Most people will know about marijuana as a recreational drug. But in recent years marijuana has gained more and more popularity as a medical drug for various chronic disorders, often in relation to pain. Today I’d like to look at medical marijuana for interstitial cystitis.
Could it relieve the symptoms of interstitial cystitis or even effectively treat it?
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a plant and has several active plant chemicals: Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabinol (CBN) and Cannabichromene (CBC).
These chemicals have different actions in the body:
CBD: is a non-psychoactive compound of the plant that is found in varying quantities depending on the plant strain. It has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties .
THC: This is the most well-known and most abundant cannabinoid. It is the psychoactive chemical of the plant. THC acts on the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in the body. THC has been shown to be beneficial for managing nausea and vomiting, stimulating appetite, improving sleep and providing pain relief. Moreover, it also has anti-inflammatory properties .
CBN: is the breakdown product of THC. CBN is mildly psychoactive. It most notably serves as a sleep aid .
CBC: is one of the major cannabinoids in some strains of marijuana. It isn’t as widely studied as other cannabinoids but has been shown to have analgesic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-anxiety, and bone and brain cell stimulating effects .
Cannabinoid Receptors of the Endocannabinoid System
There are two main cannabinoid receptors (receptors for cannabinoids to dock on): CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are mainly located in the nervous system and they are responsible for stimulating the psychoactive effect when THC docks to them.
CB2 receptors on the other hand are located in the gastrointestinal and immune system and are believed to be responsible for the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids and IC
Both cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 have been found to be present in the bladder. Especially CB2 seems to be highly expressed in bladder cells .
Both THC and CBD cannabinoids activate CB2 receptors.
Studies have shown that the activation of CB2 receptors by cannabinoids can effectively inhibit inflammation in the bladder [5, 6].
Cannabinoids have also been shown to inhibit bladder contractions in mice via the CB1 receptor .
THC and CBD have also been shown to help reduce urinary urgency and incontinence .
Moreover, cannabinoids have been shown to be an effective pain-relief for IC patients .
So all in all, medical marijuana shows a lot of potential for interstitial cystitis. Medical marijuana is now legal in several states in America and CBD has recently become legal in some European countries, including the UK.
What are your experiences with medical marijuana? Let me know in the comments!
Pin it for later:
- Medical Marijuana Inc Medicinal Value of Cannabidiol (CBD) 26 October, 2015 http://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/medicinal-value-of-cannabidiol-cbd/
- Medical Marijuana Inc Medicinal Value of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 29 October, 2015 http://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/medicinal-value-of-tetrahydrocannabinol-thc/
- Medical Marijuana Inc Medicinal Value of Cannabinol (CBN) 29 October, 2015 http://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/medicinal-value-of-cannabinol-cbn/
- Medical Marijuana Inc Medicinal Value of Cannabichromene (CBC) 29 October, 2015 http://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/medicinal-value-of-cannabichromene-cbc/
- 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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652164/.
- 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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4163202/.
- Fullhause, C., Campeau, L., Sibaev, A., Storr, M., Hennenberg, M., Gratzke, C., Stief, C., Hedlund, P., and Andersson, K.-E. (2014, January). Bladder function in a cannabinoid receptor type 1 knockout mouse. BJU International, 113(1), 144-151. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bju.12350/full.
- Brady, C.M., DasGupta, R., Dalton, C., Wiseman, O.J., Berkley, K.J., and Fowler, C.J. (2004, August). An open-label pilot study of cannabis-based extracts for bladder dysfunction in advanced multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis, 10(4), 425-33.Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1191/1352458504ms1063oa.
- 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 http://www.jpsmjournal.com/article/S0885-3924(02)00601-2/fulltext