My period lasts a hellish six days, with cramping on the first and last days. I've never experienced pain so bad I can't walk, but I feel decidedly gross throughout the week.
Lately, instead of popping Midol to deal with the pain, I've been smoking weed for relief.
Marijuana takes my mind off the misery that is menstruation, helping me completely forget I have a wad of cotton shoved up my vagina. My stomach stops feeling achy and bloated, and instead I just get the munchies. While recent studies show that marijuana can help relieve pain, there hasn't been enough research into the effects of smoking pot on your period for physicians to recommend it yet.
Unfortunately, I can't claim to be the genius who came up with this brilliant alternative method to dealing with period struggles. Using cannabis to treat menstruation pains has been going on for centuries.
Swollen, painful breasts were a problem for women way back in the 11th century, too. For relief, they used a cannabis topical cream mixed with lamb fat. The mixture was said to "disperse the swelling."
One of the earliest forms of period pain relief for women came in a little bottle of dysmenine, a cannabis-based syrup. It was prescribed to women during the 17th century, designed to treat everything from "nervous hysteria" to cramps.
Even Queen Victoria's royal physician prescribed cannabis delivered by syringe to ease her royal menstrual struggles back in the 19th century.
The days of dysmenine are long over, but we have modern options available for ladies who want to trade Midol for marijuana. Today, innovative minds have gotten creative with weed's many menstrual uses.
If you ever thought about sticking a nug of weed up your vagina instead of a tampon, that basically exists already. Foria vaginal suppositories are made of three ingredients: organic cocoa butter, CBD isolate and CO2 distilled THC oil. The product, though not yet FDA approved, relaxes muscles and provides relief from cramps.
The suppositories come in a 4-pack that costs $44. Each suppository is considered as one dose. You can purchase them online, but you need to have a medical marijuana card and must join the brand's medical marijuana collective.
The magic of Fiora is that you don't experience a head high, but the THC is absorbed into the bloodstream directly. The high is noticeable but won't interrupt daily activities. You also have to freeze it for 15 minutes before inserting it so it doesn't dissolve too quickly.
You won't find any medieval lamb fat to rub on breasts, but there are cannabis-infused topical creams out there you can try. Again, there are a lack of studies on the effectiveness of these products, but cannabis has been proven to help with swelling.
Apothecanna has a $40 calming body creme that helps ease tension and, aside from anti-inflammatory cannabis, boasts ingredients like lavender and chamomile. Anyone can buy lotions containing CBD, but products that contain THC must be purchased from select stores in states where marijuana is legal.
These products are good alternatives for women who want to explore cannabis as a remedy to period pain without actually lighting up. If smoking weed is no problem for you, however, there are different strains of weed to help with different menstrual symptoms. However, the way it makes you feel varies for everyone. Some women have found that smoking weed regularly causes their periods to be irregular and shorter, while others experience increased blood flow.
A strain called Blue Dream, for example, is a favorite to help with moods, relaxation and handling cramps. It's a strain hybrid, providing more of a pain-reducing body high and helping lift spirits. Leafly makes it easy to research strains, their qualities and availability if you're interested in conquering your period pain by lighting up.
While I appreciate innovations in cannabis technology, I'm going to keep getting my pain relief the old-fashioned way, by smoking. I'm already using my period as an excuse to polish off a full-size bag of peanut M&Ms, why not blame it on the munchies, too?