Hey ladies, welcome to the MIA blog! We’ll be talking all things periods, CBD, women’s empowerment and so much more.
If you haven’t heard about CBD yet, we’re glad you’re here. CBD is having its hay day right now, and new products are constantly hitting the market. From CBD bath bombs to CBD cocktails and even dog treats, you name it! This magical, all natural compound is give people a new shot at life and making them rethink the way they go about easing their daily routines. People from all ages are finding the right place for CBD in their lives, and we think it’s about time women started using CBD for period pain.
It’s no secret that women’s health is severely under researched and often times greatly dismissed. The methods available for easing period pain are limited, and most options come in the form of a tiny synthetic pill. Times are changing, and many of us are thinking twice about the stuff we put in our bodies. You’ve probably heard about clean beauty, so why not a clean option for period pain! That’s where MIA comes in. We realized that where there was a lack of options for menstruators when it comes to easing cramps, bloating and all the other PMS symptoms. We’re here to introduce you to a natural solution to PMS and period pain. But first, let’s talk about PERIODS. Any menstruator can tell you that having a period is no joke. I mean with the constant bloating, back pain, cravings and don’t even get me started with the cramps - it’s beautiful but damn does it hurt! So where do all these symptoms come from, and what's the source of our period pain? Science is sexy right? Let’s get into it!
Uterus at Work
While you’re busy watching Euphoria or scrolling through Instagram, casually carrying out your life, your uterus begins to work around the clock in preparation for an embryo or a period. Due to all this hard work, estrogen levels increase and the endometrial tissue within your uterus begins to build up. Your body then ovulates and progesterone levels increase to properly prep the uterus with all the arteries and blood it needs to carry a baby. Once your body realizes it’ll be flying solo this time around, progesterone levels drop and it prepares itself to ditch your uterine lining. Your body then expels it’s uterine lining almost as if ridding yourself from a bad ex. Blood supply is cut off from the uterine lining and is forced to shed itself. Byeeee! But the fun has just begun and this is when you start experiencing the pain we’ve all come to know so well!
Prostaglandins: Your Worst Nightmare (but necessary)
Most of the pain that we experience is caused by inflammation, and period pain takes the cake (no pun intended). If you’ve never heard of the infamous inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins, let us introduce you to the main compound that’s been taunting you since you first started your period. These pesky little chemicals are made at the site of tissue damage and are responsible for controlling the actions of blood flow, inflammation, blood clots and the beginning of labor. Pesky, but oh so necessary. If you’re not hosting a baby, the uterine lining has no option but to contract and shed itself, meaning that this pain is actually for quite a good reason. If you’ve got no use for the uterine lining, it’s got to go!
While your uterine lining is making its grand exit, progesterone hormones trigger prostaglandins to increase. This causes a whole host of unfortunate events, some of which include:
Increased pain level: Prostaglandins not only inflame your body, they also increase sensitization by giving your nerves a nice little pep talk to liven them up. So if you’ve ever gotten a brazilian wax during your period, you know what I’m talking about!
Contractions: Yep, prostaglandins trigger the uterine muscles to contract and help squeeze all the uterine lining out of your body, AKA cramps! Like I said before, your uterine lining has got to go, and prostaglandins help do just that. Higher levels of prostaglandins in the body can mean greater and more painful cramps.
Heavy flow: As if the cramps and sensitivity weren’t enough, you can thank prostaglandins for staining that cute pair of underwear too. At the end of the day, bleeding is the cause of tissue damage from the shedding of the uterine lining. Makes sense! People who have heavier periods usually have a higher level of COX-2, the enzyme in charge of producing prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are a pain in the back (literally), but they are essential to our menstrual cycles. I guess you can’t win in every situation, and fortunately for us bleeders there are natural ways to go about relieving these symptoms. Let’s not forget about the traditional methods though.
Pass on Pills
These days, it’s a habit to gravitate towards pills. Have high blood pressure? Here’s a pill for that. You need to lower your cholesterol? Here’s a pill for that. Are you struggling with anxiety, arthritis, diabetes or depression? Well there are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of pills on the market for all of those. So what are these pills I’m referencing?
Ibuprofen, aspirin and the like are all NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory).You’ve heard the names before, and chances are you’ve been advised to take them in the past and even have a few bottles laying around your cabinets. There are around 20 different types of NSAIDs lurking around the shelves, and even more will continue to pop up.
NSAIDs: Yay or Nay?
While these NSAIDs do target inflammation and reduce the production of COX-2, they also inhibit the production of COX-1. This is where NSAIDs have their downfall, because COX-1 is in charge of protecting your gastrointestinal tract. It helps support the intestinal lining and keeps the proper juices flowing down there. Say hello to gastrointestinal problems!
Not only can these pills cause some serious damage to your gastrointestinal tract after long periods of usage, they’re also associated with a number of other scary adverse effects. These pain relievers are designed only for short term usage, but taking them during every cycle isn’t really considered short term. Some of these adverse effects include kidney damage, changes in blood pressure, liver damage and even blot clots. Reminds me of those awful commercials listing side effects like death and bloody stool, yikes! Because people have become so conditioned to popping pills, many don’t even bother reading up on the side effects. But you’re smart, that’s why you’re here. Times are 'a changing.
Okay, so does CBD actually work for period pain? Well let’s get into the facts.
CBD: A Natural Alternative for Period Pain
Good news at last! CBD has been shown to inhibit COX-2 without messing with COX-1. This means you can ease period pain without affecting your insides, unlike it’s tiny synthetic-filled counterpart. CBD is also a much more natural compound to begin with. Ours is derived from the hemp plant and grown in sunny Colorado. It doesn’t get any more natural than that! On the other hand, NSAIDs are made in mass quantities in huge facilities and then pumped out to the masses. CBD is the golden child, but there’s more. Studies show that consuming CBD and THC can even prime your DNA to lower COX-2 overall. Neat! Reducing inflammation and relieving cramps is what dreams are made of! Here’s a few other ways cannabinoids help to relieve cramps and pain:
Desensitized Nerves: You already know that prostaglandins make nerves more sensitive during menstruation, but taking CBD or THC actually counteracts this process and exerts an effort of its own by desensitizing nerves.This means less pain that can even spread to other parts of the body to help soothe.
Relaxed Muscles: When the uterus contracts we experience cramps, but CBD has been proven to relax the smooth muscles responsible for these pains. A more relaxed uterine lining equals a less crampy you.
Increase in Blood Flow: This might sound bad at first, but an increase in blood flow to blood vessels means more oxygen for the dying tissue of the uterine lining. You guessed it, less cramps! Cannabinoids relax the muscles within our blood vessels and help to create this less tense environment.
CBD is one heck of a compound, and it’s getting quite the limelight as of late. MIA is honing in on CBD’s potential and rethinking the way we handle period pain. We’re providing women with more options and shining a light on the negative effects of traditional methods. Let’s take back our periods and redefine what it means to menstruate. Periods are something to celebrate, but celebrating isn’t always easy to do when you’re in pain.Let’s take control of our periods and start questioning what we put in our bodies during that very special time of the month. Periods are natural, your pain relief should be too.
Let us know your favorite natural remedies to use on your period!