What role can CBD and other cannabinoids play in treating the symptoms related to endometriosis?
Women tend to experience pain and discomfort during that “time of the month,” but some go through much more severe symptoms related to their fertility than just the average symptoms of PMS.
Endometriosis is a condition that some women suffer from in which the lining of the uterus is present on other organs as well. The condition is usually present in the lower abdomen, but may appear in other parts of the body as well.
Typical symptoms of endometriosis include lower abdominal pain, pain with menstruation, or pain with intercourse. Some women with the condition may also have trouble conceiving.
Endometriosis affects about 1 in 10 women throughout their reproductive years. The pain associated with the condition can be treated with conventional pain medication, and in more severe cases, physicians may recommend surgery to remove the endometrial lining in an effort to preserve the ovaries and uterus and help increase the chances of pregnancy.
In other cases, hysterectomy may be recommended for those who may not want to have children or have already passed their childbearing years.
But perhaps the most common way to contain the symptoms of endometriosis is through pain medication, as the condition can often bring about very painful and uncomfortable symptoms that can impact a woman’s quality of life. But while traditional NSAIDs and the like may be prescribed, there may be a more natural way to combat the discomfort felt as a result of endometriosis: CBD.
Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system is involved in uterine function, and cannabinoids may be able to relieve pain associated with endometriosis.
One particular study published in 2010 in the journal Pain found that CB1 cannabinoid receptors are expressed in the neurons that supply nerves to endometriosis’s abnormal growths, and CB1 receptor agonists have been found to decrease sensitivity to pain as a result of the condition. 
The researchers associated with the study concluded that activating CB1 receptors with the introduction of cannabinoids like CBD or THC can help alleviate pain with little to no adverse effects on uterine function and health.
Pain generally stems from inflammation or nerve pain, including pain from endometriosis.  Cannabinoids like CBD are known to reduce inflammation and work well to deal with neuropathic pain effectively. As such, it would make sense that cannabinoids like CBD would be a great option as an alternative to traditional pain medication.
Targeting the endocannabinoid system in an effort to treat endometriosis-associated pain provides some real promise in the development of more natural yet effective treatments for pain suffered as a result of endometriosis, as well as other medical conditions.
- Dmitrieva, N., et al, “Endocannabinoid involvement in endometriosis“, Pain, December 2010, Vol. 151(3), pp.703–710.
- Nagarkatti, P., et al, “Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs“, Future Medicinal Chemistry, October 2009, Vol. 1(7), pp.1333–1349.