Menstrual Pain and Medicinal Cannabis

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What is normal in menstrual pain?

The menstrual cycle causes discomfort to women during their period for several days a month. Also known as dysmenorrhea, it manifests itself through colic in the lower abdomen, lower back pain, and can cause diarrhoea and/or headaches.

The pain and duration of this can vary from women to woman. In addition, factors such as age or having given birth can be determinants. There are two types of menstrual pain: primary and secondary. In the case of primary the most common, pain tends to decline as years go by. Secondary pain may be a symptom of other diseases such as endometriosis, it can appear later and may not correspondent to the duration of menstruation.

How can I tell the difference between menstrual pain and endometriosis?

Endrometriosis is much more than a menstrual pain. The main symptom that women with endometriosis have is pain that is much greater than the pain you normally have during menstruation. It is a very strong pain, which could be compared to the pain you feel when you have a heart attack.

The results of the studies carried out suggest that cannabinoids could offer some benefit as a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory treatment, allowing a reduction in discomfort during menstruation.

The use of medical cannabis to relieve menstrual pain

The use of cannabinoids to treat menstrual pains is not a new phenomenon [1]. There is evidence to suggest that it was used in older civilizations such as the Mesopotamian’s and Egyptian’s. Its use lasted even until the nineteenth century with the commercialisation of a drug known as “Dysmenine”.

Thanks to studies  [2] and trials [3] the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids have been discovered and highlighted.

The findings of these investigations allow to affirm that cannabis helps to reduce the reactivity to menstrual pain, inhibit the painful transmission and modify the perceptions of pain. Other investigators [4] also suggest that the manipulation of endocannabinoids and/or the use of exogenous cannabinoids in vivo may constitute a successful treatment against inflammatory disorders.

Currently, there are several products made from cannabis that help relieve discomfort during menstruation, allowing women to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids.

Bibliography on menstrual pain and the use of medicinal cannabis

[1] Russo, E. (2002). Cannabis treatments in obstetrics and gynecology: A historical review. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, 2(3-4), 5-35.

[2] Loeser JD, Melzack R. Pain: an overview. Lancet 1999; 353: 1607-09. Ref. SIETES

[3] Ashburn MA, Staats PS. Management of chronic pain. Lancet 2001; 357: 1865. Ref. SIETES

[4] Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333-1349

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Do you want to know more about the use of cannabis to relieve menstrual pain?

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