PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is a set of symptoms that occur 1-2 weeks before a woman’s period. Common symptoms of PMS include mood changes, breast tenderness, cramps, headaches, acne, bloating, and bowel changes.
A 2011 report found that 80% of pre-menopausal women experience at least one PMS symptom each month. Thirty percent of women have enough symptoms to be diagnosed and treated for PMS.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that has many health benefits. Some women may wonder whether it can help with PMS and menstrual cramps.
While research is in its infancy, preliminary evidence suggests CBD may be able to help address a variety of PMS symptoms.
Let’s take a look at how CBD may be able to help with PMS.
Aches and Pains
Many women with PMS experience aches and pains, and CBD is an effective pain-reliever.
A 2017 study found that CBD could reduce the perception and emotional effects of pain. It has also been used to treat chronic pain, cancer pain, and arthritis.
So it stands to reason that CBD may be helpful for the aches and pains associated with PMS, like headaches, cramps, and backaches.
CBD is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. The painful symptoms of PMS have been linked to inflammation.
One of the most challenging symptoms of PMS is mood swings. While PMS-related mood changes can often be the butt of jokes, these symptoms can be debilitating for some women.
While there has not been any research on CBD and PMS-related mood changes specifically, CBD has shown benefits for related symptoms.
CBD has been shown to help treat both depression and anxiety, as well as some aspects of bipolar disorder, a mood disorder. This makes it very likely that it could help treat the depressive and anxious feelings associated with mood swings.
Unlike THC, CBD does not have any mind-altering effects, meaning that CBD is less likely to cause anxiety or mood swings than a treatment including THC.
Painful cramps can occur during PMS and once menstruation begins. CBD is a known pain-reliever, and may also relieve the muscle spasms that cause painful cramps.
Many women experience hormonal acne during PMS. This frustrating symptom is usually treated topically, and CBD products may be helpful.
A 2014 study found that topical CBD reduced the production of sebum, the oil that clogs pores and causes acne.
It’s not clear whether oral or inhaled CBD can also benefit acne, or if it has to be applied topically.