I Did It: I Tried a Marijuana Tampon

by Leah Campbell

Photograph by Twenty20

We were visiting friends in Washington last fall when I started my period. For most women, this would be a non-event. But for women like me, women with endometriosis, that first cramp is usually a precursor to several days spent clutching the heating pad and praying for relief. Not exactly the best way to spend your vacation.

I’ve been dealing with this disease for 10 years now. I’ve had five major abdominal surgeries and my pain was actually manageable for several years. But over the last year, it started creeping back in. My periods started knocking me down for the count again—which is never fun, but is especially hard when you’re a single mom to a 4-year-old.

So, when the friend we were visiting in Washington suggested we stop into the local marijuana shop to see if they had anything that might help me remain functional through the pain, I was all for it.

For the record, I do have a prescription for pain relievers of the opioid variety. But, honestly, I hate taking them and trying to mother. As a result, I often choose pain, if that’s what it takes to remain coherent for my little girl.

As for pot, I grew up with a cop for a dad and didn’t try the stuff for the first time until I was 25. It was never really my thing, and I only did it a handful of times in total.

Still, I had read enough over the years about the benefits of micro dosing and using marijuana for medicinal reasons to at least be curious. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment—when I had friends around who could take over for my daughter if I realized the effects were a little too much.

We walked into a shop and I explained my issues to the woman behind the counter. She was incredibly knowledgeable and had a lot of ideas about what might help best with the pain. When everything was said and done, I walked out of there with a massage oil, a bottle of CBD oil, some 5-milligram mints, 10-milligram caramels and … a package of pot tampons.

Now, to be clear, these things aren’t actually tampons. They won’t stop you from bleeding everywhere and they definitely won’t just stay inside you on their own. They’re actually suppositories—a coconut-oil-like substance that is hardened, a little smaller than tampon size, infused with 80 milligrams of THC.

That night, shortly before bed, I decided to try the other half of the tampon. This is where things got interesting.

For those who are curious, most pot users probably smoke between 10 to 15 milligrams for a high. For me, I absolutely feel it after even just those 5-milligram mints.

The “tampons” are infused with more because, theoretically, inserting them in the vagina isn’t supposed to provide the same level of high. The goal with these is to provide direct pain relief, with the potential for a high—but nothing like what you would experience if you actually ingested 80 milligrams.

Knowing the potential was there, though—and that I tend to be a little sensitive to this kind of stuff—I only used half a tampon at first. And … nothing. I didn’t feel any relief or any high.

A few hours later, I popped one of those 5 milligram mints, which took the edge off a little. I didn’t feel high exactly, but I did feel a whole lot more relaxed, which helped to manage the pain a little more, even though it didn’t completely take it away.

That night, shortly before bed, I decided to try the other half of the tampon. This is where things got interesting.

The woman at the store said to make sure to use a pad when using the tampons, even if I had a real tampon in, because the oil itself would leak out and could potentially stain underwear. It’s probably worth mentioning that the oil smelled like a bong. It was strong. I’m not sure I would recommend using these if you were going on a job interview.

What I didn’t tell the woman at the store, however, was that I don’t use tampons—I use a cup. At the time, it just didn’t seem relevant. Either way, I would still be combining it with a panty liner in case of potential leakage. Anyway, I put that second half in and again, I felt no difference. I was definitely still in pain.

About an hour later, though, I laid down in bed with a book. I was on my back, knees in the air, a heating pad on my belly and another on my back—because that’s how I usually deal with period pain.

As I read, I started to realize I was feeling a little high. Then a lot high. Then really, really high. We’re talking seeing things, hearing things, "convincing myself social services was going to take my child" high.

It might have been funny if I hadn’t been there in that room alone. Or if I hadn’t been so high and so paranoid that I couldn’t even bring myself to call my friend to come and sit with me until it passed.

Instead, I laid there for several hours, freaking the eff out. Yeah … I am not a poster child for marijuana use.

It wasn’t until the next day that I figured out what happened. After inserting it, the tampon had eventually melted and landed in my cup—just as it had earlier in the day. But earlier in the day, I had remained upright, and emptied and cleaned out that cup before inserting the other half.

That other half sat there in the cup, melted and ready to go, until I laid down and it all dumped back inside me.

When I called the pot shop the next day and asked the woman I had originally spoken to if this was a possibility, she simply laughed and said, “Yeah … I wouldn’t recommend using those with a cup.”

I’m still convinced that should be on the label.

The one thing I can say for sure is that while I was in the middle of that high, pain was the least of my concerns—so at least there was that. But if I were willing to achieve that level of high for pain relief, I would probably be taking my prescription meds to begin with. There’s a reason I was looking for something else.

I’ve tried the pot tampons again in the months since—laying down for a short while after insertion so it doesn’t leak immediately out, but using just a pad so that it can leak out when I stand. I haven’t experienced the crazy high again, thankfully, but I also haven’t experienced much in the way of relief.

I suppose it takes the edge off the cramps a little, but it’s nothing miraculous. And at about $12 a tampon, it’s also probably not worth the money—at least, not for me. But, hey, I fully support trying to get your vagina high if you think it might help you!

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