Real Stories

Dealing with Interstitial Cystitis

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Two years ago I was diagnosed Interstitial Cystitis. It is a rare and debilitating chronic illness that affects the bladder walls with symptoms ranging from pelvic pressure and discomfort to severe pain spasms. Picture the walls of your bladder being shredded and covered in lesions. That’s IC in a nutshell.

Very little research has been done on Interstitial Cystitis, and there is currently no cure. Treatment options are strictly preventative and very invasive.

The pain from Interstitial Cystitis is excruciating and can linger for hours on end.  Flare-ups are caused by anything from diet, hormone changes, emotional stressors, and for no particular reason at all. My entire life became centered around the fear of having another symptom episode, called a flare-up, and my inability to manage the pain.

I was only given medicines (none of which are for IC) to prevent symptoms. Doctors refused to give me pain medication to manage the pain due to my history of mental illness. I was instead given a prescription for 800mg ibuprofen which did nothing for the pain I was experiencing. I was so frustrated and depressed with no end to the pain in sight.

I decided to start doing some research online to see what other women with IC were doing to manage their symptoms and pain. I was disappointed to see that most of the advice given were preventative measures, but nothing turned up about what could be done for the pain. Finally, I came across an article about a woman who had been able to manage her pain with the CBD rich strain, Charlotte’s Web. Not knowing a thing about CBD I launched myself into more research about the benefits of the lesser known cannabinoid. I couldn’t believe that a substance with immense healing potential like CBD existed, and more shockingly, that it wasn’t being talked about more openly.

In less than 24 hours I got my medical marijuana card and made my first trip to a dispensary. From that day on, I was given my life back. I cannot stress enough how CBD has saved my life and given me the freedom to live pain-free. I have been able to manage my symptoms with confidence that if a flare-up starts, I can quickly take CBD to handle it. Adding CBD and cannabis to my self-care regimen has made a significant difference in my wellness and overall attitude about life.

I’ve often heard that the worst thing that happens to you can be the best thing for you. From being diagnosed with IC to finding cannabis and the community that surrounds it, I find that phrase to hold true. I am passionate about sharing my experience with others who are dealing with chronic pain disorders, and anyone looking for an alternative and viable means of healing. I hope that by sharing my story, I can help fight societal stigmas against cannabis use. Cannabis is an amazing plant with the potential to impact our world in a powerfully positive way.

Elisa YiDonoy

IG: @starryeyedcreative

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  1. Okay, I have hit a wall with the IC. How much at what potency do you take Charlotte’s Web? Thanks!

  2. I have been trying Hempworx cbd, watching everything I eat but still having flare ups. I am on Elirom, dismo treatment, Cystitis, trying hexane free castor oil on stomach I read if rubbed on stomach it can help break down the scars in bladder.I have b3n dealing with IC since 1998. Misdiagnosed til 2003, by then so severe I had Hunners s ulcers. I have also had an Interstim implant for pain, 4 diff surgeries on this. I have auto immune diseases Lupus, Fibro, asthma, migraines, osteoarthis, hypothyroidism, and many more. I m tired nothing works. Is there a better cbd to use? I also drink marshmallow tea, cumin,co4iander,fennel tea with tumeric. Is there a better cbd product than Hempworx 750? I eat only safe vegs, cage free eggs, Perdue antibodic and hormone free chicken, and drink sada water. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.


      I understand your frustration, especially when you have tried everything and nothing works. You have a lot of medical issues to consider and without your full medical history and medications, I can only give you some broad recommendations:
      For autoimmune issues, the best cannabinoid/terpene to modulate the immune system is THCA found in raw cannabis and terpinolene. For overactive bladder and bladder pain, look for products with THC, CBD, CBG, and caryophyllene. My go-to-product for CBD is Charlottes Web by the Stanley Brothers.
      If you would like one-to-one individual counseling with me to find your ideal cannabinoid/terpene protocol, please contact me at 310.701.4373. Thanks for your comments!

  3. lois samsin

    I hear you! I has the same problem. I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and it made my life miserable. My doctor prescribed medication that just made me sick so now I just stick to natural supplements, that work. I now use the Lady Soma Cranberry Concentrate and I’ve taken this everyday (sometimes twice a day) for over 3 years. It’s incredible how much it helps with the burning urination causes.

    I normally had to get surgery on my bladder once a year, but because the Lady Soma Cranberry Concentrate works so well, I’ve been able to go 2-3 years between surgeries.

    Since you are looking for something that helps with burning urination, I’d recommend this. It also helps to control the burn that you fill while your bladder is filling up, and when it’s full. This pill is a true Godsend.

  4. Advil, lol. That’s not going to do a damn thing for IC. “Stimulating” cannabis strains seem to be a problem, but I’m still experimenting.

  5. I’m am 19yrs old and was just diagnosed with Ic in March. After years and years of doctors telling me it was a uti and then telling me it wasn’t was so stressful. Now that i have answer of what i have, what do I do about the pain? I have CBD oil but its thc free should I be taking cbd oil with thc?


      Hi Alyssa, thanks for your comment and support! Assuming you live in a legal state, I would definitely recommend using a cannabis product over a hemp based product. The cannabinoids are more powerful when they are accompanied by the other naturally occurring cannabinoids in whole plant medicine. We call this the entourage effect. You can find great cannabis based CBD oils with very little THC (to avoid the high) but just enough to really increase the effectiveness of the CBD. If you’re in the Bay Area, check out Love & Light

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