cbd oil for urinary incontinence

Cannabigerol (CBG) & The Peculiar Benefits To The Bladder

To add to the ever growing list of ailments cannabinoids have been shown to positively affect, in this blog we’ll talk about how a less-talked about cannabinoid, cannabigerol (CBG), has been shown to have just as many beneficial uses as the more popular CBD. It seems the more research that gets done the more fascinating things we find out! (We’re not complaining).

Suffering from an overactive bladder may not sound like the worst problem to have, but having to dictate your daily life around finding the next restroom day after day can be exhausting, and can put a big strain on your social life. It’s estimated that between 3 and 6 million people in the UK suffer from bladder incontinence, with the WHO predicting that it affects up to 200 million worldwide. Treatments to rectify the underlying problem range from prescription medication to minor surgery. If only there was another way … wink.

Let’s Get Into The Bones Of It

The study we’re talking about is one carried out way back in 2015, where researchers tested multiple cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant (except THC and cannabichromene). These cannabinoids were first used in mice with overactive bladders.

The Most Effective Cannabinoid (for bladder control)

The results were impressive – CBG was shown to be the most effective of all cannabinoids tested. The mechanisms weren’t fully discovered (this takes years of testing). However they suggested that CBG functions outside of cannabinoid receptors, and instead functions by helping the body and bladder regulate itself!

(Our other blogs outline some of the other amazing ways cannabinoids help the body help itself, read about them all here)

Now we don’t like to put a lot of weight into mice studies – but thankfully the study didn’t end there. After the trials in mice the study moved on to observing the effect the cannabinoids had on human bladder. They found that again CBG seemed to show a reduction in acetylcholine-induced bladder contractions. This research follows on from studies in 2013 that found that cannabis extracts were able to lower contractions by 19%.

While nothing groundbreaking, it’s always good to have research that can potentially find uses from natural extracts. Especially when its as biologically harmless as CBG. No toxicity. No psychoactivity. Only efficacy!

It’s also good to have more proof that it’s not just the CBD in our whole extract blend that’s doing people so much good, every cannabinoid and terpene contributes in its own way to the entourage effect, gently restoring the bodies natural function. If you suffer from any form of bladder dysfunction and are interested in trying CBD / CBG, we highly recommend first consulting with a physician knowledgeable of cannabinoids to get advice around potential interactions with medication.

Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is defined as a loss of bladder control. Incontinence can result from several biological factors, including weak bladder muscles and inflammation or from nerve damage associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease. More than one in 10 Americans over age 65 are estimated to suffer from incontinence, particularly women.

Several clinical trials show that the administration of cannabis-derived extracts improves bladder control. For example, investigators at Oxford’s Centre for Enablement in Britain reported that self-administered doses of whole-plant cannabinoid extracts improved incontinence compared to placebo in patients suffering from MS and spinal cord injury. [1] In a follow-up study of 15 patients with advanced multiple sclerosis, investigators at London’s Institute for Neurology reported that cannabis extract therapy significantly decreased urinary urgency, frequency, and nocturia (urination at night). They concluded, “Cannabis-based medicinal extracts are a safe and effective treatment for urinary and other problems in patients with advanced MS.” [2]

These findings were replicated in a multi-center, randomized placebo-controlled trial involving 630 patients. Researchers reported that subjects who were administered cannabis extracts experienced a 38 percent reduction in incontinence episodes from baseline to the end of treatment, while patients who were administered THC alone experienced a 33 percent reduction, suggesting a “clinical effect of cannabis on incontinence episodes.” [3] Extracts have also been shown to reduce overactive bladder symptoms in subjects with previously treatment-resistant OAB. [4]

In light of these clinical trial findings, some experts have recommended the use of cannabinoids as potential “second-line” agents for treating incontinence. [5] However, similar trials assessing the use of whole-plant cannabis on bladder control have yet to be conducted.