Updated on December 19, 2018.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
For more than three to eight million women, living with interstitial cystitis means dealing with excruciating pain, which can often lead to depression. While traditional pain management plans work for some patients, they’re ineffective for others. With medical cannabis, however, many women have begun to ease and manage their interstitial cystitis pain.
Acquiring Medical Cannabis for Interstitial Cystitis Pain Management
Before you can begin using medical cannabis for interstitial cystitis pain management, you must undergo a few steps — which vary between states in the U.S. — to receive the proper documents and permissions to purchase medical marijuana.
These steps include:
- Meet With a Medical Marijuana Doctor: Many physicians carry a certification to recommend medical pot. You’ll need to find one near you and forward any necessary documents, such as your medical history, to them. If you and your doctor feel medical cannabis is the right choice, they’ll issue a recommendation.
- Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card: Following your appointment, apply for a medical marijuana card. Other countries may require you to join a registry. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your identification card, which allows you to purchase medical cannabis.
- Visit a Local Dispensary: Most states and countries have licensed dispensaries that sell cannabis. Search for one near you. When you arrive, a budtender will discuss the different strains with you, as well as provide advice before you make your purchase.
Keep in mind that these steps will vary based on where you live. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your state or country’s laws before beginning the process.
Types of Medical Weed Strains for Interstitial Cystitis Pain Management
While several medical weed varieties are available for managing your interstitial cystitis pain, with a selection of flavors and effects, they all belong to one of three strain families:
- Indica: Indica strains are favored for nighttime use. They’re more relaxing on your body and mind, which is why they tend to contain more cannabidiol (CBD) rather than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- Sativa: On the opposite end of the spectrum from indica strains are sativa strains. These buds offer a more uplifting effect on your body and mind, which is why they’re ideal for daytime use. In most cases, these strains are high in THC and low in CBD.
- Hybrid: Between indica and sativa strains are hybrids. With a hybrid strain, you receive a combination of sativa and indica features, though hybrids do tend to be either sativa- or indica-dominant.
If you’re unsure which strain is right for easing your pain, consult with your doctor or budtender.
Administering Medical Marijuana for Interstitial Cystitis
To manage your interstitial cystitis pain, you have a few options for delivering your medicine, including:
- Inhalation: Smoking and vaporizing medical weed are similar methods, though vaporizing is less damaging to your lungs. The benefit of inhaling medical cannabis is you get relief fast, which is helpful if you’re experiencing a spike in pain. The effects, however, will wear off sooner than other methods for consuming medical pot.
- Oral: Edibles and tinctures are becoming popular among patients, as they’re quick and discrete to take. The downside of oral administration is that it can take 30 minutes or longer before you feel relief. However, you’ll feel the pain-relieving effects for several hours.
- Topical: Ointments, sprays, lotions and salves are all topicals that can ease interstitial cystitis pain. The advantage to this method is that it provides localized relief, which is helpful if you often experience abdominal pain.
Learn More About Using Medical Cannabis for Interstitial Cystitis Pain Management
As a medical cannabis patient, it’s essential to work with your physician to learn about using medical cannabis for interstitial cystitis pain, as well as to properly manage your condition. If you need assistance finding a licensed and compassionate medical marijuana doctor near you, browse our verified directory.
Information About Medical Marijuana and Interstitial Cystitis