CBD for Endometriosis: Benefits & Best Products in Australia

The use of CBD oil for endometriosis has become popular in Australia today. It presents a natural, soothing, anti-inflammatory remedy that helps many women manage their uncomfortable endometriosis symptoms. Around 14% women in Australia suffer from chronic forms of endometriosis. The condition irritates and inflames the uterus tissue, impacting hormones, reducing fertility and triggering pain. It can be an incredibly frustrating problem for those who suffer from it, reducing quality of life and causing distress. 

Medications like pharmaceutical painkillers are sometimes needed to manage symptoms. Yet a lighter, sustainable, and non-addictive alternative is CBD. It’s a plant-based extract sourced from hemp that doesn’t get you high. Instead, it offers calming effects for pain, inflammation, and stress. For many Australian women, it’s a source of hope and helps them regain control of their symptoms. Let’s explore the benefits of CBD oil for endometriosis, the research behind it, and how to use it.

What is Endometriosis?

Occurring in women, endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition. Scientists still don’t fully understand its actual cause. When it happens, uterus tissue cells begin to overgrow in the uterus and other areas of the female reproductive system, like fallopian tubes. Because the uterus is biologically designed for childbirth, the tissue within it functions differently. Each menstrual cycle becomes more dense (with ‘extra’ tissue produced) to prepare for conception. If this doesn’t occur, the added tissue then decomposes. This tissue decomposition causes bleeding and cramps, which are seen in monthly periods.

The problem with endometriosis is that the uterus tissue build-up and decomposition occur too much or in the wrong places. In turn, this causes:

  • Aches and discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Pain, which can often be very severe
  • Inflammation and soreness surrounding the uterus
  • Scarring of the uterus and other affected areas
  • Infertility in severe cases

Symptoms typically flare up the most around monthly menstrual cycles, where hormone fluctuations peak. 

It can often be hard to distinguish between women suffering from standard period pain or menstrual cramps versus endometriosis. Each problem has crossovers in symptoms. Doctors can verify whether an individual has endometriosis by using specialised cameras in the uterus that inspect the tissue and look for scarring.

Does CBD Oil Help with Endometriosis Pain?

For women who have endometriosis, reducing the pain, inflammation and discomfort it causes is a significant need. 

There are a few ways to do this. An increasingly popular method is using CBD oil for endometriosis

The cannabinoid in this product, CBD, has several essential properties well-suited to combatting irritating endometriosis pain.

In several studies, CBD has demonstrated the ability to:

  • Block pain sensations and lower sensitivity to it
  • Reduce pain signalling in the nervous system
  • Calm stress associated with pain
  • Alleviate inflammation in the body
  • Assist with overall physiological recovery

These outcomes are ideal to help target the varied, interrelated symptoms of endometriosis.

CBD has a few mechanisms of action that enable it to reduce pain and inflammation in endometriosis. In particular, it:

  • Dampens pain sensations from pain receptors (nociceptors) in the uterus
  • Activates immune pathways that soothe the inflammatory response
  • Reduces pain perception by modulating brain receptors
  • Promotes blood flow and healing factors

Intriguingly, CBD is ‘multi-targeted’ because it interacts with both cannabinoid receptors and specific brain and immune system receptor sites. This is why its health advantages are so varied. Let’s review how CBD compares to THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) in helping with endometriosis pain.

THC (Medical Cannabis) vs CBD for Endometriosis

THC is the other primary cannabinoid secreted by the cannabis sativa plant, which is what stimulates the plant’s renowned ‘high’ when consumed. While it’s often maligned, THC has a range of therapeutic applications for many health problems, similar to CBD. When it comes to pain and discomfort from endometriosis, THC can be beneficial in many people.

Like CBD, THC has effects on its own which are great at mitigating symptoms:

  • THC is an analgesic like CBD (pain-reducing)
  • It provides anti-inflammatory effects (although less so than CBD)
  • In some, it helps with anxiety alleviation from endometriosis

Compared to CBD, THC activates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors much more strongly and directly. It also can interact with dopamine and serotonin systems. Due to this, its risks for addiction, mental harm or long-term cognitive issues are substantially worse. However, for chronic pain such as the type caused by endometriosis, CBD and THC are synergistic in their analgesic potential. Cannabis-based pain medications combine CBD and THC in a 1:1 ratio to best mitigate pain sensations. The medical research on this is clear.

In other words, if you have more severe endometriosis pain, CBD on its own is surpassed in effectiveness by-products containing equal amounts of CBD and THC. In Australia, these are prescription-only medicines due to the risks of THC. You’ll need to speak to your Doctor to obtain one and get approval under the medical cannabis scheme. For those with mental disorders, histories of depression or genetic predispositions to mental health problems, THC poses a significant risk. It can cause psychosis in the worst cases, so it should be treated with considerable caution.

Benefits of CBD for Endometriosis

Now that you understand how CBD assists with painful endometriosis challenges, let’s review its benefits in more detail. 

Pain and Inflammation Reduction

As mentioned, the primary benefit of CBD for endometriosis is counteracting the pain, inflammation, and soreness it causes. When consumed, CBD stimulates the release of endocannabinoids from the body, which the body secretes itself. When secreted, endocannabinoids work as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating agents. They help ‘calm’ the body and lower pain perception. 

The anandamide endocannabinoid is particularly powerful at this. Anandamide helps with immune cell regulation, providing soothing effects by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory proteins. For endometriosis, this is hugely beneficial as it limits the damage, irritation and pain occurring from excess uterus tissue. Blocking pain and preventing irritation from endometriosis is a significant factor behind the rise of CBD oil use amongst women in Australia. Many prefer it over more typical anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or Nurofen as a natural, plant-based alternative.

Relaxing Uterus Cramps

When endometriosis occurs, many experience cramping, spasming, and contracting in their uterus muscles uncomfortably. This is particularly common during monthly periods due to hormonal shifts. Some degree of cramps or period pain is normal. However, endometriosis magnifies these sensations significantly, which can cause distressing muscle aches, soreness, and nausea. CBD can assist with this problem. 

It helps to relieve tension in the muscles and prevent unwanted contractions. The cannabinoid soothes the muscle tissue and surrounding nerve fibres, helping to prevent the nerves from misfiring. This occurs via interactions with CB2 cannabinoid receptor sites in the muscles and nervous system. Using CBD during monthly menstruation can be a massive deal for mitigating the peaks of endometriosis muscle spasms.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Because endometriosis is so painful, monthly periods can be a source of anxiety or even fear. Many women experience very severe, unbearable pain from the condition. It can cause days of immense discomfort and distress. Living with this is stressful. Worrying about unavoidable, severe pain that is out of your control is inevitable. This constant worry and stress often causes anxiety as a side effect of endometriosis. Due to being anxiolytic or anxiety-reducing, CBD can help mitigate this problem. 

The cannabinoid has real, demonstrated abilities to counteract anxiousness, reduce stress sensitivity, and provide mental calmness. These properties make it ideal for people who need to relax and avoid endometriosis-related anxiety symptoms. Doing so helps you regain control, build confidence, and avoid worry. It’s perfect as a supportive aid for mental quality of life when dealing with endometriosis.

Hormone Regulation

There is a strong link between female hormones and endometriosis occurrence. It’s why the symptoms of this painful disease primarily manifest during menstrual cycles when various hormones are at their peak. During monthly menstruation, a cocktail of hormones is secreted in the body, controlling period timing and length. These hormones include: 

  • Progesterone
  • LH (Luteinizing hormone)
  • FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone)
  • Oestradiol

Each plays an essential role in controlling menstruation, but they must work in a delicate balance. If these hormones become dysregulated or out of sync, they can worsen period pain and endometriosis. Preventing this is vital to reducing the likelihood of more severe endometriosis symptoms. Aiding with hormone regulation is another area CBD helps with endometriosis.

It functions via endocannabinoid system pathways that allow it to keep hormones in balance, reducing their fluctuation. It can do this because the female reproductive organs contain CB2 cannabinoid receptors like most of the other body’s organs. Modulating them has solid benefits for normalising hormone secretion and control. CBD oil is also commonly used for period pain because of these factors.

Research

Few studies have been done on the effects of CBD on endometriosis to date. Problematically, the studies that have been done also tended to combine THC with CBD in their testing protocols. Despite this, the results so far indicate there are likely benefits of CBD for endometriosis, both standalone and when used with THC.

A 2023 study on rodents found CBD reduced the proliferation of invasive endometrial cells. This was confirmed by measuring epithelial cells in different pelvic tissue regions before and after dosing with CBD oil. CBD helped to prevent unwanted uterus tissue from being produced in non-uterine areas, enabling the cannabinoid to slow the progression of endometriosis in the rodents examined. Inflammatory markers also showed a decrease in affected uterus tissue areas, indicating CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties were manifesting.

Another Canadian study from 2021 examined the use of cannabis medication (containing CBD and THC) as a treatment for chronic endometriosis pain. This was a large-scale trial involving 252 patients. Doses of inhaled or edible cannabis were used over a considerable number of sessions (over 16,000 in 3 years), with symptom severity being reported before versus after dosing. This landmark study was a massive success. 

On average, patients dosing with cannabis showed:

  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • Lower anxiety and stress
  • Fewer muscle cramps, aches and spasming
  • Improved mood, particularly during periods

The result was considered valid and statistically significant, indicating cannabis had a positive therapeutic benefit for endometriosis. Part of this was undoubtedly due to CBD. But keep in mind that this study also incorporated THC into its experimental design. CBD and THC are well known to be synergistic together for pain mitigation (analgesia), which is displayed here.

Australian Trials

More studies are now being funded in various countries to understand better the role that medical cannabis and CBD can play in combatting endometriosis. For example, Deakin University in Australia is running a cutting-edge trial of cannabis medications to treat endometriosis. This clinical review is targeted at reducing the use of opiate painkillers for endometriosis, which are highly addictive. 

Similarly, new clinical studies are being funded at institutions in Australia like Western Sydney University on the therapeutic potential of treating endometriosis with cannabis. This increase in interest, funding and research into cannabinoids like CBD or THC is promising.

More discoveries will be made in the years and decades to come regarding how they work for endometriosis and where they can be applied as treatments. 

How to Use

Using CBD for endometriosis is straightforward but does require some planning and thought. In particular, you need to consider:

  • Medical assistance and diagnosis
  • The type of CBD product you prefer
  • Product strength and formulation
  • Dosage approach
  • Lifestyle adjustments

Let’s look at these factors to help guide your usage experience.

Product Types

Because CBD is a molecule, it can be diffused into a large variety of ingestible and topical products. As such, your choice of CBD product for endometriosis is extensive. Product type selection is primarily up to your desires, tastes and preferences.

Despite CBD oil being the most common way to dose CBD, it’s not the only choice. Other strong forms of CBD include sublingual, capsule, edible and topical options. Each of these has particular advantages as well as drawbacks.

  1. CBD Oil is the easiest to dose because it comes with a dropper. You can carefully take the oil drop by drop to your requirements. It’s also advantageous because of its portability, discretion and ease of storage. There are a few types of CBD oil to consider, with varying characteristics due to differences in cannabinoid, terpene and nutrient content.
    • Drawback: CBD oil takes a while to kick in because it’s digested through the gut and loses some bioavailability. Gut acids can degrade some amount of the cannabinoid from being absorbed. However, its effects are more prolonged and substantial due to slower absorption.
  2. Sublingual: If you want its soothing effects to activate faster, you can take CBD strips or even use CBD oil sublingually. Hold your dose under the tongue or gums for up to 60 seconds before swallowing. Sublingual ingestion enables CBD to be quickly absorbed through the mouth’s lining, helping it reach the bloodstream and body quickly. For endometriosis, this is ideal where pain or discomfort requires rapid relief.
    • Drawback: The biggest downside of sublingually taking CBD is its taste. Many people don’t like the grassy, musky flavour or aftertaste in their mouth. This can be avoided by using flavoured products or coating the mouth first with a liquid.
  3. CBD Capsules: are ideal for avoiding the taste of CBD. They work the same as CBD oil and are digested similarly via the gut, providing more prolonged effects. Capsules are highly convenient because they contain pre-measured doses of CBD in each. Calculating your doses is straightforward and very convenient to use. You can simply wash down a few capsules.
    • Drawback: Capsules are usually more expensive than other options because of their added convenience, ease of use, and flavourlessness. Additionally, they take longer to work like oils because of digestion timeframes. 
  4. Topicals are becoming more popular as a method of using CBD for endometriosis because they can more precisely target the muscles surrounding the uterus. A CBD topical cream, ointment, or oil on the area is ideal for relieving cramping. It’s also great at mitigating overall pain levels, achiness, and inflammation.
    • Drawback: Because they’re absorbed through the skin and tissue, topical CBD products are slow-acting and have lower bioavailability. They’re also much more localised in their effects, so they are less useful for overall endometriosis pain relief, anxiety alleviation, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Dosage

There aren’t hard and fast rules regarding the best amounts of CBD to take for endometriosis. What works well tends to differ for everyone. That said, dosage plays a considerable role in how well CBD will work for endometriosis and planning doses should be prioritised. Some tips here are:

  • Speak to your Doctor First: Don’t start taking CBD products for your endometriosis until you’ve cleared it with a medical practitioner. CBD is not always the right approach to treating the condition, and it doesn’t make sense for each individual. Doctors will also help you understand potential risks, such as mixing CBD with existing medications, which makes consulting with them vital.
  • Calculate Doses: Before taking your product, check its strength and dosing guidelines. This is needed to calculate how much CBD you’ll take per dose. CBD concentration measured in mg/mL must be considered in these calculations. High-strength products require less overall dosage volume due to more CBD per mL.
  • Make a Plan: Most people start at around 10-20mg of CBD per day for endometriosis and ramp up from there. Beginning with small quantities is wise as a gauge of how well you tolerate the cannabinoid and whether you may have allergies. After a few weeks, you can raise doses to the best that works best for you. Whatever this looks like, ensure you plan ahead of time with your Doctor.
  • Stick to your plan: Dose consistently and with discipline. Many people set reminders or use diaries to track their CBD consumption and changes in symptoms over time. This is a great practice to ensure it is helping and mitigate the risks of ‘over’ dosing.
  • Be Conservative: don’t overdo it when dosing CBD for endometriosis. It’s always wise to err on the side of caution. People can experience side effects and intolerance from the product. It’s not possible to ‘overdose’ on CBD, but often less is more in terms of its effectiveness. Very high daily doses tend to have diminishing returns.

Along with your dosage planning, another critical consideration is incorporating CBD into your daily routine, lifestyle, and other treatment practices.

Combining with Healthy Lifestyle

While endometriosis is a challenging chronic condition, ‘softer’ treatment options like lifestyle changes often have outsized impacts on mitigating it. Notably, CBD won’t replace having good overall health or medical assistance. It must be viewed as a ‘complementary’ support option to help reinforce well-being instead of a magical cure for endometriosis. When taking it, the best results are always seen when other lifestyle mitigations are incorporated like:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet (for immunity and hormone regulation)
  • Healthy sleep patterns (assists with hormones that affect endometriosis)
  • Exercising and practising mindfulness techniques
  • Certain natural supplements as added support

For example, a study recently identified that gentle, calming exercises like yoga helped some women reduce the severity of endometriosis symptoms. They aided in lowering physical pain levels and soothing mental stress. Calming or anti-inflammatory supplements such as ashwagandha, magnesium, and B vitamins offer similar advantages. 

These practices and factors are essential because they help regulate hormones and reduce inflammation. Strong hormone balance is foundational to preventing more severe symptoms of endometriosis. Hormones heavily influence the condition, so keeping them well-regulated is critical. Similarly, lowering inflammation naturally through lifestyle interventions means an overactive inflammatory response from endometriosis can be better suppressed.

Using CBD oil for endometriosis as a supplementary tool alongside these health-improving techniques will amplify the results you see.

Side Effect Risks

When taking CBD oil for endometriosis, side effects can occur. Most are generally mild, very temporary and can be mitigated. Some examples of these include:

  • Dry mouth or a ‘cottonmouth’ feeling
  • Slight drowsiness or dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Changes in mood, appetite or energy levels

Such side effects are most commonly experienced in the early stages of using CBD as the body adjusts. If any lasts longer than a day or two, you should stop taking your product or check in with your Doctor. 

Intolerances to the CBD cannabinoid itself are extremely rare. The culprit for allergies or side effects is generally either the carrier oil used with the CBD or contaminants that have affected a poorly made product. For instance, heavy metals or pesticides in low-grade CBD oil are somewhat common and a significant source of adverse reactions.

To troubleshoot, you can always try:

  • Changing your dosage approach (using less CBD)
  • Trying a different product or formulation
  • Checking you aren’t consuming anything that could be interacting with CBD in your body

Most importantly, concerning side effects and risks, don’t use CBD with other medications. Speak to your Doctor about this first. The body metabolises the cannabinoids in the liver, which can cause health problems when combined with other chemicals that are similarly passed via this organ.

Best CBD Oil for Endometriosis in Australia

For the best CBD oil for endometriosis in Australia, we recommend prioritising products that are ‘full-spectrum’ formulated. This formulation of CBD oil has some beneficial compounds that are naturally secreted by hemp, similar to CBD, each of which has advantages in mitigating endometriosis. For example, these items have minor cannabinoids like CBN or CBG, which are anti-inflammatory and aid in soothing tissue irritation in the pelvic area. Likewise, the content of cannabis terpenes is vital due to these chemicals amplifying the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving power of cannabinoids.

The main risk and downside of full-spectrum CBD oil is its THC content. In Australia, it can contain up to 0.3% THC in most states. While this won’t get you ‘high’ or cause health issues (you won’t even perceive it), it’s a risk for drivers or those who are drug tested. Taking these products means THC can build in your system over time. The body will store enough of it to register on most drug tests, including those used for drivers. Steer clear if you drive or are drug tested for work. Opt for isolate or broad-spectrum CBD oil, which won’t have THC.

Top Brands

In Australia, there are a few reputable, trustworthy CBD brands that are good options to look at for CBD products targeting endometriosis.

  • Black Sheep Farms is a great, local, Byron Bay-based brand. They have some of Australia’s best organic CBD oil, which has strong reviews regarding its efficacy for endometriosis. 
  • Endoca is a heavyweight in the CBD industry, and for good reason. Check out their full-spectrum offerings, which have several strengths to suit your needs.
  • Naturecan sources its CBD products from Europe. Each item is CO2 extracted, quality-assured, and lab-tested. It’s one of the top CBD stores for a reason, with thousands of great reviews.

Advantageously, each of these brands has broad, comprehensive CBD product selections. This means you aren’t strictly limited to CBD oil, which is a significant benefit. If you don’t like how oils taste, try out their CBD capsules, topicals, edibles, or gummies.

Tips on Shopping

Whichever CBD shop you choose to buy from, some helpful shopping tips are:

  • Check the store’s customer reviews. Validate that their customers are happy and satisfied and get what was promised.
  • Review the lab results of their product. Confirm that what you’re buying is pure, contains CBD, and is independently assured by a third-party laboratory.
  • Shop locally in Australia. Shipping CBD products from overseas is risky, and you can see your items get confiscated. Some people even get fined for this, so be careful.

It’s also prudent to prioritise quality factors over price when buying CBD oil in Australia. Most products are already relatively expensive and typically retail for over $80. Spending a little extra for something pure, verified for quality, lab-tested, and CO2 extracted is always worth it. You’ll avoid the risk of purchasing fake or low-grade items that can harm your health instead of helping with endometriosis. Plus, they’ll work better for your symptoms.

Conclusion

Using CBD oil for endometriosis is a great, natural way to aid with mitigating the painful, irritating problems the condition causes. Because of its potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and mentally calming benefits, CBD is the ideal choice for women looking to mitigate symptoms sustainably. These benefits are what’s behind the massive growth of popularity and use of CBD for endometriosis in Australia. While the evidence behind its efficacy for this condition is still limited, there’s ample clinical research to date supporting its therapeutic potential as part of medical cannabis treatments.

When you take CBD oil, don’t expect it to fix endometriosis overnight or work immediately. It takes planning, time, and working with your Doctor to see tangible improvements in your quality of life. These results can be accelerated and amplified through diligent health practices like eating well or doing gentle exercise. Looking forward, the future is bright for CBD as a supportive aid in combatting endometriosis. It’s giving more women hope of regaining control of their condition and the confidence this brings. Trying it could be worth your while. But speak to your doctor first to assess your situation and determine what’s suitable for your health.

References

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  2. Sinclair, J., Collett, L., Abbott, J., Pate, D.W., Sarris, J. and Armour, M. (2021). Effects of cannabis ingestion on endometriosis-associated pelvic pain and related symptoms. PLOS ONE, 16(10), p.e0258940. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8547625/
  3. www.deakin.edu.au. (n.d.). Could medicinal cannabis be the answer to the pain of endometriosis? [online] Available at: https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/news-and-media-releases/articles/could-medicinal-cannabis-be-the-answer-to-the-pain-of-endometriosis#:~:text=Deakin%20researchers%20are%20exploring%20the
  4. www.nicm.edu.au. (n.d.). NICM HRI | Medicinal Cannabis and Endometriosis. [online] Available at: https://www.nicm.edu.au/research/research_projects/medicinal_cannabis_and_endometriosis
  5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2023). Endometriosis, How common is endometriosis? [online] Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-disease/endometriosis-in-australia/contents/how-common-is-endometriosis.
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  7. Heal Endo. (2023). CBD Oil and Endometriosis. [online] Available at: https://www.healendo.com/blog-1/2023/7/12/cbd-oil-and-endometriosis
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