Menstrual cramps are an uncomfortable reality for many women, for others, the intense pain they experience can make them unable to function. Ordinary painkillers often just don’t work. But women in New Jersey may soon be able to try a new approach to period pain: medical cannabis.
Democratic Assembly delegate Angelica Jiminez says that this medical cannabis use will be considered since many women, some of whom suffer from cramps so bad that they faint or become nauseous, are not finding relief from conventional medicines.
A first for women
The Courier Post reports that New Jersey is the first state to specifically list menstrual pain as a complaint for which medical cannabis can be prescribed, but a spokesperson for the National Cannabis Industry Association says she believes that in states with more permissive medical marijuana policies, cannabis may have been prescribed to relieve menstrual pain in the past.
New Jersey has a severely restricted list of conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed and has been criticized for “arbitrary and unnecessary” restrictions, according to the report.
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Could Medical Cannabis really work?
Specific scientific studies examining whether cannabis compounds really would work to relieve menstrual pain are lacking, but there are numerous mentions of the apparent anti-spasmodic effects of cannabinoids, with one journal article saying that these were first observed in the 19th century. The cannabinoid found in hemp, CBD, also has anti-inflammatory effects.
Both THC and CBD are reputed to have this effect, so it would seem that women will be able to choose between psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis products such as Charlotte’s web hemp oil if they decide to try cannabis to cure the monthly miseries.
Not everyone is convinced. A professor of medicine at Georgetown University school of medicine says there is “no evidence” more recent than the 19th century to support the idea that cannabis will be an effective treatment for menstrual cramps.
At all events, New Jersey seems to be sufficiently convinced that cannabis could be a compassionate cure worth adding to the extremely short list of ailments for which medical cannabis can currently be used in the state.
Actress Whoopi Goldberg supports the move and is reported to have said that cannabis products – whether or not they contain THC will help women get through “that time of the month” with less discomfort.
Women say it’s about time
According to a report in the Inquistr, feminist activists are hailing the move, saying that it’s time menstrual cramps hit the headlines and that every possible cure should be explored. After all, they say, menstrual cramps are a problem that affects half the population at some time in their lives.
But it may not be all that easy to rush out and get a prescription for cannabis to treat this or any of the other ailments currently accepted as suitable for treatment with medical cannabis in New Jersey. It is prescribed only in the most acute cases, and only when patients don’t respond to conventional medicines.