by Meg Foley
The science is a little murky, but there is some evidence out there showing that marijuana can help ease period pain. And because of that, the state of New York is considering making weed legal for women suffering from “dysmenorrhea,” the medical term for serious menstrual cramps.
The assembly bill, A582, would add dysmenorrhea to the list of conditions that legally allow New Yorkers to use medical marijuana, meaning that up to 84 percent of women (the percentage of women who regularly suffer from menstrual cramps) could suddenly have access to legal weed if the state assembly, senate, and governor sign off.
But does marijuana really relieve menstrual pain?
Anecdotally, the answer is yes. Plenty of women report that using marijuana in some form relieves nausea and cramping associated with menstruation, and there are even suppositories infused with cannabinoids that reportedly help to relieve period pain without causing a psychotropic high.
The science, though, doesn’t reveal a whole lot. There has not yet been a large-scale study of the effects of cannabinoids on menstrual pain, according to a report from Live Science, and existing studies on the use of weed to treat pain focus only on neuropathic pain, and menstrual cramps don’t fall into that category.
However, Dr. Charles Pollack, director of Thomas Jefferson University’s Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp, said in an interview that “it’s not out of the realm of the possible” that marijuana could be helpful for period pain. That’s because there are many endocannabinoid receptors in the uterus, which cannabinoids — like THC — bind to in the body to induce marijuana’s effects.
So basically, ~science~ isn’t sure yet if weed helps cramps, but women sure think it does. So to the menstruating people of New York we say: Meet you at the dispensary?