Does CBD Oil Make You Pee A Lot

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Folks are flocking to CBD based on claims of it healing everything from pain to anxiety. But could it help the bladder too? Keep reading to learn more. Have you ever laughed so hard you peed your pants? Ever laughed so hard and peed your pants while “high”?

CBD: A Cure All Or A Let Down For The Bladder?

There’s a lot of acronyms out there, but one that has been popping up everywhere is CBD. It’s becoming so popular that you can find it at most pharmacy store chains and even at your local grocery. Yet, despite seeing it everywhere, you probably still don’t know exactly what it is. You’ve likely heard claims that it reduces pain, fights anxiety, and alleviates insomnia. So, if it can do all of that, then we can’t help but wonder if it could help your bladder too. Sit tight and get comfortable as we explore what CBD is and if it can put a stop to bladder leaks (aka incontinence).

Keep Calm: CBD is NOT Marijuana

First things first, cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is not marijuana. It is a compound that is found in both marijuana and hemp plants, but it will not affect you like smoking marijuana would. The reason why marijuana is mind-altering is due to the main ingredient, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that is found in the plant. While CBD does contain about .3% of THC, it’s not enough to have an intoxicating experience.

So, How Exactly Does CBD Work?

For this part, I’m going to need you to bare with me. I know science class didn’t cover this back in high school, but this background will help make sense of things later. Our bodies actually have two receptors for cannabinoids, which are CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are more present in the brain and have an impact on movement, emotions, mood, and more. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are found in the immune system, and affect inflammation and pain. While THC binds with these receptors, CBD actually suppresses receptors, specifically CB1 receptors. CBD may activate and produce physiological changes by binding with these receptors, such as decreasing pain or improving mood.

But, How Does This Help My Bladder?

What’s interesting is that the pathways related to bladder function have lots of CB1 receptors. This pathway includes the bladder, central nervous system, and the parts of the brain that communicate with the bladder.

When CBD comes into the picture and interacts with CB1 receptors, it could possibly improve urinary incontinence conditions by enhancing the detrusor muscles. The detrusor muscles are what expand and contract to hold or eliminate pee. Studies have also shown that cannabis might have a role in reducing the brain/bladder signals that tell you to go when you don’t have to. But scientists need to do a lot more research.

So, if you’re going to try CBD to help with bladder leaks, you may want some back up protection just in case. Lily Bird pads and underwear are designed just for that.

How Do I Take It?

You can take CBD in many ways, but most of the studies involving its impact on the bladder involve subjects taking it orally (i.e. pill form). You can also take it in the following ways:

  • Edible form – Hidden inside of mints and gummies. No one would know you’re using CBD.
  • Sublingual products – If you don’t want to deal with the additives put in edibles, then opt for letting the product absorb under the tongue.
  • Smoking/Vaping – It’s possible to smoke CBD cannabis flower in a joint, use a vaporizer, or inhale CBD concentrates.
  • Topicals – Many women have started using CBD-infused creams, salves, lotions, and balms. However, CBD may only impact the area its applied to when used this way.
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Sounds Great, But Hold Your Horses!

With information like this you’re probably wondering how you can get your hands on it as soon as possible. However, hold your horses, cowgirl. While CBD sounds great, it is not yet FDA approved. It’s legal under federal law (if it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% of THC), but it’s still subject to regulation if it’s sold with a claim for therapeutic benefit. So, in other words, you can buy and use CBD, but be careful where you’re getting it from because it’s not exactly policed by public health entities.

In addition, scientists need to do more research to explore the potential side effects and risks of using CBD. So far, the only real side effect of taking CBD is tiredness, but it’s best to speak with your doctor first to see if it may interact with any medications you’re taking. In the meantime, we’ll stay on the lookout for more updates on CBD and its impact on bladder leaks.

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How cannabis affects urinary function

Have you ever laughed so hard you peed your pants? Ever laughed so hard and peed your pants while “high”?

Dealing with unprompted urinary issues can be distressing and embarrassing. Studies demonstrate that cannabis and its cannabinoid constituents have an implication on human urinary function. We now know there exist a plethora of receptors within the endocannabinoid system that are directly involved with nervous system function as well as urination. Micturition is the medical term used to describe the process of urine released from the bladder through the urethra to the outside of the body, called urination or peeing.

The effects of cannabis on micturition are complex with many factors at play. The common understanding is that every individual has a separate and different reaction to cannabinoid-based therapy, the same is true with how it might influence individual urinary symptoms. Varied personal accounts of cannabis consumption causing a wide range of urinary effects have included but are not limited to: being unable to pee while feeling a strong urge to pee, peeing caused by laughter, and multiple sclerosis patients learning their cannabis medication also helps reduce the number of times they have to run to the bathroom. 1 2 3 4

Does cannabis reduce inflammation and improve bladder control?

Components of the endocannabinoid system, including cannabinoid (CB) receptor types 1 and 2, anandamide, and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) have been located in the urothelium (the lining of the urinary system), as well as within motor and sensory neurons of the urinary tract in various animals and humans.

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Studies demonstrate inconsistencies with which receptors trigger what effects, when, and in what type of mammalian model. Concluding evidence suggests components of the endocannabinoid system are in fact involved in the regulation of bladder function at several levels of the micturition pathway.

The overall effects appear to be a reduction in inflammation, sensory activity and bladder contractility, resulting in prolonged bladder emptying of varied significance (Hedlund, 2013). Prolonged bladder emptying due to cannabinoid supplementation might translate into a probable solution for various urinary conditions, or may worsen conditions in which the bladder is already struggling to release urine.

Is cannabis a help or a hinderance when it comes to the giggles?

According to the National Association of Incontinence, approximately 25 million Americans are suffering from episodes of involuntary loss of urine. The reasoning for such infliction is multifactorial but more common in women over the age of 50.

Muscles attached to the floor of our pelvis work to support the bladder, bowel, and in women, the uterus. As we age, or in the context of certain life events such as pregnancy or diseases such as obesity and diabetes, these muscles weaken and so does our intrinsic bladder support. With weakened support, the ability to contract the muscles around the urethra becomes more of a challenge. This challenge is tested when you cough, sneeze, pick up something too heavy or laugh too hard. The added stress on the bladder ends in a sneeze that now requires a change of underwear. 5

Mainstay initial treatment options for stress incontinence include pelvic muscle exercises (or Kegels), scheduled bathroom breaks, or modifications in fluid consumption. When incontinence is only preceded by excessive giggling with otherwise completely normal bladder function, the term is giggle incontinence.

Cannabis use in some individuals can cause excessive bouts of giggling and with giggle incontinence, can lead to the leaking of urine. If this only happened once while relatively stoned and after drinking a huge soda, it isn’t much to really worry about. If it seems to happen almost every time you use cannabis, it might be time to reduce the dosage or seek medical advice.

Giggle incontinence is thought to be caused by an imbalance of cholinergic and monoaminergic systems, both of which can be modulated by cannabis use. In that regard, it’s uncertain if cannabis helps or hinders symptoms, given its usage can lead to increased giggling but may modulate specific receptors to help control the unprompted release of urine.

There are multiple factors that affect urinary flow

If you find yourself frequently making a dramatic dash to the bathroom or waking up multiple times a night to pee, you might be suffering from overactive bladder syndrome. If you occasionally involuntarily release urine while en route, it is now referred to as overactive bladder with urge incontinence. Alterations in nerves and smooth muscle excitability might be to blame. When overactive bladder syndrome is primarily due to neurological misfires or a disruption in the bladder to brain communication, cannabis might have a role in altering the communication error. 6 7 8

Almost all patients affected with multiple sclerosis develop lower urinary tract symptoms including urinary urgency and urge incontinence.

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An open-label pilot study of cannabis extracts for bladder dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis demonstrated a significant decrease in urinary symptoms including urgency, frequency, the number and volume of episodes of incontinence, as well as nightly awakenings to use the bathroom. 9

Preliminary studies with GW Pharmaceutical Sativex, a THC/CBD oromucosal spray, has shown to be effective in improving overactive bladder symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis (Maniscalco, 2018). The positive effects of cannabinoids in patients with multiple sclerosis are likely due to complex and varied interactions within the nervous system and an inhibitory effect on specific bladder muscle contraction.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is having to rush to the bathroom only to find it difficult to push urine out or not at all, leaving you with a painfully full bladder. Urinary retention, or the inability to voluntarily pee when your brain is telling you that you really need to go can be debilitating. This situation can happen for several different reasons including certain medications, infections, a blockage that disturbs the free flow of urine, and/or issues with nerves that causes an interruption in the way the brain and the urinary system communicate.

A case report published in 1979, describes a 55-year-old man who self-medicating with cannabis to treat chronic alcoholism. On several occasions, he consumed cannabis cigarette butts the night prior to developing an inability to urinate despite a strong urge the next morning. It is unknown if the urinary retention was dose-related but the predictable emergence of urinary retention the morning following consumption and rapid decline showed a casual relation. At that time, his condition was said to be a result of interference with cholinergic activity, which is also responsible for the token “dry mouth” which we now have various studies to suggest cannabis in fact modulates such activity.

Cannabis may help, but every case is different

Cannabis is a complex plant with even more convoluted and widely concealed effects within the human body. As every person is unique, so is their endocannabinoid system and so will be their effects from cannabis consumption. We now have and continue to progress towards a more elucidated picture of how cannabis reacts in mammalian models. Variables to be considered are starting material, dosage, routes of administration, personalized situation, and even genetics. Even with receptors identified and localized, their function and downstream effects are varied with respect to these and additional variables.

In summary, cannabis shouldn’t make you pee more unless you already have an undiagnosed urinary condition that might worsen with repetitive bouts of laughter provoked by cannabis. If you are already struggling to pee, either due to an enlarged prostate causing blockage or neurogenic issues, cannabis might worsen these symptoms. In patients who suffer from an increased urge or mild incontinence, studies on patients with multiple sclerosis may provide hope for cannabinoid-based therapeutics to reduce such symptoms. All in all, there isn’t enough empirical clinical data to clearly state how cannabis might affect your personal urinary symptoms and collaboration with your medical provider is always recommended.

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