Ep 374 – Surging New Interest in CBD for Pelvic Pain, Physical Therapist Explains…
A corner of the cannabis marketplace quietly gaining popularity is CBD for pelvic pain and sexual wellness. Here to tell us more is Adina Leifer, a pelvic floor physical therapist and the founder of Silkx Society, the first medically-backed CBD lubricant for pelvic pain.
[1:07] Adina’s background as a pelvic floor physical therapist and her Atlanta-based practice, Able Therapy
[2:12] An inside look at Adina’s new company Silkx Society, a CBD lubricant designed specifically for pelvic pain
[7:20] How CBD can benefit different types of pelvic floor dysfunction
[11:56] The challenges of starting a CBD company and some valuable lessons Adina has learned along the way
[14:08] How Adina came up with the formulation for her CBD lubricant and what sets it apart from others on the market
[20:48] Where Adina sees this category heading over the next few years
Note from Adina: Men have pelvic muscles and can experience pelvic pain. It can present as a constant ache in their abdomen or below their testicles. Physical therapy is a great treatment for men with this pain, and this pelvic serum can help them as well.
Do CBD 'Tampons' Ease Pain? Here's What You Should Know.
Gretchen, a 30-year-old from Santa Monica, had suffered from excruciating cramps and pelvic pain for years. Then, about five years ago, she was diagnosed with endometriosis — a painful condition where tissue that makes up the uterine lining grows outside the uterus.
She tried everything to soothe the pain ― ibuprofen, topical CBD oils, even smoking weed — but nothing could take her pain from an eight to a three, she said. Then she came across a company that sold menstrual CBD suppositories, or CBD “tampons,” as they’re often nicknamed. She bought a pack and gave them a whirl, and to her surprise her pelvic pain miraculously disappeared — at least for a couple of hours.
“CBD suppositories have definitely taken the place of pain pills for me, which I didn’t think was possible,” Gretchen, who wished to remain anonymous while talking about marijuana and CBD so it wouldn’t impact her career, told HuffPost. “Once I was aware of my pain scale and kind of the before and after effects, I was like, ‘Whoa, this stuff is powerful.’”
Although there isn’t a ton of research yet that can unequivocally support the benefits of CBD ― let alone data on how it affects the vagina ― many rely on it for their health problems. Women are finding that CBD suppositories may provide menstrual and pelvic pain relief.
How do CBD suppositories work?
The tiny, cylinder-shaped CBD suppositories are inserted vaginally, similarly as you would insert a tampon without an applicator. Most are made with hemp oil, cocoa butter, and coconut oil, which allow the suppository to soften and melt once it’s inside your body.
From there, the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream via the mucosa in the vagina — which is actually very absorbent, much like the lining of your mouth or your gut, according to Jennifer Berman , a board-certified urologist and sexual health expert based in Los Angeles. Because the CBD is applied directly to the vagina, it can begin working on the area immediately.
Now, it’s still somewhat of a mystery exactly how CBD interacts with our bodies. Experts believe that CBD affects our endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors in the body that help regulate the nervous system, immune system and the body’s organs. This process could reduce inflammation and pain and alleviate anxiety.
Though the endocannabinoid system is located throughout our body, it’s most prevalent in our reproductive system (think our ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and such). This could be why the CBD suppositories seem to really be helping people’s pelvic pain — from menstrual cramps and painful sex to endometriosis, vulvodynia and fibromyalgia, according to Felice Gersh, a board-certified OB-GYN and founder of the Integrative Medical Group in Irvine, California.
“I really do think that it’s reducing the inflammatory response and the contractions of the uterus, but we definitely need more data,” Gersh said.