EducationCBD for the reduction and control of bladder pain

CBD for the reduction and control of bladder pain

8 min read

Sam North

CBD for the reduction and control of bladder pain


Bladder pain. While the causes are multifaceted, and sometimes hard to pin down to one single issue, the resulting pain can range from slightly annoying to totally debilitating. Many of the conventional pharmaceutical treatment options come with a range of unwanted, heavy side effects, leaving patients unhappy with their limited options.

CBD, a naturally derived compound found in the medical cannabis and hemp plant, is becoming an increasingly popular, all-natural potentially pain-relieving option. It also offers very few negative side effects, and has been shown to be very well tolerated in the vast majority of instances and applications. 

So, what is the currently available research saying about CBD for the reduction of not only bladder pain, but also the related symptoms that come along?

That’s what we are here to find out. 

How bad can bladder pain get?

Bladder pain, when related to bladder pain syndrome, can be incredibly uncomfortable and inconvenient. It is a chronic condition that can flare up with little warning, and can strike at any time. Pain seems to increase as the urine builds in the bladder, but when batting this syndrome, urination is not easy and sometimes patients have trouble expelling all the urine held in the bladder. This form of chronic pain can be disruptive to one’s daily routine and sleep, and it may trigger other symptoms like anxiety and gastrointestinal issues. 

In some rare cases, the pain may become so unmanageable that hospitalisation is required.

Exploring CBD as a potential treatment for bladder pain

Before we go any further, let's quickly run through the basics.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, an active phytocannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike THC, the other major cannabinoid produced by cannabis (but not hemp) that causes the ‘high’, CBD does not have any intoxicating effects. In fact, it's thought to actually dampen the effects of THC, while also offering certain potential therapeutic benefits.

How CBD interacts with the human body

CBD, and all other phytocannabinoids, is able to produce certain therapeutic effects thanks to the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a network of specialised receptors (CB1 and CB2) found throughout the body, including in the brain, organs, and immune cells. We produce our own cannabinoids, referred to as endocannabinoids, that interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors producing a huge range of internal effects and functions. 

The ECS is the largest receptor network with the human body, and is thought to be overarchingly responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, within the body. By regulating inflammation, pain, appetite, mood, sleep, and even memory and learning, the ECS is a major playing in keeping us healthy.

When phytocannabinoids like CBD are consumed, they interact with the ECS similarly to our natural endocannabinoids. CBD, in particular, has been shown to have a weak affinity with CB2, and to also reduces the enzymatic breakdown of our own endocannabinoids. 

How do these interactions manifest, in terms of the reduction of symptoms for bladder pain syndrome sufferers? 

Let’s find out…

Research on CBD for bladder pain

While direct research regarding CBD administration for the reduction of bladder pain is still somewhat lacking, there are a few key pieces of research that we can investigate.

The first one, titledEndocannabinoids and the Digestive Tract and Bladder in Health and Disease”, comes to some telling conclusions. It directly names CBD as a promising candidate for the reduction of bladder pain, stating

“A pharmacological modulation of the endocannabinoid system might be beneficial for widespread diseases such as gastrointestinal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, cystitis, and hyperactive bladder. Drugs that inhibit endocannabinoid degradation and raise the level of endocannabinoids, non-psychotropic cannabinoids (notably cannabidiol – CBD), and palmitoylethanolamide, an acylethanolamide co-released with the endocannabinoid anandamide, are promising candidates for gastrointestinal and urinary diseases.”

Another study, this time directly looking into the potential effect of cannabidiol (CBD) in alleviating the symptoms of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome also provides great insight into the process behind why CBD may be such an effective treatment option for bladder pain.

 It concludes that “CBD-mediated effects in urothelial cells may occur by the activation of the PPARγ receptor, since inhibition of PPARγ resulted in significantly diminished anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of CBD”

Now, that’s not the easiest paragraph to understand, even if you are used to casually browsing scientific papers. What it is essentially saying is that, through certain interactions with both the ECS and PPARγ receptors, CBD may potentially reduce inflammation in the bladder region. 

The last piece of scientific inquiry we are going to look at today is titled Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol”. There is no direct mention of bladder pain in this study, but the results are clear - “CBD has potentially beneficial pharmacological effects, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and has therapeutic potential for many diseases associated with oxidative stress.”

Comparison of CBD to other treatments for bladder pain

CBD has been shown to offer patients a gentle alternative with less serious side effects than some of the medication and physical treatment often used in bladder pain treatment. 

Other treatments include intravesical injections, oral medication and stimulation of bladder nerves. These treatments have some risks for many bladder pain patients. 

Potential side effects of using CBD for bladder pain

CBD has been proven to have an extremely high safety profile for the vast majority of patients. The mostly mild side effects include sedation, nausea, dizziness, and some gastrointestinal irritation.

How to Use CBD for Bladder Pain

No matter what health condition you are looking to treat, medicinal cannabis should always bee seen as one part of a holistic approach, and never a ‘magic cure all’. We strongly recommend seeking the advice of a doctor that is both registered to, and experienced in prescribing medicinal cannabis.

Dosage guidelines for CBD

Dosage guidelines are something that needs to be discussed with your prescribing doctor. Only they will be able to weigh up all the deciding factors that apply specifically to you and your health issues, and then offer a measured, personalised approach with CBD and other treatments. 

With that said, it may be best to take oral CBD options daily for the reduction of pain relating to bladder pain syndrome. This approach focuses on keeping chronic pain minimal by consistent CBD dosing. No matter how you are administering CBD, always start with the lowest possible dose and slowly work your way up. 

You may need to take CBD for more than a few weeks before noticing any effective changes in pain levels.

Methods of administration

CBD is easy to use and comes in a veritable smorgasbord of administration options. Again, your prescribing doctor will be able to offer tailored advice, but the most common methods of using CBD for bladder pain are by taking tinctures orally or vaporising flower or oil for rapid onset of effects and fast relief from inflammation and pain. 

For longer-term solutions, edibles may be the best option. While the onset of effects is slower, it's thought to be more effective in reducing chronic pain and inflammation. You can also apply CBD topically via creams or patches for localised relief.

Bioavailability is affected by several factors that include the CBD user’s weight, metabolism, and body mass index. Food and water intake also impact the absorption rate as does the method of application. Edibles only offer around a 20% absorption rate, while tinctures and inhalation offer far higher rates of absorption.


CBD may provide an effective treatment option for those experiencing bladder pain. While research is continuing to uncover how CBD works, patients have already begun using it as part of a holistic approach that also includes traditional treatments. 

While more clinical studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness of CBD in reducing pain and inflammation, the currently available data certainly suggest that it may be a safe and viable option for people looking to reduce their bladder pain. 

It is important to keep in mind that CBD should not be used as a substitute for traditional treatments or medication. As with any treatment, it is advised that you consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a course of CBD supplementation. They will be able to give you personalised advice on dosing and administration methods.

Alternatively, reach out to us here at Releaf. Don't let the stigma surrounding medical cannabis prevent you from getting a suitable treatment. Releaf provides tailored monthly packages, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection, all based on your medical cannabis prescription.

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

Elevate your wellness with medical cannabis

Get comprehensive care, convenience, and confidence with an all-in-one treatment plan.

Check your eligibility

Sam North, a seasoned writer with over five years' experience and expertise in medicinal cannabis, brings clarity to complex concepts, focusing on education and informed use.

medically reviewed

Our articles are written by experts and reviewed by medical professionals or compliance specialists. Adhering to stringent sourcing guidelines, we reference peer-reviewed studies and scholarly research. View our editorial policy.

Published at:

Further reading

Medical cannabis on holiday: The basics

Here at Releaf we understand that holidays should be about relaxation, but travelling with medical cannabis sounds like a stressful voyage. We’re doing what we can to absorb that stress so that you can soak up the sun, and so, we’ve designed a series of articles to cover the subject: medical cannabis on holiday. 

Lucy MacKinnon

How long does it take to feel the effects of THC oil?

The time it takes for you to feel the effects of THC depends on the methods of administration as well as your own physiology. Fortunately, there are fast and slow-acting options, as well as ways to take low or high doses in order to facilitate control over the way your body reacts to your medicine.

Editorial Team

A comprehensive guide to UK cannabis laws

The cannabis sativa L. plant has a fascinating and deep-rooted history here in the United Kingdom. A profoundly important and versatile plant in terms of both medicinal application and use in the industrial sector, it has been utilised for various purposes throughout the ages. Without hemp, our country's past would have been quite different indeed.

Sam North