Can CBD Help With PMS?

By Mary Sauer, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

Because every woman is unique, the effectiveness of CBD truly depends on the kind of symptoms she’s dealing with each month.  

When it’s that time of the month, you’ll reach for anything to relieve the discomfort of PMS. Between cramps, headaches, fatigue and restless nights, a cure-all sounds like something we’d trade our souls for. And while we aren’t quite there yet, ladies, CBD can at least help take the edge off. (Even goop agrees!)

PMS effects 75% of menstruating women and to be perfectly honest, it totally sucks. We haven’t nailed down the exact cause of PMS, but most believe it has something to do with the way hormones change during this time of a woman’s cycle. The symptoms vary greatly and it is now believed that as many as 150 different premenstrual symptoms exist. The most common of these symptoms include irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep problems, and bloating — but that’s truly just the tip of the iceberg.

PMS lasts for five to 11 days before the onset of menstruation. To put that in perspective, that’s every 2 to 3 weeks of a woman’s life until she hits menopause. If you’ve found a way to manage the effects of your cycle, that’s great, but those of us with severe PMS, heavy periods, or bad reactions to birth control can start to feel kind of desperate for a solution.

How Is PMS Treated?

Talking about treatment of PMS actually isn’t quite accurate since it isn’t a disease to be cured. Instead, it’s a massive group of symptoms to be managed and what does and doesn’t work really depends on each person and their individual experience.


For example, a doctor might suggest hormonal birth control to stop ovulation with the hope of reducing the severity of PMS symptoms. Those who deal with intense mood swings may turn to an antidepressant. There isn’t one perfect approach, either. For example, these two strategies might work great for some but antidepressants can come with side effects and birth control isn’t an option for women who are trying to conceive.

Can CBD Help With PMS Symptoms?

The good news is that CBD, or cannabidiol, might provide women with mild to moderate PMS symptoms with some relief. Because of the unique experience of each woman, the effectiveness of CBD truly depends on the kind of symptoms they’re dealing with each month. Here’s what we found out.

Let’s start with the mood swings. Those days leading up to menstruation can be full of anxiety, irritability, and even depression. In 2014, a research review summarized the evidence supporting the use of CBD for depression. What researchers found is that CBD does appear to have an antidepressant-like effect, however the research up until this point has been done on animals and human studies are needed to confirm these findings. A 2015 research review looked at the possibility of using CBD oil for anxiety management and found convincing evidence that CBD could help manage anxiety, including obsessive compulsive symptoms, social anxiety, public speaking, and more.


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