Synthetic marijuana abstract suppresses bladder overactivity

August 31, 2005

A potent analog of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) significantly suppressed bladder overactivity without affecting bladder contractility in an animal model of interstitial cystitis, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who presented their findings here Wednesday. Their study showed that because the analgesic, known as ajulemic acid, stopped the underlying cause of irritation &#8212 bladder overactivity &#8212 it was able to eliminate the pain associated with IC.

A potent analog of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) significantly suppressed bladder overactivity without affecting bladder contractility in an animal model of interstitial cystitis, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who presented their findings here Wednesday. Their study showed that because the analgesic, known as ajulemic acid, stopped the underlying cause of irritation - bladder overactivity - it was able to eliminate the pain associated with IC.

"Interstitial cystitis is a difficult disease to treat, and not all treatments work well on all patients," said Michael Chancellor, MD, professor of urology at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "Any new option we can give our patients to alleviate their painful symptoms is very exciting."

Ajulemic acid is a potent synthetic analog of a metabolite of THC, the principal active ingredient in marijuana. In this study, it was injected into rat models of acute and subacute bladder inflammation. At a dose of 10 mg/kg, the agent significantly suppressed bladder overactivity induced by acetic acid infusion (in the acute model) and administration of cyclophosphamide (in the subacute model) without affecting bladder contractility, Dr. Chancellor reported.

The study was sponsored by Indevus.