Many endometriosis patients report needing strong narcotic pain medications throughout their menstrual cycle. However, many patients struggle with excruciating pain during their period, even ending up in the hospital when the pain cannot be managed at home. With the current opioid crisis doctors are often hesitant to prescribe pain medications other than NSAIDs like naproxen or weaker opioids like codeine with acetaminophen. Patients are frequently labeled as drug seekers and told “it’s just a bad period, take some Advil.” Add in the stigma and shame surrounding menstruation and patients are less likely to search for a doctor to take their symptoms seriously.
Painful periods in endo patients are likely caused by an excess of a prostaglandin in the body called PGE2, which creates inflammation, pain, and uterine contractions. Patients with endometriosis have been shown to produce an excess of PGE2 which leads to pain during their periods and throughout their cycle. Studies have shown that cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD, can help reduce levels of PGE2, therein lowering inflammation. Taken consistently everyday, CBD can help to reduce the inflammation caused by endometriosis.
Unfortunately, endometriosis pain is not always isolated to menstruation, with patients experiencing pain throughout their cycle. Pain flare ups may happen even when periods are being suppressed via hormonal contraceptives. For patients who cannot tolerate NSAIDs, aren’t finding relief with opioids or experiencing unpleasant side effects from their prescribed pain medications, cannabis can be extremely helpful, either as a complimentary treatment or on its own.
CBD taken consistently may not prevent flare ups completely, it can help reduce the severity and/or frequency of pain flare ups. For night and/or high pain days, a 1:1 strain with equal parts THC and CBD or a high THC strain may be needed.
Strainprint users report relief from the diverse symptoms of Endo with both oil and flower.