Interstitial Cystitis, Protocols

CBD Oil For Chronic (Bladder) Pain

CBD oil has gained more and more popularity with chronic illness sufferers in recent years and since it has been legalized in many US states and also in the UK, it is starting to be more readily available (I only just saw it today at Holland & Barrett in town!).

Since one of the symptoms of interstitial cystitis is pain, CBD oil is of potential use. There is much need for a safe and natural pain remedy, as the alternatives are rather risky long-term (e.g. opioids, ibuprofen).

What is CBD oil?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which is one of the two major active compounds of the Cannabis plant (the compounds are called cannabinoids).

It is derived directly from the hemp plant. CBD is not psychoactive, so by itself it does not cause a high.

How does CBD work for chronic pain?

I have written about medical marijuana before, so make sure you check out the details here.

To sum it up, the human body has an endocannabinoid system and produces its own endocannabinoids, which are very similar to cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids can ‘dock’ on receptors of this system and regulate functions, including pain.

CBD doesn’t actually seem to dock on the receptors but instead activates or inhibits compounds in the endocannabinoid system [1]. For example, it stops a chemical responsible for regulating pain from being absorbed and thereby affects how much pain is felt. It has also been shown to reduce the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals, which again may help with chronic pain [1] (as inflammation is one of the main causes of pain).

The evidence for CBD oil and Chronic Pain

We do have some studies on CBD oil for different pain conditions:

  • For example, a topical application of the oil showed reduced levels of inflammation and pain in arthritic mice [2].
  • It has been found helpful for reducing spasticity in MS patients [3].
  • It has generally been found to be effective for chronic pain [3, 4].

CBD Oil for IC

Cannabinoid receptors seem to be highly expressed in the bladder.

Studies have shown that the activation of CB2 receptors by cannabinoids can effectively inhibit inflammation in the bladder [5, 6].

Moreover, cannabinoids have been shown to be an effective pain-relief for IC patients [7].

Safety of CBD oil

Generally, CBD oil is considered to be safe, although it can have some side-effects (e.g. tiredness, diarrhoea, and changes of appetite/weight) [8]. However, compared to drugs used normally for the same purposes, CBD has a better side-effect profile [8].

However, there are still some unknowns, especially when it comes to long-term use [8].


As you can see, CBD oil seems to be a good alternative for pain management and doesn’t seem to have any terrible side-effects.

Unfortunately, it’s still not available everywhere and to everyone but if you’re lucky enough to be able to get it, it may be worth giving it a go.

Its popularity shows that the world has waited for this remedy to finally be legal and hopefully other countries will follow suit.

Have you tried CBD oil? Are you curious to give it a go? Let me know in the comments!

Pin it for later:


Johnson, Jon CBD Oil for pain management Medical News Today March 2018

Grinspoon, Peter Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t Harvard Health Publishing Aug 2018

  1. Rosenberg, Evan C et al. “Cannabinoids and Epilepsy” Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics vol. 12,4 (2015): 747-68.
  2. Hammell, D C et al. “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis” European journal of pain (London, England) vol. 20,6 (2015): 936-48.
  3. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2017 Jan 12. 4, Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Available from:
  4. Xiong, Wei et al. “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors” Journal of experimental medicine vol. 209,6 (2012): 1121-34.
  5. Wang, Z.-Y., Wang, P., & Bjorling, D. E. (2013). Activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 inhibits experimental cystitis. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 304(10), R846–R853. Retrieved from
  6. Wang, Z.-Y., Wang, P., and Bjorling, D.E. (2014, April). Treatment with a cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist decreases severity of established cystitis. The Journal of Urology, 191(4), 1153-1158. Retrieved from
  7. Herbert Krenn, MD, PhD, Lukas K Daha, MD, Wolfgang Oczenski, MD, Robert D Fitzgerald, MD A Case of Cannabinoid Rotation in a Young Woman With Chronic Cystitis JPSM January 2003 Volume 25, Issue 1, Pages 3–4
  8. Iffland, Kerstin and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies” Cannabis and cannabinoid research vol. 2,1 139-154. 1 Jun. 2017, doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034


  • Reply


    February 4, 2019

    I’ve recently been trying this for chronic pain and anxiety. Sadly I feel it has had little help for me but I know of many people who have had successful results for all sorts of conditions. I think it’s always worth a try.

  • Reply


    May 22, 2019

    It’s been a complete game-changer for me. The trick was finding the right brand and dose. My bladder hates THC so I needed a hemp-derived one.

  • Reply

    Gregory Burzynski

    July 20, 2019

    Is it available now over the counter. It’s good to know it has a better side-effect. We all need a better option for chronic bladder pain. Since it is plant-based oil, it’s great alternatives. We don’t know yet what CBD Oil can do to our overall health.

  • Reply

    Sabrina Addams

    April 9, 2020

    It’s amazing that CBD oil isn’t psychoactive and can inhibit chemicals that cause how much pain is felt. My daughter-in-law has interstitial cystitis and is looking for more holistic treatment. I wonder if she could find full-spectrum hemp oil to help with the pain her interstitial cystitis causes.

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