It'll be easier to have this discussion if we cover the basics first. Marijuana and Hemp are very similar yet very different plants. Both are members of the Cannabis Sativa family, what separates hemp from marijuana is that hemp is bred to contain high levels of CBD with less than .3% THC content and therefore has no psychoactive effect while maintaining the reported health benefits derived from the CBD.
Full Spectrum Hemp Extract is a more complete form of CBD used to assist with a variety of health-related issues. Here, we will take a look at how it can help with pain relief in general and menstrual discomfort more specifically.
Hemp extract can be used in a number of different ways. While Inhalation remains the most popular, ingestion via edibles and/or drinkables is becoming a more and more popular alternative. Topical use is also on the rise, especially for pain relief. Because of ever expanding product offerings, almost anyone interested in using CBD to help with discomfort whether due to menstrual cramping or any number of other ailments, can find a way to do so comfortably.
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CBD has been reported to assist with easing a wide range of symptoms including but not limited to anxiety, stress, sleep disorders and inflammation. One of the most popular applications is pain relief, specifically, relief from menstrual cramps.
That time of the month means several days of discomfort for most women. Often, during the most difficult stretches, women will be forced to call in to work and/or cancel plans with friends and family. Women suffering from more extreme cases are often relegated to crawling in bed and doing whatever possible to take their mind off of the pain.
For some women, hemp has been a lifesaver and serves as their first line of defense for their monthly cycles and the discomfort that comes with it. While Over-the-counter solutions provide...something, non-prescription and prescription NSAIDs. NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and for many years has been the go-to for a woman in need at that time of the month.
How it works is, there is an enzyme in the body that makes prostaglandins which are responsible for much of the discomfort experienced during monthly cycles. NSAIDs are used to inhibit the enzyme. The hope is that in doing so, symptoms such as contractions, inflammation, and overwhelming discomfort will reduce or disappear.
The biggest drawback to taking this type of medication is the fact that it comes with some very unpleasant side effects including higher risk of heart attacks. Also, anyone with digestive issues or gastrointestinal problems will likely want to look elsewhere for treatment.
A woman's body prepares all month for the possibility of pregnancy. When the body realizes that no new life has been introduced, it begins reversing those processes. The shrinking of tissue and other factors start to suffocate the endometrial tissue and this leads to pain. A chain reaction takes place that ultimately leads to significant inflammation.
This inflammation causes the death of cells creating added discomfort. In fact, inflammation actually make nerves more sensitive which exacerbates the effects of the pain. Blood vessels will also start to suffocate and constrict causing symptoms to grow...some women have described it as feeling like a heart attack in the uterus.
When a period is accompanied by heavy bleeding it can damage tissue and is likely caused by the inflammation. Women with excessive bleeding also typically produce larger amounts of prostaglandins. Although prostaglandins are essential for a healthy menstrual cycle, over production can lead to extreme discomfort.
In some studies, hemp extract has been found to be very effective at reducing production of the problematic enzyme without having the same negative side effects that come with taking NSAIDs.
There is a correlation between lower levels of prostaglandin and more bearable periods in women using hemp to help deal. The women in question do not experience the same degree of pain and inflammation is noticeably reduced. Lastly, CBD can help reduce nerve sensitivity by targeting the CB1 receptors decreasing pain signals sent to the brain.
Topical hemp products are another way to relax and sooth muscles thus helping to reduce the severity of muscle contractions causing discomfort. They also help increase blood flow bringing oxygen to tissues in the area reducing cramps. Most women are pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of hemp when it comes to bringing them relief but information and availability can be scarce.
Fortunately, more research is being done and doctors are beginning to acknowledge the effectiveness of hemp extract for medicinal purposes. As doctors continue to work with their patients and inform them on the value of using hemp as opposed to pharmaceuticals, it is likely that its use will become much more widespread...dare we say, mainstream even 👀.