Cannabis in Vagina
A cannabis-based vaginal suppository is now on the market, claiming to help relieve menstrual cramps. The internet has exploded with an interest in the natural, herbal remedy to this common women’s health issue dealing with the vagina. But some health experts are questioning whether women who are willing to try this very unorthodox method of dealing with period pain really should.
Foria Relief contains only three ingredients: organic cocoa butter, CO2 distilled THC oil, and CBD Isolate. The product promises “to maximize the muscle relaxing and pain relieving properties of cannabis without inducing a psychotropic ‘high.'”
For some health experts, the fact that the product has not been clinically tested, or FDA-approved is cause for concern.
“Would I recommend something that’s not FDA-approved or monitored? That would not be my recommendation,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of The North American Menopause Society. “You’d want to do a clinical trial to see how much of the medication women absorbed. Are they under-dosed? Are they being overdosed?”
The skin in and around the vagina is very thin, and how quickly it can absorb cannabis, and how much, is still unknown.
Pinkerton says she recommends non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or birth control as better methods for dealing with cramps.
“We try to avoid needing to use actual pain medication for cramps because it interferes with women’s ability to function and to work,” she says.
Emily Lorber, a nurse practitioner at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, is also alarmed by the lack of testing.
“While there may be some theoretical application in the role of cannabis for menstrual cramp treatment, valid research is necessary to prove its efficacy and safety,” she says. “It is unclear how much of the THC and cannabidiol (CBD) dose is absorbed via mucosal delivery, which poses a risk of overdose.”
“Also, the effects of THC and cannabidiol, as well as the cocoa butter contained in the suppository, may cause other issues in regards to the pH and flora in the vagina,” she continues. “For now, I would advise patients to stick to an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen.”