There is no denying that the medical landscape of the United States has changed dramatically over these past few years. Discoveries in medicine have led to the effective treatment of previously difficult-to-treat conditions. Amongst these discoveries are the medical uses of cannabis which have resulted in the legalization of medical marijuana in 33 states in the United States, with ten of these also allowing for its recreational use.
Aside from its potentials as an aid in medical treatments, medical marijuana (MMJ) has also been found to be specifically beneficial for women’s health. Curious as to how? Read on to find out.
Before discussing the benefits of cannabis in women’s health, it is important to know more about this naturally-occurring plant. There are three recognized species of cannabis, namely sativa, indica, and ruderalis. Some breeders of the plant enhance the effects of various species by hybridizing their crops. This hybridization results in different strains of plants with varying amounts of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant.
There are over 400 chemical compounds in an average cannabis plant, the main compounds being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN). These compounds produce different effects and have specific uses that contribute to their medical potential. Apart from CBD, these compounds are psychoactive. THC is a highly psychoactive component of cannabis that can induce relaxation, reduce pain and increase appetite. CBN, a milder psychoactive chemical, has analgesic properties. As a non-psychoactive compound, CBD is the best option for medical use; it has all the benefits without the psychoactive effects. It is also known as the ‘miracle’ component of the plant.
In many states, a person may be granted an MMJ if they suffer from a chronic condition or the symptoms brought on by the condition or the treatments associated with these conditions. Examples of these chronic conditions and symptoms include rheumatoid arthritis, cachexia, spasms, and seizures.
The Use of Cannabis in Women’s Health
With increased recognition of the medical benefits of cannabis and its compounds, it was further revealed that cannabis also holds huge potential for improving and maintaining women’s health and here’s how:
Minimizes PMS Symptoms
Before the onset of a woman’s period, she may experience what is known as PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome, usually associated with dysmenorrhea, acne, food cravings, fatigue and irritability a few days before the start of the menstrual cycle. Every woman experiences PMS differently, and the intensity of the symptoms can vary depending on the individual’s diet, stress levels, and physical activity. Body chemistry can also affect the severity of the PMS symptoms.
With cannabis’ proven effectivity in treating many debilitating conditions and symptoms, it should come as no surprise that it can also help alleviate PMS symptoms. This naturally-occurring substance can relieve nausea and vomiting present in severe cases of PMS and is a helpful pain reliever which aids in reducing cramps caused by dysmenorrhea. The presence of CBD in cannabis boosts our internal endocannabinoid system to reduce stress levels and help treat PMS-related anxiety and depression.
Helps with Endometriosis
So what is endometriosis? Specialists say that endometriosis is a condition in which parts of the womb lining (the endometrial tissue or cells that line the uterus) are found outside the womb. This can cause swelling and pain, especially in the pelvic region. However, the amount of endometrial tissue outside the uterus does not dictate the level of pain experienced. There are cases in which a large presence of womb lining is found but is causing minimal pain, while there are other cases in which only a small amount of misplaced tissue growth is causing severe pain. Endocannabinoids, aided by cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, was found to help alleviate symptoms of this condition.
The THC content of cannabis helps to minimize the endometriosis pain as it activates the production of dopamine in the body, but CBD has also been hailed as a valuable substance for treating endometriosis with some experts suggesting applying CBD topicals directly to the pain site to help soothe discomforts and aches.
Improves Sexual Experience
Studies show that women who consume cannabis every day have around 20% more sex than those who do not. This suggests that the use of cannabis can help facilitate an active and healthy sex life for women by increasing their libido. According to sex therapist Lawrence Siegel, cannabinoids facilitate sexual arousal in women. Moreover, THC is known to relieve pain and discomfort which some women may experience during intercourse, making their experience more enjoyable.
For sexual purposes, cannabinoids can be consumed in a number of ways. This includes smoking, vaping and applying products infused with THC and CBD. In fact, companies that advocate making this plant mainstream developed products to be used precisely for sex. You can purchase CBD-based lubricants which aim to minimize inflammation and pain and combat vaginal dryness.
Treats other Conditions
Of course, it is worth mentioning that marijuana helps in treating various illnesses too. Aside from the conditions already mentioned, cannabinoids and its compounds were also found to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. It has anti-seizure and anti-spasm properties, which are effective for treating epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. For wasting syndrome, it can help restore and improve appetite. Other conditions that can be aided by marijuana include PTSD, HIV, AIDS, Crohn’s Disease and many other illnesses.
The legalization of medical marijuana and CBD in all but three states shows how important this development is, especially in the medical field. With the number of conditions that cannabis-based products can help, patients can benefit greatly from this miracle plant. Even non-patients can take advantage of the benefits marijuana has to offer.
The consumption of cannabis can help many women experience relief from suffering in extreme cases of PMS, endometriosis and debilitating conditions. The benefits of the plant to sexual activity also reinforce the positive uses of cannabis and its compounds. Indeed, cannabis has great potential in many fields, making further research and development a valuable endeavor.
If you plan to get cannabis-based products in your state, be sure to review the marijuana laws first, and then you are good to go!