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According to the Mayo Institute:
“Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus — grows outside the uterus (endometrial implant). Endometriosis most commonly involves ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining the pelvis.”
What exactly does this mean?
When a woman is diagnosed with endometriosis, the endometrial lining builds up and sticks to uterine walls (or pelvic organs) while continuing to accumulate size with each menstrual cycle a woman goes through. The endometrial cells often grow outside of the uterus, which can affect ovaries and cause fertility issues. It’s seriously painful stuff. It’s like a period on steroids.
One of the leading causes of “endo” is “retrograde menstruation”. During retrograde menstruation, the endometrial cells flow back into the fallopian tubes and pelvis, instead of out of a woman’s body. Statistics have shown that it takes a woman an average of seven years before she is officially diagnosed with endometriosis. Endometriosis often times is undiagnosed because it is tricky to locate without going under the knife. Transvaginal ultrasounds do not always reveal the disease. Many women learn to deal with the pain they endure each month and deem it as “normal”. Endo ranges in severity and some women are even completely asymptomatic.
Most people do not realize that endometriosis is an autoimmune disease. A woman’s body does not recognize her own endothelial cells, which leads to a painful immune response. In order to increase awareness around an issue that specifically affects women, Ladybud has offered a list of symptoms and credible resources to help women who might be dealing with endo everyday*. If any of these symptoms resonate with you, be sure to call your OBGYN for an appointment:
Excessive and debilitating menstrual cramps (Severity of a woman’s monthly menstrual cramps affect her ability to perform daily activities which causes her to call in sick from work, school or other obligations)
Long, heavy periods with excessive bleeding
Frequent and/or urgent urination
Chronic lower back pain
Infertility, loss of pregnancy
Pain during or after intercourse (sometimes certain positions can trigger a response)
“Endo Belly” which is from all the swelling of the pelvic and abdominal regions that can make an endometriosis sufferer appear to be in the middle stages of pregnancy
Pain management options include the use of hormonal birth control to lessen the effects of endo and/or strong doses of Ibuprofen and other pharmaceutical drugs like Percocet. In Oregon, severe pain, nausea & muscle spasms are three qualifying conditions for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.
Sometimes, women do not realize that female-specific issues like endo “count” as worthy causes to get carded. Cannabis can naturally help mitigate pain, nausea and vomiting on a daily basis when used appropriately. Strains with high CBD (cannabidiol) and CBC (cannabichromene) cannabinoids allow daily use without major psychoactive effect.
Edibles and full extract cannabis oil are great smoke-free options for pain management. When dosed corrected, these items are ingested to provide longer durations of medicine. Ideal for extended daytime use or right before bed.
When experiencing severe pain, cannabis edibles provide excellent relief from pain and can help settle an upset stomach.
Not all cannabis usage in conjunction to endo has to be psychoactive. Warm medicated bath soaks are a relaxing, natural way of going about managing pain (if time allows it). Cannabis topicals applied on the abdomen in combination with a heating pad, is another soothing fix. (See: medicated bath bombs and salves). Keeping a healthy diet is vital especially during flare-ups. Try yoga or go for a brisk walk/run to increase endorphins if possible – exercise never hurt anyone!
I have compiled seven strains that have been known to help women seek relief from endometriosis, PMDD, PMS & menopause. Formal research has yet to be done to confirm why these strains benefit women, but the rumors are likely to be true. Whether by flower or concentrate, these strains will help mitigate pain relief naturally.
1.) Jillybean (hybrid) (Space Queen X Orange Velvet)
Famed strain created by MzJill from TGA Genetics. Upbeat and vibrant, Jillybean was created to help female-specific health issues like PMDD/PMS. JB works wonders for women diagnosed with endometriosis as well. The cerebral high is energizing and welcomed workaholics or those looking to get those most out of their days pain free.
2.) LSD (hybrid) (Mazar X Skunk #1)
LSD is an Indica-dominant hybrid that packs a seriously psychedelic punch. This strain contains CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoids that mitigates pains (cramps, nausea) caused from endo. Don’t let the CBD content fool you, this strain’s powerful and produces a strong body high. When experiencing severe flare-ups, the LSD is a smart option that blocks pain while remaining cerebrally stimulating. Works like a dream for managing anxiety, PTSD, depression and other mental health issues (in combination with physical pain). LSD is a beautiful flower to smoke or concentrate to dab. (Can be found at: Oregrown flower or concentrate forms)
3.) Silvertip (hybrid) (Super Silver Haze X Grand Daddy Purp)
An incredibly potent, yet balanced strain for the artisan smoker. I recommend Silvertip because of the myrcene levels, a monoterpene that provides excellent medicinal effects. I highly advise those suffering from endometriosis to give it a try because of the anti-mutagenic properties of myrcene. Endometrial tissue can be kept under control by using strains high in this monoterpene, thus reducing flare-up among endo patients. The euphoric haze provides a calming cerebral effect and the granddaddy purp numbs the pain away. A truly magical, floral strain.
4.) Obama Kush (Indica) (Afghani X OG Kush)
Smoking on presidential, Obama provides a stellar indica option for women looking to manage endo flare-ups. The Obama is euphorically stoney and doesn’t knock you out cold. However, it does a great job of subduing muscle spasms and uterine cramping. Use as a great option for after work when looking to unwind and relax. When experiencing severe endo symptoms, make Obama your go-to.
5.) Killer Queen (hybrid) (G13 X Cindy 99)
We included another queen strain that was created with the original G13 “government strain” that is technically an indica, with a strong sativa presence/effect. Another strain used to manage depression while adequately reducing pain. A solid go-to when looking to stay mentally alert when in need of some relief.
6.) Critical Mass (CBD Indica) (Afghani X Skunk #1)
A strain-favorite among growers due to its heavy yields, Critical Mass is a fabulously medicinal plant. Deliciously citrusy and tropical, CM is a tasty strain used to dissipate pain immediately. The high is powerful and will lock you down. Even though CBD is present, this strain will most definitely get you high.
7.) Z7 (CBD Indica) (Cannatonic X Afghani X Skunk)
A relatively new CBD strain, the Z7 packs a punch. I dabbed some Z7 concentrate and it worked wonders for my chronic abdominal pain caused by endo. This strain can be found on the west coast in Oregon, and availability will increase with medicinal demand. Similar to other CBD concentrates, the Z7 had a cherry syrupy flavor, mimicking cough syrup (in the best way possible). Use when in need of immediate pain relief while experiencing flare-ups. (Strain creator: Neville Shoemakers of Stash Cannabis Company)
Helpful resources on Endometriosis:
* This article is not intended to diagnose or treat endometriosis in readers but simply serves as information as experienced by the writer in the hopes that those who might have endometriosis might find compassion and understanding. Mentions of cannabis use are for legal and medicinal cannabis use in states the allow for it.