Cannabis & Your Menstrual Cycle

When it comes to PMS, there’s two types of women; the ones who get it bad, and the women that the universe conspires for favourably. Many things contribute to PMS, including diet, stress, disease, sleep patterns, and more. Ultimately, PMS has become a pretty standard and normalized thing that many women deal with.

Traditionally women would post up and do a whole lot of nothing for a few days during their periods. In the Muslim tradition women take a break from all prayer and duty while menstruating. Native American’s honour their women during their menstruation, they believed that women had heightened spiritual powers and would go to them for guidance and advice during their time. Some tribes build tipi’s for women to spend sacred time menstruating amongst other women.

What response do we see toward menstruation today, in the West? Weird stigmas, closed off mindsets, and judging stares when we eat a whole cake to the face in under 4 minutes. Plus we’re expected to maintain a 40 hour work week, take care of the family, maintain a social life and also have some time for ourselves? All while our mood and energy are shifting.

The body goes through intense changes every month, it’s both our blessing and our curse as women to experience these cycles. Having this inner rhythm means being in tune with nature and its motions, while having heightened intuition, and unparalleled sensitivity. It’s truly a gift and when you work positively with your cycle, you can experience immense shifts and soulful productivity. Let’s first break down exactly what’s going on in the body during your cycle, and then we will see how cannabis can work to heighten the experience of menstruation and alleviate PMS with cannabis.

It all starts with knowing exactly what’s going on in your body, read on to empower yourself with this knowledge!

Phase 1: Menstrual Phase

Congrats, you’re officially at the peak of your menstrual cycle. Your hormone levels have declined quickly and estrogen is at the lowest concentration at this point. Your brain hemispheres (left and right) are working to communicate, processing your feeling-based left side brain and your analytical right side. This means you’re really capable of deciphering how you truly want to move forward with things, so schedule time to analyze and decipher your course of action for the next weeks to follow.

What to expect emotionally:

Since your estrogen has just hit its ultimate low, it’s only up from here. As it climbs you’ll notice less and less irritability as the week goes on. Your rising estrogen creates that pep in your step that you’ve been missing, and you’ll start feeling more optimistic and motivated.

What to expect physically:

At the beginning of this phase it’s common to feel extreme fatigue. Many women experience heavy bleeding and intense cramping which will contribute to this. Try relaxing yin yoga, epsom salt baths, and sleeping longer at night. Once the initial PMS pains wear off, you’ll notice a lot more energy, it’s a great time to try out a dance class or do cardio!

What to expect mentally:

Good news, you’re gradually getting more clear. Any brain fog that was left over from Phase 4 starts to lift. The first few days of your period may be groggy, and you may experience headaches which don’t help with focus. But fear not, as we move towards higher estrogen levels, you become more and more sharp. Forge a little bit of extra effort during this time of your cycle, you can still excel at the task at hand!

What to expect energetically:

You may feel a little tired and run down at the beginning of your cycle, and it’s encouraged to take rest and allow your body to reset as you replenish nutrients like iron and magnesium. This is the best time to simply listen to your body, as some women may really be feeling the uprise in estrogen, creating real efficiency and creativity, while others may still be recovering from the premenstrual weeks.  

How to use cannabis:

If you get severe cramps you can try multiple topical applications – look for a product that incorporates other pain-relieving substances like arnica oil or rosemary. You may also try adding a few drops of THC or CBD tincture to your bath to help it seep in to the skin. In terms of strains, this depends on how much you need to get done. If you have the luxury of staying home and resting on day 1 of your cycle, try an indica to help relax your muscles and relieve cramping. Because your estrogen is rising, it’s advised to stay away from sativas at this point in your cycle, as for some, they could create physical and mental anxiety.

Phase 2: Follicular Phase

This is the point in your cycle where things are more stable. FHS (follicle-stimulating hormone) is increased which helps eggs in the ovary to mature. This is everyone’s favourite week! High estrogen means more productivity and uplifted emotions. Focus on socializing, networking, trying new things, and learning new skills!

What to expect emotionally:

Being in tune with your cycle creates the luxury of using these rhythms in favour of your highest creativity. This time of your cycle is extremely creative and it’s a great time to take on new projects or bring new perspectives to old ones. You’ll be feeling emotionally stable, easy to get along with, and open.

What to expect physically:

From this point in your cycle, all the way till your ovulation, you’ll notice more energy physically. You’ll be able to pump higher weights at the gym, run that extra mile on your morning run, and generally feel more capable physically. It’s easier to get up in the morning and stay energized all day!

woman standing on mat raising hands

What to expect energetically:

You can thank the high-and-rising estrogen in your system for your energetic boost in this portion of your phase. Some women may experience a bit of anxiety here with too much estrogen in the system. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants if this is the case. Because of your energetic surge, now is a great time to delve into the things you’re truly passionate about and go-get-it!

How to use cannabis:

Smoke your favourite strain during this point of your cycle – it will add to the already present feelings of euphoria and happiness. If you’re experiencing anxiety from the rising estrogen, avoid using too much THC, instead, opt out for a calming CBD oil, strain, tincture, tea, or capsule. The CBD can help to settle nervousness and anxiety associated with too much estrogen.

Phase 3: Ovulation Phase

You made it! You’re at the point in your cycle where estrogen is boosting your mood, and you’re finally at the sweet spot of noticeable optimism and motivation. You may not be totally happy go lucky 24/7, but you’ll definitely be feeling happier, more attractive, and confident at this point of your cycle. If you’re trying for pregnancy, now is your time. If you’re avoiding pregnancy, be careful!

What to expect emotionally:

You can expect to feel more open in conversation, more willing to share with others and collaborate on projects. Women typically feel more social and confident at during their ovulation. You might catch yourself being more flirty than usual. Take this time to be grateful for all the seeds you’ve planted, and watch them grow!

What to expect physically:

No more afternoon naps for you. Many women notice feeling more stamina at this stage of their cycle. High levels of estrogen have peaked and leveled out, meaning you’re the most balanced at this stage. You may enjoy an invigorating yoga class or a long walk – anything that makes you feel blissful and present!

vignette photography of two woman holding scarf walking on sand

What to expect energetically:

Try not to get carried away with how much you take on during this phase of your cycle. You’ll surely be feeling like a “yes” person, taking on activities, gatherings, projects, and whatever else presents itself to you. Make sure you’re tuning your energy in to your highest goals and desires. It’s about quality not quantity, although quantity may seem tempting at this stage.

How to use cannabis:

Sex is at its best during this point in your cycle! If you’re active, try having a cannabis-infused evening with your partner. You can try stimulating strains, or THC lube to heighten sensation. Hybrids are also great to smoke at this stage of your cycle, they’re balanced and can help you focus on your goals without falling asleep!

Phase 4: Luteal Phase

During the Luteal Phase estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone reach their highest level of concentration, and then sharply decline to their lowest levels right before menstruation. The estrogen works to thicken the uterine lining and the progesterone keeps the lining in place in hopes of housing a fertilized embryo. If we were to describe this part of the cycle in one word, it would be “intense.” The first part of this week is amazing for checking things off your to-do list, but as we move towards your Week 1 week you’ll start to experience a decline in energy.  

What to expect emotionally:

Towards the end of this phase, plummeting levels of hormones can create some serious irritability, sadness, impatience, and lack of motivation. You may find yourself being slightly more pessimistic, or full blown depressed. Be gentle and observant during this time of your cycle.

What to expect physically:

The first half of this week is energetic and you have steam to blow, try strength training, or power yoga for the first few days of this week. As we move closer to menstruation, your body starts going through intense and quick changes. When hormone levels drop, they may create aches, pains, dizziness, insomnia, and nausea. If you’re following a really healthy clean diet and aren’t the type who’s very sensitive to estrogen, this may be a breeze for you and your body may not show any effects.

What to expect mentally:

Dropping levels of estrogen can create difficulty in recall, and a lack of sharpness, however you may also notice a lift of brain fog due to plunging progesterone.

What to expect energetically:

This depends greatly on how sensitive you are to estrogen. Those on the more sensitive side will feel sluggish and slow to get up in the morning towards the end of week 4, while some may not notice any change. Let yourself take the rest you need during this introspective part of your cycle. Once your to-do list is all checked off early on in the week, it’s time to organize things that have already been started, check in on how things are progressing for you, and do a general “life audit.” It isn’t however, the best time to start demanding big projects. Try being in bed early and using this time of your cycle to connect with your soul’s needs.

How you can use cannabis:

Because the body is working in overtime to compensate for the intense changes it’s experiencing, now is a great time to use CBD products for their adaptogenic effects. An adaptogen is a compound that helps regulate many functions in the body – it adapts to exactly what the body needs. CBD oil, tincture, tea, or strains can be used here to help stabilize the endocrine system as it processes these plummeting hormone levels. It’s best to take a small amount (5-15mg), 3-4 times a day, keeping the CBD active in the system throughout the whole day.

In terms of smoking, you may chose a strain that leans towards the sativa end of the spectrum, this can help with the brain fog and lack of sharpness associated with this time of your cycle. If you’re experiencing sleeping issues, a heavy indica with a high CBD content can be used at night to help you fall asleep; try a strain with the word “Kush,” “Death,” or “Gas” in the name.

Point Blank Period.

At the end of the day, your period is a gift. It is the source of creativity, life, and sisterhood. With this empowering information I hope you delve deeper into the wonders of menstruation and learn exactly how to use your cycles to optimize your life. For some, this is old informations, others, it’s all new. From here on out, my wish is that you can talk freely and openly about menstruation, cannabis, and how they can work together.

Author: News

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