Now Women Are Putting Cannabis in Their Vaginas
Vaginal cannabis suppositories have grown in popularity, but their safety and efficacy are still up for debate
Since 2010, Stepfanie Romine, 38, has suffered with intense monthly menstrual cramps. “My pelvis feels like it’s tightening and pulling down, and my entire body feels like it’s trying to contract,” she says. Like approximately 32% of women, Romine’s menstrual pain caused her to miss work. “I was tired of losing a day every month to cramps,” she says.
Doctors ruled out fibroids, endometriosis, and cysts; their only guess is that hormonal imbalances are causing them. Though she tried painkillers and heating pads, nothing seemed to dull the pain.
Then, one day last year, an ad for Foria CBD suppositories popped up in her Facebook feed. Romine, who considers herself “really well-versed” in natural health after working for an herbal supplement company for several years, was intrigued.
At least two companies currently sell intravaginal products containing CBD and THC (or just THC) that are marketed to help with menstrual pain, and another company is developing products. (Any consumer can have the CBD products shipped to them; the THC products are available only to people who live in states where THC is legal.) And while there is some promise to the efficacy of using cannabinoids in this way, there are also a lot of unknowns.
There are myriad ways to use THC and CBD: Smoke it, vape it, bake it into brownies, take a gummy, rub it on your sore muscles, drop a tincture under your tongue, bathe in it. And now, women can put suppositories into their vaginas.
The suppositories are made from a base of cocoa butter or coconut oil and infused with hemp-derived CBD and/or cannabis-derived THC. A woman inserts one while lying down; according to the manufacturers, staying horizontal for 10 to 20 minutes is ideal to maximize absorption.
As the body’s heat melts the suppository, companies claim the tissues of the cervix and uterus absorb the cannabinoids, targeting so-called endocannabinoid receptors, which are believed to be present in women’s reproductive organs.
“We don’t know how long it takes…