Quick hit: Self-Medicating for Endometriosis

Some recent highlights and curiosities from the amazing world of cannabis science and therapeutics.
By Adrian Devitt-Lee On January 24, 2019
Image illustrating a woman with abdominal pain

Endometriosis is a poorly-understood condition causing severe chronic pain and alterations in a woman’s menstrual cycle. As an understudied disease, treatment is limited. Scientists surveyed over 400 Australian women to see what actions they took to treat their pelvic pain. Cannabis, heat, CBD oil, and dietary changes were rated most effective by women, in that order. Unfortunately, more women used alcohol than cannabis to manage symptoms; self-medicating with alcohol promotes chronic inflammation and led to worsening pain and fatigue in over half of such women. This underscores the importance of not treating cannabis like alcohol in the ongoing saga of legalization. (Note: endometriosis is diagnosed with an invasive surgical procedure, and so many women who likely have endometriosis go undiagnosed. The group that responded to this survey had a confirmed diagnosis.)

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Adrian Devitt-Lee, Project CBD's chief science writer, is employed as a research chemist by the University College of London.