Medical Marijuana Used For Treatment of Interstitial Cystitis
What is Interstitial Cystitis(IC) and can Cannabis Help?
Interstitial Cystitis(IC) is an inflammation of the urinary bladder that is not caused by bacteria. It results in repeated discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic area. The symptoms can resemble a normal bladder infection, but the bacteria that causes the inflammation are always never found. Even when bacteria are found, they don’t play a significant role and therefore, rarely respond to antibiotics treatment.
Thousands of people suffer from this condition and more than 90% of them are women. This condition mostly occurs in people between the ages of 20 and 65, but sometimes, it is also found in kids. Many women experience an increase in IC symptoms when their hormone levels change during menstruation, birth control or menopause.
Also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome, Interstitial Cystitis is very difficult to diagnose in patients as the symptoms vary from case to case, and even vary in the same patient over time. Because of this, doctors often find it hard to diagnose IC and can be very annoying to their patients.
The cause of IC is relatively unknown but from many theories and available data, it is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases occur because the immune system looks at the body’s own cells and substances as strange. The body will then form antibodies against its own tissues.
Patients with bladder pain syndrome often have a combination of the symptoms such as pain during sex, frequent urination, pain in the pelvis, back and groin, a continuous painful urge to urinate, pain in the urethra, pressing painful feeling in the lower abdomen, pains in the vaginal and penis.
Treating IC with Marijuana
Interstitial Cystitis has no known cure and the treatment is mainly aimed at reducing the symptoms. However, several studies have revealed that cannabis helps Interstitial Cystitis as medical marijuana can be used to effectively reduce the pain of bladder inflammation and lower urinary frequency in IC patients because of its effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Marijuana is a popular choice for treating chronic pains because of its several active plant chemicals including Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabinol (CBN) and Cannabichromene (CBC). And because of its psychoactive effects and ability to impact the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in the body, THC is the most used cannabinoid. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can be very helpful to IC patients.
In 2014, a 29-year-old IC patient, Dana Dwight claimed she turned to marijuana and got great success after taking different medications for years without getting real results. Dana said that marijuana gave her a new lease of life and helped her disassociate herself from the pain of her disorders.
This has made the investigation of medicinal marijuana in treatment of cystitis has been very promising. Now, all this is still in the study stage, but it has been seen that some formats in which marijuana can be used for this is through vaporizers, infusions or prepared in tablets.
Over the last few years, medical marijuana has gained a lot of attention and though a lot of states allow medical marijuana for chronic pains treatment, it is only Illinois that has actually approved marijuana as an alternative treatment for Interstitial Cystitis. Though investigations into the effectiveness of marijuana in the treatment of IC are still in the initial stage, the results have been promising so far.
The Best Marijuana Strains for Interstitial Cystitis
Healthcare professionals recommend marijuana to treat inflammation, pain and improve sleep quality in IC patients. Some of the best marijuana strains for IC sufferers include:
- LA Confidential
- Critical Mass
- White Widow
How To Get Medical Marijuana for IC
If you are a resident of a legal state and want medical marijuana to treat Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get your med card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.