Cannabis suppositories for cramps are said to provide immediate and powerful relief for women on their periods. I put them to the test.
Photography by Georgia Love for Herb
Getting my period sucks, especially the first few days. I not only have intense pain in my lower abdomen, but I’m fatigued and my joints swell. My fat knees and aching uterus can be so bad I can’t get out of bed without two or three strong ibuprofen painkillers.
Smoking cannabis has helped me deal with menstrual cramps for years. But when I heard about more sophisticated cannabis period products, like vaginal cannabis suppositories for cramps and localized pain relief, needless to say, I was intrigued.
Cannabis suppositories are generally small oblong pieces of solid cannabis oil that can be inserted vaginally or anally for localized pain relief. They’re the same shape as a regular suppository, meant for the easiest possible insertion.
What cannabis suppositories for cramps are not are cannabis or weed tampons. That’s because they don’t function as a tampon, which is to say, they don’t stop blood flow. Instead, these little pieces of solid cannabis oil dissolve inside the vagina or anus, absorbing into local tissue to relieve pain.
The most common use of cannabis suppositories is to provide menstrual cramp relief, but people with GI issues, like Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome, are also finding relief by using these products, especially anally. Some cannabis suppositories, like Foria Explore, are specifically designed for anal use and are also said to relax the area before sex, similar to poppers.
Obviously, you know where they go. But when I had my first cannabis suppository in-hand, I have to admit, I was a little intimidated. I had decided to try Foria Relief, a vaginal suppository with 60 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD. Once I took it out of the secure packaging, which admittedly, wasn’t easy to open, it looked like a miniature rocket ship made of weed butter.
The package instructs users to lie on their backs—in a peaceful environment—and insert the suppository as close to the cervix as possible for maximum pain relief. So on the first day of my period, I laid on my bed, with my knees to my face and inserted the tiny weed rocket ship, and stayed in that position for as long as I could.
The package also recommends that you use the bathroom before inserting, so you don’t end up accidentally pushing the suppository out before it has a chance to absorb. The only problem with that is, when I have my period, it feels like I have to use the bathroom every five seconds. But, I held it in for the sake of getting my vagina high.
I laid in bed with my knees up for as long as I could. I think I ended up reading on my Kindle for about 30 minutes to let it absorb. Foria’s website says the cannabis suppository dissolves in 15 minutes, but it felt like if I had sat up and gone about my day, it wouldn’t have had a chance to absorb.
When I did finally get up, the cannabis oil started leaking. Luckily, the pad caught most of it, but it was still messy. Plus, it was kind of weird that that whole region smelled like weed.
I was apprehensive about using a tampon because I didn’t want it to absorb all the THC, leaving none for my cervix. However, after reading Foria’s FAQ as research for this piece, I learned you can wear a tampon with the product, they just recommend inserting the suppository first and waiting at least 15 minutes. It’s possible that would have resolved the messiness issue—or that some women wouldn’t have cared if they were just lying in bed with cramps anyway.
Overall, I found the suppository relaxed my body, which felt incredibly tense and crampy before insertion. And after I gave up trying to be productive that afternoon, I settled back into bed to watch Netflix, feeling relaxed and pretty sleepy for 6 o’clock in the afternoon. I didn’t get high because these products only absorb locally and the THC isn’t reaching the brain to cause those typical intoxicating effects.
After about two hours, however, I needed more relief and I ended up also taking two Advil liquid gels, my go-to painkiller for menstrual cramp pain. That’s not to say the cannabis suppository didn’t work, it definitely eased my body for hours, from the inside-out. But, at least for me, on that day, I needed a little something else.