Marijuana has gone mainstream and become part of people’s weekly life. Similar to alcohol, it is even moving into people’s routine.  We know how beer makes you want to visit the restroom, but what about cannabis.  It seems heavy use of marijuana might be linked with an overactive bladder.

Overactive bladder is defined as a condition where people have to urinate with more frequency. It includes behaviors like nocturia, urge incontinence, and more. It’s considered a chronic disease. At worse it is a major inconvenience and can cause disrupted sleep, but it can lead to other conditions. It affects up to 33 million adults, including as many as 30% of men and 40% of women. However, that number may be higher because many people may feel embarrassed and won’t get help.

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine examined whether marijuana has an impact on overactive bladders and found regular marijuana consumers are more likely to suffer from the condition than non-users.

Photo by Panupon Pongeaim / EyeEm/Getty Images

Researchers collected data from 2005 and 2018 on regular and non-regular marijuana users aged 18 to 59, who answered a variety of questions about drug use and kidney conditions.

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Over 18,000 samples were gathered, with 24% of respondents identifying as regular marijuana users. These people were more likely to be male, single, smokers, thinner, and younger when compared to the other participants in the study. They also reported more urinary incontinence and frequent nocturia, which is the urge to wake up in the middle of the night to go use the bathroom.

While researchers don’t fully understand why marijuana affects bladders specifically, the study shows regular marijuana users were at higher risk of overactive bladder disorder and are especially at higher risk of nocturia.

“Our data do not support the evidence for the use of cannabinoids in the medical treatment of patients with overactive bladder, especially given the thorny health problems caused by marijuana,” concludes the study.

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Before you becoming overly concerned about marijuana, there are multiple causes for an overactive bladder. They  include drinking too much fluid, urinary tract infections (UTIs), caffeinated drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, and other bladder irritants, and having certain health conditions, for example, bladder stones or diabetes. In addition, certain medications can lead to the same condition, so if they are issues, chat with your doctor.

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