Cannabis Science

Does Weed Help IUD Cramps?


Who would have thought that a device often used to reduce menstrual cramps can cause cramps? Yes, today we’re talking about IUDs. An IUD or intrauterine device is a hormonal contraceptive inserted into the uterus. There are many reasons why people opt for an IUD, such as to improve period symptoms and prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately, some people end up with IUD cramps. We know that weed is used to alleviate pain. So, does weed help with IUD cramps? Here’s what we know. 

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Does Smoking Weed Help IUD Cramps?

IUD cramps are not unusual after insertion. According to Healthline, the pain is due to the cervix opening to fit the IUD. Therefore many people experience pain during and after insertion. 

Healthline says, “These cramps may gradually decrease in severity but continue on and off for the first few weeks after insertion. They should subside entirely within the first three to six months.”

There are many ways to deal with pain but can weed help with IUD cramps? Unsurprisingly, there aren’t any real studies that examine that. 

However, we know that weed has anti-inflammatory properties and can sometimes help with pain relief. While the science isn’t conclusive, some stoners report using various weed products for menstrual pain relief. While period cramps and IUD cramps aren’t precisely the same, there is a possibility that weed can help stoners. Weed releases dopamine and can result in euphoria. That usually makes pain a little easier to manage. 

Some stoners report that smoking weed has helped to alleviate their IUD cramps. One Reddit user said, “Smoking in the evenings before bed really helped dull the pain and lull me to sleep gently.” Another one said, “I actually started smoking to help with the cramps.”

However, some stoners find that using weed makes their IUD cramps worse. According to a Reddit user, “I got the Paragard IUD put in about a week ago, smoked weed three times since then, two out of the three times my IUD cramps got worse/felt more intense.”

Everybody reacts to weed differently so none of those experiences are surprising. You may find that using your bong helps your IUD cramps. If you don’t, there are other available pain relief. 

At the same time, Healthline says to seek medical attention if the pain is severe and persistent.

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Can I Smoke Weed Before an IUD Insertion?

Many people are unprepared for the pain of an IUD insertion. At the same time, some people may not feel anything. 

Web MD states, “You may feel cramping and discomfort as it’s being put in. You may feel nauseated or dizzy. Or you may have no symptoms at all.”

It’s common for people to do preemptive pain management. But can smoking weed help? MedMen says there is little evidence that using weed before a painful procedure could work, but science has not confirmed it. They pointed out that not all pain is the same, so just because weed works for one type of pain doesn’t mean it will work for another.

In addition to that, it’s not recommended that you do medical procedures high. Jordan Tishler, MD, told MedMen that doing that can bring up safety issues such as going to and returning from the procedure. However, if you are opting to use weed before the procedure, Tishler recommends small doses. 

MedMen does reiterate the science does not show that weed is effectively used before procedures. When it comes to procedures that use anesthesia, it could pose a problem. 

But CBD may be a viable option. Melanie Bone, MD, told MedMen that CBD could theoretically make you calmer. Being calmer can result in a better experience during insertion.

In addition, WebMD provided helpful tips to reduce pain before your IUD appointments. Before coming to your appointment:

  • Eat a meal and keep hydrated.
  • Do breathing exercises to relax.
  • Schedule your appointment during the days of your menstrual cycle when your cervix is the softest. 
  • Take 500mg of ibuprofen or naproxen an hour before the procedure. 

Can I Smoke Weed If I’m on Birth Control?

Even if weed can alleviate your IUD cramps, could it make your birth control less effective or cause other problems? 

Well, according to Healthline, there is no evidence that weed makes birth control less effective. There aren’t really any studies that examine the relationship between the two. 

At the same time, there are talks about whether or not the two could interact and cause a problem. Both weed and birth control can have adverse effects on your heart. 

Healthline says, “If you have a heart condition, this effect can be a problem, and using hormonal birth control at the same time could worsen the effects.”

So, you can smoke weed if you’re on hormonal birth control since there isn’t enough information to declare it unsafe. However, you can discuss your options with your doctor if you have concerns. 

How to Alleviate IUD Cramps

If smoking weed isn’t helping your IUD cramps, you have other options. However, you should still pay attention to the pain. Tishler told MadMed, “Cannabis should not be used to treat pain unless the cause of the pain is well understood; that way, we don’t miss something important.”

With that, here are some ways you can alleviate IUD cramps.

  1. Heating pad – Remember alleviating period cramps with a heating pad or a hot water bottle? Well, Healthline says it’s worth a try to relieve IUD cramps. Heat, in general, could work so you can soak in your bathtub to achieve similar relief. 
  2. Take over-the-counter medication WebMD says your doctor will probably recommend acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to take every couple of hours. 
  3. Acupressure-  Healthline says touching specific pressure points on your body may e able to alleviate cramps. For example, pressing your thumb into the arch of your foot may provide relief. 
  4. Supplements – Certain supplements such as omega 3 and vitamin B6 can help reduce long-term cramps. Ask your doctor before purchasing any supplements. 

One other tip that may or may not work for everybody; exercising. Healthline says to throw on some sneakers and go for a job since exercise can help reduce cramping. The same advice is given to people with period pains. However, Lisa Holloway, a nurse practitioner near Washington, DC, who specializes in women’s health told WedMD to hold off on exercise. Holloway says, “Exercise and intercourse may cause you to cramp more, so hold off on activity until you feel up to it,”

Therefore if exercising works for you, you can continue; if not, try another method.


Does weed help IUD cramps? There isn’t much scientific evidence to support or refute this claim. However, some stoners find that using weed after an IUD insertion helps relieve pain while others have the opposite experience. You can opt for other pain management methods if weed doesn’t help your IUD cramps. Don’t forget to see your doctor if the pain is too severe and persistent. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].