The CBD-IC Randomized Controlled Trial: Evaluation of Hemp Cannabidiol SuppositoRies for Pain and Urinary SymptOms in INterstitial Cystitis (CHRONIC) (CHRONIC)
This study seeks to exploit bladder cannabidiol receptors as a therapeutic drug target by conducting a double-masked, placebo-controlled randomized trial evaluating the effects of vaginal hemp cannabidiol (CBD) suppositories on lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), pain severity, and sexual function.
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Interstitial Cystitis Bladder Pain Syndrome||Drug: Cannabidiol vaginal suppository Drug: Placebo vaginal suppository||Phase 1|
Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome (IC/BPS) is a chronic inflammatory disease with an insidious course and is detrimental weight to women’s quality of life, sexual function, and general health. IC/BPS affects nearly 1.2 million women in the United States and although there are currently six lines of treatment, they lack high level evidence and sufficient efficacy. New therapies are in high demand. As the cannabis industry gains popularity in medicine, research has revealed prevalent expression of cannabinoid receptors in bladder detrusor muscle and urothelium suggesting a novel drug target for IC/BPS. This study seeks to exploit this target by conducting a double-masked, placebo-controlled randomized trial evaluating the effects of vaginal hemp cannabidiol (CBD) suppositories on lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), pain severity, and sexual function. Women with diagnosed IC/BPS will be randomized to treatment with a placebo vaginal suppository or a hemp CBD vaginal suppository. We will monitor changes in their LUTS, pain, and sexual function using validated questionnaires. Our goal is to evaluate whether CBD is an effective, low-risk and less invasive treatment option for IC/BPS. Attainment of this goal would demonstrate a potential novel use for CBD in our Urogynecology patient population.
Is cbd oil effective for bladder pain relief
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 . 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  (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 .
- It has been found helpful for reducing spasticity in MS patients .
- 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 .
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) . However, compared to drugs used normally for the same purposes, CBD has a better side-effect profile .
However, there are still some unknowns, especially when it comes to long-term use .
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!