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. Drug tests don’t screen for CBD, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
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.
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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Why using CBD might make you fail a drug test
Drug tests don’t screen for CBD, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
Danielle Kosecki is an award-winning journalist who has covered health and fitness for 15 years. She’s written for Glamour, More, Prevention and Bicycling magazines, among others, and is the editor of The Bicycling Big Book of Training. A New York native, Danielle now lives in Oakland where she doesn’t miss winter at all.
You nailed your cover letter and rocked the interview. All that’s standing between you and an awesome new job is a mandatory drug screening. Will that CBD oil you’ve been taking for pain relief cause you to fail the test?
This story discusses substances that are legal in some places but not in others and is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You shouldn’t do things that are illegal — this story does not endorse or encourage illegal drug use.
How cannabis drug tests work
When it comes to marijuana, drug tests typically only screen for THC — the compound in cannabis that gets you “high” — or one of the compounds created when your body metabolizes it. And by law CBD products can only contain up to 0.3% THC.
Different types of drug tests have different detection thresholds, but the type you’re most likely to encounter is the “pee test.” To pass a urine drug test, the amount of THC in your body must be below 50 ng/mL. That’s the cutoff recommended federally by the National Institutes of Health and clinically by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which helps set industry standards for lab certifications.
To hit 50 ng/mL of THC, you’d probably have to consume upwards of 2,000 mg of CBD products that contain 0.3% or less of THC, which is much higher than the average person is likely to take. Even in clinical trials and research studies, people are usually only administered 100-800mg/day.
So you’re in the clear, right? Not quite. There are two ways you could hit that 50 ng/mL mark.
Why CBD might cause you to fail a drug test
First, THC is fat-soluble, so when you ingest it — especially via edibles or a drop of oil under the tongue — it’s absorbed along with other fats and can be stored in your body’s fatty tissue.
Depending on how much CBD (and thus THC), you consume, how often you consume it, your body weight and your diet, it’s possible for THC to accumulate in your body in as little as four to six days and trigger a positive drug test. Research has found that THC can be detectable in your system for up to 30 days, but it’s usually only present in heavy cannabis users after the first week.