'Marijuana Tampon' Might Be the End of Your Period Cramps

Period cramps suck and can turn some women’s menstruation into a monthly encounter with severe and intense pain. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, at least half of all women who get their periods experience one or two days of cramping, and while women try lots of ways to relieve the issue, from Midol to acupuncture and beyond, not everything works for everyone, making almost any new proposed solution worth investigation. Enter Foria Relief, a THC-infused suppository that’s come to be known as the "weed tampon.” The company says it won’t get you—or your vagina—high, but it might be the cure for what menstrually ails you.

According to Foria’s website, the suppositories contain just three ingredients: CBD, THC and organic cocoa butter. You insert the suppository—which can be used with tampons—and wait for its healing powers to take effect. Though every woman’s response will be different, Foria states that “on average, women are reporting relief within 15-30 minutes of insertion.” And in case you’re worried—totally justifiable—about what else might be contained in something you’re putting directly into your body, Foria claims its “cannabis is outdoor grown in Northern California without the use of harmful pesticides.”

A bit more on how it all works:

Foria Relief contains both THC and CBD, the two key active cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. Together they activate certain cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region when introduced into the body via these specially formulated suppositories. Users have reported a significant decrease in the pain and discomfort often associated with menstruation. The cannabinoids directly impact the immune system and the nerve endings of the uterus, cervix, ovaries and surrounding smooth muscle tissues. THC positively affects the nerves and assists in blocking out pain while also allowing for more pleasant signals to be received by the brain. CBD works in the immune system by suppressing the mechanisms responsible for inflammation. CBD also slows down electrical signaling to muscles and allows them to relax, thereby reducing cramping. Foria Relief harnesses the power of these two cannabinoids to provide women with a safe and natural alternative to manage the cramps and pain they often experience while menstruating.

The site also features testimonials from users who say their well-being has been heightened by the product.

“I have endometriosis that returned after having a partial hysterectomy,” one user wrote on social media. “When I have flare ups, besides excruciating pain, I look pregnant and the inflammation affects my bladder. Foria is one of the very few things that brings me relief! You should share more of its uses."

Another reads, “This is potent medicine and the most healing way I have ever used cannabis. Thank you for the gift of medicine!”[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_small","fid":"610844","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

Marijuana as a pain reliever is pretty well known by this point, and it makes sense that menstrual cramps, and the pain associated with them, would be no different. Foria comes on the heels of medical marijuana becoming legal in 24 states and the District of Columbia. As of 2013, more than three-quarters of doctors said they supported medical marijuana use, a number that has likely gone up as prohibitions have fallen by the wayside. Almost nine out of 10 respondents to a 2014 CNN poll stated that medical marijuana should be legal, and a 2016 survey conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 61 percent of Americans think pot should be flat-out legal across the board.

As for women using marijuana to treat pain, the Daily Beast notes there’s a lot of historical precedent:

According to a 2008 historical review of cannabis treatments in obstetrics and gynecology, women may have begun using the drug to treat cramps as early as the 9th century. A translation of an Arab text from that time says that women used the juice of cannabis seeds to “treat migraine, calm uterine pains, and prevent miscarriage.” Further examples appear in texts from the 11th century and 13th century in Persia and a Chinese text from 1596, which says women used cannabis flowers for “menstrual disorders.” Perhaps the most notable historical example is that of Queen Victoria, who was reportedly prescribed cannabis during her menstrual cycle each month by her doctor, Sir John Russell Reynolds.

1928 paper from Pharmacotherapuetics, Materia Medica and Drug Action added even more weight to the theory. In it, the authors reported cannabis’ ability to act “favorably upon the uterine musculature” and suggested it be used to counteract “painful menstrual cramps.” Overall, they concluded that it had “particular influence over visceral pain.” In the same paper, they made note of another potential benefit of cannabis. “A woman in labor may have a more or less painless labor… if a sufficient amount of the drug is taken,” the authors write. “As far as is known, a baby born of a mother intoxicated with cannabis will not be abnormal in any way.” The practice of giving cannabis to women in labor appears in other ancient texts as well.

Since the whole point of the product is to treat the problem at the source, the manufacturers state it can also be inserted rectally “for other forms of pain and discomfort in the body, such as the back and hip area,” so, do what you will with that. It should be noted that while Foria states psychoactive highs haven’t been reported by most users (which means, I guess, in a few rare cases some women will experience a high), putting a THC-infused product in your body will register on a drug test. Which makes pretty solid sense.

Foria suppositories come four to a pack and sell for $44 on the website. After all the good news, there was bound to be a little bad news, too—at least, if you live in a state that hasn’t fully decriminalized pot. If you aren’t a resident of California, you can’t (yet!) purchase the product. And you’ll need a doctor’s note, too. But maybe all that will change soon.


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