The Association Between Tetrahydrocannabinol and Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Utilizing the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Urology. 2019 Jan:123:120-125. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2018.06.054. Epub 2018 Aug 21.


Objective: To further define the relationship between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), specifically how THC use associates with the frequency of LUTS in young community-dwelling men in the United States.

Materials and methods: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database was queried (2005-2008). Men ages 20-59 who completed the urinary and substance abuse questionnaires were included. The presence of LUTS was defined as having ≥2 of the following: nocturia (≥2), hesitancy, incomplete emptying, or incontinence. THC use was self-reported, and participants were considered regular smokers if they endorsed smoking at least once per month. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to analyze the relationship between THC and LUTS.

Results: Among 3,037 men who met inclusion criteria, 14.4% (n = 477) of subjects reported THC use. In multivariable analyses, adjusting for clinical variables, regular THC users remained significantly less likely to report LUTS (odds ratio of 0.55; confidence interval 95% 0.408-0.751, P <.01) compared to nonusers.

Conclusion: Obesity, diabetes, and multiple comorbidities are well-established risk factors for LUTS within the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Regular THC use, however, appears to be protective from LUTS in young community-dwelling men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / drug therapy*
  • Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
  • Dronabinol