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Women Effectively Using Cannabis to Treat Endometriosis, Survey Finds

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Cramps (primary dysmenorrhea) are bad enough but for women with endometriosis, a condition that causes immense pain and discomfort during menstruation, these monthly symptoms can be debilitating. Current medical remedies are generally not sufficient for pain relief or come with unwanted side effects. Most women with endometriosis use self-management techniques, whether those are lifestyle choices, alternative medications or therapies to mitigate their symptoms. 

The aim of a recent survey was to understand more about endometriosis self-care techniques and to determine the prevalence, safety, and effectiveness. This 2017 cross-sectional online survey of Australian women aged 18 to 45 with a confirmed diagnosis of endometriosis netted researchers more than 400 responses for analysis.

The study showed medical and recreational cannabis, as well as CBD, were among the top-rated techniques. In terms of self-reported effectiveness of pain reduction, cannabis, hemp/CBD oil, heat, and dietary changes were the most highly effective—while physical interventions such as yoga/pilates, stretching, and exercise were rated as less effective. Strategies consisting of self-care or lifestyle choices were also very common, including heat (70 percent), rest (68 percent), and meditation or breathing exercises (47 percent). 

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