Article by Ivy Jackson, Lift News
According to a 2016 study by the health app Clue, in partnership with the International Women’s Health Coalition, only 34 per cent of Canadian women feel comfortable talking about periods. This might explain why so many of us remain oddly discreet about menstruation, quickly tucking a bullet-shaped bit of rayon or cotton into our pocket and making a mad dash for the washroom in secret.
But it’s not just general period talk we’re struggling with; it’s the sharing of valuable and sometimes life-changing information we fail to discuss with our lady friends. Case in point: marijuana to ease period cramps and other symptoms.
While much of the data on menstrual pain and marijuana is anecdotal—there is scientific evidence that proves the plant reduces pain in general, but not specific to women’s reproductive issues—many are finding it helpful for periods. But we’re just not talking about it as loud and proud as we should be, for whatever reason (stigma, embarrassment, feeling shy—take your pick).
To start the conversation, we found four Canadian women and asked them to share how they use marijuana to curb painful periods, and what relief they’re experiencing.
Chloe, 30; Toronto, Ont.
According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), one in 10 women have endometriosis like Chloe. A digital editor by day and social justice warrior by night, Chloe started using cannabis recreationally about 13 years ago. “My endometriosis has been flaring up and stress has been high, so I’ve been smoking again once in awhile,” she says.
When did you start using it for menstrual pain?
“Half a decade ago I realized that my body reacted better to a little pot than Advil. With age, my endometriosis has become more painful and instead of taking multiple ibuprofen tablets multiple times a day, I just smoke so I can sleep off the pain at night. Sometimes I still have to have a pill and smoke.”
What menstrual symptoms does marijuana help with?
“Really terrible cramps. Vaginal aches. When it feels like I’m trying to hold a bowling ball between my thighs. It can be a challenge calming down the elves in my uterus who insist on scraping on the interior walls with dull spoons.