A few years ago, you might have seen some clickbaity headlines exclaiming, “Pot tampons?!”
The combination of two taboo topics – periods and cannabis – was irresistible for bloggers everywhere.
While anyone who has experienced menstruation will recognize that the products profiled in these articles do not serve the hygienic function of a tampon, cannabis vaginal suppositories, as they are more accurately described, might make “that time of the month” more bearable.
After gaining attention for its arousal lubricant, California-based Foria introduced Foria Relief in early 2016. Considered to be the first “cannabis tampon” on the market, the cocoa butter suppositories are formulated “to ease symptoms often associated with the menstrual cycle, such as pain and cramps.”
Each suppository contains 60mg THC and 10mg CBD, yielding “little or no psychoactive effects.” Foria’s cannabis products are only available in California and Colorado, although it now sells CBD-only versions of its products online at foriawellness.com.
Fairwinds Manufacturing in Vancouver introduced Feminine Relief, the first cannabis-infused suppository available in post-I-502 Washington, in February 2017. Other Fairwinds products include full extract cannabis oil, capsules and topicals.
“Our idea for the Feminine Relief came from multiple reports of increased comfort after using our O-Lube cannabis intimate lubricant,” said Steve Schechterle, marketing coordinator. “A few women told us that when they used the lube during menstrual cramps, it took away their discomfort.”
Schechterle said Fairwinds decided to develop Feminine Relief as a suppository because of the historical use of herbal vaginal suppositories.
“The Feminine Relief formula was developed from traditional theory, based on thousands of years of traditional use of (cannabis) herbs for gynecological disorders,” he said.
Fairwinds has also introduced Rectify, a suppository with ingredients known to support gastrointestinal health.
Packages of Feminine Relief and Rectify include four individually packaged suppositories containing 5mg CBD/ 5mg THCA/ 10mg THC per serving.
Suppositories may be more effective for vaginal and gastrointestinal relief over smoking or edibles because active ingredients reach the blood in much higher concentrations, as they are not metabolized by the stomach and liver.
Suppositories are also fast acting, often within 10-15 minutes, with effects potentially lasting up to eight hours, although individual responses vary.
Satori South General Manager Kayla Keane said the shop began carrying Feminine Relief a few months after the location opened.
“We had more and more consumers asking about options in a suppository form,” Keane said. “Fairwinds was truly the only company that offered this option or even attempted to create (it).”
Satori South sees many customers seeking options to address medical conditions. Keane encountered one patient with prostate cancer who had been making his own suppository capsules.
“He was elated with the results and wanted to share so that others understood the multitude of uses suppositories could have,” Keane said. “After hearing this story and others, we were thrilled to bring on Feminine Relief.”
Although Satori South has carried the product for nearly two years, Keane has received little feedback.
“The product and concept in general of a cannabis-infused suppository is so new to the legal market that I think it has yet to be perfected,” she said. “As the industry grows and changes, we see the culture changing and more people realizing that this could be the new ‘normal’ for them to combat pain.”
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