Mai 31, 2020

Are you also among the 95% of women who suffer from complaints such as mood swings, depression, cramps, etc. in the days and weeks before their period [1]? Little has been said about it in public, but premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a natural, albeit unpleasant, and widespread phenomenon. Many of our female customers wrote us and reported that their PMS symptoms improved with the use of cannabidiol (CBD) products. Their reports include reduction in mood swings, less headaches, abdominal pain and even an improvement in sleep. Even if we have not yet had any direct studies on CBD and PMS in particular, it seems plausible that CBD can lead to these effects.

CBD and the female hormonal balance

The female menstrual cycle is essentially controlled by two important sex hormones. Firstly, estradiol as the main representative of estrogens and secondly, progesterone. The timing, ratio and amount of these two hormones in the blood are slightly different for every woman, but in the end they influence the cycle and therefore lead to the associated symptoms. CBD does not seem to interfere significantly with this fine balance, but can still remedy the level of discomfort.

CBD and mood swings

Many users already know that CBD can have a calming effect without getting high, like THC. It is also well known that the substance from hemp plants can help against depression and schizophrenia. Researchers therefore also suspect that CBD could have a similar, albeit natural, effect to drugs prescribed for hormone-independent mood swings [1].

In the pre-ovulation phase, progesterone levels rise, whereas estrogen is at a fairly low level. This ensures that less serotonin, the hormone that makes us happy, tends to be produced in the brain [2]. In simple terms, the serotonin receptor therefore receives a reduced signal for good mood and happiness. CBD also stimulates the serotonin receptor in the brain and could therefore contribute to a better mood even when serotonin levels are low [3].

Does CBD work against cramps?

The majority of the studies that looked at the effects of CBD on the muscles focused on the relationship between the cannabinoid and spastic cramps in multiple sclerosis [4]. However, these studies relate to blends of CBD and its psychoactive sister THC. Both interact with the endocannabinoid system, which affects muscles and nerves. So far we have not been able to isolate from these studies whether CBD alone has antispasmodic properties. However, when we look at the testimonials from our customers, it appears very likely.

CBD for pain and inflammation

CBD has also shown that it can interfere with the development of pain and thus reduce its signal. Put simply, CBD, like ibuprofen and other pain relievers, inhibits the production of substances that transmit pain to our brain [5, 6, 7]. Muscle and uterine cramps could also be reduced by CBD. Pain and inflammation in the body are very closely linked. Every injury needs acute inflammation to start the healing process. The same substances that we just mentioned about pain are also responsible for the development of inflammation. In principle, inflammation plays an important role in the body, but excessive or chronic inflammation in turn has a negative impact on health. It is therefore important to keep these processes under control.

Conclusion and summary about CBD and PMS

Cannabis was already used in ancient China to treat menstrual symptoms [8]. However, since isolated CBD is still a relatively young substance on the modern market for nutritional supplements, numerous studies on its effects are still pending. This also applies to the influence on the menstrual cycle and PMS, which does not mean that there are no effects. Unlike other things, PMS symptoms vary from month to month depending on the stress, the hormonal situation and other uncontrollable life situations. It is therefore hardly possible to completely switch off or treat PMS. From other areas of research, we can deduce that CBD can have an impact on specific symptoms, even without significantly interfering with the female hormonal balance. The degree of relief can also vary from month to month and from woman to woman. However, we were surprised by the positive feedback from many of our customers.


Sources: 1. Kwan, Irene, and Joseph Loze Onwude. "Premenstrual syndrome." BMJ clinical evidence 2009 (2009). 2. Su, Tung-Ping, et al. "Effect of menstrual cycle phase on neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to the serotonin agonist m-chlorophenylpiperazine in women with premenstrual syndrome and controls." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 82.4 (1997): 1220-1228. 3. De Gregorio, Danilo, et al. "Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain." Pain 160.1 (2019): 136. 4. Izquierdo, Guillermo. "Multiple sclerosis symptoms and spasticity management: new data." Neurodegenerative disease management 7.6s (2017): 7-11. 5. Nagarkatti, Prakash, et al. "Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs." Future medicinal chemistry 1.7 (2009): 1333-1349. 6. Bruni, Natascia, et al. "Cannabinoid delivery systems for pain and inflammation treatment." Molecules 23.10 (2018): 2478. 7. Ruhaak, Lucia Renee, et al. "Evaluation of the cyclooxygenase inhibiting effects of six major cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa." Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 34.5 (2011): 774-778. 8. Shannon, Scott, et al. "Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series." The Permanente Journal 23 (2019)