Just when you thought ingenuity was dead comes a pot-infused vaginal suppository.
Released this week in California, the small cocoa butter-based insert is being marketed as a pain relief option for women with menstrual cramps. With a mix of THC (cannabis’s psychoactive element) and CBD (its healing element), the tampon-sized suppository aims to “maximize” muscle relief without inducing a high.
It’s an exciting idea for those with bad PMS, and a potentially life-changing one for the estimated 5 million who suffer from endometriosis—a chronic incurable condition, recently highlighted by Lena Dunham. If successful at relieving menstrual cramps, the suppository could even be an option for reducing pain during childbirth.
Is a cannabis-infused vaginal insert the future of women’s health?
Foria, the company behind the suppository, made headlines in October with the launch of its now wildly popular marijuana-infused sexual lubricant (called “Foria Pleasure”). Its new product, dubbed “Foria Relief,” is said to induce relaxation, relieve back pain relief, and reduce anxiety. For $44, users get a four-pack of suppositories containing 60mg of THC and 10mg of CBD.
According to Foria, the suppository must be stored in a cool place but can inserted anytime, from a few days before menstruation to during it. The makers note that tampons can be used at the same time but that painkillers should not without doctors’ approval.
If all goes well, patients should feel pain relief with 15-30 minutes after insertion.
Since the product is so new, efficacy rates are tough to gather. With marijuana still illegal under federal law, the Federal Drug Administration does not approve medical cannabis products, which Foria states clearly on its website. What’s left then are testimonials, which—for obvious reasons—must be taken with a grain of salt. Still, if true, the statements are encouraging.
“I have endometriosis that returned after having a partial hysterectomy,” writes Desiree Maligro. “When I have flare ups, besides excruciating pain, I look pregnant and the inflammation affects my bladder. Foria is one of the very few things that brings me relief.”
“I woke up this morning in a lot of pain due to menstrual cramps and immediately used the product,” writes Kelly Rae Stinner. “I have always really struggled with the incredible pain of cramps and this has definitely been the most effective method in ridding the pain.”
If Foria Relief is successful in relieving menstrual cramps, it’s because of the two cannabinoids contained within it: THC and CBD. The first targets the nerves to “block out pain;” the second suppresses inflammation. The latter also acts as an antispasmodic property, which can help take care of muscle spasms that result from menstruation and ovulation.
The product is unique—which, considering its founder, is no surprise. Unlike most ganjapreneurs, Matthew Gerson wasn’t a businessman heading for the green rush. According to an interview with Vice, the Colorado-native was initially studying to become a Buddhist monk before a TED talk inspired him to co-launch the condom company Sir Richards.