Difficult Menstruation Can Now Score You Medical Marijuana In New York
By: Al Olson | May 24, 2017
Photo by martin-dm/Getty Images
Women of New York: It’s time to rejoice. A bill allowing cannabis as a qualifying condition for difficult menstruation and menstrual cramps passed the New York Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday.
That’s right. If you suffer from dysmenorrhea — painful abdominal cramping during menstruation — you can legally consume marijuana under the state’s medical marijuana program.
For many women, cannabis relieves the often debilitating pain. Legend has it that Great Britain’s Queen Victoria suffered from dysmenorrhea and her doctor prescribed cannabis to help her.
Assembly Bill 582, sponsored by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), fought for the measure after state lawmakers approved chronic pain and PTSD as qualifying conditions.
“Not only will this improve women’s wellness and productivity during menstruation, but it will also advance New York State in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries,” Rosenthal said before Tuesday’s vote.
If you’re in the market for some vaginal retail therapy, you’re in luck. From high-tech sex toys to weed suppositories, there seems to be no shortage of products designed for in or around your intimate areas. Check out the list of products designed specifically for your vagina below.
1. “Smart” vibrators
Ladies, if you’re looking for an orgasm, you might think about investing in a vibrator. But if you’re looking to learn about your orgasm, you’ll need to invest in something different, something “smart.” Fortunately, there’s a school of entrepreneurs who have managed to merge the two. Smart vibrators are out there, and they’re available in sex shops near you. The Lioness is just one example. Though it looks like your standard sex toy, the Lioness is loaded with advanced sensors to help measure your orgasm through vaginal contractions, temperature and movement. All that information can be accessed through an app that users are encouraged to download on their smartphones. In that way, women can better understand how long it takes them to achieve orgasm and what kind of stimulation they like best, and it even offers suggestions about what you can try next.
2. “Smart” period trackers
Yeah, predicting your period can be hard. And most women have had to make a mad dash to the pharmacy at least once in their lives. Fortunately, we’re looking at a future where that will no longer be part of the period routine. Because period tracking has now become a techy endeavor. The folks behind the LoonCup advertise their product as “the world’s first smart menstrual cup.” The device can best be described as a sustainable feminine hygiene product that can be worn inside the vagina to collect menstrual fluid. It relies on built-in sensors to collect information regarding fluid volume, color and other important tidbits about your cycle. All information will be delivered directly to your smartphone. Learn more, leak less.
3. Period sex without the mess
Unless your partner has a penchant for period blood (and believe me, some do), you might feel inclined to hold off on sex until after your cycle comes to an end. But who wants to let a pesky little thing like your period get in the way of a romping good time. That’s at least what the folks behind Flex were thinking. The device is designed to sit at the base of the cervix to collect menstrual fluid. Meanwhile, the vaginal canal is left open for entry. It’s the perfect product for frisky menstruating women with picky partners.
4. Weed tampons
Most of the time, tampons and periods come as a package. But not always. Sometimes, they come paired with cannabis. Foria vaginal suppositories were designed to help stimulate pelvic relaxation, facilitate deep penetration and create a heightened sense of arousal for women who like weed. And you don’t have to have a vagina to keep high down below. The company has also released a line of rectal suppositories, so you can get it in and get it on, no matter what kind of genitalia you posses.
Technology designed for women exploded in 2016, with new products hitting the market ranging from wearable trackers for expectant mothers to networking apps to help female professionals get ahead. "The online consumer market of women is a new phenomenon" in part because investors are waking up to the opportunity, says Anu Duggal, founding partner of the Female Founders Fund, a firm that invests in women-led startups. "The purchasing power of women is massive and becoming clearer."
Many of the female founders that made our list struggled for years to raise capital, but were able to convince investors in their vision through persistence and creativity (and of course, a solid business pitch). Miki Agrawal from Thinx, a period underwear maker, tells us she requested that one of her male investors wear a maxi pad during an entire meeting to get him to empathize with what women experience. Others like Morena Simatic, cofounder of wearables startup Bellabeat, had little trouble raising financing for a product designed specifically for women rather than a pink version of an existing product.
Five years ago, Harvard Business Review conducted a landmark survey of professional women and found that most felt vastly underserved in the marketplace compared to men. That's starting to change. "Women were a neglected category, until recently," says Simatic.
To compile this list, we asked a range of investors and entrepreneurs and solicited feedback from dozens of women. Here are their picks, in no particular order.8. SEX AND SEXUAL HEALTH: FORIA
Two words: Vaginal cannabis. Many of the women we spoke to raved about Foria Relief, a cocoa butter-based cannabis for the vagina that is designed to help with menstrual cramps and other sexual health issues. That accompanies Foria Pleasure, a product that aims to increase sexual pleasure through a lubricant spray. As one happy customer described the experience: "(It was) like my vagina was kicking back on the beach in Mexico, without a care in the world." Sex and sexual health is a notoriously underfunded space, but Foria has garnered rave reviews from users and continues to sell well in Colorado and California.
Created by Foria, the cannabis vaginal suppositories seek to take down cramps associated with periods. The handy little “tampons” were developed with our worst period moments in mind, and we’re feeling pretty grateful. One gynecologist told Racked that using cannabis for periods isn’t unheard of. According to Morton Barke, M.D., a retired gynecologist and medical director of a California medical marijuana evaluation center,
“We know that cannabis does help pain. We do see a lot of patients with dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is painful menstrual periods. It’s a fantastic modality to help patients.” - Sounds pretty darn good to us.
So what’s the science behind their products? ... They’re particular about their cannabis. Foria grows their cannabis in Northern California without the use of harmful pesticides. Which is basically one giant yay.
Their product contains THC and CBD. For those of us who aren’t super up-to-date on the inner workings of weed, the two key active cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis are THC and CBD. The cannabinoids in Foria products interact with the nerves and muscles that cause cramps, encouraging less painful periods. THC in the tampons helps take down pain, while encouraging ~good vibes~ in the brain, while CBD encourages muscles and nerves to chill TF out.
So far, people are loving these tampons. Folks who have tried Foria since they released the suppositories this past January have said they have less hardcore cramps as a result of the product. So that’s fantastic news.
Long story short? It just might be time to say goodbye to writhing around in pain while crying over your favorite rom coms, and, TBH, we can’t complain. As much as we ~love~ indulging in ice cream seven days out of every month, we’d much rather not be in total and complete agony.
When you’ve got a case of excruciating PMS cramps, you’d pretty much do anything to stop the pain. Now there’s an innovative solution out on the market — even if it might not be legal in every state.
Here’s the good news: This type of marijuana use isn’t for stoners. A new innovative company called Foria, which is known for cannabis-infused products like lubricants, has just released the “weed tampon.”
It’s the first to hit the market dedicated to treating menstrual cramps, but take note that it’s actually a suppository rather than an absorbent feminine hygiene product.
When it comes to organic sources of pain relief, marijuana is nothing new. It’s used to help with many ailments, including nausea and muscle pain. And with legalization sweeping across U.S. states and its many medical uses — from stopping seizures to treating cancer patients — this bud has gained legitimacy in the health and wellness industry.
The product, Foria Relief, is created “using a delivery system intended to maximize the muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving properties of cannabis without inducing a psychotropic ‘high,’” says the company’s website.
The cannabis suppositories are made with organic cocoa butter, THC oil and CBD isolate. Some women have reported that it smells like cookie dough or cookie butter. And it keeps getting better: For you ladies that aren’t interested in getting all squinty-eyed, this product can still work for you because the THC won’t make you high.
Here’s how it works: The capsule is blended with a 6-to-1 ratio of THC oil (approximately 60 grams — twice as much as the average joint) to CBD isolate. The THC targets the nerves to block out the pain, while CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, helping relieve muscle spasms.
The company says that the combination of THC and CBD used in the vaginal suppositories are specifically designed to “activate certain cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region when introduced into the body.”
In short, marijuana’s magical ingredients go straight to where they’re needed.
Thus far, the Food and Drug Administration has neither approved the product nor ran it through clinical trials, but Foria is marketing it as completely safe and user-friendly — claiming the cannabis is grown without pesticides and that the product is made with no harmful contaminants.
The suppositories are currently only available in California and do not require a medical-marijuana card (although they do require a physician’s letter). Check back with the site from time to time to see if it expands into other states.
Once a month, I live through literal hell for seven to nine days straight. My uterus is tied in knots and wrung out by the invisible fists of the devil himself. My soul touches the void. I pound ibuprofen and Tylenol by the handful for little to no relief. Eventually, I fantasize about removing my uterus all together because I see no other solutions in sight. What a life that would be, devoid of insufferable, never-ending menstrual cramps. Rainbows and butterflies and the ability to venture out into the world and skip down the street period-pain-free, instead of writhing and whining in my bed and ordering an XL, grease-soaked pizza to my door (which only ends up making me feel worse). Ah, the joys of owning a uterus.
If your menstrual experiences mirror mine, first of all, I’m so sorry, I feel you. Second of all, hold up – there could be a sliver of hope for us yet. Foria, a company known for its cannabis-infused products (including their well-renowned weed lube), has just released an ingenious and potentially life-changing product: marijuana-infused ‘tampons.’ I use the word ‘tampon’ loosely, because they aren’t technically classified as such: rather, the brand refers to them as suppositories. But, they are inserted vaginally in a similar fashion, and they’re a period product, so might as well call ‘em tampons (I guess?).
Anyway, here’s the lowdown on how they work:
The suppositories, which come in packs of four, are made up of only three ingredients – fair trade cocoa butter, THC oil, and CBD isolate from organically grown hemp. You stick it in your vag and, supposedly, the cannabinoids cause the nerves in the uterus, cervix, and ovaries to block out pain and relax the constricted uterine muscles (aka, the source of that nasty cramping feeling). Unlike something you ingest orally, (Midol, Tylenol, et cetera), the suppositories attack the pain at the source. The vaginal walls absorb the natural medications directly into the bloodstream, providing imminent relief.
They aren’t yet FDA approved, and there is no factual research to prove their effectiveness, but users, like this writer from Broadly, have reported nearly immediate and long-lasting results. “Within 20 minutes, my cramps totally disappeared,” said Mish Barber Way. “I was not surprised at how well the suppository worked. What I was surprised about was the longevity. Midol will wear off after about half a work day, and during most periods I'll pop six a day. But one Foria suppository did its job well into my evening.”
If, like me, you’re willing to try literally anything to relieve your menstrual misery, you can buy a pack of Foria Relief on their website.
Los Angeles Sex Educator turned “Cannasexual” advisor Ashley Manta further discussed intimacy in the expo’s lecture room, displaying said products. To the young married couples just starting out, she shared, communication is key to a happy relationship.
“The most important thing I’m going to teach you is how to open your mouth and make words come out,” Manta laughed. “Communication is the key to everything in relationships. For a young couple about to be married, being able to process difficult emotions together in a supportive way is crucial.”
Cannabis, Manta added, is the perfect substance for a honeymoon for many reasons. Manta said alcohol is a big variable, stating it could be a social lubricant, as many claim, or it could lead to arguments, withdrawing behavior, and the typical hangover. She further stated that there is no way to imbibe alcohol without having the typical side effects, other than intentionally consuming only a small amount, which rarely happens during a traditional alcohol-laden wedding reception.
“Cannabis allows more customization,” Manta explained. “A couple could begin the day with a back rub using medicated lotion, then shotgun a hit off of a joint as a foreplay tool. Foria’s topical could be added, with a 30-minute makeout session while waiting for the effect. The happy couple could then vape with sleepy indica and curl up together and cuddle.”
The abovementioned scenarios don’t have analogs for alcohol use, and Manta added that cannabis is highly conducive to experimentation and creative playfulness, helping couples feel more present in their bodies by heightening sensation.