Can marijuana help my Interstitial Cystitis?

"PBS is really painful and there is consistent inflammation."


Interstitial cystitis (bladder pain syndrome) is unfortunately as bothersome for patients as it is difficult to diagnose and treat for physicians. There are some theories as to the mechanism by which interstitial cystitis occurs such as inflammatory damage to the inner protective layer of the bladder over time or up-regulation of central nervous system leading to sensitivity in the bladder; however it is not well understood. It is important for your physician to rule out other possible explanations for your symptoms such as chronic urinary tract infection or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Treatment of interstitial cystitis is complex – many patients benefit from identifying triggers for their symptoms such as certain foods common irritants include caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods. You may consider changing your diet to identify these triggers for yourself. Medications that are helpful for interstitial cystitis include amitriptyline, pentosan sulfate, and hydroxyzine. Finally, bladder instillations with hyaluronic acid and lidocaine offer benefit to some patients. Unfortunately, there is no single solution that is proven effective for treating intersitial cystitis

Cannabis products have been useful for many patients with interstitial cystitis. Animal studies have suggested that there are CBD receptors in the bladder wall and binding of those receptors can decrease bladder spasm and sensitivity. Products such as high CBD/low THC ratio tincture or cannabis infused vaginal suppository may be worth trying for symptom relief depending on your specific situation.

You should talk to your primary care doctor or urologist to make sure you have the correct diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome) and have considered traditional therapies. You may benefit from trying the cannabis containing products described above as an alternative or adjunctive therapy after discussing your symptoms and medical history with a cannabis recommending physician.

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