“I was struggling a lot with my (…) inability to have penetrative sex as a straight woman,” explains Lara Parker, as she discusses her experience with endometriosis. Lara now relies solely on cannabis for pain management.
“Marijuana is my medicine, full stop. I really can’t imagine my life without it, and I don’t want to,” she says. “Imagining a life without cannabis gives me great anxiety. I wouldn’t be able to have much of a sex life without it as orgasms can be painful for me because of my conditions — cannabis-infused lube helps this. I wouldn’t be able to eat without the aid of CBD or straight THC, because I am always nauseous.”
But, who’s Lara? And why should you care about her vagina problems?
Lara is a BuzzFeed editor and well-known social media influencer who’s used her platforms not only to promote body positivity and female liberation, but also, and perhaps more importantly and surprisingly, to talk about her vagina problems – coincidentally, the title of her upcoming book. Beyond her vagina, Lara speaks a lot about how she uses cannabis and cannabis-derived products to treat some of the symptoms of her endometriosis, which is in turn responsible for said vagina problems.
Want to learn more about this? Offended with the excessive use of the word vagina? Read on! Either way, you’ll learn something.
From Vagina Problems To ‘Vagina Problems’
Lara was officially diagnosed with endometriosis, a disease where tissue that’s similar to the lining of the uterus (known as the endometrium) is found outside of the uterus – resulting in strong pains, and related pelvic floor conditions, roughly seven years ago.
“At the time, I wasn’t really sure what it meant for my life. I just sort of listened to everything doctors were telling me, if they even bothered to tell me anything or listen to me at all,” she reveals.
A couple years after her original diagnoses, Lara landed a job as a staff writer at BuzzFeed. She was lucky enough to have editors who allowed her to pick her own topics to write about – maybe there’s some sort of karmic balance to the universe.
“I was struggling a lot with my new-ish diagnoses at the time and my inability to have penetrative sex as a straight woman,” she explains.
While most people she knew and met didn’t know what endometriosis was, Lara was sure other people were suffering from it to. So she decided to publish a story on her experience and the general topic.
“The response floored me because there were just so many people who seemed to be dealing with similar stuff that I was dealing with,” she remembers.
This reaction led her to dig deeper into the issue. She had an outlet to talk about her worsening pain, and knew she could help others struggling connect over it in the process.
“I was struggling a lot with my new-ish diagnoses at the time and my inability to have penetrative sex as a straight woman.”
Persistent and consistent writing on the topic at hand ultimately landed Lara a book deal with St. Martin’s Press. The book, a collection of essays entitled „Vagina Problems,” details what it’s like to live with these conditions and how they impact every facet of a person’s life. It will debut on October 6, 2020.
Endometriosis And Endocannabinoids
To understand how cannabis plays into Lara’s story, we need to rewind a little bit. Let’s take it back to 2015, when Uptown Funk was the talk of the town, and more than 50 women were coming out with their Bill Cosby abuse stories.
At the time, Lara was living in Los Angeles, California, seeing someone who held a medical marijuana card. Despite living in the land of weed, Lara had never tried cannabis. However, one day, while experiencing “horrible endometriosis pain,” her partner suggested she tried smoking some good old MJ, arguing that, if it could help him with his migraines, it might help with Lara’s pain.
“I had nothing to lose so I tried it. I immediately felt my body relax,” she says. “I was less aware of my pain. I felt lighter, happier.
“And I also felt hungry — a sensation I hadn’t really experienced in a long time, since one of my biggest symptoms is nausea and stomach swelling, which often causes an inability to eat.”
“I had nothing to lose so I tried it [cannabis]. I immediately felt my body relax. I was less aware of my pain. I felt lighter, happier.”
After that extremely pleasant experience, getting her own medical marijuana card was a no brainer. And so, the process of getting educated on diverse cannabis products and compounds, its properties, its effects, and its benefits, began.
Oh, what a privilege few women around the world enjoy: discovering medical cannabis and being able to acquire it legally.
“Since that day I have used some form of cannabis every day in my life, whether it be actually smoking it, vaping, dabbing, [applying] balms on my lower back and abdomen, [using] bath salts, edibles, or CBD capsules,” Lara voices. “I rely it on it heavily for pain management and it is the only form of pain killer I use.”
But Lara not only recognizes her access to cannabis is a privilege. She also feels that way about her activism.
“I’m lucky that, living in California as a white woman, most of the people in my life understand and don’t blink an eye at my daily use,” she says. “But I grew up in a very small town in Indiana where marijuana is still highly criminalized. So there were some people in my life, and still are to this day, who have called me a 'bad influence' or suggested that I was some sort of drug addict.
“But I’ve always found this odd, because I assume that if I was taking massive amounts of painkillers every day they wouldn’t really blink an eye,” she adds, noting she has an actual medical prescription for marijuana.
“If I had a prescription for another painkiller, would I be called a bad influence? I doubt it. But that sort of reaction only fuels me to talk about it more. I believe in marijuana’s ability to help a lot of people with a lot of different things.”
Having said this, Lara adds a footnote. Cannabis is in no way a miracle drug that will be a cure-all. But it does help her and many other people she knows.
“Marijuana is my medicine, full stop. I really can’t imagine my life without it, and I don’t want to.”
“I believe every single person should have the opportunity to try it and see for themselves if it’s for them. It should not be criminalized,” she says, calling for federal legalization and the expungement of criminal records.
“Marijuana is my medicine, full stop. I really can’t imagine my life without it, and I don’t want to. Imagining a life without cannabis gives me great anxiety. I wouldn’t be able to have much of a sex life without it as orgasms can be painful for me because of my conditions — cannabis-infused lube helps this. I wouldn’t be able to eat without the aid of CBD or straight THC, because I am always nauseous.”
Cannabis Products For Endometriosis
Finally, Lara shared some insights into some of the best types of products to help with endo.
On really bad pain days, the easiest thing for her to do is smoke a pre-rolled Indica joint. It provides her relief and often helps her fall asleep, which really helps her deal with the situation effectively.
“The pre-roll aspect is easiest for me because on really bad days, grinding my own flower for a bowl or setting up my Puffco to dab is too much – when I can’t even get out of bed,” she explains. “I always keep a pre-rolled joint by my bed and couch just in case I am hit with pain suddenly.”
For daily use, Lara relies heavily on CBD capsules. She takes around eight capsules (containing 25 to 30 mg of CBD each) per day when at work, and adds THC balms and rubs on her lower back and abdomen for additional pain relief.
On bad pain days, those where she’s not bedridden but still “feeling awful,” she dabs concentrates or take edibles.
After work, when her pain spreads to her entire body, she will fall back on bath bombs or bath salts in a hot bath.
“It’s heaven,” she comments.
Finally, she mentions CBD and THC vaginal suppositories. “I use THC and CBD lube heavily, not only during intimacy, but also on the day to day for my vulvar pain,” she ends.
Got questions? Follow Lara on Instagram @laraeparker.