As cannabis products are being normalized throughout the country, we’re starting to see some evidence for a surprising benefit of these once-taboo products… They may be good for the pelvic floor! Let’s explore the benefits of CBD for pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic pain, and even menstrual cramps!
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol–or CBD–is the second-most active ingredient in cannabis. It’s derived from cannabis or hemp plants, or it’s manufactured in a lab.
CBD doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the “high” you may have heard about (or experienced). That means you can use CBD for its other medicinal purposes without experiencing any mind-altering effects.
Pain Relief: Ibuprofen vs. CBD Products
CBD can work wonders for pain. Research shows it affects various inflammatory and pain-sensing systems throughout the body. Over-the-counter (OTC) medication, like standard Ibuprofen, can alleviate inflammation and pain as well, though through a totally different process.
Ibuprofen addresses the symptoms of pain only by decreasing the body’s natural prostaglandin hormones. That means it treats the inflammation itself, but not the cause of the inflammation.
Proponents of CBD (and other cannabis products) believe that CBD works with your body’s natural systems, bringing them back to homeostasis and helping to alleviate the underlying condition that’s causing you pain—while also tackling the pain itself.
CBD is also known for its positive effects on muscle spasms. This means that it may provide even more relief to folks with pelvic floor dysfunction than regular OTC meds.
What are the Risks of CBD?
CBD studies are ongoing and evolving. We understand some things—but not everything—about how CBD can be used to treat chronic pain.
What we know at the moment is that CBD carries some potential side effects, like nausea, fatigue, and irritability. Cannabis-derived products can also interact with certain medications. So make sure to check with your healthcare provider before adding anything to your routine.
The biggest concern to keep in mind is that CBD isn’t currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means you can’t be sure that any CBD product you buy actually has the ingredients it claims to have. Do your research and only buy from reputable brands.
What Conditions Does CBD Help?
Some research shows CBD can offer relief for any chronic pain condition. That means folks with concerns like endometriosis, vulvodynia, vaginismus, interstitial cystitis (IC), and other painful pelvic floor dysfunctions could benefit from the introduction of CBD.
Types of CBD Products for Pelvic Pain
There are several ways to consume CBD, including:
- CBD suppositories for pain
- Topical creams and lotions, including CBD topical cream for menstrual cramps
- CBD oils
If you’re looking for pain management for a more chronic condition, topicals like creams, oils, and serums might be most helpful. If painful sex is more your concern, a CBD vaginal or anal suppository or lube might be your thing. You can also use a tincture, which goes under the tongue and allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream directly.
Best CBD for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
CBD vaginal or rectal suppositories can help target the most sensitive pelvic floor muscles. You can use them to regularly alleviate chronic pelvic pain or just use them during that time of the month, whichever you need most!
Oils, Lubes, and Serums
CBD lubes and oils can also help the pelvic floor muscles and tissues relax while providing all-important lubrication for sex. KUSH Queen’s Water Based CBD Lube is compatible with latex condoms and silicone sex toys. It’s extra gentle on sensitive skin, too!
I also like Foria Awaken Arousal Oil with CBD. While not compatible with latex condoms (oil causes latex to break down), using it before sex it can enhance “tactile sensation and pleasure while decreasing tension, discomfort, and dryness.”
Live life pain free.
We all deserve optimal pelvic floor health. That’s why I created the V-Hive, an online membership that brings pelvic floor and core exercises to the comfort of your own home.
Whether you need to strengthen or relax your pelvic floor, prepare or repair for childbirth, or anything in between, these curated workout series will help you live your best life.
Sources and Further Reading
Grinspoon, P. (2021, September 24). Cannabidiol (CBD): What we know and what we don’t. Harvard Health. Retrieved March 16, 2023, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
Vučković, S., Srebro, D., Vujović, K. S., Vučetić, Č., & Prostran, M. (2018). Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 1259. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259