Cannabis and Endometriosis: Can Weed Help Relieve Symptoms of Endometriosis?

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

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Endometriosis occurs when tissue grows abnormally outside of the uterus. This condition is relatively common and can impact multiple different aspects of health. The Office on Women’s Health estimates that at least 11% of American women have endometriosis, making it one of the leading gynecological conditions. 

Endometriosis can significantly impact fertility and is one of the top reasons for hysterectomies. Living with endometriosis can be debilitating, so more research needs to be done to learn about the condition and develop further symptom management options.

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What Causes Endometriosis?

Research has not found one leading cause of endometriosis. A variety of factors likely cause this condition.

Some possible causes of endometriosis include:

  • Hormone imbalances (specifically estrogen)
  • Surgical errors (such as tissue being harmed during a C-section)
  • Genetics
  • Menstrual issues

The last cause noted, menstrual issues, is one of the most likely reasons why some women develop endometriosis. During a menstrual cycle, it's healthy to have tissues shed. However, endometriosis can potentially result if those tissues get stuck or flow somewhere they’re not supposed to. This misplacement of uterine tissues can lead to discomfort and fertility issues.

Endometriosis Signs & Symptoms

The most common symptom of endometriosis is pain. Discomfort is often the first symptom that brings people to discuss concerns with their doctor. Dismissing abdominal pain can be dangerous. If you think you may be experiencing endometriosis symptoms, consider speaking with your doctor about possible options.

If you have endometriosis, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Heavy periods
  • Infertility
  • Intermenstrual bleeding
  • Painful intercourse
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Painful urination
  • Uncomfortable bowel movements

There are lots of different areas of life that endometriosis can impact. One study found that having endometriosis increases your chances of having a stroke by 34%.1 Endometriosis can also affect weight, menstrual cycles, and response to oral contraceptives.

How Cannabis May Help Alleviate Endometriosis Symptoms

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If you were recently diagnosed, you may wonder about whether you can use medical marijuana for endometriosis.

It’s no secret that cannabis is commonly used for pain relief.3

Many people have found that cannabis is an effective way to reduce their endometriosis symptoms. While cannabis does not cure endometriosis, it may help reduce pain and alleviate discomfort.

Cannabis is demonstrated to be effective at reducing inflammation.3 This is one of the reasons why it's an efficient way to reduce pain resulting from various conditions, including endometriosis. Inflamed tissues can cause damage to other structures, so finding ways to reduce inflammation is essential when it comes to overall wellness.

One study examined endometriosis and cannabis use, specifically during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers found that, while cannabis methods of consumption changed slightly during the pandemic, endometriosis symptoms were still positively affected.4

The complexities of endometriosis mean that many questions are being answered through animal models. Researchers found that mice with surgically-induced endometriosis didn’t develop further cysts if they consumed THC.5 While this is an exciting result, more research must be done on human subjects. There’s still more to learn about the possibilities of utilizing THC for endometriosis.

Some people experience gastrointestinal problems as a result of their endometriosis. It’s been shown that cannabis may be beneficial in reducing gastrointestinal problems that specifically result from endometriosis. This study found that inhaling cannabis was the most effective way to get symptom relief.6

Many people with endometriosis wonder how the condition could impact their fertility. Between 30% and 50% of individuals with endometriosis also deal with infertility.8  Evidence suggests cannabis may increase female fertility through a variety of different mechanisms.8 This indeed points to the comprehensive benefits of cannabis.

If you’re struggling with the symptoms of endometriosis, consider if cannabis could be an effective treatment. Whether your goal is to have less pain or increase your fertility, cannabis could be a possible option.

Legality and Doctor’s Recommendation

To determine if your state considers endometriosis to be a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, check out our Laws & Regulations section for the medical cannabis rules for your state.

If you find that your state recognizes endometriosis or its symptoms as a qualifying medical condition, you can seek a doctor’s recommendation to get your medical cannabis card in your state.

How NuggMD Can Help

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We believe that every human being has the right to explore the benefits of medical cannabis and are fully committed to helping each patient explore all their options in their journey to wellness. For further information on whether you qualify for medical cannabis, select your state.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabis & Endometriosis

If you experience endometriosis, then you probably understand the importance of learning from quality resources. Here are some common questions about cannabis and endometriosis:

Why are cannabis and endometriosis connected? 

The endocannabinoid system has various receptors throughout the body. The location of those receptors can impact the effects that cannabis exerts. In fact, researchers have demonstrated the significant role of the ECS in reproduction and its presence in reproductive tissues.9 This means that cannabis has the ability to exercise its potential benefits on reproductive organs.

Will CBD help my endometriosis? 

CBD for endometriosis may be effective.10 If you’re considering using CBD specifically for endometriosis, take some time to think about what dose is right for you. Some people find that higher CBD doses have more of an effect on their endometriosis. However, the dosage is incredibly individual, and the right amount for you may vary. CBD oil for endometriosis may be a great way to get relief and reduce symptoms.

Could cannabis make my endometriosis worse?

Everyone reacts to cannabis differently. However, it is doubtful that cannabis would make your endometriosis worse. If you find that your endometriosis symptoms are worsening, consider consulting with your doctor about other factors that may be having an impact.

Will a product with both CBD and THC have an even stronger ability to reduce my endometriosis symptoms? 

Products with both CBD and THC may provide a broader spectrum of relief when it comes to endometriosis. However, it’s important to consider your reactions and how you respond to certain products. If you’ve had positive responses to THC before, then it may be helpful to start with that option.


  1. Farland LV, Degnan WJ 3rd, Bell ML, et al. Laparoscopically Confirmed Endometriosis and Risk of Incident Stroke: A Prospective Cohort Study. Stroke. 2022;53(10):3116-3122. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.122.039250
  2. Hill KP, Palastro MD, Johnson B, Ditre JW. Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 2017;2(1):96-104. doi:
  3. Nagarkatti P, Pandey R, Rieder SA, Hegde VL, Nagarkatti M. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Medicinal Chemistry. 2009;1(7):1333-1349. doi:
  4. Armour M, Sinclair J, Cheng J, et al. Endometriosis and Cannabis Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An International Cross-Sectional Survey. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022;7(4):473-481. doi:10.1089/can.2021.0162
  5. Escudero-Lara A, Argerich J, Cabañero D, Maldonado R. Disease-modifying effects of natural Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in endometriosis-associated pain. Elife. 2020;9:e50356. doi:10.7554/eLife.50356
  6. Sinclair J, Collett L, Abbott J, Pate DW, Sarris J, Armour M. Effects of cannabis ingestion on endometriosis-associated pelvic pain and related symptoms. PLoS One. 2021;16(10):e0258940. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0258940
  7. Bulletti C, Coccia ME, Battistoni S, Borini A. Endometriosis and infertility. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2010;27(8):441-447. doi:10.1007/s10815-010-9436-1
  8. Fonseca BM, Rebelo I. Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Reproduction and Fertility: Where We Stand. Reprod Sci. 2022;29(9):2429-2439. doi:10.1007/s43032-021-00588-1
  9. Walker OS, Holloway AC, Raha S. The role of the endocannabinoid system in female reproductive tissues. J Ovarian Res. 2019;12(1):3. doi:10.1186/s13048-018-0478-9
  10. Genovese T, Cordaro M, Siracusa R, et al. Molecular and Biochemical Mechanism of Cannabidiol in the Management of the Inflammatory and Oxidative Processes Associated with Endometriosis. Int J Mol Sci. 2022;23(10):5427. doi:10.3390/ijms23105427

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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