BY: STEFANIE AWRONSKI
Some of us women have been blessed since puberty with the gift of monthly menstruation or periods. Many of us deal with it just as a monthly annoyance. Others however suffer with some nasty side effects, such as body cramps, headaches, extreme mood swings and, sadly, in some cases, more serious conditions such as endometriosis. Sometimes traditional medicines just do not cut the cake alleviating these pesky period pains. So then what can we do? Cannabis has long been touted as a highly controversial natural pain reliever that can provide pain relief for those suffering a multitude of ailments. Foria, a California-based company, may have the answer in their newest product: cannabis-based vaginal suppositories. Could these “weed tampons” be the new answer to banishing period pain for good?
Foria is a company with a strong and dedicated mission. They are “committed to promoting good health and wellbeing, especially with respect to people’s experience of intimacy, by creating products that enhance natural, sensual pleasures and relieve discomfort and pain. Fiora harnesses the complex powers of cannabis to create potent “therapeutic aphrodisiacs” and healing products, thoughtfully designed for both men and women.” Fiora was initially known for their weed oil-infused personal lubricant.”
Their vaginal suppository, better known as Foria Relief, is designed to resemble traditional tampons. They are in fact not to be used for absorption but pain management. They help alleviate pain by soothing muscles around the cervix, ovaries and uterus while also easing pelvic inflammation.
The tampons are pricey, with just four retailing at $44 USD. The tampons have are said to take full advantage of the pain-relieving and muscle-soothing properties of cannabis without providing its user a psychotropic high. Each individual suppository contains 10 mg of CBD and 60 mg of THC. They also contain organic cocoa butter, because everything, apparently, is better with chocolate.
CBD and THC are “the two key active cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. Together they activate certain cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region when introduced into the body via these specially formulated suppositories … CBD works in the immune system by suppressing the mechanisms responsible for inflammation. CBD also slows down electrical signaling to muscles and allows them to relax, thereby reducing cramping.”
Foria is very adamant to stress the safety of the cannabis they use and their manufacturing process. The company states clearly that these tampons have not been evaluated by the FDA or through any clinical research. Foria further suggests that people taking any medication, breastfeeding or pregnant seek out a medical professional before using their tampons.
Many medical professionals are very skeptical and wary of the efficacy and safety of the weed tampons. One such opponent to Foria is gynecologist Dr Jen Gunter, who composed a post on her website warning about the use of this product.
Gunter states the difficulty to corroborate any claims about cannabis due to the very limited research on the topic. She also adds that there are no studies done on THC and/or CBD for the efficacy to relieve pelvic cramps and endometriosis. She further adds that the few studies done on the reproductive tract have been conducted on rat uteri.
Gunter next addressed Foria’s direct claims about their weed tampons not leading us to using them to achieve an intense high because they are administered as a vaginal suppository. “This makes no sense. Medications are absorbed from the vagina into the bloodstream and then from the bloodstream they go to the uterus and the brain and everywhere else that blood goes. This requires only a rudimentary knowledge of physiology. Medication doesn’t crawl up the vagina to the uterus and then just hang out avoiding circulation.”
Gunter hammers the point across that Foria’s weed tampons contain far more THC than a normal oral dose of cannabis. Ten mg of THC is considered to be a standard oral dose of cannabis, whereas these weed tampons contain a whopping 60 mg.
“If Foria relief really does contain 60 mg of THC and absorption is between 15 and 60 minutes, it’s hard to believe the goal isn’t to leave you paralyzed on the bed thinking menstrual cramps aren’t so bad after all.” Well, point, set, match Dr Jen Gunter.
At the end of the day, whether you use medicine prescribed to you by a doctor or seek alternatives, what should matter is that you have made an informed and intelligent decision that is best for you.