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How I cured my menstrual cramps using weed — without getting high

Stefanie Iris Weiss is the author of Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable and 8 other books. She keeps her carbon footprint small in New York City, where she writes about sexuality, sustainability, su...

I tried a weed-based vaginal suppository to cure my cramps... and it worked

COME AGAIN: YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF SEX & WELLNESS 

As a woman who has long suffered from incapacitating, soul-crushing menstrual cramps, I have tried everything, and I mean everything to suppress them.

I fell off my extremely helpful Arvigo massage regimen in recent months because of a heavy travel schedule, so my last two cycles have been badass bitches, sending me straight to bed. Luckily Foria Relief, a new weed-based cramp medicine, walked into my life at exactly the right time: It’s the vaginal cannabis suppository I had no idea I needed.

Let me start by saying that I’m crazily sensitive to all inebriants. I’m the girl who gets drunk off a half-glass of pinot and can’t take more than one Advil or I’ll fall instantly to sleep. When I ate a quarter of a space cake in Amsterdam on my requisite post-college European backpacking tour, I was still high when my mother picked me up at JFK two weeks later. Smoking weed or experimenting with edibles is kind of out of the question for me, given my brief, sketchy history with recreational drugs.

The last time I got high

To wit: I tried to use pot medicinally (if not terribly strategically) in my 20s for my grueling periods. I had cursory knowledge of weed’s storied history as a cramp cure and kept a delicate, girlie, mint green pipe in my night table drawer. When day 28 got closer, I’d make sure I had a tiny bit of weed on hand (usually gifted by a generous friend), because for me, four tokes total was almost always one toke over the line.

More: Lube is not just for vagina problems during sex

But one night in graduate school would end up being the last time I raised that pretty little pipe to my lips. I got home from class as my first round of cramps began to swell, and prepped my pain-destructing arsenal: freshly packed pipe, Milano cookies, glass of milk, a new jar of Tiger Balm and my remote control for a few back-to-back reruns of The Simpsons. All usually worked synergistically to banish my cramps, but this night would be unlike any other night.

I put the balm on my belly, washed my hands (thoroughly, I thought), took a few gentle tokes, dipped a cookie into the milk and settled in with Lisa, Marge and the gang. Moments later I realized my tongue was numb. I ran to the bathroom and fished the Tiger Balm insert out of the garbage. "Contact Poison Control Center immediately if ingested," it read.

I dialed and started to tell the Poison Control lady what had happened. “I accidentally ate Tiger Balm — am I going to die?” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I looked at the phone and, high as a kite, wondered if the DEA and Poison Control were in cahoots. I hung up, washed my mouth out and prayed. The moral of the story: Who should not get high? This girl.

Enter weed-based cramps meds

So when I read that Foria had invented a non-psychotropic cramp cure, I had to give it a try. This is the company responsible for delivering the miracle of weed lube to orgasm-hungry women in California and Colorado: They know their vaginas as well as they know their marijuana.

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My old red friend arrived last week, delivering the fiercest of fierce cramps I’d felt in a long time. Unfortunately I had to wait until the end of the day for my experiment, as I was on deadline and wasn’t sure what I was in for. So by the time I inserted the suppository, I was well on my way to the most awful cramp-land. Waiting this long would ordinarily not bode well for any medicine’s effectiveness.

My pretty little tin of Foria Relief had an eight-pack of suppositories. I opened one and examined it — it was small, soft and smelled lovely (it’s cocoa butter-based). The Foria literature suggests stashing your suppositories in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to make sure they’re not too soft to insert, but I had no issue at all. I gently pushed the friendly little suppository up my vag, put a pillow under my hips, lowered the lights and hoped for the best.

Next I queued up the Democratic debate and listened to the dulcet tones of Rachel Maddow as I waited for something to happen. I was worried that I might freak out, given my history.

What did happen was nothing short of a miracle. Within half an hour, my cramps were gone. Not only were they gone, but my entire middle section felt gooey in the best possible way. Like warm, melted butter waiting to be blended with the remainder of chocolate chip cookie ingredients. Yet I was not high at all. No paranoia, no hallucinations, nothing out of order. Bernie and Hillary were not morphing into strange creatures aka Donald Trump, and I didn’t have to call the Poison Control Center for any reason whatsoever.

More: Mysterious massage technique can cure your PMS

And not only that — my cramps didn’t return the next morning, as they usually do. When they’re bad, they’re bad — and they last for 24 hours. Yet I didn’t have to insert a second Relief suppository — the effect continued, and the cramps never returned.

How the magic happens

Foria Relief employs both CO2 distilled THC and CBD, the two key active cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. THC is psychotropic if ingested, yet when used as a vaginal suppository, it stays localized: You don’t get high. If you want to get high, you do you, but you won’t be able to use this product for that purpose.

In addition to THC oil, thought to block out pain while allowing for more pleasant signals to be received by the brain, the CBD suppresses inflammation and slows down electrical signals to the pelvic area muscles, allowing them to relax and reduce cramping.

Although Foria Relief is not approved by the FDA and currently legal only in California and Colorado, I trust that eventually every menstruating lady in the land will want to get her hot little hands on it.

Women with endometriosis have used Foria Relief for their debilitating pain. It can also be used for painful ovulation, and, I suspect, women with tight pelvic floor muscles and other reproductive issues might be able to incorporate it into their pain-management regimen.

As the Eco-Sex lady, I also really appreciate that all the weed used in Foria products (including their magical lube) is grown pesticide free in Northern California. The cocoa butter in Relief is organic, as is the coconut oil base in their lube.

Now that I know that I can live the rest of my period-having life pain free, I might just have to move to LA or something. This is almost too good to live without.

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