CBD For Pelvic Pain and Painful Sex by Julia Rubin – VuVatech.com
Pain is one of our body’s ways of letting us know that something is wrong. Women in particular often experience pelvic pain, or pain below the belly button and above the legs. This can be caused by a number of things, from cysts to digestive problems. Some women experience pelvic pain after giving birth. Others have a more serious medical condition that is causing the pain, such as endometriosis, which has no cure despite popular assumption.
It is very important to see a doctor if you have pelvic pain. But no matter the cause of your pain, know that cannabis can be of great help! It has been used for centuries around the world to cure ailments and alleviate symptoms, and research has shown that it is safer than the use of opiod pain medications.
How Cannabis Offers Pain Relief
Our bodies make natural chemical receptors called endocannabinoids. They are part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a harm reduction system found in the brain, nervous system, and elsewhere. They keep everything from our sleep to our appetites running smoothly. It is a common misconception that these receptors only live in the brain and nervous system. They can also be found in the skin, gut, and reproductive organs. They are even found in break milk!
Researchers continue to find evidence that the ECS is important when it comes to treating pain and inflammation.
When our bodies cannot naturally heal themselves, cannabis can be a great helper. The cannabis plant has properties that mimic endocannabinoids and gives the body and brain a boost.
There are two main compounds found in cannabis: THC and CBD. Both are very effective in managing pain. THC gives us that familiar “high,” while CBD does not. For instance, medicinal CBD oil contains small amounts of THC, so users get all of the benefits of cannabis without altering their state of mind. A Canadian study found no serious side effects of medical cannabis after one year of pain treatment.
Way back in 1988, researchers in London found that cannabis is up to four times more effective than aspirin at treating inflammation. That’s great news, as aspirin can result in fatal overdoses, while cannabis cannot.
Prescription opioids like oxycodone can also cause nausea and vomiting, while cannabis might relieve your tummy troubles and increase your appetite. Opioids are also addictive.
States like Oregon, California, and Washington have seen a decrease in opioid overdoses. It’s no wonder, as cannabis is legal in all three of them, and many are trading in their opioid drugs for medical weed.
Understanding Your Pain
It is important to try and find the root cause of your pain. Acute pain is sudden and intense, while chronic pain is long-lasting and consistent. It can even get worse over time. Usually, it lasts for three months or longer.
Acute pelvic pain might be caused by PMS, stomach troubles, or a ruptured cyst. Chronic pelvic pain may be the sign of an underlying disease, such as adenomyosis. This condition causes pain during periods and pressure on the bladder. Other sufferers might have chronic pelvic pain syndrome, a condition found in men that is caused by inflammation of the prostate gland. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty urinating, sexual problems, and general pain in the pelvic region.
At 2011 study at the University of California at San Francisco concluded that cannabis can be a powerful remedy for chronic pelvic pain. In 2014, researchers found that 61 percent of people who had used cannabis to treat chronic pelvic pain syndrome showed improved symptoms. While cannabis may not work as well for everyone in pain management, it’s definitely worth giving a try.
Finding the Best Strains for Your Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain can make daily life very difficult. Symptoms might include bloating, cramps, spotting between periods, and lower back pain. When it comes to treating pain, some strains of cannabis are far more effective than others. It is always important to think about what time of day you are using cannabis, and what kind of pain you are having.
Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal itself. It is also often the root cause of pain. Cannabis can treat inflammation and relieve pain all across the body.
Strains with a high amount of CBD help reduce inflammation without getting you high. If you need to work, operate machinery, or concentrate on tasks during the day, high CBD strains are probably your best bet.
For instance, Cannatonic contains less than six percent THC and will leave you calm and relaxed. It’s a popular strain for those with chronic pain. Harlequin, a sativa dominant hybrid, has a CBD/THC ratio of 5/2.
Canna-Tsu is also a sativa dominant hybrid and is very popular in providing pain relief while leaving you clear-headed and happy.
“The popularity may be related to the effects on symptom relief and the fact that higher CBD products produce less cognitive disruption and therefore leave patients more functional and clear-headed,” Dr. Sherellen Gerhart told HelloMD.
However, if you want more THC or have some downtime, try strains like Sour Diesel, which can give you a boost of energy and creativity. OG Kush, an indica dominant hybrid, can be great for back pain relief and muscle spasms. Try smoking or vaping some in the evenings, as it also works to treat insomnia.
Some believe the best strains for pain relief contain both CBD and THC. When combined, they work together to increase each other’s powerful effects.
Topical Cannabis Creams are Always an Option
If you don’t want to smoke, vape, or eat edibles, topical cannabis cream can be a great alternative for relieving your pelvic pain. Types of topicals include lotions, balms, or oils that absorb directly into the skin. It’s non-addictive, powerful, and all-natural stuff. Plus, they won’t get you high. Cannabis cream works wonders to reduce inflammation and relax the muscles.
Simply apply the cream directly to where you are having pain. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and foods high in fat and sugar while you are using the cream can also help de-stress the body. Every topical cream is different. Some have cooling menthol, while others create a warming sensation. OG Kush Cream even contains emu oil, which helps the skin absorb it nicely.
Eat Some CBD Edibles
Edibles with high amounts of CBD, like Cheeba Chews, are a delicious way to relieve inflammation. If your pain is related to your period, try OM EDIBLES™. They’ve been endorsed by the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, who strongly advocates for medical cannabis legalization. (She even has her own product line for menstrual cramps called Maya & Whoopi’s OM EDIBLES™).
Try Taking a Cannabis Bubble Bath
It may sound simple, but a nice, warm bath can really help relax your muscles and ease your pain, especially if cannabis is involved.
Add cannabis bath bombs (which you can make at home) to warm bathwater, and let your body enter a deep state of relaxation. This relaxing soak can also help with eczema and various skin issues. We also recommend not letting the water get too hot, as scalding water can amp up your nervous system instead of calming it down.
To make your bath truly unbelievable, smoke or vape a great strain of pain-relieving cannabis while soaking in the tub. You’ll thank us later.
CBD – Pain – Pelvis
Pelvic pain is felt below your bellybutton. It may come on suddenly and severely, or could be mild and last for months. Sometimes the cause of pelvic pain can’t be identified. Pelvic pain is more common in women than men, with literally dozens of possible causes; and more than one cause may be responsible for your discomfort.
Knowing what’s causing the pain can help. Knowing how to relieve the pain is vital.
CBD oil for chronic pelvic pain
It is generally acknowledged that many patients are not satisfied with the contemporary medical approach to the management of chronic pelvic pain. Many have turned to medicinal cannabis because of its strong anecdotal reputation of providing benefit to patients with chronic pain. In a condition where patients are struggling to cope, the CBD solution offers hope.
Marijuana or cannabis contains hundreds of known compounds, including cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the most widely studied to date. THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) stimulates appetite, and can be used as a sleep aid. CBD (the non-psychoactive cannabinoid) reduces inflammation, and relieves anxiety. The combination of CBD and THC acts as a muscle relaxant, relieves spasms, reduces nausea, and relieves pain.
To date, there are almost no “clinical research studies” to support the use of CBD, and we have to rely on what little clinical evidence is available for the use of cannabis in other chronic pain syndromes. There is at least some literature attesting to the possible benefits of CBD oil in spastic disorders, PTSD, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatic diseases, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, inflammation, and chronic pain.
CBD Oil is better than Opioids
Patients who have trouble coping because of pain that is not responding to over-the-counter pain relief, who then turn to opioids as a last resort, is not the best approach. Opioids, at best, offer approximately 30% improvement in pain and at worst, offer a paradoxical slow exacerbation in pain intensity. With even minor pain relief, comes the possibility of physical or at least psychological dependence to opioids, with desire for further increasing doses with diminished results. CBD oil has fewer downsides, with the possibility of similar pain relief, better psychological coping and less chance for addiction and dose escalation.
HERS, HIS & THEIRS
As mentioned above, pelvic pain comes in dozens of guises, some specific to females; some specific to males; and some which are generic. Detailed below are the most common pelvic pain complaints, and their symptoms. Regardless of the diagnosis for your pelvic pain, it is pretty much a given guarantee that you suffer from chronic pain, inflammation and/or both.
Research has proved that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help you cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil is of benefit to people with chronic pelvic pain.
Pelvic Pain in Women
Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus, called the endometrium, is found inside the muscular wall of the uterus itself. It can cause severe menstrual cramps with heavy, prolonged bleeding. Some women with Adenomyosis feel pain between periods, during sexual activity, or with bowel movements or urination. Pain may feel like a lower backache or radiate down one or both legs. Adenomyosis is confined to the uterus. The condition is common in women who have had several children. The uterine wall does not contract as it should, and blood flow continues after menstruation.
Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells that form in the lining of the uterus. Some of these cells may, instead of being expelled from the body during the menstrual process, actually end up continuing their cycle elsewhere in the body. They then have no way of leaving the body, so the material builds up and may attach itself to other organs in the lower abdomen, such as the ovaries or bowel. This can produce a host of different symptoms, including incapacitating pain in the uterus, lower back, and organs in the pelvic cavity prior to and during the menses; intermittent pain throughout the menstrual cycle; painful intercourse; excessive bleeding, including the passing of large clots and shreds of tissue during the menses; nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
Fibroids are benign growths that can form on the interior muscular wall as well as the exterior of the uterus. These tumours can be microscopic to several kilograms in size. The disorder involves not only the uterus but sometimes also the cervix. It is estimated that 20 to 50% of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed. In more than 99% of fibroid cases, the tumours are benign; they are not associated with cancer and do not increase a woman’s risk for uterine cancer. The condition can also lead to heavy periods or abnormal vaginal bleeding. For reasons not yet understood, they tend to form during a woman’s late thirties and early forties, and then shrink after menopause. This would seem to suggest that estrogen is involved in the process.
Ovarian Cysts are fluid-filled sacs or other benign (non-cancerous) growths that can form in or on the ovaries. They may cause pain in the pelvis, especially if they bleed or rupture, or in the lower back. Pain may strike suddenly or be ongoing; it may feel like a dull ache or a lingering pressure as the cyst pushes on another pelvic organ, such as the bladder. Exercise, urination, sexual activity, or menstruation may make the pain worse. Large cysts may cause the ovary to twist, cutting off its blood supply, requiring emergency surgery to save the ovary.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome results from pelvic varicose veins, which are abnormally enlarged veins in the pelvis, similar to varicose veins that occur in the legs. They start in the ovarian veins, the deep veins of the pelvis, or sometimes both. The cause of this enlargement is not always known, but is associated with prior pregnancy, pelvic surgery, and estrogen replacement therapy. Symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome include chronic pelvic pain, often described as dull or aching, that is worst when sitting or standing and improves when lying down. Other symptoms include pain after intercourse, fatigue, backache, bloating, nausea, and leg fullness. Some women may have visible varicose veins of the vulva, buttocks, and upper thighs.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease sometimes called PID, is a complex infection that affects a woman’s reproductive organs – the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. It’s often the result of an untreated sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia. Without treatment, pelvic inflammatory disease can cause irreversible scarring to the pelvic organs and lead to infertility. Women with pelvic inflammatory disease may experience fever, a dull ache in the pelvis, pain with urination or sexual activity, and a heavy yellow or green vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odour, though some women have no symptoms at all.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs when the ligaments and muscles supporting the organs in the pelvis weaken or stretch. This can cause the bladder, bowel, rectum, urethra, uterus, or vagina to prolapse, or slip out of place. More than one organ can prolapse at the same time. It may be a result of childbirth, genetics, or chronic stress on the pelvis straining during bowel movements when constipated, among other causes. Women with pelvic organ prolapse may experience pelvic pain during sex or between periods. They may fell lower back pain or pressure caused by one or more of the pelvic organs pressing against the vaginal wall.
Vaginismis is involuntary contraction of muscles around the opening of the vagina in women with no abnormalities in the genital organs. The tight muscle contraction makes sexual intercourse or any sexual activity that involves penetration painful or impossible.
PROSTATITIS IS THE ONLY MALE-SPECIFIC CAUSE OF PELVIC PAIN
If you’re a man suffering from pelvic pain, you should be aware that this may be caused by prostatitis. This condition indicates the swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland. It can be painful and difficult to treat depending on whether the cause is known.
The most common urinary symptoms of prostatitis are:
- Painful urination: specifically a burning sensation
- Urinary urgency: experiencing an urge to urinate immediately
- Urinary hesitancy: dribbling or difficulty starting the urine stream
- Urinary frequency: needing to urinate more often than usual
- Nocturia: needing to urinate several times per night
- Painful ejaculations
- Pain the groin, pelvis, or lower back
- Pain in the testicles
- Flu-like symptoms (with bacterial prostatitis)
The prostate is a doughnut-shaped male sex gland, positioned beneath the urinary bladder. It encircles the urinary outlet, or urethra. Contraction of the muscles in the prostate squeezes fluid from the prostate into the urethral tract during ejaculation. Prostatic fluid makes up the bulk of semen. The prostate is the most common site of disorders in the male genitourinary system. Generally speaking, there are three conditions that can cause problems with the prostate:
- Prostatitis, which is inflammation of the prostate
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) which is an enlarged prostate with no signs of cancer
- Prostate cancer
Prostatitis, common in men of all ages, is the inflammation of the prostate gland. The usual cause is infectious bacteria that invade the prostate from another area of the body. Hormonal changes associated with aging may also be a cause. The inflammation can result in urine retention. This causes the bladder to become distended, weak, tender, and itself susceptible to infection. Infection of the bladder is in turn easily transmitted up the ureters to the kidneys.
There are three types of prostatitis:
Acute infectious prostatitis is usually cause by bacteria. The onset is sudden. Symptoms may include pain between the scrotum and rectum, fever, frequent urination accompanied by a burning sensation, a feeling of fullness in the bladder, and blood or pus in the urine
Chronic (long-term) prostatitis is also a bacterial infection. Symptoms may include nothing more than a recurring bladder infection
Non-infectious prostatitis is, as the name suggests, not caused by a bacterial infection. The cause for this inflammation is not known. Symptoms can include frequent urination possibly accompanied by pain; pain after ejaculation; and lower abdominal pain.
All types of prostatitis, if untreated, can lead to impotence and difficulty with urination.
Unfortunately, many men with pelvic pain caused by prostatitis do not find relief. Prostatitis pain can be so unbearable it disrupts both your professional and personal life. CBD and prostatitis treatment is a pain management therapy that can combat your pain without altering your blood pressure as some over-the-counter medications do. A recent study concluded adding medicinal marijuana to a treatment plan for prostatitis reduced chronic pain levels without increasing the concentration of narcotics in the patient’s blood or slowing the respiratory system. Along with the more widely known substance, THC, which is responsible for combating pain, medical marijuana contains CBD, an important component which was been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
COMMON PELVIC PAIN COMPLAINTS IN MEN AND WOMEN
Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a lymphoid organ that opens into the first part of the large intestine. For many years, the appendix was believed to be a vestigial organ that served no function, but that is no longer the belief. In the fetus, the appendix contains endocrine cells that manufacture hormones and other important body chemicals. In young adults, the appendix is believed to play a part in the functioning of the immune system. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain that beings close to the navel and migrates toward the right lower abdomen.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common, particularly I women, babies and older people. Around one in two women and one in twenty men will get a UTI in their lifetime. The kidneys control the amount of water in the blood and filter out waste products to form urine. Each kidney has a tube called a ureter, which joins the kidney to the bladder. The urine leaves the kidneys through the ureters and enters the bladder. The bladder ‘signals’ the urge to urinate and urine leaves the body through a tube called the urethra. Most urinary infections are confined to the bladder and, while causing symptoms, are not serious or life threatening.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians. It is estimated that approximately 10-15% of the population has symptoms of IBS, although fewer than half of them seek medical help for it. More than twice as many women suffer from the condition as men. Irritable bowel syndrome is one of a range of conditions known as functional gastrointestinal disorders. In IBS, this disorder of functioning is with the way nerves and muscles are working. In the doctor’s office nothing abnormal is seen on tests. The bowels look fine. Yet there is pain, discomfort, and other symptoms that won’t go away, or keep coming back.
A hernia is the protrusion of organs, such as intestines, through a weakened section of the abdominal wall. If left untreated, the split in the muscle widens and greater amounts of tissue or organs are pushed through the opening, forming a sac. This visible lump or bulge is one of the key characteristics of a hernia. The weakened abdominal wall can be present at birth or may develop later in life. The most common site is the groin, but hernias can also form in other areas, such as the navel.
How can CBD Oil help my Pelvic Pain – Does it really work?
Studies on CBD oil and pain management have shown a great deal of promise. CBD Oil reduces pain, inflammation and overall discomfort, with excellent results scientifically reported over a number of related health conditions. CBD is a chemical found naturally in marijuana, but it doesn’t cause the “high” feeling often associated with cannabis. CBD can offer an alternative for people who have chronic pain and rely on more dangerous, habit-forming medications like opioids.
At iCannabis we are focused on bringing the purest and most bioavailable medical cannabis to Australian patients and their families.
We are a group that specialises in educating and helping Australia patients gain access to Cannabis for Medical purposes. Through education and real-life experiences with the healing powers of this plant.
Once you discover the documented benefits tens of thousands of patients around the world have received from the medicine, you too will realise how this can potentially change and improve the lives of you and your family.
The positive impact this plant has already had on the quality of life for patients and their families is nothing short of miraculous.
At iCannabis we are committed to establishing an Australian medical cannabis community comprised of passionate and caring people, focused on the highest quality organic medicine made with love and integrity.
If you need any advice or help with CBD Pelvic Pain care, or sourcing full spectrum cannabis oil treatments please contact us. We try to answer all emails within 24 hours and are happy to help and advise on all aspects of CBD treatments in complete confidence.
Can CBD Prevent Pelvic Pain?
The compound is certainly trendy, but the research is scant.
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I suffer from pelvic pain, specifically vaginismus. I’ve been reading about the benefits of CBD with pain. I was wondering if CBD salves or lubricants were safe to use internally? And if CBD will actually reduce the pain one experiences with vaginismus.
Vaginismus is a medical condition where the muscles of the pelvic floor (the muscles that support the bladder, vagina and rectum) have excessive tension. This can lead to both pelvic pain and pain with sex. There is no data to support using CBD vaginally (or by any other route) for this pain condition. There is some evidence linking cannabis use in the previous four months with increased vaginal yeast colonization, but CBD has not been studied independently.
Tell Me More
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a nonpsychoactive compound found in cannabis. CBD is “in” right now for many medical conditions, not just ones that are painful. The data supporting CBD use for most conditions is generally low quality or completely absent, so it is important to separate the fad from the facts so you can make an informed choice about your body.
CBD may play a role in reducing pain and muscle spasm for some conditions, but there are still a lot of unknowns. An oral spray with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis) and CBD is approved for use in other countries for muscle spasm caused by multiple sclerosis as well as for some kinds of chronic pain. However, it is not possible to directly translate this data to vaginal use or to apply it to a different medical condition.
We do not know how CBD would act vaginally since cannabinoid receptors in the vagina have not yet been studied. We also don’t know how much CBD would be absorbed into the bloodstream or if absorption is needed to produce an effect. (In this case, if the drug has to enter the bloodstream to work, there is probably no benefit to vaginal use).
We also don’t know what effect CBD could have on the pelvic floor muscles. There is one study that tells us natural endocannabinoids actually reduce during sexual excitement, so it is biologically plausible that CBD could increase pelvic floor muscle tone (meaning it would be very unhelpful for spasm). There is also some data that suggests cannabis use is associated with a higher rate of vaginal yeast colonization. We don’t know if this is from the THC, CBD or other cannabinoids.
Essentially, we don’t know what we don’t know about CBD and the vagina. I recommend that any woman (or man) with pelvic floor muscle spasm skip CBD and instead see an Ob/Gyn or urologist with expertise in that area, as well as a specialized pelvic floor physical therapist.
Dr. Jen Gunter, Twitter’s resident gynecologist, is teaming up with our editors to answer your questions about all things women’s health. From what’s normal for your anatomy, to healthy sex, to clearing up the truth behind strange wellness claims, Dr. Gunter, who also writes a column called, The Cycle, promises to handle your questions with respect, forthrightness and honesty.