Interstitial Cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, is a condition that generally affects women after their 30's. The condition causes severe bladder pressure and pain, making patients need to urinate frequently. Current treatment options include medications, nerve stimulation, bladder training, and stretching of the bladder, but now studies show cannabis can reduce bladder inflammation and manage urinary frequency and pain.
Both CB1 and CB2 receptors have been found in human bladders, and because cannabis has a unique way of interacting with the endocannabinoid system, cannabis has the ability to help reduce bladder inflammation and urinary frequency. In one study, researchers found CB2 receptors inhibited inflammation when activated with cannabinoids. In the group that received cannabinoid treatment, bladder swelling was reduced and urinary frequency was inhibited. Another animal study found THC and other cannabinoids inhibited electrically-evoked bladder contractions, which suggests CB1 receptors may also affect bladder function. In MS patients who suffered bladder dysfunction, both THC and CBD significantly decreased urinary urgency and the number and volume of incontinence episodes. Lastly, in one animal study, THC suppressed pain in hypersensitive bladder disorders like interstitial cystitis.
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