Medical Cannabis & Women’s Health: Exploring the Connection

 


A strong focus on women’s health has dramatically evolved over the years. New therapeutic approaches are emerging to promote and regulate women’s health, and medical cannabis is leading the way.


Strainprint is collecting and disseminating information from tens of thousands patients across the country. More than half of Strainprint users are women, and it’s clear that they’re using medical cannabis in ways that healthcare professionals may not be fully aware of. Aside from more typical uses, the data shows these patients are also using cannabis for treating menopausal symptoms, sexual health, reproductive health issues, PMS, including mood disorders, often associated with hormone fluctuations.


Providing Pain Relief for Reproductive Health
It’s rare to find a woman who hasn’t experienced mild to severe menstrual pain. For some women, their menstrual cycles represent a complete physical and emotional nightmare. Healthcare practitioners who prescribe cannabis are now looking at it to help treat specialized conditions such as a dysmenorrhea and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Both cause extreme, debilitating cramping. Cannabis is providing an alternative to pharmaceutical pain relievers with very high levels of patient efficacy. Patients are not only using traditional dried cannabis and oils but also next generation products such as THC-infused topical creams, transdermal patches and rectal/vaginal suppositories. Many patients have been making these products on their own! (As many are not yet available in Canada through Licensed Producers or are only available in select States like California and Colorado).   

Mojo-ing with Cannabis
One of the big, emerging uses for cannabis, is undoubtedly giving a growing number of women (and their partners) a restored hope for their sex lives. A mid-range THC strain that has higher levels of the terpene Myrcene, is ideal for relaxing the body and calming the mind. With the relatively quick onset of effects, vaping can be an effective way of helping women change gears and get in the mood. But that’s not all. Infused topical oils, and lubricants are becoming available, and talked about, and they’re helping women experience heightened levels of sensation and pleasure.

A recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, provided compelling research findings. The study found that women who use cannabis had the most sexual encounters compared to non users with 7.1 encounters over a 4 weeks period compared to 6 encounters by their non-cannabis using women in the study.


Help For All Stages

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) affects all women within their lifetime, the severity of symptoms and duration of symptoms will differ based on age, physiology and other genetic factors. Some women experience severe mood swings or feelings of depression in the days leading up to their menstrual cycle, and cannabis is showing to help stabilize these moods.
Then comes Menopause. During this stage of life women often experience a number of physiological, hormonal and emotional issues that are uncomfortable to deal with. Some women enter menopause as early as 40 years old with the average onset age being 51. During this time, women’s estrogen levels go through a dramatic decline. This disruption affects sleep, body temperature regulation, appetite, energy levels and once again, mood. Fortunately, the endocannabinoid system (which is what processes cannabis in our bodies), also helps regulate these things. So in theory, introducing cannabis into the body, can provide relief from all these new life-stage discomforts.

Adding Something Extra to the Cosmetic Bag

Cannabis topicals are on the rise in legal cannabis markets across the globe because of their potential for promoting beauty and a healthy glow. Analysts at Goldman Sachs estimate the global beauty industry to be worth $24 billion dollars, and you can bet that cannabis companies are very invested in getting in on that action. As the legalized market advances, we’ll be able to see new products emerge that are designed to connect cannabis with beauty and overall well-being. Infused balms, salves, soaps, oils, perfumes, shaving creams, and bath soaks, are poised to become must-haves for the cannabis enthusiast who believes in the various uses of cannabis for beauty.


Looking Ahead
In Canada, we’re at an exciting time and place, as new products will become available and accessible in the coming years. This is just the beginning. As we continue to learn from our users, and those users start sharing with their girlfriends, sisters, moms and daughters, women will be reaping the benefits of cannabis in ways they would have never considered a few years ago.


If you use cannabis for any women’s health issues, we’d love you to expand on your experiences, anonymously if you wish, by emailing us at info@strainprint.ca. The more we learn from one another, the more we can inform others!

Patient Profile – Mike Rudichuk – Replacing High Doses of Opioids with Cannabis for Back Pain

As the Strainprint community grows, we have the pleasure of meeting different people from across the country who rely on the app daily for their medical marijuana dosing and information.

Last Patient Profile, we featured the story of Jennifer Raymond, who suffers from psoriatic arthritis who found that cannabis was the key to helping her manage her regular pain while maintaining a high-degree of function as a busy working mother.

This month, we’re pleased to feature the story of Mike Rudichuk, who was generous enough to share his journey with cannabis and Strainprint with our team.  

Mike’s Journey

Mike became a medical cannabis patient 2 years ago as a result of chronic and debilitating pain due to herniated disks in his lower back that were impacting his daily life. As a young father of just 36 who has a full-time job, hobbies, and a household to run, Mike needed something to help take the edge off from the back pain that was impacting every aspect of his life. Like many other Canadians, he turned to opioid painkillers to help manage his pain.

He found that his body was becoming highly tolerant of the pain medications, requiring an increase in his doses regularly. His pain wasn’t being managed as much as just masked, and he was feeling that the strong chemicals in the pharmaceuticals were taking a negative toll on his overall health. The side effects he experienced didn’t seem worth the struggle. Concerned about this, when found that if he tried to lower his doses, or even take time away from the prescriptions, he’d experience withdrawal. He began to be concerned about his long-term health and how his body would be able to manage going off the opioids entirely. It was time to look for an alternative.

Through open dialogue with his own Family Doctor, Mike decided to try medical cannabis as an alternative to the strong opioids he was using. Luckily, his doctor even committed to walking this journey with him so that he could understand how medical cannabis would make a difference in his pain management.

Within a few months, Mike found that he had made more progress managing his pain using certain cannabis strains than he ever had over years of using pain pills. Mike prefers to use low-THC high-CBD strains like Zen’s Garden from Emblem.

He vapes, usually in the mornings and afternoons to help get through the days. The lower THC in small doses helps him attack his pain without a loss of clarity, whereas he felt like he was in “outer space” with opioid use.

When asked about his journey in pain management, Mike says, “If there is one thing I could change, it would have been to start using medical cannabis sooner.”

Mike & Strainprint

Mike was an early user of Strainprint and recalls a time where customer service exceeded his expectations. After sending a Tweet to Strainprint making some suggestions about the app, he was connected with Strainprint’s CEO, David Berg, where there was an acknowledgment of feedback and an intentional effort to address upcoming software updates for the continuous improvement of the app. “Anytime a CEO takes time to personally respond to clients, you know you’re in the right place,” Mike says about his experience, “The wonderful people at Strainprint are patients like us, so they take feedback very seriously.”

Mike finds that tracking his daily regime helps him greatly to feel in control of his pain management, which is incredibly big deal to someone who has come off opiods.

Mike’s Advice

Mike has the following advice for those interested to try medical cannabis for the first time:

“Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. It’s your body and your life, and you should be well aware of all treatment options including cannabis. I can use cannabis at any point of the day and not impair me to the point of not being able to function, whereas there were times with pain medications where I was so zoned out and not able to function properly. I’ve been given a better quality of life and have felt much better in general health overall since being off opioid pain-killers and using medical cannabis.”