It was through her own research that Kim discovered other women were having success with CBD, the non-psychogenic compound in marijuana known for its relaxing, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties — results which have been found in studies of rats and mice, but have yet to be widely studied in humans. The trendy compound is now available in everything from seltzer water to body rubs and brow gel.
And while Echenberg says these non-medical solutions should always be employed alongside proper medical care, and supervised by trained and certified alternative care providers, he also encourages women to do what Kim did and become their own pain specialists — the more they know about their own pain, and the more they can relay what they know to their doctors, the more likely they are to find help.
Not being believed is a common occurrence for the 7 to 22 percent of women who experience chronic sexual pain stemming from conditions like endometriosis, vulvodynia, pelvic floor dysfunction, and chronic infections (though that’s hardly an exhaustive list of what causes sexual pain). Despite such a list of conditions existing, according to data collected by gynecologist and sexual pain expert Dr. Robert Echenberg of the Echenberg Institute for Pelvic and Sexual Pain, more than half of women who experience this are told their symptoms are “in their heads.” If a correct diagnosis is reached, Echenberg has found it takes an average of five to ten doctors to get there, and women spend an average of five years in pain.
“It felt like I was being stabbed,” the 31-year-old digital marketing manager says.
Her boyfriend was sweet and understanding, but she stayed quiet about just how badly it hurt. She didn’t want the pain — whatever it was — to drive them apart. Plus, she thought, didn’t all women experience painful sex from time to time?
That’s why many women like Kim opt to take the management of sexual pain into their own hands, either because they need something extra to supplement the surgeries, medications and physical therapies their doctors recommend, or they’ve decided to branch out and find non-medical ways to try to manage their pain and regain their sex lives.
“No one believed me,” she says. “I couldn’t get doctors to take my pain seriously.”
Any woman with vulvodynia wants shot of this awful pain, as soon as possible. Vulvodynia can be incredibly uncomfortable, plus it gets in the way of intimacy with partners, which is frustrating and even depressing. There are various approaches to treating vulvodynia, but no one-size-fits-all treatment. However, CBD (and abbreviation of Cannabidiol), is one of the closest things to a cure-all we know of… but can you use CBD for vulvodynia? Absolutely.
Here’s another major USP for CBD. Cannabinoids actually work as an aphrodisiac for many women, and when applied directly to the vulva, can increase sexual pleasure. That’s because when applied to the skin, phytocannabinoids increase blood flow to the area, which is what happens when you get aroused naturally.
Why use CBD for vulvodynia?
Whether you smoke a bit of cannabis or apply some oil topically, CBD oil or cream is a wonderful addition to your sex life. Note that if you smoke cannabis, you’re going to feel the effects of THC too. However, if you apply a CBD product to your skin, you are unlikely to experience any psychoactive effects.
The CBD can desensitize the nerves in the genitals, as well as reducing any inflammation present (which can be a side effect of vulvodynia in some women). CBD limits your body’s ability to feel pain signals, but also works on pain by targeting the same enzymes Ibuprofin targets, thus reducing prostaglandin production. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that promote pain, inflammation and fever.
There are a few reasons for using CBD to treat vulvodynia. Firstly, CBD is famous for its pain relieving qualities, and no area of the body is exempt from that. It is also known to reduce anxiety, which is an issue for many women with vulvodynia. They have negative associations with sexual intercourse because of the pain they feel during penetration.
I’ve had chronic pain for over a decade now, and nothing has helped me as much as CBD has.
CBD (which is abbreviated from Cannabidiol, btw) is one of 100+ naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant. THC — a compound found in hemp that gets you high, which is what most people think of when they think of cannabis — is another one. Unlike medical marijuana products (which are derived from plants with high concentrations of THC), CBD oil is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. In other words, CBD oils can provide medical benefits without making you stoned out of your gourd. Oh, and here’s even more information about CBD if you’re still curious.
Hello there people of the world — Lara here, and I have had chronic pain for the last decade. If you haven’t heard me talk about my Vagina Problems yet, buckle up, because here we go. This is going to be fun.
# Zero appetite due to an almost constant state of nausea
I told you this would be FUN.
# Inflammation all over my body causing severe aches and pains in my legs and lower back specifically