Interstitial cystitis, often called the bladder pain syndrome (BPS), is an inflammatory disease of the muscular layer of the bladder, when the cause of inflammation is unknown. Oftentimes, bacteria or viruses evoke inflammatory processes in soft tissue, but if no bacterial or viral infection is traceable, then BPS would be the exclusive diagnosis. Interstitial Cystitis may be identified by frequent urination urges, including waking urges at night, and sterile urine cultures. Symptoms usually range from mild discomfort to severe and debilitating pain. Pain attacks typically happen when the bladder fills with urine or as it empties. In women, symptoms often get worse during the menstruation period.
The signs associated with Interstitial Cystitis are also common for a group of other urinary tract conditions such as urethritis, overactive bladder, prostatitis, urethral syndrome and bladder infections of various origins. One must exclude all of these ailments before diagnosing the BPS.
Since the cause of Interstitial Cystitis is utterly unknown, there is currently no remedy to cure it completely. Antibiotics and anti-viral therapies would not be of help since no infection is present. However, some medical procedures are known to provide temporary relief. Bladder distension and bladder instillations are performed under anesthesia and are reported to decrease urinary urges, but as any surgical intervention, they are not easy to rub through, and come with potentially dangerous side effects. Medical marijuana is an alternative pain reliever, with clinically proven anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabinoids contained in marijuana trigger the activation of the CB2 receptors which are found at the core of every inflammation. Phytocannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are also known to help reduce swelling and bladder weight. One might find this relieving natural medicine a fair alternative to risky and costly microsurgical procedures.