I was interested in trying cannabis to help my chronic endometriosis pain for a while. (I live in a state that has legalized medicinal uses of marijuana!) However, with the obstacles of finding a reputable doctor, qualifying for a medical card, and paying all the fees associated with them, I haven’t had the opportunity to try it.
Luckily, I’ve found a birth control that has really helped diminish my endometriosis pain. However, “diminished” for me is still experiencing pain around one to two times a week. I refuse to take pain medication, and Ibuprofen rarely cuts it anymore. I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 15, and I’ve basically been looking for something to curb at least some of my pain since.
I was already using CBD to help with my panic attacks, and after I really looked into all the benefits it can have for pain management, I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve tried a few variations of CBD so far. I’ve used tinctures, gummies, and most recently, CBD capsules. They all basically do the same thing when given the same concentration. (For example, the gummies I have are 10mg, so I take five or six of them to get the same effect as my 60mg capsules.)
So, how exactly does it work? The human body is made up of cannabinoids called “endocannabinoids” that help regulate feelings of pain, your sleep, and your immune system. When cannabidiol (CBD) is released into your body, it attaches to the natural cannabinoids in your body and makes them more effective at regulating those feelings, which in this situation is pain. Research also suggests that CBD is anti-inflammatory, so it goes into the body and reduces the inflammation that might be associated with whatever is putting you in pain.
For the last few months, I have strictly used CBD to treat my chronic endometriosis pain, and I prefer it to anything else I’ve ever used. First of all, my endometriosis tends to give me significant anxiety. I worry every day that I’ll have to stop what I’m doing because of the possibility of pain. Many women find it extremely difficult to hold a regular 9-5 job because endometriosis can be unpredictable and debilitating in the workplace. Sometimes, I notice that my endo anxiety is so strong that I ultimately end up in pain because I stress myself out worrying about it. Because CBD is known to help with anxiety and calming down the mind, it allows me to take a step back and focus less on the possibility of being in pain even when I’m not.
As far as reducing my physical pain, I notice that CBD helps me focus on other things. When I’m dealing with severe endo pain (which is usually sharp stomach pains or unbearable cramps even when I’m not on my period), I struggle to pay attention to anything other than the fact that I’m in pain. Because CBD helps my anxiety, I’m able to put my pain aside and direct my focus elsewhere. Some days, I’ll wake up and know that I’m about to be down for the entire day because my endometriosis is out to get me. I can take CBD those mornings and still go to work and do what I need to do.
I haven’t experienced CBD reducing the frequency of my pain by any means, but I notice that the pain doesn’t affect me as heavily as it once did. I’ve also experienced shorter bouts of pain. Because I’m able to move my body around instead of laying in bed in pain all day, I can shake it off a little quicker.
CBD is not a cure for my endometriosis at all; however, it’s become a way to manage my symptoms without resorting to addictive pain medications. For a long time, I thought I would have to suffer through my pain for the rest of my life. I can see myself using CBD to control my endometriosis in the long-term — well, at least until doctors can finally come up with another way to deal with it.