Before the 1980s, most medical professionals would roll their eyes and assume period-having people complaining of anxiety, irritability, bloating, pain, fatigue, and mood swings at “that time of the month” were whiners.

 

Or worse, “hysterical.” 

 

The effects of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) on our bodies and minds were often the butt of jokes. Many who suffered did so in silence because being called “hysterical” and “whingy” by unbelieving doctors who reduce physical and mental suffering to a punch line is no fun. 

 

A famous 1980s murder trial in the UK brought PMS into the spotlight, and the result was an upsurge in research. 

 

For approximately 80% of period-havers, there is some degree of routine, predictable PMS-like experience. For around 30%, it’s significant and has a marked effect on their lives during the five to seven days a month they’re affected. 

 

Weed can be a powerful tool in fighting many PMS symptoms. Many folks who menstruate suffer from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), which is a far more severe disorder characterized by:

 

  • Severe cognitive distress 
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical impairment 

 

While psychoactive medications treat those suffering from PMDD, it turns out that weed can also be helpful.

 

So, if you’re tired of being told to pop a Midol and get on with things, take a look at how cannabis use can positively help with your PMS.

 

What Causes PMS?

 

Various factors combine and contribute to PMS in ways that are still a bit mysterious. 

 

Many believe the biggest culprit is monthly cyclic hormone changes because PMS disappears with pregnancy, oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries), and menopause. 

 

Some researchers propose that fluctuations in serotonin (a neurotransmitter known as “the happy chemical”) can trigger PMS symptoms like fatigue, food cravings, and insomnia. 

 

These same fluctuations can contribute to depression, which is often associated with PMS, though, thus far, scientists aren’t sure why.

 

What are the Symptoms of PMS?

 

The symptoms of PMS fall into two categories: emotional and physical.

 

Emotional and Behavioral PMS Symptoms

 

  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability or anger
  • Mood swings
  • Crying

 

Physical Symptoms of PMS

 

  • Joint and muscle pain/cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain and fluid retention
  • Digestive upset
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast pain or tenderness

 

These symptoms are severe enough to upset or disrupt everyday routines for many who suffer from PMS.

 

While over-the-counter (OTC) medications are the most common remedy, none effectively address physical and emotional symptoms.

 

Today, folks suffering from premenstrual syndrome can address one or two symptoms. There are no drugstore options for addressing the emotional side of things.

 

What are the Old-Fashioned Treatments for PMS?

 

Typically, PMS sufferers reach for OTC painkillers. The most common are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a combination of two analgesics with a bit of caffeine thrown in to increase efficacy and combat fatigue. 

 

While NSAIDs can help with headaches and battling cramps, they carry built-in problems, including: 

 

  • the risk of stomach upset
  • ulcers
  • increased risk for heart attack and stroke

 

Taking more than the recommended dosage can result in reduced kidney function and kidney damage, especially in those already suffering from impaired kidney function. 

 

In addition, NSAIDs and other OTC analgesics can cause rebound headaches when used too often. Taking painkillers frequently or too long can cause the headache you’re trying to cure!

 

How Does Weed Help With PMS?

 

can weed help pmsCannabis has success relieving several symptoms associated with PMS. Weed helps alleviate or improve:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Cramping
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Anger

 

As important as providing relief is, our expectations help contribute to cannabis’ efficacy. In other words, because we go into it knowing we’ll find comfort, we reap even greater rewards.

 

It’s a 1-2-3 punch, really:

 

  1. Weed addresses the emotional and behavioral upsets we feel
  2. It effectively improves physical symptoms
  3. Our optimistic expectations help boost those positive outcomes  

 

Which Strains Are Best?

 

While more research is needed to pinpoint the specific symptoms cannabinoids can help with, there are common sense ways to look at strain selection.

 

We can select our strains accordingly by considering the symptoms we wish to address. Some have a list of symptoms that is short and specific, while others have broader needs to address. 

 

Strains for Emotional and Behavioral Symptoms

 

Strains best suited for relieving stress and anxiety are usually indicas and indica-leaning hybrids. 

 

However, this is not always the case. Some people find the more energizing sativa high to be the perfect weapon against stress, especially if a lack of energy fuels anxiety.

 

Concord Cream

 

An indica-heavy cross, Concord Cream is a smooth, grape-flavored treat with some pretty hard-hitting effects. Among them? Stress and anxiety reduction! Many users report stress relief as the main reason for coming back for more.

 

Concord Cream is potent, and you’ll want to start small and find your sweet spot. In addition to soothing anxiety, this strain imparts an uplifted sense of well-being.

 

Ice Cream Sundae

 

Also known as “Ice Cream Kush,” this indica-leaning hybrid offers a nutty, honey-sweet vanilla-like flavor and a seriously skunky fragrance.

 

The effect is a beautiful balance of happy relaxation and calmness without being knocked down. It’s perfect for destressing when you need to stay awake.

 

Strains for Physical Symptoms

 

Addressing physical discomfort through the use of cannabis is often assumed to consist of getting so high you wind up zonked out on the couch.

 

While that is certainly a valid approach, it’s unnecessary, and it is possible to get relief without surrendering productivity. Let’s have a look at cannabis strains for both options.

 

Supreme Grapes

 

This indica-dominant hybrid has a sweet grape-meets-sage aroma and a peppery aftertaste. It’s best known for an intense (but not overpowering) euphoric, sleepy high that helps reduce the pain of cramps and migraines.

 

On the bonus front, it’s also well-suited for those needing a little help with getting to sleep.  

 

OCDxM15

 

An exhilarating, super-stimulating strain, OCDxM15 can best be described as “electric.” While other cannabis strains are famed for relieving pain and soothing anxiety, this standout is a giant at alleviating fatigue and treating overall physical malaise. 

 

It is essential to be aware that, while the euphoria and energy imparted are invigorating, OCDxM15 can induce severe anxiety in anxiety-prone or less experienced users.

 

Strains for All-Around PMS Relief

 

marijuana for pmsA more general approach is best for some looking to address PMS symptoms. 

 

Dole Whip

 

A sativa-heavy hybrid with a juicy, tropical flavor, Dole Whip gives an all-over body high and an impressive brain buzz that envelopes without overwhelming. 

 

Considered a hard-hitter in the pain-relieving category, it’s also a terrific stress-buster. With a long-lasting, euphoric high, it’s perfectly suited for taking on both the pain and anxiety/stress of PMS.

Bootylicious

 

Another solid all-purpose PMS-buster, Bootylicious is an evenly balanced indica-sativa hybrid that offers a super-sweet, creamy flavor with a gassy finish. 

 

It’s a superstar with an impressive cerebral blast and a soothing body high. Famous for knocking back stress and relieving headaches, body pain, and digestive upset, this jack-of-all-trades cannabis strain nails PMS relief.

 

Not sure which of these is best for you? Discussing your desired outcomes with your Wellness Expert is ideal to discover which of our great strains will deliver what you need. 

 

What About CBD for PMS?

 

Can I use CBD oil for PMS, or is menstrual pain relief only attainable by getting high? 

 

Some aren’t looking to experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Thankfully, many who suffer from PMS report that CBD products can also be powerful tools to fight against some common symptoms. 

 

CBD can be especially helpful in easing anxiety, headaches, and inflammation, including the inflammatory response in the oil-producing glands during period-related acne flares. This anti-inflammatory action may also aid in reducing pain from cramping as well as all-over aches. 

 

CBD can also help address insomnia and improve the quality of sleep. The Flower Shop carries a wide array of CBD for PMS in various forms, including:

 

  • Extracts
  • Edibles
  • Topicals
  • Vape cartridges
  • Drops
  • Tinctures 

 

Meeting with your local Wellness Expert will help you discover if (and which) CBD products might be right for you and your premenstrual syndrome symptoms.

 

What Weed Can’t Do

 

It may seem obvious, but it has to be said that weed will not alleviate PMS-related food cravings.

 

Marijuana for PMS is Real

 

PMS is no joke for the millions of period-having people who experience it month after month. 

 

Thankfully, PMS is taken more seriously these days. We now know that we can find respite using marijuana for PMS. We are no longer limited to NSAIDs and heating pads when those monthly symptoms strike. 

 

With help from your Wellness Expert, you’ll be able to identify the symptoms plaguing you and pinpoint the products best suited to providing the refuge you need. 

 

So, don’t wait another month to visit The Flower Shop. Find something special now to make your life better and ease your discomfort. All that matters right now is finding relief – and we’re here to help you find the best products for your individual needs.   

 

PS – if you’re looking for more information on how marijuana can help your time of the month, check out our guide to smoking while on your period.