'Weed Tampons' For Period Pain Hit The Market

Foria, a California-based cannabis company, has unveiled its newest item. FORIA Relief are capsule-shaped suppositories that are filled with cannabis and reportedly bring relief to mestruating women without giving them a high.

Or, in less scientific terms, weed tampons.

According to the company's website, the weed tampons FORIA Relief have "been carefully crafted using a delivery system intended to maximize the muscle relaxing and pain relieving properties of cannabis without inducing a psychotropic 'high'. Cannabis has a long, cross cultural history of use as a natural aide in easing symptoms associated with menstruation."

The company's intention for the weed tampon, their website states, is "to share the powerful medicinal properties of this plant... to standardize purity and potency, thereby ensuring a safe and accessible experience for all women."

California company claims new weed tampons will ease period pain but not get users high.
"If these work, you'll need to grow more. A lot more." [Photo by Bloomberg/Getty Images]Foria is perhaps best known for making and marketing so-called "weed lube," which was its first product. Unveiled in 2014, the "weed lube" is a THC-enhanced personal lubricant designed for women. Foria's latest product, the "weed tampon," is meant to help relieve period pain for women by reducing pelvic inflammation as well as relaxing the muscles located around the uterus, cervix and ovaries.

It should be noted that, although referred to as the "weed tampon," FORIA Relief does not provide the absorbency of a traditional tampon.

The website further explains how the company believes the "weed tampon" actually helps relive women of their period woes.

"Foria Relief contains both THC and CBD, the two key active cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. Together they activate certain cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic region when introduced into the body via these specially formulated suppositories...The cannabinoids directly impact the immune system and the nerve endings of the uterus, cervix, ovaries and surrounding smooth muscle tissues."
Each weed tampon contains 60 milligrams of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) as well as 10 milligrams of CBD (cannabidiol). The product also contains organic cocoa butter. CBD is one of around 85 active cannabinoids found in marijuana, and the THC component in the tampon reportedly gives women the "relaxed high effect" of the drug itself.

"Get to work." [Photo by Bloomberg/Getty Images]However, medical professionals are openly advising against the use of the weed tampon, especially since it has not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Jen Gunter, a gynecologist, wrote a blog post warning potential users that the "grass isn't always greener" when it comes to using such products like the weed tampon in order to provide relief. She takes particular task with the idea that the company claims that the product does not get users high.

"The company says it's product won't get you high because 'the medicine is administered as a vaginal suppository'. This makes no sense. Medications are absorbed from the vagina into the bloodstream and then from the bloodstream they go to the uterus and the brain and everywhere else that blood goes. This requires only a rudimentary knowledge of physiology. Medication doesn't crawl up the vagina to the uterus and then just hang out avoiding circulation."
Dr. Gunter, who presumably knows her way around a uterus, also took issue with the company's claim that the uterus has "more canniboid receptors than any part of the body except the brain," stating that she could find no study to support this assertion.

In addition, Dr. Gunter points out that there is no science proving that using THC or CBD are effective methods to treat period pain and, as such, the weed tampon may be useless, if not dangerous. "There is no study on THC and/or CBD for menstrual cramps or pelvic pain or endometriosis," she states, bluntly.

Gunter also stressed the fact that the dose given by the company for their so-called weed tampons is high, and dangerously so.

"Technically there is more than enough THC in Foria Relief vaginal suppositories to get you very high and even send you to the emergency department, although as vaginal absorption of THC is totally unstudied who really knows? Also, you are taking their word that this is the actual dose. The product might also contain not much of anything."
Of course, the thought of the weed tampon getting its potential users high may not be the deterrent that Dr. Gunter believes it to be. In fact, it may be a major draw for some. However, her words of warning as a medical doctor are blunt and supported by medical data, whereas the claims made by Foria are not. None of the company's products are regulated in any way.

What do you think? Would you be willing to try a product like this?

[Photo via Shutterstock]