CBD for menstrual complaints (PMS)

CBD for Menstruation
Written by Stefan K.

During the days before menstruation, many women suffer from PMS – premenstrual syndrome. This is not a uniform clinical picture. Instead, different women have different symptoms. Menstrual symptoms can include mood swings, tightness in the breasts, sleep and digestive problems, water retention, back pain, stomach pain and headaches.

The pain symptoms are also commonly referred to as period pains. While some women get through this monthly phase relatively easily, others find it difficult or impossible to go about their normal daily activities in the days leading up to menstruation. In some women, however, the pain is so severe that a doctor should be consulted to find out if it is endometriosis.

Menstrual complaints (PMS) & period pains – cannabis oil as an opportunity

When can we talk about menstrual complaints and what are the symptoms? These connections are important to understand in order to understand the effects of the cannabinoid “CBD” on menstrual pain.

Since research has been increasingly focused on the cannabis product CBD (cannabidiol), different ways in which the substance can influence the (female) body have been recognised. 

In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can harmonise a woman’s mood. Furthermore, CBD has been proven to relieve menstrual pain. But how exactly do PMS symptoms manifest themselves?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms

For women who are affected, premenstrual syndrome refers to the totality of both emotional and physical complaints associated with the menstrual cycle. As a rule, these types of menstrual symptoms occur four to fourteen days before menstruation – usually every month. According to the Pschyrembel 2014, PMS ends with the onset of menstruation. According to a recent survey [1]10% of women said they regularly suffer from PMS symptoms. 

The symptoms of PMS vary from woman to woman, as does their severity. About a quarter of those affected report severesymptoms, and about eight percent report particularly severe symptoms. The latter also suffer from a considerably restricted social life due to the symptoms during PMS. 

The recognised physical signs of PMS include:

  • oedema
  • fatigue
  • diarrhoea
  • headaches
  • backache
  • ravenous appetite and loss of appetite
  • painful swelling of the breasts
  • migraines 
  • activation of latent inflammatory foci.

Psychological signs of PMS include:

  • mood swings
  • listlessness or restlessness
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • aggression or lowered self-esteem.

Conventional remedies for menstrual complaints (PMS)

The classic remedies for PMS are medication, a specific diet, exercise and relaxation exercises.

Medicines for menstrual pain

Many women use hormonal contraceptives to treat PMS. These so-called ovulation inhibitors prevent ovulation. In addition, many women use pharmaceutical painkillers for back pain, breast pain, abdominal pain and headaches. 

Women who suffer from discomfort due to water retention in the tissues often use expectorants. These diuretics are often based on calcium or vitamin E

For psychological complaints like depression, artificial mood enhancers like serotonin inhibitors can help. Because of the side effects, doctors only advise these if other therapies have been ineffective. 

Both ovulation inhibitors and serotonin inhibitors have side effects and risks. Many women therefore do not take them. 

Targeted diet, exercise and relaxation exercises for PMS

A change in diet can help with the symptoms. Experts often recommend cutting down on chocolate, salt, alcohol and caffeine. Instead, sufferers should take more of the vitamins B6, D and E. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium also help. 

According to experts, sport has a positive influence on the body and the psyche. Not only does sport remove a lot of stored water but strengthening the abdomen can relieve the PMS pain. Relaxation techniques such as autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation can provide relief.

How does CBD work for menstrual complaints? Studies & effects

CBD in its various forms (CBD oil, CBD e-liquids, CBD food, …) has a pain-relieving effect that has been proven in studies [2]. This means that the possibilities for using CBD for menstrual pain or painful menstrual cramps are good. 

For example, people can use CBD against the effects of migraines during PMS. In many cases, women report severe abdominal pain. CBD also offers help against this pain. 

CBD for menstrual headaches

Women affected report sometimes unbearable headaches during PMS. Studies [3] show that CBD can relieve headaches. 

CBD for menstrual insomnia

Without restful sleep, the body suffers. Many women report that they have trouble falling asleep during menstruation and that their sleep is not very restful. In the morning, most of them feel tired and unrested. 

CBD is used to treat menstrual sleep disorders. CBD oil is often used for this purpose. Taking it relaxes the muscles and calms the mind. CBD does not produce a state of intoxication, but a natural inner tiredness and calmness. 

This effect is proven by a study [4] of the US University of Michigan. Participants were people with sleep problems. They were given cannabis products as a therapeutic measure. Of those participants whose sleep problems were triggered by pain, 80% said their sleep quality had significantly improved. The amount of continuous sleep also increased. 

CBD for menstrual skin blemishes

Before menstruation, PMS symptoms also manifest themselves in many women in the form of problems with the skin. In the 4 to 14 days before the onset of menstruation, it often happens that there are visible skin blemishes. In addition to the physical complaints, most women also suffer psychologically from this condition. CBD can help with these PMS complaints through its anti-inflammatory properties [5]. Many of the skin blemishes are due to inflammation. 

CBD for stress and mood swings 

A dominant syndrome of the premenstrual phase is stress. This can become a real psychological burden. Before the actual menstruation, messenger substances such as adrenaline are released at an unhealthy level. CBD has a balancing effect on the adrenaline level before menstruation. Part of the stress also stems from the mood swings during menstruation. One reason for this is an increased cortisol level. In addition to mood swings, this is also responsible for vague feelings of anxiety. In a double-blind study [6], CBD was administered to subjects with elevated cortisol levels. Nothing changed in the placebo group, but the CBD group experienced significantly less stress. The cortisol level was demonstrably lower.

CBD for PMS anxiety and depression

Premenstrual syndrome can also trigger anxiety and depression in women. These can be counteracted by using CBD. Researchers published a study [7] whose results clearly show that CBD oil can relieve anxiety. The effect was confirmed by the participation of a control group whose members received pure placebo substances. 

Experience and conclusion: CBD for PMS

The variety of CBD products allows every woman to find one that is ideal for her. CBD oil is probably the best-known form of administration. However, there are also CBD drops and CBD capsules. Both are simple and easy to take. 

Other ways to take CBD for PMS are the well-known CBD gummy bears. These are part of the wide range of CBD food. They also offer a substitute to those sweets for all those women who give up sugary foods due to a possible change in diet. CBD ointments or CBD creams can be used for some superficial effects of PMS. 

CBD crystals are the pure form of CBD. Should you rely on the CBD entourage effect for PMS, full spectrum CBD products should be used. The effects of CBD can be enhanced via the entourage effect. 

[cip category=”CBD capsules”]

CBD dosage for menstrual cramps

As far as CBD dosage is concerned, there is no one right dose. It is always necessary to find the ideal amount. This depends on the physical condition and the general physical receptivity. 

In general, however, it is advisable to take CBD products 2 or 3 times a day on average. If you are particularly plagued by PMS symptoms, there is nothing to be said against temporarily doubling the usual dose. 

It is recommended to start taking CBD for PMS shortly before reaching the second half of the cycle. If you have not yet started taking CBD but are already experiencing the first signs, you can also start taking it. 


  • Taking CBD for PMS before you have to endure menstrual cramps, can help with certain conditions. Pain can be relieved during the premenstrual syndrome by taking CBD. Psychological complaints such as depression can be countered by the mood-lifting effect of CBD. Superficial PMS symptoms can be reduced by rubbing CBD oils or CBD creams onto the skin.

Frequently asked questions about CBD for PMS

  1. Can CBD help with period pain (PMS)?

    CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and can therefore help with period pain. CBD also has a harmonising effect on psychological suffering. 

  2. What is the CBD dosage for period pain?

    Experts advise beginners to start with a low dose of one drop of CBD oil three times a day.

  3. Are there side effects?

    CBD is considered to have few side effects. Nevertheless, side effects cannot be completely ruled out. Read all about CBD interactions/side effects here.

[1] 19.05.2020

[2] – 19.05.2020

[3]  19.05.2020

[4] – 19.05.2020

[5] – 19.05.2020

[6] – 19.05.2020

[7] – 19.05.2020

When taking products containing cannabinoids, interactions with various medications may occur under certain circumstances. If you are taking medication yourself, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.

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About the author

Stefan K.

Stefan K.

Stefan is not only a valuable part of the CannaTrust magazine but also convinces with his sound knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids. As an author in Austria he gathered valuable experiences when writing for 'Stadtblatt Salzburg'. He got in contact with cannabis through several positive media reports. Nowadays he writes about everything around the most popular cannabinoid these days: CBD.