Since the beginning of time, women have been expected to endure days of inconvenience and pain each month. Today, many women are beginning to discover a new breakthrough and are using CBD for PMS as a way to combat these symptoms and obtain relief. 

Studies show that between 50% to 90% of women around the world deal with menstrual challenges with a wide range of symptoms from cramping to diarrhea and impactful pain. Certain conditions like PCOS and endometriosis can further exacerbate these challenges, making it an uphill battle. With limited resources and options available for alleviating these symptoms, many women turn to natural options like cannabis and CBD oil.

Before we delve into the promising symptom management properties and therapeutic value that this compound has to offer, we’ll need a better understanding of the menstrual cycle and the root causes of these myriad of symptoms.

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The Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle goes beyond just the period. In fact, the period is only the first phase of the cycle. Each menstrual cycle is made up of two cycles that interact and overlap, with one happening in the uterus and the other in the ovaries. Communication between the brain, uterus, and ovaries work together through hormones in order to keep the cycle going.

Your menstrual cycle begins with the first day of the period and ends once the next period begins. The entire cycle typically lasts between 24 and 38 days. Women experience different cycle lengths throughout their lives starting from menarche to menopause.  

CBD Oil for PMS

While we are just beginning to understand CBD’s potential health benefits, studies suggest that taking CBD oil for PMS symptoms such as cramps, pain, inflammation, and mood swings may be a viable option for women seeking a natural, holistic alternative. Taking CBD for PMS may provide relief from one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Depression, anxiety, and mood swings
  • Period pain and cramps
  • Appetite changes
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Other PMS symptoms

Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

Some women will experience changes in their skin, hair, bowel movements, chronic disease symptoms, headaches, mental health, as well as the way they experience sex during the different points throughout the menstrual cycle. Here’s an overview of each phase of your cycle:

  • Menstruation: Also known as the period, menstruation refers to the shedding of the uterine lining. During menstruation, your levels of estrogen and progesterone are particularly low.
  • Follicular phase: This refers to the time between the first day of your period and ovulation. Estrogen levels begin to rise in order to prepare the release of an egg.
  • Proliferative phase: After the period, uterine lining is built back up again. 
  • Ovulation: Ovulation occurs mid-cycle, releasing the egg from the ovary. During this phase, estrogen peaks just beforehand and drops shortly after.
  • Luteal phase: This refers to the time between ovulation and prior to the start of menstruation. The body begins to prepare for possible pregnancy so progesterone is produced, peaks during the luteal phase, and then drops.
  • Secretory phase: The uterine lining creates chemicals that either support early pregnancy or help prepare the lining to break down and shed if no pregnancy occurs.

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Common Symptoms During the Menstrual Cycle

Most women experience symptoms during the days leading up to menstruation and during the first days of menstruating when the flow is heavier. There are over a hundred different symptoms that have been attributed to the menstrual cycle and these experienced symptoms can also change over time. Some women are lucky enough to not experience any symptoms while others struggle with more severe side effects that impact day to day life.  

Menstruation Symptoms

While common, menstruation symptoms are often exacerbated by hormone imbalances as well as poor diet and lifestyle habits. There are also certain chronic conditions that can impact the symptoms experienced by women.

Physical Menstruation Symptoms
  • Tender breasts
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Bloating, fluid retention
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Joint pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Lower back pain
  • Low energy, fatigue
  • Acne
  • Trouble sleeping
Emotional/Behavioral Menstruation Symptoms
  • Food cravings
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression

Options are limited for managing painful symptoms like cramps, backaches, and joint pain. Some women use NSAIDs or even prescription pharmaceuticals which all have a laundry list of undesirable side effects. There are self-care and management options available including warm baths, warm compresses, keeping hydrated, and focusing on proper nutrition. 

Tip: Try soaking in a warm bath with our Pause Bath Bomb to help soothe aches and pains.

Common PMS Symptoms

About 90% of women will experience PMS symptoms during some point in their lifetime, while 20% to 30% of women experience clinically significant PMS that impacts their day to day lives. PMS symptoms tend to increase in women around age 40. 

Physical PMS Symptoms
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Weight gain related to fluid retention
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Acne
  • Tender breasts
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Alcohol intolerance
Emotional/Behavioral PMS Symptoms
  • Anxiety or tension
  • Depression
  • Crying spells
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability or anger
  • Appetite changes
  • Food cravings
  • Poor concentration
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Social withdrawal

What Causes PMS Symptoms?

There are several factors that contribute to PMS symptoms, including:

  • Hormone changes: The symptoms of PMS change with hormone fluctuations and disappear with both pregnancy and menopause.
  • Brain chemical changes: Fluctuations among serotonin levels can also trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient levels may lead to premenstrual depression, fatigue, sleep issues, and food cravings.
  • Depression: Some women experiencing significant PMS have undiagnosed depression which can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Chronic conditions: Chronic conditions like endometriosis can lead to significantly more painful menstrual cramps and other symptoms. 

Understanding PMDD

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is characterized as a severe form of PMS that includes physical and emotional/behavioral symptoms often resolved with the onset of menstruation. PMDD can cause severe symptoms in women a week or two prior to menstruation. 

Physical PMDD Symptoms
  • Tender breasts
  • Muscle pain
  • Pelvis pain
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Bloating 
  • Weight gain
Emotional/Behavioral PMDD Symptoms
  • Severe mood swings
  • Depression or extreme sadness
  • Anxiety, hopelessness, or panic attacks
  • Irritability or crying
  • Appetite changes 
  • Diminished interest in usual activities
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Self-critical thoughts

Treatment for PMDD encompasses self-care techniques for management, therapy, as well as certain pharmaceutical options. Oral contraceptives, SSRIs, and anxiolytic medication can be prescribed for PMDD but often have numerous long-term, adverse side effects.

CBD for PMS, PMDD, and Menstrual Symptoms

Cannabis has been used for centuries to help alleviate menstrual symptoms with texts dating back to the 9th century AD describing its effectiveness for uterine cramps in Persia. Cannabis has been celebrated for menstrual challenges throughout history and worldwide with an overwhelming abundance of positive anecdotal testimonials. While considerable strides still need to be made with clinical research before we can make any conclusions, here’s how taking CBD for PMS may help women manage their symptoms before, after, and during menstruation.

The Role of Prostaglandins

Your body produces a chemical called prostaglandins which are essential for numerous physiological functions including playing a critical role in helping the uterus shed unused tissue which becomes your menstrual flow. Prostaglandins can unfortunately also cause inflammation, pain, cramping, and diarrhea.

CBD and Prostaglandins

CBD inhibits the production of COX-2 which is an enzyme that the body utilizes in order to create painful prostaglandins. Inhibition, therefore, may alleviate pain or even help prevent the symptoms before they occur. This is the same mechanism that’s targeted by over-the-counter options like NSAIDs, however, these drugs actually also inhibit COX-1, an enzyme that defends the digestive system. That’s why these pain medications can cause undesirable gastrointestinal side effects. CBD may help address the pain caused by prostaglandin production without the unpleasant GI effects.

Benefits of CBD for PMS Cramps, Pain & Inflammation

The inflammation caused by prostaglandins may be addressed by CBD’s encouraging anti-inflammatory properties. By activating receptors that prevent the body from releasing inflammatory proteins, CBD may prevent prostaglandins from causing further inflammation that can cause painful symptoms throughout the body. CBD may also soothe discomfort by desensitizing pain-perceiving nerves.

Cramps are one of the more common side effects of PMS and menstruation. They are actually contractions of the smooth muscle that lines the uterus. CBD may offer natural muscle relaxant properties that target receptors located in the muscle tissue in order to relax the contractions. CBD may also trigger muscle relaxation among the smooth muscle that lines blood vessels, helping increase blood flow and provide relief to oxygen-deprived tissue. This may further assist in alleviating painful cramping.

CBD for Emotional Menstrual Challenges

CBD’s celebrated anti-anxiety and stress-relieving potential may offer therapeutic value for the emotional and behavioral symptoms experienced during PMS and menstruation. Since CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, it may help balance hormones and important brain chemical messengers that often exacerbate emotional menstrual challenges. It may also address some of the root causes of severe symptoms by offering therapeutic promise for depression, endometriosis, PCOS, and more. 

How to Use CBD for PMS and Menstrual Symptoms

All cannabinoid therapy varies from person to person, including managing PMS and menstruation symptoms. The results and effectiveness highly vary on the person, the administration method, product cannabinoid profile, timing, and dosage. Some women take CBD on an as-needed basis while others will take it consistently for preventative and overall management. 

CBD Dosage for PMS

Because everyone is different, CBD dosage for PMS tends to vary from one person to the next. We recommend self-experimenting with dosage and timing to find what works best for you. When it comes to understanding the effects of any new supplementation, it’s also wise to keep a journal where you track your dosage, timing, and menstrual symptoms. This can give you a clear set of data points for creating the proper CBD regimen for PMS, allowing you to better understand how it affects you. 


Check out the following frequently asked questions for more information on the potential benefits of CBD for PMS and period pain.

Q: Can I take CBD oil for PMS irritability?

A: If you experience feelings of irritability during your period, you may want to consider giving CBD a try. However, there’s no guarantee that it will work. The only way to know is to try. CBD affects everyone differently. That being said, there are studies which suggest that CBD may help support individuals suffering from feelings of depression and anxiety, which are often underlying causes of irritability and mood swings. 

Q: Does CBD help with hormonal imbalance?

A: There is still much to be learned about how CBD affects hormones in the human body. However, emerging research looks promising. Studies suggest that CBD may help with hormonal imbalances by altering hormonal secretion, cell receptor response, and the breakdown of hormones. However, CBD may affect different hormones in different ways, so it’s important to do your research. For a clearer answer, you may want to consider seeking the advice of a medical professional.

Q: How do you take a CBD tincture for PMS?

A: CBD tinctures can be administered orally, topically, or sublingually. You can try adding the tincture to a beverage such as tea or coffee or taking it as is. To take the tincture sublingually, simply place a few drops beneath your tongue. 

Q: What are the benefits of full spectrum CBD tinctures for PMS?

A: The benefit of taking a full spectrum tincture instead of a broad spectrum tincture or CBD isolate is that you get to experience the full effects of something known as the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect occurs when cannabinoids and terpenes interact with each other, increasing the overall effectiveness of the product. More of these cannabinoids are present in a full spectrum tincture than a broad spectrum tincture.

Q: Can you take CBD for PMS breast pain?

A: Breast pain during menstruation is caused primarily by fluctuations in hormone levels. Due to a lack of research, it’s hard to say for certain whether CBD can help with this particular symptom of PMS. However, some studies indicate that CBD may possibly help regulate hormone imbalances and reduce inflammation which causes pain. For this reason, it’s possible that it could provide some type of relief in this situation, but there’s no way to know for certain at this time.

Press Pause CBD for PMS

As women, we understand the complicated nuances of our body chemistry and how differently our menstrual cycle impacts every one of us. That’s why we’ve handcrafted our high-quality CBD products just for you. We’re always happy to help you find the right products for viable PMS and menstruation symptom management and addressing the underlying causes. Please contact us for more information!

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