The compound is certainly trendy, but the research is scant. Women often experience pelvic pain, or pain below the belly button and above the legs. Have you ever considered CBD to help reduce the pain? Here's what you need to know. Pure Craft CBD offers CBD Oil 1000mg & 2000mg flavored CBD tinctures, CBD Gummy Bears, CBD Oil for Dogs and more! Discover Pure Craft CBD PURE CRAFT BLOG
Can CBD Prevent Pelvic Pain?
The compound is certainly trendy, but the research is scant.
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I suffer from pelvic pain, specifically vaginismus. I’ve been reading about the benefits of CBD with pain. I was wondering if CBD salves or lubricants were safe to use internally? And if CBD will actually reduce the pain one experiences with vaginismus.
Vaginismus is a medical condition where the muscles of the pelvic floor (the muscles that support the bladder, vagina and rectum) have excessive tension. This can lead to both pelvic pain and pain with sex. There is no data to support using CBD vaginally (or by any other route) for this pain condition. There is some evidence linking cannabis use in the previous four months with increased vaginal yeast colonization, but CBD has not been studied independently.
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CBD, or cannabidiol, is a nonpsychoactive compound found in cannabis. CBD is “in” right now for many medical conditions, not just ones that are painful. The data supporting CBD use for most conditions is generally low quality or completely absent, so it is important to separate the fad from the facts so you can make an informed choice about your body.
CBD may play a role in reducing pain and muscle spasm for some conditions, but there are still a lot of unknowns. An oral spray with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis) and CBD is approved for use in other countries for muscle spasm caused by multiple sclerosis as well as for some kinds of chronic pain. However, it is not possible to directly translate this data to vaginal use or to apply it to a different medical condition.
We do not know how CBD would act vaginally since cannabinoid receptors in the vagina have not yet been studied. We also don’t know how much CBD would be absorbed into the bloodstream or if absorption is needed to produce an effect. (In this case, if the drug has to enter the bloodstream to work, there is probably no benefit to vaginal use).
We also don’t know what effect CBD could have on the pelvic floor muscles. There is one study that tells us natural endocannabinoids actually reduce during sexual excitement, so it is biologically plausible that CBD could increase pelvic floor muscle tone (meaning it would be very unhelpful for spasm). There is also some data that suggests cannabis use is associated with a higher rate of vaginal yeast colonization. We don’t know if this is from the THC, CBD or other cannabinoids.
Essentially, we don’t know what we don’t know about CBD and the vagina. I recommend that any woman (or man) with pelvic floor muscle spasm skip CBD and instead see an Ob/Gyn or urologist with expertise in that area, as well as a specialized pelvic floor physical therapist.
Dr. Jen Gunter, Twitter’s resident gynecologist, is teaming up with our editors to answer your questions about all things women’s health. From what’s normal for your anatomy, to healthy sex, to clearing up the truth behind strange wellness claims, Dr. Gunter, who also writes a column called, The Cycle, promises to handle your questions with respect, forthrightness and honesty.
CBD For Pelvic Pain and Painful Sex by Julia Rubin – VuVatech.com
Pain is one of our body’s ways of letting us know that something is wrong. Women in particular often experience pelvic pain, or pain below the belly button and above the legs. This can be caused by a number of things, from cysts to digestive problems. Some women experience pelvic pain after giving birth. Others have a more serious medical condition that is causing the pain, such as endometriosis, which has no cure despite popular assumption.
It is very important to see a doctor if you have pelvic pain. But no matter the cause of your pain, know that cannabis can be of great help! It has been used for centuries around the world to cure ailments and alleviate symptoms, and research has shown that it is safer than the use of opiod pain medications.
How Cannabis Offers Pain Relief
Our bodies make natural chemical receptors called endocannabinoids. They are part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a harm reduction system found in the brain, nervous system, and elsewhere. They keep everything from our sleep to our appetites running smoothly. It is a common misconception that these receptors only live in the brain and nervous system. They can also be found in the skin, gut, and reproductive organs. They are even found in break milk!
Researchers continue to find evidence that the ECS is important when it comes to treating pain and inflammation.
When our bodies cannot naturally heal themselves, cannabis can be a great helper. The cannabis plant has properties that mimic endocannabinoids and gives the body and brain a boost.
There are two main compounds found in cannabis: THC and CBD. Both are very effective in managing pain. THC gives us that familiar “high,” while CBD does not. For instance, medicinal CBD oil contains small amounts of THC, so users get all of the benefits of cannabis without altering their state of mind. A Canadian study found no serious side effects of medical cannabis after one year of pain treatment.
Way back in 1988, researchers in London found that cannabis is up to four times more effective than aspirin at treating inflammation. That’s great news, as aspirin can result in fatal overdoses, while cannabis cannot.
Prescription opioids like oxycodone can also cause nausea and vomiting, while cannabis might relieve your tummy troubles and increase your appetite. Opioids are also addictive.
States like Oregon, California, and Washington have seen a decrease in opioid overdoses. It’s no wonder, as cannabis is legal in all three of them, and many are trading in their opioid drugs for medical weed.
Understanding Your Pain
It is important to try and find the root cause of your pain. Acute pain is sudden and intense, while chronic pain is long-lasting and consistent. It can even get worse over time. Usually, it lasts for three months or longer.
Acute pelvic pain might be caused by PMS, stomach troubles, or a ruptured cyst. Chronic pelvic pain may be the sign of an underlying disease, such as adenomyosis. This condition causes pain during periods and pressure on the bladder. Other sufferers might have chronic pelvic pain syndrome, a condition found in men that is caused by inflammation of the prostate gland. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty urinating, sexual problems, and general pain in the pelvic region.
At 2011 study at the University of California at San Francisco concluded that cannabis can be a powerful remedy for chronic pelvic pain. In 2014, researchers found that 61 percent of people who had used cannabis to treat chronic pelvic pain syndrome showed improved symptoms. While cannabis may not work as well for everyone in pain management, it’s definitely worth giving a try.
Finding the Best Strains for Your Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain can make daily life very difficult. Symptoms might include bloating, cramps, spotting between periods, and lower back pain. When it comes to treating pain, some strains of cannabis are far more effective than others. It is always important to think about what time of day you are using cannabis, and what kind of pain you are having.
Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal itself. It is also often the root cause of pain. Cannabis can treat inflammation and relieve pain all across the body.
Strains with a high amount of CBD help reduce inflammation without getting you high. If you need to work, operate machinery, or concentrate on tasks during the day, high CBD strains are probably your best bet.
For instance, Cannatonic contains less than six percent THC and will leave you calm and relaxed. It’s a popular strain for those with chronic pain. Harlequin, a sativa dominant hybrid, has a CBD/THC ratio of 5/2.
Canna-Tsu is also a sativa dominant hybrid and is very popular in providing pain relief while leaving you clear-headed and happy.
“The popularity may be related to the effects on symptom relief and the fact that higher CBD products produce less cognitive disruption and therefore leave patients more functional and clear-headed,” Dr. Sherellen Gerhart told HelloMD.
However, if you want more THC or have some downtime, try strains like Sour Diesel, which can give you a boost of energy and creativity. OG Kush, an indica dominant hybrid, can be great for back pain relief and muscle spasms. Try smoking or vaping some in the evenings, as it also works to treat insomnia.
Some believe the best strains for pain relief contain both CBD and THC. When combined, they work together to increase each other’s powerful effects.
Topical Cannabis Creams are Always an Option
If you don’t want to smoke, vape, or eat edibles, topical cannabis cream can be a great alternative for relieving your pelvic pain. Types of topicals include lotions, balms, or oils that absorb directly into the skin. It’s non-addictive, powerful, and all-natural stuff. Plus, they won’t get you high. Cannabis cream works wonders to reduce inflammation and relax the muscles.
Simply apply the cream directly to where you are having pain. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and foods high in fat and sugar while you are using the cream can also help de-stress the body. Every topical cream is different. Some have cooling menthol, while others create a warming sensation. OG Kush Cream even contains emu oil, which helps the skin absorb it nicely.
Eat Some CBD Edibles
Edibles with high amounts of CBD, like Cheeba Chews, are a delicious way to relieve inflammation. If your pain is related to your period, try OM EDIBLES™. They’ve been endorsed by the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, who strongly advocates for medical cannabis legalization. (She even has her own product line for menstrual cramps called Maya & Whoopi’s OM EDIBLES™).
Try Taking a Cannabis Bubble Bath
It may sound simple, but a nice, warm bath can really help relax your muscles and ease your pain, especially if cannabis is involved.
Add cannabis bath bombs (which you can make at home) to warm bathwater, and let your body enter a deep state of relaxation. This relaxing soak can also help with eczema and various skin issues. We also recommend not letting the water get too hot, as scalding water can amp up your nervous system instead of calming it down.
To make your bath truly unbelievable, smoke or vape a great strain of pain-relieving cannabis while soaking in the tub. You’ll thank us later.
CBD For Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain — it’s a common condition among women, but men can suffer from it, too. Whether the pain is due to issues in your digestive, reproductive, or urinary system, it can be debilitating.
What’s worse is when you’re told that the pain’s all in your head, or that you just have to deal with it. But what if there was a natural way to ease the pain?
Many people suffering with chronic pelvic pain are taking their health into their own hands. And some are turning to CBD for relief.
Some swear by its ability to ease their pain. And it seems like science is catching up, too. Let’s take a look at how CBD may be able to help with pelvic pain.
Pelvic Pain: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment
Pelvic pain is a broad term that is used to describe any pain that occurs in the pelvic region. A wide range of possible causes means that pelvic pain can be due to things like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, infection, or interstitial cystitis. The pain could also be constant or intermittent, slow developing or sudden.
Causes Of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain can happen due to a number of reasons. Some pelvic pain is caused by problems with the reproductive organs, such as endometriosis or ovarian cysts. Other reasons for pelvic pain could be an infection, such as a UTI.
Some common conditions that cause pelvic pain:(1)
- Menstrual cramps
- Reproductive tract cancers
- Uterine fibroids
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Urinary tract infection
- Ulcerative colitis
Diagnosis & Treatment Of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain-related conditions are diagnosed by a healthcare provider based on a person’s medical history and a physical examination. Sometimes tests like blood tests, diagnostic imaging, urinalysis, or pregnancy tests may be needed to pinpoint the cause of the pelvic pain.
Treatment will also vary depending on the cause of the pelvic pain. Some common treatments include over-the-counter or prescription medications, antibiotics, contraceptives, physical therapy, or surgery.
It often takes a combined approach of different treatments to find physical and emotional relief from pelvic pain.
CBD For Pelvic Pain: Does It Work?
The surveys are in — people are definitely using CBD to manage their pelvic pain symptoms.(2)
How does CBD fare? To see how CBD might help in the treatment of pelvic pain, we have to look at the different triggers of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain can be from vulvar/vaginal pain disorders, uterine diseases, urologic pain disorders, or other inflammatory conditions.
Let’s see how CBD might help with all of these different types of pelvic pain.
CBD For Vulvar & Sexual Pain Disorders
Sexual pain disorders are more common than you think. Many women struggle with pain during sex due to:
- Vaginismus: A tightening of the muscles around the vagina
- Vulvodynia: Chronic pain of the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening
- Dyspareunia: Genital pain during intercourse
- Pelvic floor tightness: Pelvic muscles tighten and are unable to relax
Often, sexual pain is unexplained pain — meaning no one knows why it’s happening. Thus, it frequently goes undiagnosed. But, if you’re experiencing pain during sex be sure to find a doctor who won’t dismiss your concerns.
In addition to being medical issues, these conditions could be triggered by stress. Stress can cause the pelvic floor muscles to tighten and could contribute to sexual pain.
Some studies suggest that CBD might reduce muscle spasms.(3) This might help relax the pelvic floor muscles.
For more on CBD and sex, read: Does CBD Help. Sexually?.
CBD For Uterine Conditions
Endometriosis is a uterine tissue disorder that can cause a lot of pain. Patients with endometriosis report taking cannabis to self-treat their symptoms. The most common reasons reported include pain reduction, addressing gastrointestinal issues, and improving mood.(4)
There’s some good news too. There’s a clinical trial in the works to evaluate CBD for the treatment of endometriosis-associated pain.(5) Keep tabs on this one!
CBD For Urinary Tract Pelvic Pain
Urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome (UCPPS) is a syndrome that includes several conditions that lead to pain and frequent urination. For those who aren’t responding well to standard therapies, doctors are starting to prescribe medical marijuana as a treatment for the management of UCPPS.(6)
CBD For Other Pelvic & Inflammatory Conditions
In pelvic floor dysfunction, the muscles and tissues that support the pelvic organs are constantly tightened. Your body is unable to relax those muscles, which can lead to painful and frequent urination, as well as constipation.
CBD might help to relax the pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to less pain and fewer bathroom trips.(7)
CBD Products For Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain is a complex condition that often requires a multi-faceted approach to treatment. If CBD oil sounds like a part of that approach for you, here are a few product types to consider:
Tips On Choosing CBD For Your Pelvic Pain
Too many options? Not sure where to start? Here are a few pointers:
- Topical CBD is made for localized pain relief. It could be used on top of the skin around the pelvic area.
- CBD oil, tinctures, softgels, and gummies can be taken orally and provide more systemic relief.
- CBD oil, which is taken sublingually, skips the digestive tract. This means it may get to work more quickly than an edible CBD product.
- CBD suppositories are a newer product that may also help to provide cannabidiol near the pelvic floor muscles.
- No matter which CBD product you choose, opt for one formulated to have high bioavailability.
- Consider layering different types of CBD products for maximum relief from pelvic pain. Read our blog Layering CBD: How To Do It Safely & Effectively for tips.
Final note for those seeking pelvic pain relief: CBD is not an FDA-approved product for treating pelvic conditions. Research suggests that it might help ease pain, though it’s not approved to treat or prevent any pelvic infections, diseases, or conditions. Talk to your doc for more guidance on whether CBD is a good fit for your needs.
Can CBD Help With Pelvic Pain? Maybe!
There are many different types of pelvic pain — indeed dozens of conditions could lead to this type of discomfort. But whatever the source of your symptoms, CBD oil might be able to offer some relief.
If you’re experiencing chronic pelvic pain, chat with your doctor about whether CBD has a place in your pain management plan!