Cramps Should Be Afraid Of These Squares
One square of this CBD-rich chocolate was all it took to banish cramps and restore my sanity.
I know chocolate and menstruation are inexorably linked in the American lexicon, but my experience with Serra's Relief Squares and menses went way deeper than a hormonal sweet tooth. The aches and pains of my monthlies can include but are by no means limited to: tear-jerking abdominal cramps, nightmarish headaches and migraines, a miserable lower back, and a malaise so overbearing I could easily be mistaken for a stick of melting butter. Point being, my sweet tooth couldn’t care less about my uterus.
“The chocolate is sublime, smooth, and velvety with a smattering of sea salt.”
Real talk (Brianna, you’ve already mentioned periods three times, it gets more real?) my period is normal and healthy, and my symptoms are very common. I evaluated Relief Squares over two days—the first and second days of my period, to be specific. For the sake of science I should say my symptoms are typically consistent through my entire menstruation, and the variables rarely change day to day. Smoking or vaping a high-THC strain can lessen the symptoms, but the tradeoff is that I stay debilitatingly stoned several days in a row. From this particular cycle, I emerged with a new appreciation for how an entourage effect can obliterate common menstruation symptoms without leaving me stoned to the bone for an entire week. And hallelujah for that.
On day one of my menses, I woke up with big-time cranky murder vibes and my monthly headache had already started percolating behind my left eye. I ate one Relief Square with my coffee and took an acetaminophen for the headache.
My first take? The chocolate is sublime, smooth, and velvety with a smattering of sea salt on the backside for a superbly balanced finish. It has a rich complexity to it, and I want to savor every moment it’s on my tongue The square is approximately an inch and a half and having only one serving was a challenge. Meanwhile, my period loomed, and minutes from it dropping like a hurricane coming to land, all I wanted was to eat all the chocolate on Earth.
A little research post-consumption revealed why my mouth watered over this petite mouthful. Serra teamed up with Portland’s own Woodblock Chocolate for this luxury relief bar. In case you didn't know, Woodblock Chocolates are some of the finest chocolates produced in Portland, and even when I put my city pride aside, I can objectively say these are exquisitely crafted. Woodblock is part of a larger trend in American craft chocolate; micro-lots of ethically sourced beans, produced exclusively for small brands (this blend, in particular, was grown for Woodblock by La Reunion Estate in Trinidad). The chamber symphony of flavor notes included hints of figs, marshmallow, pepper, and raspberries, which coalesced into something faintly floral and sweetly woody.
“An hour after I’d eaten the Relief Square, my menstrual symptoms abated.”
When I consider the entourage effect, I also consider delivery. The shy chocolate perfume that only blossomed after the first bite, the satiny way the square melted in my mouth, and the sheer, lingering aftertaste of bittersweet dark chocolate were all just as critical to this experience as the 5mg of CBD and 2.5mg of THC.
An hour after I’d eaten the Relief Square, my menstrual symptoms abated. Over the course of an average first day of menses, I might pop four or more acetaminophen. On this day, I had one in the morning and didn’t think about them again until day three when the chocolate was finally gone. If it weren't for feminine hygiene pit stops throughout the day, I might have forgotten I was on my period altogether.
On day two, I once again enjoyed a Relief Square with my morning coffee. Day two is typically the hardest day of my period. I experience the most pain and discomfort on day two, but even first thing in the morning, I was confident I would again be mostly comfortable. I cruised through my day with little attention paid to my monthlies, aside from the required crotch checks. I had zero abdomen-destroying cramps or dizzying headaches and gained a much-appreciated reprieve from the “whatever forever” attitude that usually accompanies my Aunt Flo.
One bar of Serra Relief Squares contains nine servings, each with 5mg of CBD and 2.5mg of THC. Considering the retail price of many other luxury chocolates, $12 feels like a wild bargain for a memorably delicious chocolate that can make you forget you’re on your period. The Relief Square offered no psychotropic effects, meaning there was never a moment that I felt “high” or altered in any way. I never swooned from a burly edible onset, I never even pinpointed the moment that relief arrived. The Relief Square erased my period pain in such a diaphanous way that the pain became irrelevant. The beginning and end no longer existed, they were lost under the sheer curtain of CBD-fueled pain relief and luxury chocolate vibes.