If you have ever experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI), then you understand the agony from cystitis, which is inflammation of the bladder/urethra. Fortunately, cannabis, among other plant remedies, can help alleviate the symptoms of urinary tract infections.
Details on UTIs
UTIs are much more common in women vs men. In fact, The Interstitial Cystitis Association reports that three to eight million American women and one to four million American men may have IC. This is due to the fact that women have shorter urethras than men.
Urinary tract infections usually occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to accumulate in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, the defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract.
This condition comes with painful urination, urge to frequently urinate, cloudy/foul smelling urine, and constant pain/pressure in the lower abdomen.
If left untreated for too long, it can accumulate into the kidneys (acute pyelonephritis) and potentially other parts of the body. Symptoms of this include fever, chills/shaking, upper back/side pain, nausea and vomiting. There has been cases that this infection can become deadly, so always catch it early if you can.
How can cannabis help?
First and foremost, see a medical professional about getting an antibiotic. Sometimes UTIs go away on their own, but most of the time they like to stick around.
While there is a lack of direct research on the correlation of cannabis and UTIs, CBD has shown to be effective in treating symptoms of UTIs. The inside of the bladder is lined with CB1 receptors and the urethra has both CB1 and CB2 receptors. When CBD and/or other phytocompounds interact with these receptors, they start putting their benefits into place.
Firstly, CBD can help reduce the inflammation of the bladder/kidneys/urethra, which is one of this condition’s core problems. Bringing down inflammation allows for alleviating its bi-products, which includes urethra/bladder pain and painful urination.
Second, CBD boosts the immune system and acts as an antioxidant. This can help fight bacterial infection and can potentially shorten the recovery process. This also helps prevent the infection from returning.
Third, CBD increases the signaling of the endocannabinoid, anandamide. Anandamide brings a sensation of euphoria and happiness and can help reduce feeling pain.
Other Natural remedies:
Cranberry juice (fresh unsweetened juice is best). “There is an active ingredient in cranberries that can prevent adherence of bacteria to the bladder wall, particularly E. coli,” says urologist Courtenay Moore, MD. This active ingredient is known as D-Mannose.
Kombucha is very helpful in flushing out bacteria from the urinary tract due to its richness in probiotics.
Drink LOTS of water, more than you normally would. It’s essential to keep yourself extra hydrated and keep flushing out the bladder.
Sleep when you can! The more sleep you can catch, the more you allow your body to heal itself.