CBD & Endometriosis
When it comes to managing chronic pain, it can be frustrating to find an accessible remedy that soothes your body and mind without making you feel numb or cloudy.
For people living with endometriosis, the horrible cramping pain that famously accompanies the diagnosis can severely impact their quality of life and has no definitive cure or treatment, leaving many wondering, “what can I do?” Interestingly, the advanced use of CBD (or cannabidiol) as a medical treatment has produced favorable results in reducing the pain caused by endometriosis, with no ill side effects.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disorder wherein the tissue that is supposed to line the inner walls of the uterus grows on the outside of the uterus and around other organs (fallopian tubes, bladder). When this endometrial tissue grows in the wrong places, it causes severe cramping, menstrual irregularities, and even infertility. Shockingly, it is estimated that 1 in 10 women live with endometriosis; however, very few studies have been conducted on the matter, despite the overwhelming number of people who suffer from this disorder.
Symptoms for endometriosis commonly include pain before/during your period, pain during sex that can last for hours afterward, constant dull pain in the lower abdomen, and abnormal menstruation. Because symptoms align with what could be a particularly bad/heavy period, many doctors misdiagnose endometriosis, and people live with the pain for years before getting a correct diagnosis. Some people can go their whole lives with endometriosis and never feel a thing, whereas others will need surgery to remove the excess tissue.
What is CBD?
CBD (which stands for cannabidiol) is the second most active ingredient in marijuana. A naturally occurring substance found in abundance in hemp plants (but also in less quantities in cannabis sativa plants), it is often used in oils, balms, and edibles, as its chemical properties have a relaxing and calming effect on the human body, making it a holistic treatment options for many ailments.
Unlike THC, the first most active ingredient in marijuana, CBD does not create a “high” and has no psychoactive properties. That means it's safe for people of all ages to take/use and is not considered a “drug.” Nowadays, it can even be found in anything from lattes to dog treats.
Like any supplement, it is possible for people to have some kind of reaction to CBD. However, this is very rare and is usually experienced by people who also have a response to Advil or Tylenol.
CBD & Endometriosis
Recent studies have shown that CBD can be incredibly effective in mitigating pain caused by endometriosis and slowing the migration of endometriotic cells. Scientists have recently discovered that the human body’s natural endocannabinoid system is “integral to the healthy functioning of the reproductive tract,” meaning that cannabinoid supplements can satisfy chemical imbalances linked to reproductive complications.
For people suffering from endometriosis, their body lacks the tools to destroy dangerous or wayward cells before they become a problem. When cannabinoid substances like CBD are introduced into the body, they help our endocannabinoid system destroy malicious cells and stop them from multiplying.
This is a huge breakthrough to discover, especially since many patients who have had their endometriotic tissue surgically removed find that it quickly grows back. Interestingly, whereas CBD molecules block the receptors that encourage endometriosis cells to migrate, THC actually activates these receptors and can cause increased cell migration. CBD also earns its keep in the fight against endometriosis by desensitizing pain receptors and doing so without any side effects.
How to Take CBD?
CBD can be inhaled through a vape (the most effective form for quick and strong response), applied as a topical ointment or balm to problem areas, or ingested as a tincture or treat.
Taken in any form, CBD is very effective in dulling the pain felt by endometriosis, with its anti-inflammatory properties and stabilization of pain receptors in the brain. It is a safe, holistic treatment option for many chronic pain disorders and a testament to the natural wonders of our world and how our bodies interact with them.
If you think CBD treatment is right for you, there is no prescription necessary; many brick-and-mortar CBD stores have appeared in urban areas, and countless online store alternatives, making CBD easy and affordable to obtain.