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By Miguel Ordoñez

For many years, women have been at a loss regarding how to treat common ailments such as menstrual symptoms, pregnancy nausea, and endometriosis. It wasn't until cannabis companies started catering to women's health that many ladies were able to finally find relief without having to undergo surgery or take potentially dangerous prescription medications.


Endometriosis is an ailment that affects many women - over 176 million worldwide to be specific - though only few are able to find relief. The disease is categorised by abnormal extrauterine growth of endometrial tissue. Common areas for the abnormal tissue growth are the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and intestines. The most frequently reported symptoms are pain and cramping, fatigue, and irregular menstrual cycles. If left untreated, it could cause infertility and painful sexual intercourse.

This exterior tissue growth is associated with severe pain and cramping, although the reason why is still debated. Since the root cause of endometriosis-related pain has yet to be determined, that makes it difficult to treat without subjecting patients to risky surgeries and hormonal treatments. Many women find that standard treatments often cause side effects, but fail to relieve their pain entirely.

Endometriosis And Cannabis In Woman


Just like the link between symptoms remains elusive, the exact cause of endometriosis is also unknown. While many would automatically assume that something genetic would be the cause, the most compelling evidence actually points towards environmental pollution as the main culprit. Studies[1] focus on a toxin called dioxin, which is often found in polluted drinking water, trash burning sites, some types of clay, pesticides, and chemicals released during the process of industrial paper bleaching.

Dioxins are extremely toxic and known to cause cancer, developmental problems, hormonal imbalances, reproductive problems (including endometriosis), and issues with immune function. Research conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined a strong connection between dioxins and endocannabinoid deficiency as well. Another study[2] published by the Endometriosis Association looked at the effects of dioxin exposure in monkeys. Study authors found that 79% of the monkeys developed endometriosis.


Although a lot of information about endometriosis is still unknown, it’s a common hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system plays a large part. The endocannabinoid system is a large network of endocannabinoids and receptor sites in the nervous system, immune system, and beyond. It’s only been recently discovered, but the endocannabinoid system is said to regulate many basic functions in the human body including movement, pain, immune response, mood, sleep, metabolism, and reproduction.

More and more evidence is suggesting that certain imbalances in the endocannabinoid system can lead to endometriosis. The connection between the endocannabinoid system and the reproductive system is very complex. The endometrium is full of cannabinoid receptors, which fluctuate based on a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Endocannabinoid System And Endometirosis


Cannabis is already a well-established option for managing pain. Even though it’s not as strong as a narcotic medication, many patients prefer marijuana because it’s natural, non-addictive, and still effective enough to improve their quality of life. This is why many women suffering from endometriosis choose to self-medicate with weed.

But does it actually help treat the endometriosis itself? It’s very likely, considering the possible connection between the endocannabinoid system and endometriosis. Consuming cannabis can help balance the endocannabinoid system, so it is a viable theory. Unfortunately, there haven’t been many studies on the topic thus far.


A study[3] from 2010 shows evidence of a connection between the endocannabinoid system and endometriosis. “We found that CB1 receptor agonists decrease, whereas CB1 receptor antagonists increase, endometriosis-associated hyperalgesia”, researchers stated. “Together these findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system contributes to mechanisms underlying both the peripheral innervation of the abnormal growths and the pain associated with endometriosis, thereby providing a novel approach for the development of badly-needed new treatments”.

Another study[4] from 2017, authored by OBGYN Jerome Bouaziz and Urologist Alexandra Bar-On, explained the importance of targeting the endocannabinoid system when treating endometriosis symptoms. They looked at various mechanisms such as nociceptive pain, inflammatory pain, neuropathic pain, and even the psychological effect of pain; all of which were connected to the endocannabinoid system.


All signs point strongly in favour of using cannabis to manage endometriosis pain, especially anecdotal evidence. However, before making any changes to your treatment plan, it’s important to consult with your doctor or any medical professional you trust to provide unbiased information.

External Resources:
  2. Causes of Endometriosis https://endometriosisassn.org
  3. Endocannabinoid Involvement in Endometriosis - PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  4. The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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