Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a group of changes that affects women one or two weeks before their period. These changes, which can be physical, emotional or behavioral typically goes away once the period starts. Although most women experience at least one sign of Premenstrual Syndrome every month, it’s not the same for everyone. It is estimated that as many as three out of every four women in the reproductive age have experienced some form of PMS. It should be noted that although the symptoms tend to occur in a predictable pattern, the physical and emotional changes may vary from being slightly noticeable to being intense. Some of the emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome include anxiety/tension, social withdrawal, depression, crying spells, anger, mood swing/irritability, changes in libido, difficulties concentrating, difficulties falling asleep (insomnia), appetite changes as well as food cravings.
The physical symptoms of PMS include breast tenderness, headache, fatigue, alcohol intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, acne flares, abdominal bloating, joint or muscle pain and weight gain related to fluid retention. The exact cause of Premenstrual Syndrome is unknown, even though several factors could contribute to it. Some of such factors include cyclical changes in hormones, chemical changes in the brain as well as depression. Although every woman who has started menstruating can have Premenstrual Syndrome, the condition is mostly common in women in their late 20s to early 40, women who have had a child, women who have family members with depression, as well as women who had postpartum depression, or Bipolar Disorder. Most women can relief Premenstrual Syndrome through lifestyle changes, but if the condition is severe, medications such as diuretics, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and hormonal contraceptives may be prescribed to relieve the condition.
Among the many benefits of medical marijuana is the fact that it also plays an important role in women’s health. A 2002 historical review of the role of cannabis in obstetrics and gynecology revealed that cannabis has long been part of women’s health. The authors of this review even pointed out to a Chinese medical text of the 16th century, which clearly stated that medical cannabis was effective in easing menstrual cramps.
One of the major symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome that can be released by medical cannabis is cramps. Abdominal cramps are very common in women in their reproductive age and could affect them from the first day of their menstruation right through to the end. Research has suggested that both THC and CBD, which are two major properties in medical marijuana can help relief menstrual cramps. The findings from a preclinical study that was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology suggested that THC could act as a muscle relaxant that could help calm the tense muscles that cause cramps during a period.
There are also indications that medical marijuana is effective in treating headaches and migraines caused by Premenstrual Syndrome. According to one study that was conducted in 2016, cannabis was effective in relieving monthly migraines. It should be noted that this study which focused on 121 adult participants who were dealing with migraines investigated the effects of cannabis on the patients. The findings from this study revealed a 10.4 to 4.6 drop in the number of migraines among those patients using cannabis. Even though this study didn’t particularly look at headaches associated with PMS, the fact that medical marijuana reduced headaches by up to 50% is noteworthy.
Medical marijuana has also been reported to be effective in boosting the moods of women suffering Premenstrual Syndrome. It is apparent that women typically experience mood swings in the days leading up to their period through what is known as the luteal phase. Studies have shown that cannabis could help people dealing with menstrual stress, including anxiety and depression that comes with a period. A 2015 literature review on anxiety revealed that CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp plants can be effective in alleviating anxiety associated with PMS. This assertion can be explained by the fact that CBD helps in blocking the absorption of serotonin in the brain temporarily, thereby reducing the symptoms of anxiety and improving mood.
It is evident that research into cannabis and its role in women’s health is scarce. However, thanks to other studies of the plant, we now know it has many generalized effects that can help women manage their monthly PMS symptoms. That said, there is a need for more scientific investigations on this subject.
Marijuana strains reported to help with PMS:
- Dutch Treat
- Obama Kush
- Black Cherry Cheesecake
- Blue Dream
How To Get Medical Marijuana
If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat PMS or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.