Dear Nurse Susan,
Every month, I experience horrible menstrual cramps that are debilitating. The only way I can get out of bed is by taking Vicodin or whatever prescription pain medication I can get my hands on. I work full-time and have a young daughter so it really bothers me if I feel out-of-it. Can marijuana help me?
Can’t Wait for Menopause
Cannabis can be a woman’s best friend. When used responsibly and strategically, cannabis can relieve menstrual pain, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain and insomnia, hormonal headaches/migraines, depression/anxiety, and general aging. I have many female clients who have fallen in love with cannabis, because it does the job with or without the “high”. I plan on doing a series on cannabis for women, but for now, lets just talk about using cannabis for menstrual pain, without the “high”.
Cannabis is a well-know superior pain reliever for all kinds of pain including cancer, MS, Parkinson’s Disease, nerve pain, etc. The trick is to find what works best for you, including the best product/strain, dosage, and route of administration. The choices can be overwhelming, but I will narrow it down so that you have a good starting point.
When it comes to menstrual pain, your best route of administration is a vaginal suppository, especially if you want to minimize or avoid the high. Suppositories enable you to use a higher dose of THC for pain, without the psycho-activity.
There are some good products on the market such as Foria Relieve Suppositories (2 pack) which costs $24 for 140mgs, or $.17/milligram. If cost is a concern, you can make your own suppositories (and save 75%) for about $.04/milligram (see instructions below). All you need is coconut oil or cacao butter, and cannabis oil. Myriam’s Hope has an OG Kush oil with 1000mg of THC for $35, which will yield 20 suppositories with 50mg/suppository. If you’d like to add CBD oil for some extra anti-inflammatory effect, Charlotte’s Web or any quality CBD oil can be used.
Dosage is different for every person, you just “start low and go slow” until you find the lowest effective dose for you. If you use suppositories, 50mg is a good place to start. If you use sublingual tinctures or edibles, use 2.5mg to start and wait at least 2 hours before consuming more. For inhalation, start with ½ of a pull on the vape or joint; you should feel the effects in about 15 seconds. The disadvantage of smoking is you don’t really know your dose, and you will get high. The advantage of suppositories is no high (as with edibles) and it lasts longer than smoking/vaping.
Although cannabis suppositories (rectal or vaginal) may seem like an odd choice for administration, they are my go-to for cancer pain, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, and loss of appetite related to cancer and HIV/AIDS. Someone who can only tolerate about 10mg of THC due to the psychoactivity, is usually able to tolerate more than 100mg via suppository with little to no psychoactivity. That can make a huge difference in someone’s quality of life.
Making Your Own Cannabis Oil Suppositories
- 1 gram (1000 mg) of THC oil – Start with 50 mg per suppository. (Use whatever product you prefer. Use a lab tested product that you can use in a measured dosage).
- 250 mg of CBD oil – Optional; Start with 10mg per suppository (The CBD oil adds anti-inflammatory properties, but is not required)
- Coconut oil or cacao butter ½ cup or less – Amount depends on how many suppositories you are making.
- Something to use as a mold for the suppository – Mini ice cube trays, suppository mold, empty 00 gelatin capsules (Choose your preference; all available on Amazon)
What to do
- Melt coconut oil or cacao butter in a hot water bath.
- Measure THC and CBD oil for your dosage.
- You can either put the medicine in your mold first and then add the additional coconut or cacao oil to the mold (as in the first video below), or
- Blend the medicine into the warm coconut or cacao oil and then add to the mold (as in the second video below).
- Use whichever method you prefer so you can control your dosage and reduce waste.
- Put in the freezer for an hour.
- Use as needed.
- As everyone responds differently experiment with the amount of THC until you get the relief you need.
Here are a couple of examples of how to make suppositories. There are many Youtube videos on making suppositories and they are often overly complex. These are two easy examples of how to make the suppository.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu1sGybmwvA – Very simple. He doesn’t even heat the oil!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEMDZDWcN1g – She is making essential oil suppositories, but the process is the same and she has a simple trick for the mold.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ3lxk1E0oE – A brief look at Foria Relief suppositories.
So if you are feeling adventuresome, and want to say goodbye to pain, give suppositories a try!
To your health!