CBD products that can help relief menstrual crampsShare on Pinterest

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People use cannabidiol (CBD) for a bunch of reasons, including pain relief. And while research is still ongoing into the pain-relieving effects of CBD, what we know so far is promising.

Because CBD might help reduce inflammation and chronic pain, it might also help reduce menstrual cramps and other period-related symptoms, like headaches, lower back pain, and sore breasts.

But because there are many CBD products on the market, it can be challenging to sift through products and find high quality CBD. Below, in addition to exploring how CBD can help with menstrual cramps, we also list several high quality products that we’ve extensively vetted.

Sure, you can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen to relieve cramping and other uncomfortable menstrual symptoms. But these can sometimes produce unwanted effects like stomach issues. And if you have severe cramping, they might not work for you.

Some people swear by CBD as a natural alternative for dealing with period cramps. But does it work?

One 2020 review concluded that there’s not enough evidence to give solo credit to CBD for pain relief, especially since many studies involve products that also contain THC.

According to research from 2019, women with endometriosis self-rated cannabis or CBD oil as the most effective at relieving pain, compared with physical interventions, such as yoga and stretching, and other remedies. But the survey did not evaluate whether cannabis or CBD oil was more effective than the other.

When it comes to CBD specifically, there’s currently no research on the effects of CBD on menstrual cramping.

However, some evidence does suggest that CBD alone might have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2016 study on rats, for example, found that applying CBD gel reduced joint inflammation and pain with no adverse effects.

These properties may help reduce painful period-related cramping and other uncomfortable symptoms during your period, including headaches.

That said, research suggests that THC and CBD work best together, so if you’re looking for a CBD product to help with menstrual pain, consider opting for a full-spectrum one.

Ultimately, to better understand CBD’s potential role in pain management, more studies are needed.

Here’s what to consider when choosing a CBD product for menstrual cramps:

CBD type

Research suggests that CBD may work better when paired with THC. When combined, they produce the entourage effect. That means if you’re looking for a product to help with cramping, a full-spectrum option may be the best option.

For menstrual pain, you’ll likely want full-body effects, so opt for a capsule, gummy, or tincture. A topical gel or cream can provide targeted relief for things like back or muscle pain.

Third-party testing

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD products — at least, not exactly. They can issue warning letters to companies that make deceptive, unfounded claims. However, it’s still pretty easy for companies to misrepresent their products.

How can you be sure you’re buying a high quality product? Look for an up-to-date certificate of analysis (COA), and check that the info on it matches what’s on the product label. If you can’t find evidence of third-party testing? That’s a red flag.

Ingredients

Transparency doesn’t just involve making COAs readily available. Reputable companies will also be open about where they source their ingredients.

Look for CBD made with U.S.-grown hemp — ideally, organic.

If you’re shopping specifically for pain relief, some topical products contain added ingredients meant to relieve pain, like arnica. Arnica also has warming properties that may help with period-related abdominal discomfort.

We used standards for safety, quality, and transparency to make our selections. Each product selected:

  • is made by a company that provides third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • plainly provides evidence of this testing
  • is made with hemp grown in the United States
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the COA
  • is free of heavy metals, pesticides, and molds, according to the COA

Additionally, we considered these factors when selecting the best CBD products for joint pain:

  • CBD potency, or concentration
  • CBD type
  • overall ingredients list, including ingredients that may support pain relief
  • company certifications and manufacturing processes
  • brand reputation, including:

Best CBD bath soak for cramps

Vertly Infused Bath Salts

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 100 milligrams (mg) per pouch
  • COA: available on product page

If bath time is already part of your period week self-care ritual, consider adding these CBD-infused bath salts to the mix.

The full-spectrum CBD Epsom salts contain a soothing blend of arnica, lemon, clary sage, and lavender to help you relax, unwind, and forget about cramping. The product is organic, vegan, and handcrafted in California.

Vertly’s founder recommends soaking before bedtime to promote relaxation and sleep.

Best CBD capsule for cramps

GoGreen Hemp CBD Melatonin Softgels

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 25 mg per softgel
  • COA: available on product page

In addition to CBD, these softgels contain calming chamomile oil and melatonin, which may help you get a better night’s sleep when cramps come on at night. Each bottle contains 30 broad-spectrum CBD capsules, and each capsule contains 1 mg of melatonin.

GoGreen Hemp has a rewards program for frequent shoppers, which is good news if you plan on buying these to battle monthly cramps. The company also offers an assistance program for long-term disabled people, veterans and active service members, and low-income households.

Customers say they appreciate the excellent customer service. Many also claim that the CBD soft gels helped them sleep.

Best CBD cream for cramps

CBDistillery CBD Warming Cream

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 300 mg per container
  • COA: available on the product page

If you regularly grab a hot water bottle or heating pad when you have monster cramps, consider adding this warming cream to your anti-cramp routine. This broad-spectrum cream contains camphor, which provides a soothing warming sensation when applied directly to the skin.

Rub it on your abdomen to help dull the pain from period cramps. The cream also contains skin-nourishing ingredients like aloe.

Reviewers say it’s easy to apply and works effectively to relieve pain.

Best CBD and CBN oil for cramps

Elate CBD|CBN Sleep Blend

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 25 mg per dropper
  • COA: available on product page

This CBD oil from Elate also contains cannabinol (CBN), another cannabinoid thought to help with sleep. This mint-flavored, THC-free oil might help if sleep is evading you because of painful cramps.

Elate recommends taking a full dropper about 30 minutes before bedtime.

You can subscribe and save to get a 10 percent discount. The company also offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

Best extra-strength CBD oil for cramps

Seabedee Extra Strength CBD Oil

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 1,500 mg or 3,000 mg
  • COA: available on the product page

This ultra-potent CBD oil might help kick your painful cramps to the curb. Bottles contain either 1,500 or 3,000 mg CBD and come in flavors like vanilla and peppermint. This CBD oil also contains cannabigerol (CBG) and CBN, other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. The carrier oil is organic MCT oil.

Seabedee offers free shipping and a money-back guarantee.

One reviewer calls the product highly effective, claiming they feel a mild calming effect after ingesting the oil.

Best calming CBD oil for cramps

CBDfx Calming Tincture

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 500 mg
  • COA: available on product page

CBDfx’s calming tincture contains a mix of CBD and CBN. This tincture is available in multiple strengths, up to 4,000 mg. The full-spectrum blend is both vegan and gluten-free.

The company offers a 60-day guarantee and has a team of medical advisors on staff.

This product has over 800 positive reviews, and customers say the taste takes some getting used to, but the product works wonders.

Best CBD isolate oil for cramps

Harmonious CBD Isolate

  • Price: $$$
  • CBD type: isolate
  • CBD potency: 2,000 mg
  • COA: available on product page

Harmonious CBD Isolate might be the CBD product for you if you want to avoid THC. The product is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, and it’s made with organic hemp. It also contains organic MCT oil.

While the oil is potent, the high price tag might be a big downside for some.

Best CBD gummies for cramps

PlusCBD Oil Gummies

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 10 mg per gummy
  • COA: available on product page

These fruit-flavored CBD gummies might be a good option for people who hate swallowing pills but still want the benefits of an extra-strength CBD product. The gummies are available in cherry mango and citrus punch, and contain no artificial sweeteners. Each gummy contains 10 mg CBD.

PlusCBD sources their CBD from non-GMO hemp plants.

Reviewers say the gummies help with pain and that they taste great and have a pleasant texture.

Unlike THC, CBD is unlikely to cause side effects. Even if you do experience adverse effects, they’ll likely be mild. Possible side effects may include:

  • diarrhea
  • appetite and weight changes
  • fatigue

Be careful when using topical products, especially if you have sensitive skin. Read the ingredient list and do a patch test before using topical CBD products.

Talk with your doctor before using CBD products, especially if you’re taking any drugs or supplements, as drug interactions are possible.

To use a topical CBD product, rub it directly on the area that’s causing you grief. If you don’t get any relief, you can use more after a few hours.

For ingestible products, check the product label for dosing guidelines. Generally, it’s a good idea to start with a low dose and work your way up. It can take time for CBD to take effect, though, so wait a few hours before taking an additional dose.

CBD oils, creams, sprays, gummies, and capsules are not guaranteed to get rid of your menstrual cramps. But there’s little risk involved in trying them.

More research is needed to determine the relationship between CBD and pain relief. Although some evidence suggests CBD may help with pain — particularly anecdotal evidence — there are no specific studies that look into the potential benefits of CBD for cramps.

Before you try CBD for period cramps, talk with your doctor. If you’re experiencing severe cramping, you may have an underlying condition that requires treatment.


Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.