Gretchen had been plagued by an intense pain every 28 days for more than a decade. She went to doctors for 13 years dealing with cramps, nausea, body aches, anxiety, and depression, among other debilitating symptoms. No one gave her a diagnosis.
“You name it, I really had it,” she explains in an interview with Foria, a health and wellness company with a line of both THC & CBD-infused lubricants and oils.
Finally, in 2015, she received a diagnosis: endometriosis, a condition which causes severe pain during menustration among one in ten women in the United States.
Endometriosis causes the tissue normally found only in the uterine lining to grow outside of the womb. This rogue uterine tissue can take up residence in the intestinal tract, on the outside of ovaries, and on other organs in the area. Triggered by fluctuations in hormones, this excess tissue begins to cleave away from all affected areas when that special time of the month rolls around. As if dealing with one womb wasn’t troublesome enough during your period, multiple organs menstruate at the same time.
For Gretchen, as for many with the condition, finding a way to manage this pain was a constant challenge. The doctor recommended a slew of serious drugs including, at one point, a drug that was made for prostate cancer in the 60s.
“That was one of the other reasons,” Gretchen recalls. “I said, ‘Screw this, I’m going to find a natural way.’”
She began, like many women, looking into cannabidiol (CBD), a natural compound found in the cannabis plant, and decided to try a novel product: Foria Relief, a THC & CBD vaginal suppository. Infused with active cannabinoids, the suppository can be inserted directly into the vagina, interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region for stronger and more immediate relief than, say, a tincture.
Unlike using THC thru vaping or an edible, vaginal suppositories do not cause an intoxicating “high” (even though the potency is strong at 60mg of THC and 20mg of CBD). Instead, the compound is said to delight consumers with calming properties that relax the entire body and put the mind and emotions at ease.
CBD isn’t just a mood booster. The natural product may hold some serious potential as an anti-inflammatory and pain-fighting agent. And as it turns out, both of these properties are vital for those with endometriosis.
The condition creates symptoms that are sometimes similar to irritable bowel disease— endometrial scar tissue can attach to digestive organs, which can transform the simple process of eating into something painful, putting a damper on appetite and interfering with proper nutrition. Early research on CBD has found that the cannabis compound has a potent anti-inflammatory effect in the digestive tract, calming painful cramping and swelling in the intestines.
Gretchen saw instantaneous and substantial improvements using Foria Relief. “I noticed my stomach start to kind of gurgle around and move around, and I [felt] everything start to flow a little bit better, almost like it was stagnant before,” she recalls. “It’s kind of the same feeling in acupuncture or massage, where you can feel the relief going on internally.”
After Gretchen received pain relief, she began to focus on something else she’d been neglecting: pleasure. In addition to Foria’s suppositories, she began using the brand’s sensual enhancement oils like Foria Awaken, a hemp oil designed to relieve pain and maximize pleasure during sex, a common challenge among women with endometriosis. Her intense pelvic pain and sexual discomfort lifted and she was able to relax in ways that she hadn’t for six years.
“I’ve been so focused on the pain part of things that I kind of forgot about the pleasure,” she says, describing her experience with Foria Awaken as “beautiful.” After living with over half a lifetime of pain, finally enjoying simple moments of intimacy and enjoyment became a priceless gift.
Find Foria products online via ForiaWellness.com.