Have you ever heard of CBD suppositories? If you have, you might have heard users talk about how they are good for menstrual pain relief. From these, a new and intriguing product has emerged: CBD tampons. Like suppositories, CBD tampons are designed to deliver healing CBD oil to a targeted area of the body.
CBD vs. THC—and CBD Tampons
Cannabis-based tampons and suppositories for pain relief usually contain high amounts of cannabidiol (CBD). However, they may or may not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is because CBD is the major pain-controlling molecule found in cannabis plants (Cannabis sativa). THC is the psychoactive component in cannabis, responsible for giving people a high when they use marijuana. CBD does not cause psychoactive effects.
The differences between CBD and THC come from the ways they interact with your body. Each binds and activates different kinds of receptors within your cells. Those that THC binds are mostly found in your brain, where THC causes changes in the activity of your neurons.
The receptors that CBD binds to are largely found in the cells of your immune system and not as much in your brain. Taking CBD helps control inflammation, pain, and stress but doesn’t affect your neurons nearly as much.
Menstrual Cramps and Pain
Most women are quite familiar with the phenomenon of menstrual cramps. These cramps are caused by the uterus losing its inner lining of tissue (endometrium). As this lining falls off each month and a woman has her period, many cells and their components break off and are released into nearby body parts.
Some of these components are enzymes that trigger certain inflammatory and pain molecules. These molecules provoke contractions of the uterus and surrounding muscles. These contractions cause cramping and the pain that goes with it.
The most common therapy for period pain relief is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen. These painkillers work by blocking the production and release of inflammatory and pain molecules.
Other menstrual pain-relieving options include heating pads, oral contraceptive pills (birth control), and CBD-infused products. Though taking CBD oil or edibles can help relieve pain throughout the body, suppositories and tampons deliver CBD directly to affected areas.
The skin of the vagina and rectum absorb some substances very rapidly, avoiding breakdown by the stomach or liver. This enables almost immediate action of whatever substance is in the suppository. A CBD suppository could then lead to quick relief of period pain and inflammation.
Foria is a California-based company that develops THC and CBD-infused products. Their items range from vape pens to suppositories.
Examples of the THC products they offer are:
- Arousal lube
- Lubricating suppositories
- Micro-dose vape pen
- THC oil
Examples of their CBD products include:
- Natural arousal oil (massage therapy)
- Menstrual vaginal suppositories (or rectal)
- Oral CBD capsules
- CBD oil (to add in beverages)
- Vape pen
The menstrual CBD suppositories can be inserted vaginally or rectally. Each suppository contains 100mg of CBD.
A UK “femcare” start-up company is currently in the midst of developing CBD tampons named Daye. This novel feminine care product, enhanced with 30% CBD, is due out this fall (2019).
The thought process behind developing CBD tampons stems from CBD’s therapeutic effect on menstrual pain and inflammation. Absorption through the vaginal wall would provide quick and direct pelvic pain relief.
With this method of absorption, it is important to consider dosages, concentrations, and side effects. The vaginal canal wall is thin absorbs substances much faster and with higher concentrations than if we ingest them orally. While this may not necessarily be a bad thing, we need more information from studies and clinical trials before we find definitive answers regarding how effective CBD tampons may be.