Foria Relief: Cannabis vagina suppositories which 'eases period pain' sold in US

But the treatment is not yet approved by the US' drug regulatory body 

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 02 February 2016 14:06 GMT
Residents in Victoria will have access to the drug in 'exceptional circumstances”
Residents in Victoria will have access to the drug in 'exceptional circumstances”

In the latest battle in the war against agonising period pains, suppositories filled with cannabis designed to be inserted into the vagina have hit the US market.

Many women experience period pain - or dysmenorrhoea - as the muscular wall of the womb contracts and presses against neighbouring blood vessels. This cuts off the blood supply to the womb, and causes pain, according to the NHS.

Similar in shape to tampons, the suppositories are said to deliver the pain-relieving properties of cannabis without making users feel high.

Sold in packs of four for $44 (£30), each FORIA Relief capsule contains 60mg of THC and 10mg of cannabidiol, as well as cocoa butter.

“Our intention is to share the powerful medicinal properties of this plant while utilizing modern extraction techniques to standardize purity and potency, thereby ensuring a safe and accessible experience for all women,” the FORIA website reads.

The cannabis treatment – which is made using plants grown outdoors in Northern California – interacts with the nerve endings around the uterus, cervix and the ovaries and also blocks mechanisms which cause inflammation.

But does it work? A reviewer for the website Broadly wrote that: “Within 20 minutes, my cramps totally disappeared.”

She added that while other pain relief methods wore off, “one Foria suppository did its job well into my evening.”

Foria is currently only available in US states where cannabis is legal, including California and Colorado.

However, women may be put off by the fact that the product is not yet evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration which regulates medications and is responsible for protecting public health.

Discussing her concerns about such a product, Dr Helen Webberley, of the Oxford Online Pharmacy, told the Huffington Post that all medicines in the US must be passed by the FDA.

“This capsule has not even been studied yet and it hasn't been passed by the FDA. The assumption is that, as cannabis can cause muscle relaxation, it may help to ease period pains.”

“I would be very worried about women using this product before it has been fully evaluated,” she said.

Dr Webberley's concerns come after women were warned against using "herbal detox pearls" sold by a separate firm, which are inserted in the vagina. The product is marketed as a treatment for endometriosis, ovarian cysts and thrush.

However, Dr Jen Gunter, a US gynaeologist urged women in a blog post not to use the pearls and said they could cause toxic shock syndrome - a potentially fatal condition.

Tamieka Atkinson, the owner of Embrace Pangaea, told The Independent at the time that the Embrace Pangae balls are "holistic".

"Our product is not a drug by any means, and we make no claims of curing, diagnosing, or treating disease," she said.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in