NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – Women with menstrual cramps in New York state could have a new option for easing their monthly pains: medical marijuana.
The New York State Assembly is considering a bill to add dysmenorrhea — the medical name for menstrual cramps — to the list of conditions for which doctors can legally authorize a patient to use medical marijuana. Under the state’s law, only patients with the specific medical conditions named in the law can access medical marijuana in New York, according to Newsweek. Cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis are among the conditions already on the list.
Severe cases of dysmenorrhea can be “debilitating,” New York State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal wrote in the bill. “Medical marijuana can alleviate many of the painful effects of dysmenorrhea.” [Healing Herb? Marijuana Could Treat These 5 Conditions]
The bill, which still has several legislative hurdles to overcome, is supported by actress Whoopi Goldberg, who sells a line of medical marijuana products that are marketed specifically for period pain, Newsweek reported.
But does marijuana really help with menstrual pain?
There haven’t been any rigorous studies that have shown that there’s a benefit to using marijuana for menstrual cramps, said Dr. Charles Pollack, an emergency-medicine physician at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and the director of the university’s Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp.