Made with full-spectrum CBD, their water-based lube has a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC. It’s applicator tip also vibrates which adds to the foreplay you want before sex, and it’s safe to use with condoms.

Green Revolution, Intimate Lubricant

Endometriosis doesn’t always have to mean a lifelong recurrence of pain. CBD offers so many benefits that patients no longer have to turn to pharmaceuticals with harsh ingredients and side effects. Along with proactively reducing pain and irritation, some may find pleasure in their sex life more than ever before. 

If you think CBD is right for you, BlackbirdGo.com offers a multitude of CBD products that can be delivered right to your door. 

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