Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Medical Cannabis

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Medical Cannabis


Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to the emotional and physical symptoms (acne, bloating, fatigue, irritability, tender breasts, pain and mood changes) that occur 1 to 2 weeks prior to a woman’s period.

Potential Efficacy / Quality of Evidence (Low, Average, High) of Medical Marijuana for PMS

Average, with a high amount of anecdotal evidence.

Cannabinoids, Terpenes/Terpenoids, Strains and Ratios that May Help

Both THC and CBD may be useful, with CBD being particularly helpful, anecdotally. Terpenes such as myrcene and linalool may help for relaxation, whilst pinene and limonene may help improve mood.

CBD:THC 18:1, 9:1, 3:1, 1:1

Medical MMJ Pros

  • May relieve breast pain and tenderness, which is caused by an increase in the production of progesterone during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
  • Some products may be particularly useful for PMS. Cannabinoid-laced tampons reduce and possibly treat cramps and lower back pain.
  • May reduce migraine.
  • Acne is a common feature of PMS, and cannabis may help treat it.
  • Cannabinoids such as CBD may help act as a mood stabilizer, whilst terpenes such as linalool and limonene may work as a stress-buster.
  • Helps treat insomnia.
  • TRPV1 and calcium ion channels are said to be associated with menstrual bleeding, and desensitizing it may help beat any pain associated with PMS.

Medical MMJ Cons

  • THC may increase breast tenderness in some.
  • Smoking any substance can make migraines worse, and cannabis smoke is no different. Cannabinoids may treat headaches & migraines in some, but have a neutral or negative effect in other sufferers.
  • Much of the evidence is anecdotal, and most of the science so far is mostly theoretical.
More About the Condition

Pre-menstrual symptom (PMS) is a common condition that affects around 1 in 20 women. Symptoms include bloating, fatigue, irritability, cramps, back pain, headaches and nausea. Usually, the most common treatments prescribed include an iron-rich diet, exercise, ibuprofen and, on occasion, antidepressants. However, having to use NSAIDs like ibuprofen regularly can wreak havoc with a person’s kidneys and digestive system. There is a need for a a well-tolerated, natural medication that can help treat the various aspects of PMS, and cannabis could be one of them. THC can potentially help beat nausea and cramps, whilst CBD may help regulate the mood. Both cannabinoids can help beat inflammation.If you’d like to speak to Leafwell about your condition and getting a medical marijuana card, get in touch!

Quotes from Experts

“One can use it and it is being used off label now at various places but there is no clear evidence in medical studies thus far that it helps. Theoretically, CBD oil should help as a co-analgesic, meaning it can be used in addition to a regular pain medication to help. However, studies have shown that CBD and THC used in low doses improve the pain scale only by 0.5 ( on a scale of 1-10). So … there are theoretical benefits but no clear data to support the benefits yet.” Source: Carlos, Drew, ‘Can You Use CBD for PMS?‘, Sunday Riley, March 29. 2019

Case Studies – Patient Stories

Patients Turn to Cannabis Seeking Cramp Relief

Can Cannabis Help with PMS?

Cannabis Strains for Menstrual Cramps

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Possible Efficacy




Leafwell medical marijuana card

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