Why may Cannabis be a practical option?
It is known that bladder activity is the function of both the central and peripheral nervous system, and cannabinoid receptors are present both in the central and peripheral nervous system.
Also, these receptors are activated by compounds similar to those found in the cannabis plant. These findings can be the beginning of more extensive research concerning cannabis and incontinence. But more data is needed regarding clinical efficacy.
However, considering the cannabis-related products are now widely available and most of them are safe for prolonged use, they may be helpful for many individuals living with OAB.
Bladder control and cannabis
The 2010 study discovered the specific cannabinoid receptors and a family of the ligand within those receptors in the bladder acting in accordance with the “lock and key” theory 1 . More recent findings seem to confirm the link between cannabinoid receptors and bladder regulation.
Due to these receptors, cannabis works directly with natural cannabinoid receptors in the bladder control pathways. This means that the cannabis plant may improve urinary incontinence conditions.
But, of course, more extensive research is needed.
Clinical trials findings
Several clinical trials findings showed that taking of cannabis-originated extracts improves bladder control. For example, the researchers at Oxford’s Center for Enablement discovered that administration of cannabis improved the condition of patients with OAB 2 .
Other studies showed that people suffering from Multiple sclerosis experience decreased urinary urgency, frequency and urination at night when using cannabis 3 .
Also, the experts concluded that the use of cannabis extracts might reduce OAB in patients who were previously treatment resistant 4 .
Side effects reported
Currently, we do not have approved cannabis-derived medication to help with OAB. This work is still in progress. But some clinical trials are being conducted. The patients who agreed to participate in trials were treated with THC/CBD capsules or oromucosal spray.
These findings look quite optimistic, but further assessment and data control are needed. Anyone with OAB who has decided to try cannabis as a treatment should consult with a doctor and discuss all potential risks and benefits to avoid unpleasant conditions.
- Tyagi P, Tyagi V, Yoshimura N, Chancellor M. Functional role of cannabinoid receptors in urinary bladder. Indian J Urol. 2010;26(1):26-35. doi:10.4103/0970-1591.60440
- Wade DT, Robson P, House H, Makela P, Aram J. A preliminary controlled study to determine whether whole-plant cannabis extracts can improve intractable neurogenic symptoms. Clin Rehabil. 2003;17(1):21-29. doi:10.1191/0269215503cr581oa
- Brady CM, DasGupta R, Dalton C, Wiseman OJ, Berkley KJ, Fowler CJ. An open-label pilot study of cannabis-based extracts for bladder dysfunction in advanced multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal. 2004;10(4):425-433. doi:10.1191/1352458504ms1063oa
- Maniscalco GT, Aponte R, Bruzzese D, et al. THC/CBD oromucosal spray in patients with multiple sclerosis overactive bladder: a pilot prospective study. Neurol Sci. 2018;39(1):97-102. doi:10.1007/s10072-017-3148-6
Why may Cannabis be a practical option? It is known that bladder activity is the function of both the central and peripheral nervous system, and cannabinoid receptors are present both in the
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Here’s What Marijuana Does To Your Bladder
Anyone who suffers from overactive bladder syndrome knows what an inconvenience it can beвЂ”to have constant, sudden urges to go to the bathroom and the social embarrassment that often followsвЂ”but a new study offers hope for OABВ sufferers, and that hope comes from an unexpected source: marijuana.
Specifically, researchers looked at the non-psychoactive cannabinoid known as cannabigerol (or CBG) and its effect on bladder contractility, the ability for the urinary organ to contract. Anecdotal evidence prompted the team of scientists to investigate the potential health benefits of cannabinoids such as CBG, CBD, and THCV as they relate to bladder dysfunction.
In their study, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Natural Product Communications, the researchers describe the process of administering cannabis compounds into mice and analyzing the effect on bladder contractility, finding that CBG presented the highest levels of efficacy in reducing contractions, which alleviates the symptoms of OAB. “CBG also reduced acetylcholine-induced contractions in the human bladder,” they noted.
This is promising news. The American Urological Association reported that 7 to 27 percent of men and 9 to 43 percent of women experience OABвЂ”though 37 to 39 percent of cases remit within a yearвЂ”and most sufferers deal with the disorder on an ongoing basis. Between expensive surgical procedures and prescription medication, OAB treatment costs exceed $12 billion per year in the United States.
Not without precedent, the new study comes on the heels of research published by the the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2013, which also looked at the relationship between select cannabinoids and the urinary bladder. In that study, researchers discovered that administering cannabis extractsВ in THC, the main psychoactive compound of cannabis, improved urinary incontinence by as much as 25 percent. That means significant relief for people with OAB.
What’s more, marijuana might even reduce the risk of developing bladder cancer in men. An unrelated study from earlier this year found that, of the 84,170 men surveyed by health professionals at Northwest Kaiser Permanente, 279 developed bladder cancer over an 11-year period, and the disease affected only “89 marijuana smokers (0.3%) compared with 190 men (0.4%) who did not report marijuana use.”
“After adjusting for age, race or ethnicity, and body mass index, use of marijuana only was associated with a 45-percent decreased risk of bladder cancer, whereas use of tobacco was associated with a 52-percent increased risk,” the researchers observed.
When we think about the potential health benefits of marijuanaвЂ”whether holistically smoked or through the medical administration of independent cannabinoidsвЂ”rarely do we consider how the substance might help people suffering from bladder dysfunction; but thanks to the due diligence of some scientists, studies such as these may one day serve a wider range of patients, offering an alternative to the invasive surgeries and pricey pills that most Americans have had to tolerate.
Anyone who suffers from overactive bladder syndrome knows what an inconvenience it can beвЂ”to have constant, sudden urges to go to the bathroom and the social embarrassment that often followsвЂ”but a new study offersВ hope for OBD sufferers, and that hope comes from an unexpected source: marijuana.В