CBD Oil For Vulvodynia


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Vulvodynia pain can make everyday activities painful. Women are turning to Marijuana and CBD for Vulvodynia potential pain relief. See what the science says. Vulvodynia can be very uncomfortable, plus it gets in the way of intimacy with partners. CBD and CBD oil for Vulvodynia might be the solution you've been looking for.

Why Women are Turning to Marijuana for Vulvodynia Pain

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) affects the central nervous system (CNS), or the brain, as well as the peripheral nervous system, which includes nerve endings in the female reproductive system. Endocannabinoids are fat-soluble neurotransmitters in our bodies that affect pain perception, appetite, and more in our body. It works with both the nervous system and the endocrine system, which regulates reproductive hormones through both cannabinoid receptor CB1 and cannabinoid receptor CB2 ( 8 ).

CB1 receptors are mostly located in the brain while CB2 receptors are in the peripheral parts of the immune system. CB2 receptors have been found in the ovaries as well as vaginal tissues ( 8 ). The CB2 receptors regulate the functionality of the reproductive system. These receptors also allow the body to feel the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) , which is why some women who suffer from vulvodynia and or vaginal or pelvic floor pain choose to use cannabis for pain relief.

Recent preclinical research has suggested that another potential pathway in which THC may reduce labial sensitivity is by the reduction of pro-inflammatory mast cells (a type of white blood cell found in connective tissue) in vaginal tissue. Increases in mast cells are often present in vaginal conditions and are also associated with allergies and other chronic, inflammatory conditions. Conditions like allergies, yeast infections , urogenital infections, depression , and anxiety are associated with an increased risk of this condition ( 3 ).

For more information on how the ECS works, please see our page here .

Cannabis Delivery Methods for Vaginal Pain

Because the vaginal canal has a mucosal lining that can quickly absorb medications into the body, methods that deliver THC and CBD directly in the vagina are a common choice for managing vaginal pain and vulvodynia with medical marijuana ( 5 ). Medical marijuana products that deliver cannabinoids vaginally include CBD or THC suppositories as well and specially formulated personal lubricants that may potentially help with pelvic pain.

When using cannabis and CBD vaginally, it is important to research the quality and ingredients of the CBD products you use to avoid irritation and to speak to your gynecologist first. A diagnosis like vulvodynia can only be made and treated once other potentially serious conditions have been excluded by a healthcare professional.

Different Types of Vulvodynia

As you may or may not know, vulvodynia is more complicated than just vaginal or pelvic pain. In fact, it is defined by chronic pain at the vaginal opening that has an unidentifiable cause ( 9 ). This condition can be hard to treat because the type of pain, severity, and location of the pain vary in each individual. It can also be a difficult diagnosis to make because it is important to distinguish it from other conditions by consulting a healthcare provider first.

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Women can experience localized or general forms of this condition, and sometimes both or other subdivision types can co-exist in the same person ( 9 ). More details about these subsets are listed below.

  • Generalized vulvodynia (GV) is pain that occurs spontaneously and then is relatively constant, but with periods of symptom relief. Activities that apply pressure to the vulva, such as sexual intercourse or sitting too long, can exacerbate the pain ( 9 ).
  • Localized vulvodynia is categorized by pain that occurs on only one part of the vulva. When the pain is located around the vaginal opening, otherwise known as the vaginal vestibule, it is called vestibulodynia. Most women who have vestibulodynia have provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), or pain that occurs with pressure around the vaginal opening, such as during sexual intercourse, tampon insertion, pelvic exams, prolonged sitting, and wearing tightly fitting pants. Clitorodynia occurs when the vulvar pain is in the clitoris ( 9 ).

Women suffering from this condition may choose to seek physical therapy and may be prescribed suppositories as an analgesic (pain reliever).

Existing Research on Cannabis and Vulvodynia

A 2020 research study published in the journal Cannabis used online survey data to help understand the relationship between vulvodynia and symptom relief using cannabis. Symptoms in 38 women with the condition included vulval soreness, burning, stinging, rawness, itching and stabbing pain. The pain examined occurred during sexual intercourse (also known as dyspareunia), prolonged sitting, tampon insertion, wearing tight-fitting pants, and while exercising ( 1 ).

The data showed that the higher in severity of reported symptoms, the more likely the women were to state that medicinal marijuana use helped with those symptoms. The biggest symptoms that women reported were pain with sexual intercourse and stabbing vulvar pain ( 1 ).

Thus, the study suggests that women who experience a higher severity of painful symptoms are more likely to get relief from cannabis as opposed to experiencing relief from symptoms like itching and tampon insertion pain ( 1 ). This small but positive study demonstrates the need for more research on vulvodynia and potential cannabis-based treatment options.

Another study examining the effects of simulated symptoms in mice also shows promising results for human use for vaginal pain . THC and saline were administered into the vaginal canal of mice who were sensitized to vulvar pain. The mice who received the THC and saline mixture experienced a 60% reduction in vaginal pain sensitivity as well as a decrease in local mast cell density ( 3 ). Mast cells are responsible for creating inflammation responses in this case. Until large clinical studies are conducted, the effect of medicinal marijuana on quality of life for those with this condition is unclear.

A Women’s Health Professional Weighs In On Cannabis to Treat Vulvodynia

Dr. Becky Lynn is a board-certified gynecologist and highly respected expert in menopause and sexual health. She conducted a 2020 study that investigated how cannabinoids affect female sexual function. Dr. Lynn explains that the activation of CB1 receptors may lead to increased sexual function due to the relationship between CB1 activation on the secretion of serotonin.

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In regards to vulvodynia, Dr. Lynn said:

Vulvodynia is frustrating. There is no visible lesion, but patients still feel excruciating pain. Many times they are told it is all in their head. But it isn’t. The pain is real. Cannabis can help treat vulvodynia.

If you’re interested in learning more or have questions about the medical use of cannabis, feel free to contact a cannabis coach or a medical marijuana doctor on Veriheal’s platform.

Note: Veriheal does not intend to give this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided on this page. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.

Can You Use CBD for Vulvodynia?

Any woman with vulvodynia wants shot of this awful pain, as soon as possible. Vulvodynia can be incredibly uncomfortable, plus it gets in the way of intimacy with partners, which is frustrating and even depressing. There are various approaches to treating vulvodynia, but no one-size-fits-all treatment. However, CBD (and abbreviation of Cannabidiol), is one of the closest things to a cure-all we know of… but can you use CBD for vulvodynia? Absolutely.

Our ancestors have long been using cannabis to treat pelvic pain, but it is only recently being embraced in modern society. First, let’s take a look at what CBD is: CBD is just one of more than a hundred naturally occurring compounds found in hemp (or marijuana). Hemp is the term generally used to classify varieties of cannabis with 0.3% or less THC content (the compound that gets you stoned), although the difference between cannabis and hemp is more complex than just that.

Don’t worry about getting high while using CBD for vulvodynia; it’s easier to get CBD products with little to no THC content, since those are legal, whereas THC is often not. CBD oil products are made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp.

Why use CBD for vulvodynia?

There are a few reasons for using CBD to treat vulvodynia. Firstly, CBD is famous for its pain relieving qualities, and no area of the body is exempt from that. It is also known to reduce anxiety, which is an issue for many women with vulvodynia. They have negative associations with sexual intercourse because of the pain they feel during penetration.

The benefits don’t end there, either. CBD can relax muscles, which helps vulvodynia because when you anticipate sexual pain, your muscles are likely to contract. This can worsen the pain of vulvodynia, or lead to vaginismus. If you insert a CBD suppository or apply CBD products to the vulva, you may be surprised at just how effective the relaxation and pain relief is.

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To summarize, CBD helps with the following vulvodynia symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Tight muscles

The CBD can desensitize the nerves in the genitals, as well as reducing any inflammation present (which can be a side effect of vulvodynia in some women). CBD limits your body’s ability to feel pain signals, but also works on pain by targeting the same enzymes Ibuprofin targets, thus reducing prostaglandin production. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that promote pain, inflammation and fever.

Why else should you use CBD for vulvodynia? It’s an aphrodisiac!

Here’s another major USP for CBD. Cannabinoids actually work as an aphrodisiac for many women, and when applied directly to the vulva, can increase sexual pleasure. That’s because when applied to the skin, phytocannabinoids increase blood flow to the area, which is what happens when you get aroused naturally.

Whether you smoke a bit of cannabis or apply some oil topically, CBD oil or cream is a wonderful addition to your sex life. Note that if you smoke cannabis, you’re going to feel the effects of THC too. However, if you apply a CBD product to your skin, you are unlikely to experience any psychoactive effects.

Can You Use CBD for Vulvodynia? Yes… and Here’s Why it Works

Strains containing a lot of CBD are the best for inflammation reduction, and they won’t get you stoned. Some feel that the best strains for pain relief are those with both CBD and THC content. If you do want a product containing THC (as many with chronic pain do), even one with less than 6% THC content will still help to calm and relax you.

  • Indica strains are believed to be physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed.
  • Sativas are said to provide invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.
  • Hybrids are thought to fall somewhere in between, offering a balance of indica and sativa effects.

Vaginal Dilators paired with CBD is a great treatment option. Vuva Vaginal Dilators sets are used to regenerate vaginal capacity, expand the vaginal walls, add elasticity to the tissues, and to allow for comfortable sexual intercourse. VuVa Magnetic Dilators are smooth lightweight plastic, that come in a variety of graduated sizes. Using Dilators with CBD maximizes your pelvic floor physical therapy. To shop dilators click here.

You may find this article on CBD for pelvic pain useful if you would like more information on the topic. We hope that you will be able to reap the rewards of CBD for your vulvodynia… good luck, and don’t forget to check out our blog for plenty of other information on vulvodynia and similar conditions.

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