For women’s month, my blog will focus on content centering around, guess what, womxn! (Not that it doesn’t already LOL!) I thought the first article of this month should focus on something we as womxn, all love to hate, or hate to love, whatever tickles your boat. The aforementioned, being the almighty period. Now, before you run away in fear, screaming profanities, hear a sister out.
The period, a natural process most womxn experience, is a biological milestone and cultural coming of age. It’s full of mixed emotions because of its physical and mental tolls on the body. Due to a survey I conducted last year, about 1/3 of women I interviewed said they wished they didn’t need to deal with it at all. Citing that its painful, messy and all around a nuisance, many women today loathe the bright red dot they may get surprised with on a certain today of every month.
However, the period for some women can take it a step further, and take their life from slight inconvinience to hell on earth. I would be referencing my sistahs with PCOS. AND I DO MEAN SISTAS! Black women disproportionately suffer from PCOS. Oh PCOS, you ask? It’s basically the bigfoot of women’s health. Everyone knows its there, yet all everyone can do is smile and wave, because no one knows what to make of it.
PCOS is an imbalance in a woman’s hormones (too many male hormones and not enough female ones) which potentially interferes with ovulation and makes it harder to get pregnant. If you have PCOS, your ovaries will become enlarged and possibly contain a variety of structures that look like cysts (sometimes known as immature ovarian follicles). Sometimes, the lining of the uterus that sheds during a period grows with soft tissue in other parts of your body, and since that tissue cannot shed like the lining of the uterus, it causes very painful cramps. If PCOS is left untreated it can have a serious impact on your life; potentially changing your appearance, hampering your ability to have children and even damaging your long-term health. It is the most common cause of infertility in the United States.
Although researchers are aware that there are genetic and environmental factors at play, they don’t know the exact causes of PCOS. The symptoms run in families, so the syndrome is probably caused, in part, by a mutation in one or more genes. An animal study in 2016 suggests PCOS could be caused by chemical or genetic changes that happen in the womb. Bottom line is, PCOS is an incredibly complicated condition that we don’t really understand, which makes it hard to treat, and since periods are so individualized, it just makes the issue even more complex, as one woman can experience PCOS much differently than the next.
But have no fear, as an activist for cannabis, I’m a firm believer that the endocannabinoid system can open an entirely new playable area in our medical field and offer answers and solutions to the many issues posed by PCOS. But why do you think that Lady? Because, the majority of PCOS symptoms are caused by excessively high levels of certain hormones known as androgens. The ovaries produce chemicals (hormones) that control the body’s functions. One of the most important hormones created by women is estrogen. However, the body also creates androgens, and while men usually create far more than women, sufferers of PCOS create way too many androgens and not enough estrogen. Recently, the endocannabinoid system has been recognized as an important modulatory system in brain, endocrine, and immune tissue function and appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of, wait for it, hormones related to reproductive functions and stress responses. BOOM! *mic drop*
With more efficient and safe ways emerging to consume this natural medicine that doesn’t involve sparking up a fat blunt in the middle of the work place much to the displeasure of those around you (I know, I know, the smell, the dirty looks you would get), women should be talking about their options with their health care professionals. Below you can find some strain recommendations if you do have PCOS.
1 – AC/DC (SAY IT WITH ME NOW, VERY GOOD STRAIN FOR ANY PAIN)
This hybrid cannabis strain is an excellent choice for PCOS sufferers, or anyone who struggles with a chronic pain condition, who want to ease their pain but also get plenty of work done. ACDC generally has a maximum THC level of 6% against a CBD level of up to 20%. The high CBD: THC ratio doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects on the body, meaning, you get all the benefits without getting “high”)
AC/DC is a cross between Ruderalis and Cannatonic, and since it doesn’t alter your mind, it is a great choice for pain management during the daytime. If you decide to smoke it, you’ll enjoy the lingering fragrance with pine and Earth notes.
2 – Pennywise (The Euphoria Train Strain)
This indica dominant strain (70%) is a cross between a pair of sativas, Harlequin and Jack the Ripper, and contains up to 15% THC and 12% CBD. Even though it has a higher THC level that the previous strain, the higher CBD level reduces the psychoactive effects of Pennywise which makes it a good option for daytime medication.
Although it works well during the day, please note that Pennywise provides you with a relaxed and even sedative feeling so please don’t overdo it! Ultimately, however, you end up with a relatively ‘clear-headed’ high and a nice feeling of euphoria.
3 – Blackberry Kush (A Tasty Night Time Kiss)
This indica strain is extremely potent at 20% THC, and we recommend using it as a night time medication if nightime pain keeps you awake. It is guaranteed to give you a hard and fast body high which quickly puts you in the relaxation zone, making it easier to relax and fall asleep.
The sweet and heady Kush aroma isn’t as strong as you might expect given the herb’s potency but it does offer a beautiful blackberry taste that gives it its name. One final note, you won’t need much Blackberry Kush to get the effect you desire, a little goes a long way!
4 – Chocolope (The Strain For the Experienced User)
This sativa dominant hybrid (95%) contains up to 21% THC, and its potency means it is best reserved for evening and night time use. Women with PCOS sometimes suffer from insomnia and depression and Chocolope is one of the best strains for dealing with both.
It is a bit energizing and provides you with a happy and uplifting experience. You will probably be fooled by the taste because while it offers a sweet and enticing aroma, it tastes a little sour which should be a treat for the senses. I would not recommend using this right before bed, rather, right before you begin your nigh time routine, for instance, before your shower, that way you’ll be energized enough to power through sweeping the kitchen (or is that just me?) and your body will be ready for bed when your mind is.
5 – Pineapple Express (The Famous Movie Strain)
This sativa dominant (60%) marijuana strain contains a whopping 25% THC and is the subject of the famed movie of the same name. Although Pineapple Express is a relatively strong strain, it is not as potent as depicted in the film. Nonetheless, it does give you a body-numbing buzz that does an excellent job of relieving anxiety and stress. I again, would not recommend this for use if you plan to be doing much more than actually sleeping, if you do enjoy scrolling through insta or twitter before bed, then this might be the strain for you. Check my art page, @peepleofearth, to scroll through trippy art for amazing dreams.
It is one of the sweetest buds you’ll ever try because it really gives off a hint of pineapple as you inhale. It is a rare herb that can energize and relax you all at once, but Pineapple Express achieves this and then some.
Millions of women are forced to live with PCOS and the uncertainty it brings. While there are numerous medications on the market, several of them come with major side effects including potential congenital disabilities. In contrast, cannabis is an all-natural way to take the edge off the pain, depression and other symptoms associated with PCOS. As always, sound of below tribe! Do you use a certain strain for your pain? What works for you? What doesn’t? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment and share below!
Until next time,