It’s interesting to see how much research is out around issues like PTSD and other forms of anxiety, yet the health issues that disproportionately affect women are rarely talked about. This isn’t to say that women don’t also suffer from these issues, but things like premenstrual syndrome (PMS or PMDD) or menopause are hardly mentioned in relation to cannabis. Why is this? Possibly because the cannabis industry is almost always synonymous with bro-culture, pandering to twenty-something male stoners. I don’t think this trend was necessarily intentional, but gender-based bias within the cannabis industry has been largely overlooked, like most other male-dominated industries.
Due to unexamined sexism within the cannabis industry, research around female- speciﬁc health issues like PMS is still widely unknown. It’s much more common to ﬁgure out what a patient needs off the basis of the male body, leaving “lady” aliments in isolation. This whole problem pissed me off, so I decided to compile a small list of strains that have been known to help PMS from Brightside Community Foundation-the non-proﬁt medical marijuana dispensary I work at. Many women are unaware of the beneﬁts that cannabis can provide their health issues. As a woman pioneering her way through the cannabis industry, I want to begin to start providing that information in order to address the needs of women that are all too often left out of the conversation.
Top Five cannabis strains for relieving PMS:
When looking for pain relief, it is important to smoke an indica-dominant strain. Indicas are well known for their effective pain-relieving qualities that are often lacking in sativas. Sativas are more of a head-high, get the munchies and roll around on the ﬂoor laughing your ass off kind of high. Sativa-dominant strains are often preferred over indicas, but for medicinal purposes (like relieving menstrual cramps) indicas are much more effective.
1.) Obama Kush: This is probably one of my personal favorites at Brightside right now. It is a hybrid comprised of both indica and sativa. Due to the progesterone and estrogen spike in women’s bodies around day 7 in our cycle, we experience breast tenderness, cramps, acne, irritability, and fatigue often coupled with diarrhea and/or nausea. The Obama is my most recommended strain because not only does it effectively numb the physical pain during menstruation, it also puts me in a good mood due to the sativa in it. So when I am pissed at the world while my progesterone is spiking, The Obama Kush meets all my needs of pain relief while also taking me to a calmer mental state.
2.) Black Cherry Cheesecake: A cross between Black Cherry Soda X Cherry Pie, crossed with Cheese. This heavy indica is the ultimate pain reliever. Your body begins to relax as the high arrives and can last up to 2-3 hours. Whenever I’m going through any physical pain caused by the spike of prostaglandins (which triggers uterine cramps) this indica quiets all that noise down, and effectively dulls my pain. This is great strain to smoke before bed or when spending a lazy night in. I recommend the black cherry cheesecake when your in day two of menstruation hell and need swift pain relief.
3.) Blue Dream: This strain is another example of an affective indica-dominant hybrid. The blue dream is the ideal strain because it effectively relieves pain, while producing the popular cerebral affects of sativa. Estrogen is responsible for the mood swings women often endure when pmsing, and the sativa within this strain helps mellow me out. Blue dream is a great wake n’ bake go-to before work because it relieves my killer cramps, settles my stomach, and leaves me with enough mental clarity to be able to do my job without slowing me down.
4.) Dutch Treat: Another great hybrid to smoke if you have shit to get done. It effectively calms my raging hormonal mood swings while providing solid pain relief. I enjoy the cerebral high of this strain, and highly recommend it when you need a pick-me-up after watching too many Nicolas Sparks movies. Treat yo self with the Dutch Treat.
5.) Purple Urkle: This heavy-hitting indica is no joke. When I am in serious need of pain relief, the Urkle is the way to go. I would not recommend to smoke this indica if you want to get anything done, but is great choice when winding your day down at home or before bed. When you’re going through it cramp-wise, it’s a no brainer. Its pain relieving qualities are unmatched, so if you have a tolerance built up, go for it! Great strain for cramps and insomnia.