A study published in The Journal of Urology found that cannabidiol (CBD) oil does not lower pain scores after surgical treatment and stent placement for patients with urinary stones. The study found that although treatment with CBD oil was safe, it did not minimize pain or opioid use after ureteroscopy (URS) and stent placement.
Urinary stones that form in the kidney or ureter are one of the most common problems prompting patients to seek urology treatment. Some stones may be too large for the patient to eliminate and require surgical removal using a special tool called a ureteroscope. This device removes or fragments the stones. The placement of a soft plastic stent is sometimes necessary to drain urine from the kidney into the bladder. Stents can cause discomfort, and patients may turn to pain medications for relief. Opioid dependence after URS is a risk factor, so urologists have advocated for exploring alternatives to opioids such as CBD use.
The study included 90 participants undergoing URS and stent placement for urinary stones. Participants were randomly assigned to three days of treatment with oral CBD oil (a treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration). The only side effect reported was brief spells of mild dizziness.
Pain scores after URS and stent placement were similar between groups, with the average maximum pain score of 2.2 immediately after treatment. Pain scores decreased over the first three days for participants in both groups, and pain scores did not vary more than one-half a point different between the CBD and placebo groups.
No significant difference in opioid use between groups was observed. The participants in the CBD and placebo groups experienced similar problems with urination and other bothersome symptoms.
Many studies have indicated CBD is safe for many patients, but more research is needed to explore its efficacy and safety.
Sources: Eureka News Alert, The Journal of Urology