We recently wrote an article for our friends over at the women's health blog Blood + Milk. If you're interested in the science behind how cannabis interacts with your body, check it out here or read on...
There’s one item missing from your bathroom shelf of vitamins, face wash, tampons, and sex lube: Cannabis. As one of the fastest growing demographics in the cannabis industry, women are catching on to one big, juicy secret: Cannabis isn’t just to get high, it can be great for women’s health.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
Cannabis is becoming normalized. After more than 100 years of prohibition, Cannabis is now medicinally legal in 29 states and recreationally legal in nine. It’s pretty easy to imagine a world where you’ll walk into a bar and they’ll ask, “wine or weed?” Our philosophy is: If it’s here to stay, we might as well get curious about it.
WHAT EXACTLY IS CANNABIS?
Cannabis is a plant made up of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, which give the plant its medicinal and recreational purposes. There are over 400 cannabinoids in the plant, 85 of which have been discovered and only one of which gets you high: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Arguably, the most exciting cannabinoid that has profound impacts on women’s health is cannabidiol (CBD) which we’ll touch on later.
HOW DOES CANNABIS INTERACT WITH THE FEMALE BODY?
The body has its own mirrored version of the cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. Ours is called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and it works with all other systems in the body—including the nervous, immune and neurological systems—to achieve homeostasis. As it relates to women’s health, homeostasis is like Goldilocks and that narrow zone where it’s not too cold, not too hot, but just right.
In other words, your ECS keeps you balanced. With receptors throughout your mind and body, cannabis cannabinoids connect with your body’s endocannabinoids like two magnets sticking together.
To put this in perspective, let’s consider a common case of imbalance in the female body, menstrual cramps. Your hormones trigger muscle contractions in the uterus, throwing your body out of whack and leading to a loss of homeostasis. As it happens, THC can act as a muscle relaxant. When a woman with menstrual cramps rubs a THC-heavy non-psychoactive lotion over her abdomen, the cannabinoids connect with receptors on the skin to override the hormone triggers, relax the muscles, and restore homeostasis.
It doesn’t stop there, different cannabinoids connect with different receptors:
THC - THC connects with receptors in your mind, making you feel social and happy, sometimes tapping into creativity and focus. Medically, THC has been known to treat sleep apnea, Tourette’s, asthma, and cancer patients experiencing appetite loss.
CBD - CBD connects with receptors in your body and is often non-psychoactive. It eases inflammation, provides antioxidants, and relieves pain. CBD eases women’s health issues like back pain, breast tenderness, and bloating during PMS. Medically, CBD is a powerhouse, proving helpful to patients with epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, anxiety and depression among many others.
Hybrid - CBD also works to counteract the high from THC so the two are often combined in what is known as a “hybrid.” The CBD dilutes the effect of the THC, much like a mixed drink, making the product approachable for newcomers or those sensitive to the high.
WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN FOR ME?
While nothing is a silver bullet, Cannabis is proving to be a major benefit for women’s health in four behavioral areas:
To Relax - It’s been a long day and you deserve a nightcap. Some of us turn to wine, despite the calories and the grogginess we’ll feel the next day. There’s another option: CBD-heavy Sublingual strips. These are discreet and fast-acting, focusing on a relaxed body with a happy, calm mind. Perfect for snuggling on the couch to watch a movie.
To Have Fun - It’s Friday and you’re exhausted from a long day at work. You need a boost of energy for tonight but don’t want a hangover for tomorrow. There’s another option: Micro-dose Mints. Easy to slip into your smallest of clutches, the micro-dosage in the mint ensures you don’t get too high and allows you to nurse a happy, energetic buzz all night long.
To Have Sex - You’re tired all the time and sometimes sex just feels like a chore. Your inhibitions get in the way or you can’t shake the never-ending to do list in your head. Might we suggest: Topical. Adding cannabis to sex lube is solely for the pleasure of women to achieve an emotional, sensational orgasm. Believe us when we say that it’s a game-changer. This is non-psychoactive so you won’t get high, just a steady warming sensation in your lady parts.
To Sleep - You’re tired all the time and yet you’re tossing and turning all night, counting down how many hours you have left. Might we suggest: CBD-heavy Tinctures. These are alcohol-based cannabis extracts that we affectionately call ‘Mommy Juice’ because they’re discreet, fast-acting, and reliable. Tinctures are especially great for getting to sleep and wear off in about three hours. Most importantly, you’ll wake up the next day refreshed, clear-headed and ready to take on the day.
With hundreds of cannabis products on the market varying in usage, dosage, and effect, there’s bound to be a match customized to exactly what you need. All that’s required of you is curiosity.