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September 05, 2022 6 min read


Ginger, pycnogenol, fennel, and Chinese herbs are appreciated for their role in folk medicine and are great for reducing menstrual cramps. Although CBD research finds the cannabinoid therapeutic, more evidence is needed to prove that it can help reduce menstrual cramps.

Period pains and menstrual cramps result in much discomfort, and people go to all heights to manage them, with some women resolving to CBD. Early research finds CBD therapeutic, but there is insufficient evidence to prove that the cannabinoid will reduce the pain and cramps one experiences because of periods. As such, there is a need for natural alternatives that improve comfort, fight pain, and reduce menstrual cramps at this time of the month. This article explores the role of CBD in menstrual pain and sheds light on the best herbs to tap into for the same.

What Is CBD?

Would you like to try CBD products for their benefits? You certainly care to know what it is before venturing into it. According to Bauer et al. (2020) and Kicman & Toczek (2020), CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and one of the many in hemp plants. Cannabinoids are active compounds in cannabis plants, which vary in properties, although others share characteristics. It comes in three formulations; isolate, full- and broad-spectrum CBD, and you must choose your ideal pick when going for any CBD product. As research sheds light on CBD benefits, more brands open up, and you can find CBD in stores and online.

CBD and Menstrual Cramps: Can It Help?

Studies like Watt & Karl (2017) reported that CBD is therapeutic, and you may wonder if it can help relieve cramps. Currently, there is insufficient evidence to prove CBD as therapeutic for cramps, although people use the cannabinoid for this anyways. Manusirivithaya & Manusirivithaya (2018) found the cannabinoid great for menstrual cramps, but more research is needed to prove this. Vučković et al. (2018) examined CBD studies from 1975 to 2018 and reported that CBD could reduce pain, but the survey was not specific to studies on menstrual cramps and period pains.

The Best CBD Products for Menstrual Cramps

Would you like CBD products for period pains and menstrual cramps? You can tap into many different products, depending on your preference. Here are the common items that people choose for cramps;

  1. CBD oils and tinctures; are liquid forms of CBD you take orally, sublingually, or add to meals and drinks to deliver CBD effectively, although they are bitter.
  2. CBD edibles are food-like CBD products, including gummies, brownies, and cookies, allowing you to feel CBD benefits with flavor and taste but delay results.
  • CBD vapes are the fastest items in CBD delivery since inhalation sends CBD to the bloodstream almost immediately, but they may irritate your lungs if you are sensitive to smoke.
  1. CBD capsules; mask the bitter taste of CBD, although they do not have taste and flavors.
  2. CBD topicals; including CBD creams, patches, and balms, allow you to enjoy CBD benefits without the cannabinoid coming into direct contact with the bloodstream.

The FDA has not approved using CBD to treat menstrual cramps and period pains, so we do not recommend it for the same. Rather, the following are the four best herb classes that studies have looked at and found effective for reducing period pains and menstrual cramps.


Ginger is a great spice used in different dishes to add flavor and seasoning. Many like it because it is palatable in dry and fresh forms, and you can also chew it as it is. Did you know that it is one of the herbs you must have to manage menstrual cramps? According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, menstrual cramps and period pains result from the overproduction of prostaglandin hormones, and ginger promises to scale these hormones down. Giti et al. (2009) and the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine show that through scaling down prostaglandin, 240 mg doses of ginger reduced menstrual pains.

Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbs make a key part of modern medicine as they did during the folk times. Modern research explores them and admits that they help reduce period pains. Although studies are yet to explore how they work, the rich compounds are to thank for their benefits. Zhu et al. (2008) noted that women relieved their period pains better with Chinese herbs than when they used OTC medicine. There are many Chinese herbs, and a blend that works for one person may differ from one person.


Fennel is a herb with a celery crunch, and licorice flavor has long been used to manage colds and flu. Yet, research shows that it has many far-reaching benefits extending beyond the flu benefits. According to Bokaie et al. (2013), fennel has active compounds that relieve spasms, explaining why many use it to manage menstrual cramps and period pains. The study featured women with chronic period pains, half taking fennel and the other half being on OTC drugs. Still, more research is needed to prove that its pain-relieving properties are specific to menstrual cramps.


Pycnogenol is a registered trademark featuring French pine barks. It has multiple applications in the medical world, including reducing pain during menses. According to Suzuki et al. (2008), pycnogenol showed the ability to reduce period pains better than many OTC drugs. The research featured 116 people, and while half took pycnogenol, the other half opted for a placebo. The former showed better results in pain reduction, but the study agreed that more research is needed to quantify the potential of this herb and compare it against the rest.


Menstruation comes with pain and cramps, and women must deal with them. The intensity of the pain may vary, but the discomfort is great regardless of the degree of pain. People use different methods to manage such pains; while some work, others do not yield fruits. Good hygiene, enough sleep, exercise, and basic things people do to manage menstrual pains, but this is not all. CBD studies promise that the cannabinoid can reduce pain, but more research is needed to prove this. CBD fans take gummies, tinctures, capsules, and other products to manage the pains and cramps, but more research is needed to prove them effective. Meanwhile, you can try different herbs that studies have found useful for period pains. This article features four of them: ginger, Chinese herbs, fennel, and pycnogenol. Most of them are used in seasoning and flavoring foods but make good remedies for period pains.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dysmenorrhea: painful periods.

Bauer, B. A. (2020). What Are The Benefits Of CBD–And Is It Safe To Use?. In Mayo Clinic.

Bokaie, M., Farajkhoda, T., Enjezab, B., Khoshbin, A., & Mojgan, K. Z. (2013). Oral fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) drop effect on primary dysmenorrhea: effectiveness of herbal drug. Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research, 18(2), 128.

Giti, O., Marjan, G., & Fariborz, M. (2009). Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women alt primary dysmenorrhea. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 15(2), 129-32.

Kicman, A., & Toczek, M. (2020). The effects of cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating compound of cannabis, on the cardiovascular system in health and disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(18), 6740.

Manusirivithaya, S., & Manusirivithaya, V. (2018). Cannabis (Gan-ja): Relevant Issues in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Thai Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 206-216.

Suzuki, N., Uebaba, K., Kohama, T., Moniwa, N., Kanayama, N., & Koike, K. (2008). French maritime pine bark extract significantly lowers the requirement for analgesic medication in dysmenorrhea: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The Journal of reproductive medicine, 53(5), 338-346.

Vučković, S., Srebro, D., Vujović, K. S., Vučetić, Č., & Prostran, M. (2018). Cannabinoids and pain: new insights from old molecules. Frontiers in pharmacology, 1259.

Watt, G., & Karl, T. (2017). In vivo evidence for therapeutic properties of cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 20.

Zhu, X., Proctor, M., Bensoussan, A., Wu, E., & Smith, C. A. (2008). Chinese herbal medicine for primary dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2).