Does CBD Help with Period Cramps? Here's the Science

Does CBD Help with Period Cramps? Here's the Science

This article was written in partnership with Daye, a supporter of Peanut and women alike.

Tired of period cramps bringing you down? Saaaame.

Well, there might just be a knight in “budding” armor to save us ‒ CBD.

But does CBD really help with period cramps?

We’re about to find out.

So, let’s get the scoop on CBD for period cramps and see what the science has to say about it.

Before we start, we need to stress that the science around CBD is very young — much more research is needed before we can definitively say whether it can kick your cramps to the kerb.

In this article: 📝

  • Why do I get period cramps?
  • What is CBD?
  • Can CBD help with PMS?
  • Can I have CBD on my period?
  • Does CBD help with period depression?
  • Can you put CBD on a tampon?
  • What are the benefits of CBD tampons?
  • What else can CBD help with?
  • CBD tampons: our verdict

Why do I get period cramps?

Before we jump into CBD for cramps, let’s take a moment to grasp what’s going on with those not-so-fun period cramps.

It’s all about the uterus doing its thing, shedding its lining during menstruation, and those hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins being the culprits behind the crampy contractions!

And if you get cramps, you don’t need us to tell you that they can literally make the difference between a good day and a rough one.

But what can we do to alleviate cramps?

Well, some people are hyping up CBD for cramps as the ultimate relief.

New to CBD? Let’s break it down.

What is CBD?

CBD (aka cannabidiol) is a natural compound extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant.

Now, before you start thinking ‘high’, hold up!

Unlike its infamous counterpart THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD doesn’t bring on the psychoactive buzz.

Instead, it interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), the real MVP maintaining balance in your system.

The ECS takes charge of vital physiological functions, from how you perceive pain and deal with inflammation to even influencing your mood.

As for whether it’s safe to use — well, according to the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

So it shouldn’t cause any harm, but does that mean CBD could ease your period pain?

And is it even legal?

Is CBD legal in the US?

Well, it depends on which state you’re in.

In a federal sense, “CBD itself is not identified on the Controlled Substances Ac schedule”, according to Mackenzie Slade, Director of Cannabis Public Policy Consulting.

But here’s where it gets a bit complicated — federally, in the US, CBD derived from cannabis is classed as a Schedule I substance, which makes it illegal.

But CBD derived from hemp is federally legal — but the laws do change from state to state.

If you’re keen to try out CBD, it’s worth checking if it’s legal in your state first, and if there are any conditions to using it (or selling it) to make sure you’re following the letter of the law.

Is CBD legal in the UK?

Yes, CBD products are legal in the UK — but they do have to meet certain quality, safety, and efficacy standards to be sold.

The UK Food Standards Agency has also issued a handy guide on using CBD for consumers, listing types of CBD products and advice for those who want to try it.

Is CBD legal in Europe?

It varies from country to country — some allow CBD products to be sold and consumed (following safety and quality standards, like the UK), but others still class CBD products as illegal.

If you’re based in Europe or you’re traveling and want to bring CBD products with you, it’s worth checking their CBD laws in advance — you don’t want to ruin your trip with a fine or prison sentence!

Can CBD help with PMS?

Well, the truth is, the research is still underway.

While some studies suggest that CBD might offer relief from certain PMS symptoms, we’re not quite ready to draw a final conclusion.

So, here’s the deal: individual responses to CBD can vary, and what works for one person might not for another.

That’s just the way it goes!

If you’re curious about giving CBD a try for those PMS blues, it’s essential to chat with a healthcare professional first.

They’ll have all the deets and can help you make the best decision for your unique situation.

When it comes to CBD, there’s currently no research about its effects on menstrual cramps specifically.

But this is what we do know, based on the current research — and the ways CBD might help when you’re on your period.

1. Pain relief

Some studies have hinted at the possibility that CBD (and THC) can work its wonders by modulating pain signals, making it quite the promising natural option for those pesky period cramps.

CBD might just play a role in the modulation of pain signaling pathways and inflammation, by interacting with receptors in the ECS.

2. Anti-inflammatory properties

When it comes to those crampy period days, inflammation is often seen as the main antagonist.

But CBD could help with that, too.

This study (full disclosure — on rats, not humans) looked at CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, hinting at its potential to tackle inflammation and the swelling that tags along with menstrual discomfort.

3. Muscle relaxation

When it comes to muscle tension and cramps during periods, some studies have explored the potential benefits of CBD and THC.

CBD’s muscle-relaxant properties have been a subject of scientific interest, and some suggest that it may help promote muscle relaxation, potentially easing the intensity of period cramps.

4. Mood enhancement

We’re no strangers to period mood swings ‒ thanks, PMS!

But, once again, CBD could be here to save the day!

Some studies have suggested that CBD may play a role in the treatment of mood disorders, with preclinical evidence showing a reduction in depressive symptoms when treated with CBD.

So, those feelings of anxiety and irritability that love to tag along with period cramps?

Well, they might just meet their match!

Can I have CBD on my period?

When it comes to using CBD during your period, there’s no need to fret ‒ more often than not, you absolutely can!

In fact, many women find CBD to be a comforting ally during that time of the month.

The FDA recommends that, if you’re considering CBD consumption, always consult with a healthcare professional first — for your personal safety and to make sure it fits in with your individual needs.

Some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims or don’t meet the criteria of safety and quality standards by different countries, so it’s always better to double-check to be safe.

So, whether you’re thinking of trying CBD for cramps or simply looking to embrace some wellness support during your cycle, just have a chat with your healthcare provider – they’ve got your back!

Can CBD delay your period?

Honestly, we’re not sure.

The research on CBD’s direct impact on menstrual cycles is still quite limited.

While some women might have noticed changes in their periods while using CBD, it’s essential to remember that our bodies are unique, and what works for one might not apply to all.

So, can CBD really delay your period?

Well, there’s no concrete evidence to confirm or deny it at this point.

As always, we say consult with your healthcare pro before trying anything new.

Does CBD help with period depression?


Research published in the National Library of Medicine has explored the potential benefits of CBD for people with depression.

CBD’s interaction with the ECS has caught the interest of those scientific minds, and it’s been suggested that CBD might offer relief from feelings of depression and other emotional challenges.

So, when those period blues hit, CBD could be our trusty companion to keep things a bit brighter!

But the study also says that it depends on “species/strain, age, gender, doses, route of administration and time course” ‒ so there are a lot of variables.

As always, it’s essential to seek guidance from healthcare professionals before incorporating CBD into your wellness routine.

Can you put CBD on a tampon?

The million-dollar question – can we give our tampons a CBD boost?

First off, it’s important to remember that CBD should not be applied directly to a tampon or inserted into the vagina yourself.

This is because, if you add something to tampons yourself, they could cause infections or irritation to your vaginal canal.

But the folks at Daye have mastered the art of CBD tampons, claiming they have no vaginal irritation, no toxicity, no abrasions, no pyrogenic substances, and no increase in risks of TSS (toxic shock syndrome).

(It’s worth noting that those claims are according to their scientific advisory board, not the US FDA or UK MHRA.)

Is CBD safe in tampons?

When it comes to CBD tampons, safety’s the name of the game!

After sample-size tests (using 80 participants), two years of lab tests, and double-blind clinical trials, Daye claim that their CBD tampons are safe for vaginal use.

According to their studies, Daye CBD tampons don’t increase the risk of vaginal infections or decrease the level of good bacteria, either.

And post-production, batches of Daye tampons go through independent lab tests, making sure they’re uniform in their cannabinoids content, free from THC (that’s the psychoactive stuff), and clear of microbial contamination and heavy metals.

They’ve also got a full Medical Board with some of the leading minds in female healthcare, to make sure they’re scientifically backed.

And they go one step further with real-life data from the people who use their CBD tampons, so they’re always made with their users in mind.

What are the benefits of CBD tampons?

First off, CBD tampons are designed to ease discomfort from period cramps, thanks to CBD’s muscle-relaxant properties!

Plus, CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system could work its magic on mood regulation, helping to alleviate feelings of anxiety and irritability during your time of the month.

But we must stress that more research is needed to fully understand the extent of CBD tampons’ effects.

Most of the current studies are looking promising, but there aren’t nearly enough to definitely say that CBD tampons help with period cramps.

We asked Biomedical Scientist, Kellie Leonard, for her thoughts on CBD tampons:

“Although CBD tampons are an innovative product, it’s not been proven that our bodies can absorb CBD through this form of delivery. In order to understand the full effects of CBD tampons, more research is needed, like blood tests to see if the CBD is even getting into the bloodstream of the tampon users.”

What else can CBD help with?

It’s not just period cramps that CBD could help with ‒ there are a few ways it could be beneficial to women’s health.

While there aren’t enough studies to conclusively prove CBD’s benefits for women, here are a few of the benefits, along with the science behind them:

Hormonal balance

Early research has uncovered a potential link between the endocannabinoid system and our endocrine processes (the processes that release hormones into our bodies).

Our endocrine system is the hard worker that regulates stress, mood, memory, fertility, bone growth, pain, and immune function – a true multitasker!

And CBD could interact with our endocrine system, potentially influencing major hormones like insulin, cortisol, and melatonin.

Sleep quality

Many women experience sleep disturbances during their periods, and CBD might just be the soothing solution they’ve been dreaming of!

Early research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that CBD could have therapeutic potential for improving sleep quality.

While THC might help you doze off faster, it could negatively affect your long-term sleep quality.

But CBD tends to have more calming effects and might promote better sleep quality and overall restfulness!

Recent studies exploring cannabinoids and sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea have shown promising results, with synthetic cannabinoids like nabilone and dronabinol bringing short-term benefits for sleep apnea by modulating serotonin-mediated apneas.

And CBD might hold promise for improving REM sleep behavior disorder and reducing excessive daytime sleepiness.

But we still need to keep in mind that research on cannabis (or CBD) and sleep is still in its early stages, and findings have been mixed.

So, further controlled and longitudinal research is crucial to truly understand the potential of CBD for improving sleep quality.

Stress management

According to recent research, CBD could work wonders in reducing stress and anxiety!

But current studies focus on acute CBD dosing for “healthy subjects” (read: people who don’t have chronic stress or anxiety), so it’s still not entirely clear how it can affect people long-term.

CBD tampons: our verdict

A few of us at Team Peanut were lucky enough to be sent some CBD-infused tampons by Daye to try for ourselves, so here’s what we thought.

Overall, they were super comfortable, easy to use, and just as absorbent as we needed them to be – just like your standard tampon.

But for those with heavier periods, they might not work quite as well.

The sustainable packaging certainly won our hearts, too ‒ recyclable boxes, dissolvable wrappers, and plastic-free, compostable tampons once you’re done.

They are pricier than our normal tampons, though ‒ but you get what you pay for.

Here’s the bit you’ve been waiting for: did they help with period cramps?

Well, yes!

There was still a twinge of discomfort, but definitely less tension.

So are Daye tampons worth it? It’s a resounding “yes” from our testers at Peanut.

So we know that the research on CBD and periods is still in its baby stages, and solid evidence might need some time to catch up.

But in our experience, CBD seems like a real wonder-worker when it comes to easing period cramps.

While we can’t make bold claims just yet, we’ve seen CBD’s pain-relieving and relaxation-promoting qualities come into play, making periods a bit more manageable.

So, while the science is catching up, it could be worth a try!

But as always, it’s worth having a chat with your healthcare provider just in case, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or you take any meds.

Best of luck kicking those cramps!

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