CBD for Menstrual Cramps: A Natural Alternative to Pain Relief

By adamasco
June 6, 2023

Each month, numerous women worldwide endure the discomfort and pain of menstrual cramps, or dysmenorrhea, which can vary in intensity and hinder daily activities. Traditional pain relief methods, like over-the-counter medications and heat therapy, may provide some relief but have limitations and potential side effects.

Consequently, many women consider CBD (cannabidiol), a natural compound from the cannabis plant, as an alternative. CBD may help reduce pain, inflammation, and stress, improve mood, and address other menstrual symptoms.

In this blog, we’ll examine CBD’s potential as a natural menstrual cramp relief option. However, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before using CBD and recognize that more research is needed to understand its effects fully.

Understanding Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, are painful sensations experienced by many women before and during their menstrual periods. These cramps occur due to the uterus’s contraction, which helps shed the uterine lining during menstruation.

What Menstrual Cramps Are and Their Causes

Menstrual cramps are caused by the release of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that trigger uterine contractions. These contractions help to expel the uterine lining, which is then shed through the vagina as menstrual blood. The intensity of menstrual cramps can vary from mild to severe and may differ from one woman to another.

There are two types of dysmenorrhea:

  • Primary dysmenorrhea: This is the most common type and is caused by the normal process of menstruation. It usually begins within a few years of a woman’s first period and tends to decrease in intensity with age or after childbirth.
  • Secondary dysmenorrhea: This type of menstrual pain is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as endometriosis, fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Secondary dysmenorrhea may begin later in life and often requires medical treatment to address the underlying cause.

Common Symptoms Experienced During Menstrual Cramps

In addition to pain in the lower abdomen, women may experience a variety of other symptoms during menstrual cramps, such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain radiating down the legs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating

The severity and duration of these symptoms can vary greatly among women and may change from one menstrual cycle to another.

The Impact of Menstrual Cramps on Women’s Daily Activities and Quality of Life

Menstrual cramps can significantly impact a woman’s daily activities and overall quality of life. Some of the ways in which menstrual cramps can affect women include:

  • Reduced productivity: Pain and discomfort caused by menstrual cramps can make it difficult for women to concentrate and complete tasks, leading to reduced productivity at work or school.
  • Social withdrawal: The pain and fatigue associated with menstrual cramps may cause women to avoid social activities and spend more time resting at home.
  • Sleep disturbances: Menstrual pain can make it difficult for women to fall asleep or stay asleep, leading to fatigue and a decreased ability to cope with daily stressors.
  • Emotional distress: The physical discomfort and emotional impact of menstrual cramps can contribute to feelings of depression, anxiety, and irritability.

Prevalence of Menstrual Cramps

Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, is highly prevalent, affecting almost 85% of women, according to a nationwide survey of more than 42,000 women. Another study found that menstrual cramps affect over 60% of adult women in Canada and between 17 and 80% of premenopausal women worldwide.

Menstrual cramps can affect women of all ages, but adolescents and young adults more commonly experience them. The exact age range varies but is generally during the reproductive years.

Menstrual cramps can have a significant impact on daily activities. In the above survey, 38% of women reported being unable to perform their daily activities during their menstrual period. At least 20% of adolescents reported premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms that affected their daily activities.

Traditional Pain Relief Options

Several traditional pain relief options are commonly used to alleviate this pain, including:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are often used to reduce inflammation and alleviate menstrual pain. These medications work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals responsible for causing inflammation and pain during menstruation.
  • Heat therapy: Applying heat to the lower abdomen can help relax the muscles and relieve cramps. This can be done using heating pads, hot water bottles, or warm towels.
  • Massage and relaxation techniques: Gently massaging the lower abdomen or engaging in relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can help alleviate menstrual pain.
  • Exercise: Engaging in light physical activity, such as walking or yoga, can help reduce menstrual cramps by releasing endorphins, natural pain relievers.

Limitations and Potential Side Effects of Traditional Pain Relief Options

While traditional pain relief methods can be effective for many women, there are limitations and potential side effects associated with these options:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications: Prolonged use of NSAIDs can lead to side effects such as stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney damage. Additionally, some individuals may be allergic to these medications or may not find them effective in relieving their menstrual pain.
  • Heat therapy: While generally safe, excessive heat application can cause burns or skin irritation. It is essential to use heat therapy cautiously and follow the instructions provided with heating pads or hot water bottles.
  • Massage and relaxation techniques: Although these methods can be helpful for some individuals, they may not provide sufficient pain relief for those with severe menstrual cramps.
  • Exercise: While exercise can be beneficial in reducing menstrual pain, some women may find it difficult to engage in physical activity during their period due to fatigue or discomfort.

Benefits of CBD for Menstrual Cramps

CBD (cannabidiol) has gained attention for its potential therapeutic benefits in addressing various health issues, including menstrual cramps. The following are some potential benefits of CBD for women experiencing menstrual cramps:

Reduction in Pain and Inflammation

CBD is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating pain and inflammation. CBD may help alleviate the discomfort associated with menstrual cramps by reducing inflammation and modulating pain signals.

Relaxation and Stress Relief

CBD has been shown to possess anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties, which may help promote relaxation and stress relief. Stress and anxiety can exacerbate menstrual pain, and by helping to alleviate these feelings. CBD may contribute to a more comfortable menstrual experience.

Improvement in Mood and Overall Well-Being

Menstrual cramps and hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can contribute to mood swings, irritability, and feelings of depression. CBD may help improve mood and overall well-being by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain. Which play a crucial role in regulating mood.

Potential Relief from Other Menstrual Symptoms

CBD may also relieve other menstrual symptoms, such as bloating and nausea. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce bloating. While its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system may help alleviate nausea and vomiting.

It is essential to note that individual experiences with CBD may vary, and it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating CBD into your routine to address menstrual cramps or other health concerns. Additionally, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of CBD for menstrual cramp and other menstrual symptoms.


In conclusion, CBD offers a promising natural alternative to traditional pain relief methods for women experiencing menstrual cramps. Brands like Calm Better Days provide high-quality CBD products that may help reduce pain and inflammation, promote relaxation and stress relief, improve mood, and address other menstrual symptoms.

However, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD and recognize that more research is needed to understand its effects fully. As the understanding of CBD’s potential benefits continues to grow, it may provide women with a more comfortable and manageable menstrual experience. Ultimately improving their overall quality of life.