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!

    • Lisa M Kruse

      Soda water could be a huge culprit 🤔

  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

  6. Hi My name is Kerri I got diagnosed with ic in November 2018. The prescription they wanted me to take was 1,300 and that was with the discount. I don’t have that kind of money. I am in need of something for the pain and I don’t like any kind of pain meds.

  7. Brenda Dahlem

    Hello, I was diagnosed Feb of 2017. I was in remission for about 6 months. But now its back with a fury. I am going to apply for a marijuana card as soon as I get my medical records from my urologist. I have 2 questions, what type of cannabis should I ask for and also in Ohio I don’t know if it is on the list. Any help can help.

  8. I was diagnosed with IC over 5 years ago. The pain is terrible and nothing that I have tried so far seems to help very well. I also have been diagnosed with lupus. I am a nurse and I’m just wonder if cbd will cause a positive drug test?

  9. Haley Eietharn

    Hi Ozzie! So I am newmy diagnosed with IC, i live in GA so all i can get here is the CBD oil. My symptoms are frequency, burning and pelvic pain st timrs. My question is did the Charlotte’s Web in itself help your symptoms?? What mg do you take?? Hoping to find anything that helps, Haley

  10. CBD is perhaps one of the most potentent anti carcingoenic compounds on the planet

  11. Hi loved reading your story. I have been having this problem for 15 years and I always got told it was uti and lived on antibiotics for years and years! But this last year I’ve had a been told it is IC and no cure for it! Spend 4 weeks in hospital with this chronic pain and I am
    Still here now I have had my bladder stretched and started the bladder washes but nothing has worked! Can you please message me and help me please
    Cause I can’t deal with this pain anymore xx

  12. Hi, thank you for writing this article and sharing your experience. I’m so glad you’ve found something to help relieve your pain. I have had IC for 10 years and have tried ever medication, procedure, surgery, and everything else you can imagine that my doctors suggested, and other medical professionals. I noticed two statement that you made in your article that I would like you to reconsider. You state that IC is rare. I’m not sure who told you that, but it is not rare. I know a lot of people who have it in my life, and atleast 4 people in my immediate family. It’s hard to believe, but BOTH of my two best friends just got diagnosed with it this year. It is becoming more and more common in young woman and men. The other statement that you made was that there is no cure. I know your doctor probably told you that, as well as other medical professionals who not little to nothing about our disease, but that is not true. There are cures for IC, it’s just not through tradition pharmaceutical medicine. I know several people who have healed themselves from their very aggressive and debilitating IC by following very clean and natural protocols using clean and safe herbs for the earth, following Anthony Williams protocols for healing IC ( which is using herbs and eating certain fruits and vegetables, nothing extreme and no products that he sells himself) , there is also a woman who has a youtube channel named” montreal healthy girl” who goes in depth step by step in videos of how she healed herself from her severe IC and has helped others. Again this is using all natural supplements and plant based foods. I don’t like when people say there is no cure, because there is and by saying there is not, it give people who are desperately suffering no hope. Have you googled the suicide statistics for IC? Its very alarming and saddening. We must work together to spread hope and get the word out that there ARE CURES. I’ve been studying nutrition and IC, as well as the cause of all chronic illnesses/ auto immune diseases for over a decade. The montreal healthy girl has as well, and she even went back to school to get her degree in nutrition to be able to medical and professional guide others to heal. Again, I am glad you found cbd and cannabis to help you. Cbd has helped me greatly as well.

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