The average woman will have around 450 periods in her lifetime – spending nearly 10 years of her life menstruating.
And as any woman can tell you, it can be a very painful experience; nine out of 10 women experience cramping during their menstrual cycle, and around 10 per cent of them experience what is called dysmenorrhea – pain so severe it impacts on their daily life.
Standard remedies for period pain vary in effectiveness – from painkillers and hot baths to forms of hormonal contraception, and have largely focused on chemical solutions.
However, many women would undoubtedly prefer a more natural approach, and are turning in increasing numbers to CBD oil to relieve their monthly cramps.
A United Patients Alliance (UPA) survey from 2018 found that the most popular reason for cannabis use was for the relief of pain (10.7 per cent).
What’s more, in 2015, 192 women were asked by researchers at the University of British Columbia if they had used cannabis for the relief of menstrual pain. 85 per cent said they had, and almost 90 per cent of these said they found it effective.
The use of cannabis for period pain is nothing new; in ancient Egypt, women are said to have ground up cannabis leaves, mixed them with honey and inserted the resulting mixture into their vagina. More recently, in the 19th Century, royal doctor J. Russell Reynolds prescribed marijuana to relieve Queen Victoria’s menstrual cramps.
“When pure and administered carefully, [cannabis] is one of the most valuable medicines we possess,” he wrote in 1890.
However, cannabis fell out of favour as pain relief following the invention of the syringe, which allowed medication to be injected directly into the bloodstream, where it could disperse more effectively.
Furthermore, cannabis was banned in the UK in 1928, although CBD – defined as products with less than 0.2 per cent of THC, the psychotropic element – has been used as a food supplement since 2015.
All of which brings us back to CBD tampons…
While the University of British Columbia study found that the most common ways for women to consume cannabis were through smoking and eating and, while these – along with the use of balms and tinctures – prove beneficial to many women, CBD tampons, which are also sometimes referred to as suppositories, have one major added benefit.
This is because the CBD from the tampon is absorbed into the body through the vaginal canal, which is home to the highest concentration of endocannabinoid receptors, aside from the brain in the whole body.
In fact, while the endocannabinoid system is located throughout your body, it’s most prevalent in women’s reproductive system, which is why CBD tampons may help with all types of pelvic pain, whatever the root cause.
Seeing a gap in the market, earlier this year, female health research company Daye introduced a range of plastic-free, unbleached organic cotton tampons in the UK, including products infused with CBD for pain relief.
As well as the environmental benefits, each CBD tampon has an extra CBD-infused layer to ensure that the compound is absorbed into the body, and not into the tampon itself.
Each tampon contains 150mg of full-spectrum CBD extract (with zero THC). This allows the compound to be applied directly to the inflamed region.
In comparison, painkillers – and even other CBD products – must first travel through numerous barriers, potentially reducing its effectiveness.
The idea of a CBD tampon is not as novel as it first appears, as Daye founder Valentina Milanova told the Evening Standard earlier this year.
“Everyone thought it was a ridiculous plan,” she said. “They said if it was a smart idea, Procter & Gamble would have already come up with it.”
However, during her research, Milanova discovered that the conglomerate had in fact looked at introducing pain-relieving tampons 25 years ago.
“They decided it was a niche market, the product was never made.”
A quarter of a century later, Milanova and her firm have put CBD tampons on the market, telling Marie Claire magazine: “The first gender gap that we want to close is the gender pain-gap. Over-the-counter painkillers have never been tested on the female physiology and carry a plethora of side-effects (like gastrointestinal inflammation), so at Daye we have spent time researching and developing the patented CBD tampon to provide a safe and effective alternative.”
However, as with everything, CBD tampons may not be suitable for everyone. A body’s response to CBD depends on the individual’s endocannabinoid system, along with the condition they’re trying to treat.
Additionally, there is a risk that CBD could interfere with the effectiveness of any other drugs you may be taking, such as anti-anxiety medication or antibiotics.
On top of this, as any woman knows, introducing a new substance into your vagina could mess with its delicate chemical balance, potentially increasing your chances of getting an infection such as thrush.
Finally, women who are pregnant, or actively trying to conceive, should definitely avoid CBD suppositories, as they could interfere with sperm function along with the development of their baby.
For more information on Daye’s research or it’s range of pain-relieving tampons, visit the website at https://ecommerce.yourdaye.com/science/
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