6 Stash Essentials in Honour of Endometriosis Awareness Month
This post does not constitute or seek to provide medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about cannabis consumption before and after any medical procedure. The opinions and experiences in this piece belong to the author and them alone.
There are few things in this world more meant for each other than endometriosis and cannabis. I believe that so deeply I even wrote a love story about it.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month so we’re shining a bright light on this dynamic duo.
Endometriosis (endo) is a chronic inflammatory disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows throughout the body and causes life-altering symptoms like severe pain, nausea, bloating, vomiting, digestive issues, chest pain, bladder issues, infertility, painful sex, and more. It’s been found on every organ in the body and can be debilitating for the patient. Endo affects over 200 million people (not just women) worldwide and costs the Canadian government an estimated $1.8 billion annually in lost wages, hospital costs, and other expenses.
I’ve been living with endometriosis symptoms for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 24, twelve years ago. For over 20 years I’ve tried hormones, pelvic physiotherapy, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants (because living with endo can make you wish you didn’t live at all), changing my diet, and so much more, but nothing soothes the symptoms like our favourite flower.
Endocannabinoids have been shown to induce apoptosis, or cell death, in endometriosis and adenomyosis, a condition where the uterine lining invades the muscle walls of the uterus and causes intense cramping, pain and heavy bleeding. This characteristic makes cannabinoids a suitable option for managing symptoms of both illnesses, but much more research is required.
I recently had my third surgery for endometriosis and suspected adenomyosis: a total laparoscopic hysterectomy with excision of endometriosis.
It’s important to note that a hysterectomy is not a cure for endometriosis. Endo can still grow back after being excised, just like it did since my second surgery five years ago. I booted my uterus because I don’t want or need it or the pain and stress it caused me.
When I asked my anesthesiologist how soon I could smoke weed after surgery, he told me there was recent evidence to suggest that cannabis users experience more post-op pain that non-cannabis users. Armed with the knowledge, I still relied heavily on cannabis to get me through my hysterectomy recovery, as I rely on it for endo.
Here are a few canna-ssentials in my stash for managing endo – and post-op – symptoms.
Ellevia Balanced RSO
Forever a fan of a good RSO for chronic pain, I knew I had to try the balanced oil when I saw it. Mixing it in with my yogurt, nuts and berries is my fave way to consume it. I have it once or twice a day depending on when I remember/can afford it.
Everie Lavender Chamomile CBD tea
A fave of mine I received a bunch of as a gift a while ago that I finished up post-surgery. I love a lavender tea before bed and this one settles me right down and gets me ready for a cozy sleep.
Monjour Bare Twilight Tranquility CBD:CBN:CBG Soft Chews
Speaking of a cozy sleep, these chews saved the day – er, night – when my painkillers were gone. I’d pop up a few and sleep soundly supported by my pregnancy pillow.
Orchid CBD Runtz
This is a fave for endo-related nausea. The only nausea I experienced after surgery came on day two post-op. I stood up from the couch but as soon as I did was hit with a wave. After I got sick I had a pre-roll which settled everything quite nicely. Another uterusless pal later told me that post-hysterectomy nausea can be caused by sudden shifts in your centre of gravity as your internal organs rearrange and settle into their new spots – a process you can feel by way of gurgles and flutters. #TheMoreYouKnow
Proofly Extra Strength CBD Relief Cooling Gel
For sore hips and lower back this is a huge relief. Obviously I don’t use this anywhere near my incisions/scars, but it does wonders for the muscle soreness that comes from increasing daily walks or the pains from sitting in the same position for too long, or just general chronic pain.
Peak Pharm Labs 1:3 CBD Suppositories
Okay, so these are currently only available to medical users but I had to include them. I asked my surgeon about suppositories and was advised to only use them rectally, as I can’t insert anything vaginally for at least eight weeks, which is my typical route of entry. They help relax my pelvis when I get so concerned about relaxing my pelvis that the opposite happens. I’d recommend using a wee bit of lube to help get it in the tush. The feeling of something in your butt subsides after 15-20 min as it melts.
A great group of suggestions to help manage endo-related pain! I so agree with you that endo and cannabis go so well together; there’s more reasons to try it than not when it comes to pain management. Personally, it’s been a game-changer for me and continues to help me stay off opioids, which I’d otherwise be taking for relief. Thank you for shining a light on this, Maia!