I Use CBD Every Single Day, Here’s Why
I’ve had chronic pain for over a decade now, and nothing has helped me as much as CBD has.
Hello there people of the world — Lara here, and I have had chronic pain for the last decade. If you haven’t heard me talk about my Vagina Problems yet, buckle up, because here we go. This is going to be fun.
The main source of my pain is a lovely disease called endometriosis. It affects approximately 176 million people around the world. That’s a lot of people. Over the years, however, that endometriosis has evolved into other conditions that contribute to my daily pain such as Vaginismus, Vulvodynia, Insterstitial cystitis, and overall pelvic floor dysfunction. Here’s a helpful graphic to help you remember some of them:
I told you this would be FUN.
TL;DR, my vagina and abdomen hurt pretty much all of the time. Over the last 10+ years, I’ve tried a lot of different treatments to help ease my pain and give myself an opportunity to lead the most “normal” life possible. But to be honest, no surgery, prescription drug, or any amount of yoga has helped me personally the way that CBD has. And that’s why we are here today.
If you don’t know what CBD is — here’s a little rundown:
CBD (which is abbreviated from Cannabidiol, btw) is one of 100+ naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant. THC — a compound found in hemp that gets you high, which is what most people think of when they think of cannabis — is another one. Unlike medical marijuana products (which are derived from plants with high concentrations of THC), CBD oil is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. In other words, CBD oils can provide medical benefits without making you stoned out of your gourd. Oh, and here’s even more information about CBD if you’re still curious.
I moved to Los Angeles from the Midwest five years ago, and started using medical marijuana for my pain management shortly thereafter. It helped me A LOT. On bad pain days, when I literally couldn’t get out of bed, it gave me relief in a way nothing else ever had before. But, I couldn’t very well live my life while stoned out of my mind on a daily basis. So I started looking into CBD. And it has quite literally changed my life.
Some of my biggest problems associated with my pain are as follows:
# Zero appetite due to an almost constant state of nausea
# Inflammation all over my body causing severe aches and pains in my legs and lower back specifically
CBD – Pain – Pelvis
Pelvic pain is felt below your bellybutton. It may come on suddenly and severely, or could be mild and last for months. Sometimes the cause of pelvic pain can’t be identified. Pelvic pain is more common in women than men, with literally dozens of possible causes; and more than one cause may be responsible for your discomfort.
Knowing what’s causing the pain can help. Knowing how to relieve the pain is vital.
CBD oil for chronic pelvic pain
It is generally acknowledged that many patients are not satisfied with the contemporary medical approach to the management of chronic pelvic pain. Many have turned to medicinal cannabis because of its strong anecdotal reputation of providing benefit to patients with chronic pain. In a condition where patients are struggling to cope, the CBD solution offers hope.
To date, there are almost no “clinical research studies” to support the use of CBD, and we have to rely on what little clinical evidence is available for the use of cannabis in other chronic pain syndromes. There is at least some literature attesting to the possible benefits of CBD oil in spastic disorders, PTSD, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatic diseases, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, inflammation, and chronic pain.
CBD Oil is better than Opioids
Patients who have trouble coping because of pain that is not responding to over-the-counter pain relief, who then turn to opioids as a last resort, is not the best approach. Opioids, at best, offer approximately 30% improvement in pain and at worst, offer a paradoxical slow exacerbation in pain intensity. With even minor pain relief, comes the possibility of physical or at least psychological dependence to opioids, with desire for further increasing doses with diminished results. CBD oil has fewer downsides, with the possibility of similar pain relief, better psychological coping and less chance for addiction and dose escalation.
HERS, HIS & THEIRS
As mentioned above, pelvic pain comes in dozens of guises, some specific to females; some specific to males; and some which are generic. Detailed below are the most common pelvic pain complaints, and their symptoms. Regardless of the diagnosis for your pelvic pain, it is pretty much a given guarantee that you suffer from chronic pain, inflammation and/or both.
Research has proved that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help you cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil is of benefit to people with chronic pelvic pain.
Pelvic Pain in Women
Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus, called the endometrium, is found inside the muscular wall of the uterus itself. It can cause severe menstrual cramps with heavy, prolonged bleeding. Some women with Adenomyosis feel pain between periods, during sexual activity, or with bowel movements or urination. Pain may feel like a lower backache or radiate down one or both legs. Adenomyosis is confined to the uterus. The condition is common in women who have had several children. The uterine wall does not contract as it should, and blood flow continues after menstruation.
Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells that form in the lining of the uterus. Some of these cells may, instead of being expelled from the body during the menstrual process, actually end up continuing their cycle elsewhere in the body. They then have no way of leaving the body, so the material builds up and may attach itself to other organs in the lower abdomen, such as the ovaries or bowel. This can produce a host of different symptoms, including incapacitating pain in the uterus, lower back, and organs in the pelvic cavity prior to and during the menses; intermittent pain throughout the menstrual cycle; painful intercourse; excessive bleeding, including the passing of large clots and shreds of tissue during the menses; nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
Fibroids are benign growths that can form on the interior muscular wall as well as the exterior of the uterus. These tumours can be microscopic to several kilograms in size. The disorder involves not only the uterus but sometimes also the cervix. It is estimated that 20 to 50% of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed. In more than 99% of fibroid cases, the tumours are benign; they are not associated with cancer and do not increase a woman’s risk for uterine cancer. The condition can also lead to heavy periods or abnormal vaginal bleeding. For reasons not yet understood, they tend to form during a woman’s late thirties and early forties, and then shrink after menopause. This would seem to suggest that estrogen is involved in the process.
Ovarian Cysts are fluid-filled sacs or other benign (non-cancerous) growths that can form in or on the ovaries. They may cause pain in the pelvis, especially if they bleed or rupture, or in the lower back. Pain may strike suddenly or be ongoing; it may feel like a dull ache or a lingering pressure as the cyst pushes on another pelvic organ, such as the bladder. Exercise, urination, sexual activity, or menstruation may make the pain worse. Large cysts may cause the ovary to twist, cutting off its blood supply, requiring emergency surgery to save the ovary.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome results from pelvic varicose veins, which are abnormally enlarged veins in the pelvis, similar to varicose veins that occur in the legs. They start in the ovarian veins, the deep veins of the pelvis, or sometimes both. The cause of this enlargement is not always known, but is associated with prior pregnancy, pelvic surgery, and estrogen replacement therapy. Symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome include chronic pelvic pain, often described as dull or aching, that is worst when sitting or standing and improves when lying down. Other symptoms include pain after intercourse, fatigue, backache, bloating, nausea, and leg fullness. Some women may have visible varicose veins of the vulva, buttocks, and upper thighs.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease sometimes called PID, is a complex infection that affects a woman’s reproductive organs – the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. It’s often the result of an untreated sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia. Without treatment, pelvic inflammatory disease can cause irreversible scarring to the pelvic organs and lead to infertility. Women with pelvic inflammatory disease may experience fever, a dull ache in the pelvis, pain with urination or sexual activity, and a heavy yellow or green vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odour, though some women have no symptoms at all.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs when the ligaments and muscles supporting the organs in the pelvis weaken or stretch. This can cause the bladder, bowel, rectum, urethra, uterus, or vagina to prolapse, or slip out of place. More than one organ can prolapse at the same time. It may be a result of childbirth, genetics, or chronic stress on the pelvis straining during bowel movements when constipated, among other causes. Women with pelvic organ prolapse may experience pelvic pain during sex or between periods. They may fell lower back pain or pressure caused by one or more of the pelvic organs pressing against the vaginal wall.
Vaginismis is involuntary contraction of muscles around the opening of the vagina in women with no abnormalities in the genital organs. The tight muscle contraction makes sexual intercourse or any sexual activity that involves penetration painful or impossible.
PROSTATITIS IS THE ONLY MALE-SPECIFIC CAUSE OF PELVIC PAIN
If you’re a man suffering from pelvic pain, you should be aware that this may be caused by prostatitis. This condition indicates the swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland. It can be painful and difficult to treat depending on whether the cause is known.
The most common urinary symptoms of prostatitis are:
- Painful urination: specifically a burning sensation
- Urinary urgency: experiencing an urge to urinate immediately
- Urinary hesitancy: dribbling or difficulty starting the urine stream
- Urinary frequency: needing to urinate more often than usual
- Nocturia: needing to urinate several times per night
- Painful ejaculations
- Pain the groin, pelvis, or lower back
- Pain in the testicles
- Flu-like symptoms (with bacterial prostatitis)
The prostate is a doughnut-shaped male sex gland, positioned beneath the urinary bladder. It encircles the urinary outlet, or urethra. Contraction of the muscles in the prostate squeezes fluid from the prostate into the urethral tract during ejaculation. Prostatic fluid makes up the bulk of semen. The prostate is the most common site of disorders in the male genitourinary system. Generally speaking, there are three conditions that can cause problems with the prostate:
- Prostatitis, which is inflammation of the prostate
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) which is an enlarged prostate with no signs of cancer
- Prostate cancer
Prostatitis, common in men of all ages, is the inflammation of the prostate gland. The usual cause is infectious bacteria that invade the prostate from another area of the body. Hormonal changes associated with aging may also be a cause. The inflammation can result in urine retention. This causes the bladder to become distended, weak, tender, and itself susceptible to infection. Infection of the bladder is in turn easily transmitted up the ureters to the kidneys.
There are three types of prostatitis:
- Acute infectious prostatitis
Acute infectious prostatitis is usually cause by bacteria. The onset is sudden. Symptoms may include pain between the scrotum and rectum, fever, frequent urination accompanied by a burning sensation, a feeling of fullness in the bladder, and blood or pus in the urine
- Chronic infectious prostatitis
Chronic (long-term) prostatitis is also a bacterial infection. Symptoms may include nothing more than a recurring bladder infection
- Non-infectious prostatitis
Non-infectious prostatitis is, as the name suggests, not caused by a bacterial infection. The cause for this inflammation is not known. Symptoms can include frequent urination possibly accompanied by pain; pain after ejaculation; and lower abdominal pain.
All types of prostatitis, if untreated, can lead to impotence and difficulty with urination.
Unfortunately, many men with pelvic pain caused by prostatitis do not find relief. Prostatitis pain can be so unbearable it disrupts both your professional and personal life. CBD and prostatitis treatment is a pain management therapy that can combat your pain without altering your blood pressure as some over-the-counter medications do. A recent study concluded adding medicinal marijuana to a treatment plan for prostatitis reduced chronic pain levels without increasing the concentration of narcotics in the patient’s blood or slowing the respiratory system. Along with the more widely known substance, THC, which is responsible for combating pain, medical marijuana contains CBD, an important component which was been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
COMMON PELVIC PAIN COMPLAINTS IN MEN AND WOMEN
Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a lymphoid organ that opens into the first part of the large intestine. For many years, the appendix was believed to be a vestigial organ that served no function, but that is no longer the belief. In the fetus, the appendix contains endocrine cells that manufacture hormones and other important body chemicals. In young adults, the appendix is believed to play a part in the functioning of the immune system. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain that beings close to the navel and migrates toward the right lower abdomen.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common, particularly I women, babies and older people. Around one in two women and one in twenty men will get a UTI in their lifetime. The kidneys control the amount of water in the blood and filter out waste products to form urine. Each kidney has a tube called a ureter, which joins the kidney to the bladder. The urine leaves the kidneys through the ureters and enters the bladder. The bladder ‘signals’ the urge to urinate and urine leaves the body through a tube called the urethra. Most urinary infections are confined to the bladder and, while causing symptoms, are not serious or life threatening.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians. It is estimated that approximately 10-15% of the population has symptoms of IBS, although fewer than half of them seek medical help for it. More than twice as many women suffer from the condition as men. Irritable bowel syndrome is one of a range of conditions known as functional gastrointestinal disorders. In IBS, this disorder of functioning is with the way nerves and muscles are working. In the doctor’s office nothing abnormal is seen on tests. The bowels look fine. Yet there is pain, discomfort, and other symptoms that won’t go away, or keep coming back.
A hernia is the protrusion of organs, such as intestines, through a weakened section of the abdominal wall. If left untreated, the split in the muscle widens and greater amounts of tissue or organs are pushed through the opening, forming a sac. This visible lump or bulge is one of the key characteristics of a hernia. The weakened abdominal wall can be present at birth or may develop later in life. The most common site is the groin, but hernias can also form in other areas, such as the navel.
How can CBD Oil help my Pelvic Pain – Does it really work?
Studies on CBD oil and pain management have shown a great deal of promise. CBD Oil reduces pain, inflammation and overall discomfort, with excellent results scientifically reported over a number of related health conditions. CBD is a chemical found naturally in marijuana, but it doesn’t cause the “high” feeling often associated with cannabis. CBD can offer an alternative for people who have chronic pain and rely on more dangerous, habit-forming medications like opioids.
At iCannabis we are focused on bringing the purest and most bioavailable medical cannabis to Australian patients and their families.
We are a group that specialises in educating and helping Australia patients gain access to Cannabis for Medical purposes. Through education and real-life experiences with the healing powers of this plant.
Once you discover the documented benefits tens of thousands of patients around the world have received from the medicine, you too will realise how this can potentially change and improve the lives of you and your family.
The positive impact this plant has already had on the quality of life for patients and their families is nothing short of miraculous.
At iCannabis we are committed to establishing an Australian medical cannabis community comprised of passionate and caring people, focused on the highest quality organic medicine made with love and integrity.
If you need any advice or help with CBD Pelvic Pain care, or sourcing full spectrum cannabis oil treatments please contact us. We try to answer all emails within 24 hours and are happy to help and advise on all aspects of CBD treatments in complete confidence.
Can CBD Prevent Pelvic Pain?
The compound is certainly trendy, but the research is scant.
I suffer from pelvic pain, specifically vaginismus. I’ve been reading about the benefits of CBD with pain. I was wondering if CBD salves or lubricants were safe to use internally? And if CBD will actually reduce the pain one experiences with vaginismus.
Vaginismus is a medical condition where the muscles of the pelvic floor (the muscles that support the bladder, vagina and rectum) have excessive tension. This can lead to both pelvic pain and pain with sex. There is no data to support using CBD vaginally (or by any other route) for this pain condition. There is some evidence linking cannabis use in the previous four months with increased vaginal yeast colonization, but CBD has not been studied independently.
Tell Me More
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a nonpsychoactive compound found in cannabis. CBD is “in” right now for many medical conditions, not just ones that are painful. The data supporting CBD use for most conditions is generally low quality or completely absent, so it is important to separate the fad from the facts so you can make an informed choice about your body.
CBD may play a role in reducing pain and muscle spasm for some conditions, but there are still a lot of unknowns. An oral spray with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis) and CBD is approved for use in other countries for muscle spasm caused by multiple sclerosis as well as for some kinds of chronic pain. However, it is not possible to directly translate this data to vaginal use or to apply it to a different medical condition.
We do not know how CBD would act vaginally since cannabinoid receptors in the vagina have not yet been studied. We also don’t know how much CBD would be absorbed into the bloodstream or if absorption is needed to produce an effect. (In this case, if the drug has to enter the bloodstream to work, there is probably no benefit to vaginal use).
We also don’t know what effect CBD could have on the pelvic floor muscles. There is one study that tells us natural endocannabinoids actually reduce during sexual excitement, so it is biologically plausible that CBD could increase pelvic floor muscle tone (meaning it would be very unhelpful for spasm). There is also some data that suggests cannabis use is associated with a higher rate of vaginal yeast colonization. We don’t know if this is from the THC, CBD or other cannabinoids.
Essentially, we don’t know what we don’t know about CBD and the vagina. I recommend that any woman (or man) with pelvic floor muscle spasm skip CBD and instead see an Ob/Gyn or urologist with expertise in that area, as well as a specialized pelvic floor physical therapist.
Dr. Jen Gunter, Twitter’s resident gynecologist, is teaming up with our editors to answer your questions about all things women’s health. From what’s normal for your anatomy, to healthy sex, to clearing up the truth behind strange wellness claims, Dr. Gunter, who also writes a column called, The Cycle, promises to handle your questions with respect, forthrightness and honesty.