Health

A Guide To Using Cannabis-Infused Tinctures And Topicals During That Time Of The Month

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For many women, their monthly cycle comes with headaches, cramps, mood swings and more. They soldier on through days of distress, trying to hold onto their sanity while numbing the agony with pain relievers, heating pads and sheer determination. Calling it an unpleasant experience would be an understatement. It can be disruptive and downright miserable depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Years ago, I was one of those women who could never have enough pain reliever during my cycle. I regularly exceeded the recommended daily dosage in hopes of subduing the cramps that gnawed at me. I experimented with every over-the-counter fix and even tried natural remedies but I was still taking two to four pills at once throughout the day for days on end. I knew that couldn’t be good for my body.

(FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

And then, it dawned on me. I had tried other herbs like black cohosh, arnica and kava kava, so why not try cannabis?

Infused tinctures and topicals are a good choice for women who want to use cannabis to treat pain without smoking or vaping. Data shows that consumers are trending towards alternative delivery methods in legal states where the market is maturing and the habits of buyers are evolving. Just in the first quarter of 2018, there’s been a massive jump in sales of high CBD tinctures as more people become aware of its therapeutic effects.

When it comes to choosing between THC-dominant and CBD-dominant tinctures for menstrual symptoms, consider if you’d like to feel a little high or not. They can be taken sublingually by putting a few drops under the tongue or taken orally by just swallowing it but it’s best to use the sublingual method because it allows the body to absorb cannabinoids faster. Small doses of THC may not produce a buzz, but higher amounts could be too much for women with intense cramps who need to use a tincture throughout the day and still be able to be productive. For newbies using THC-dominant tinctures for the first time, try starting with a five milligram dose under the tongue and waiting at least thirty minutes to see how you feel before taking another five milligram. Finding the right ratio and dose may take a little bit of fine-tuning.

Whereas tinctures work from the inside, topicals can help target pain externally. While topicals still remain a relatively small market, there are lots of different different kinds of topicals ranging from oils and salves to lotions and creams that can be used on specific areas like the shoulders, temples, neck and lower back. With this method, cannabinoids get absorbed through the skin and enter the CB2 receptors while bypassing the bloodstream. That means it can ease muscle tension and reduce inflammation without any psychotropic effects at all.

Topicals work best when they are applied as soon as the first pang is detected by rubbing it directly onto the problem area and massaging it in. The length of time it lasts will depend on how strong the product is and how well your body responds to it. A series of consistent applications is needed for long-lasting relief over a period of days.

From my experience, tinctures and topicals work together in tandem to scale down the amount of discomfort that comes with a menstrual cycle but they can also be used individually. With the pair, I was able to stop my excessive use of pain reliever and take a more natural approach to treat a natural occurrence. Each option has distinct effects and choosing what works best is a personal decision. Cannabis-infused tinctures will show up on drugs tests regardless if it’s THC or CBD-dominant but topicals and hemp-derived CBD will not. The price of tinctures is typically higher than topicals, but the cost of both will vary depending on the region, brand and size of the product.

In states where cannabis isn’t legal for recreational use, hemp-derived CBD products may be available. If they aren’t, just be patient. The hemp CBD market is projected to make $450 million in sales by 2020 which is sure to improve accessibility for consumers.

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