"I've tried different types of birth control, advil, etc. and nothing really helps. If marijuana can help, what kind of strain or product should I use?"
Terrific questions that we hear a lot, and are really 2 questions.
As for the cramps, the monthly pain the women experience with their period is one that differs with each woman. Some just need to take a over the counter medication and some need to have their physician prescribe opioids to help the pain. Cannabis has been used for many years to help with this type of pain. In the late 1800's Queen Victoria was prescribed cannabis by her team of physicians to help with her pain.
Women have been using cannabis in many forms by smoking, vaping, tinctures etc. However since menstrual pain occurs all day long a longer acting and more direct acting solution seems to make sense. A company that we have heard about, Foria, developed a vaginal suppository that contains both THC and CBD for both pain and anti-inflammatory relief. The feedback from many of our patients is that it seems to work very well within 20-30 minutes after use without any, or very minimal, psychoactive side effects.
What I think is remarkable about this product, is that it is one of the very few products that was tailored to treat a very specific medical condition. I think that in the future there will be more and more targeted products for different medical conditions, but right now Foria seems to be the first.
Concerning the PMS, that condition can have widely varying symptoms including physical, behavioral and mental/emotional. Physical symptoms can include headaches, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, night sweats, altered sex drive, insomnia, sleeping too much, lowered coordination, fatigue and pain -- similar to period cramps. Mental symptoms can include depression, anxiety, confusion and negative thoughts/feelings. Behavioral symptoms can include mood swings and fits of hostility or anger. The severity of these symptoms can differ widely even in the same woman from day to day.
It helps to separate what symptoms effect you most and deal with a one or two since there is not one single type of cannabis product that can help all of them at once. For example if you take insomnia, it might help to take a indica strain edible with a combined THC/CBD profile that would last through the night instead of vaping. When visiting your local bud tender they may suggest several different products for the symptoms of PMS that bothers you the most.
Perry Solomon, MD
A nice indica hybrid, that has a good ratio of CBD, such as Lavendar Kush High CBD, is great for helping to alleviate cramps and fabulous for evening and helping with sleep during your cycle. For daytime use, we've created an elixir called Full Moon that works wonders for balancing hormones during PMS and alleviates cramps. Designed to offer the benefits of cannabis without the high, you can take it throughout the day, every few hours, and still be able to be present and functional for your daily life. Quiver is our sensual lubricant. Because you apply it internally, it works wonders for helping to relax the cramps at the site of pain. Please feel free to look us up if you have further questions. We're here to help and have seen wonderfully positive results with these products from dozens of women.