Can CBD Improve Kidney Health?

Can CBD Improve Kidney Health?

As CBD’s popularity skyrockets, evidence for the compound’s efficacy and safety only continues to paint a positive picture. That being said, many wonder if CBD may be harmful to vital organs like the kidneys.

Fortunately, it appears that CBD poses no measurable harm to the kidneys. In fact, the cannabinoid may even be helpful to their overall functioning! Read on to learn more about how CBD affects the kidneys!

 

What do the kidneys do?

Most people have two kidneys, which are located just below the ribcage towards the middle of your back. They are vital organs whose main purposes are to:

  • Filter waste and remove extra water from the body
  • Filter your blood
  • Create red blood cells
  • Help control blood pressure
  • Produce hormones calcitriol and erythropoietin

Although it’s best to have both your kidneys in working order, some people have one kidney removed due to illness or as a donation to someone who is missing both their kidneys. Some common kidney illnesses include:

  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Kidney failure
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney cysts
  • Kidney cancer

Managing kidney conditions can be difficult and involves the use of heavy drugs like opioids or rigorous treatments like chemotherapy or dialysis. Fortunately, some find relief from both kidney conditions themselves and the treatments involved by way of natural substances like CBD.

 

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound derived from the legal hemp plant. CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the “high” you might expect from cannabis use.

With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), we now have a better understanding of how CBD interacts with the body. The ECS is comprised of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoid receptors, which are located throughout the human body.

Consuming CBD activates your endocannabinoid receptors, regulating a wide range of natural processes like appetite, mood, and immunity. CBD also helps promote homeostasis, or overall balance and stability.

Endocannabinoid receptors can be divided into two main types: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and the central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors interact with most other bodily systems, including the urinary system.

 

Does CBD damage the kidneys?

Because the kidneys are vital organs that can be damaged by different medications and supplements, many worry that CBD might also be harmful. Additionally, the kidneys function to eliminate waste products from the body, and some substances can damage the kidneys as they are filtered out.

Fortunately, CBD appears to be safe, posing no harm to kidney function. CBD is metabolized through the liver and mostly eliminated via solid waste; however, a small amount is processed by the kidneys and excreted in the urine.

Although CBD does ultimately pass through the kidneys as waste material, studies like this one assert that the cannabinoid does not adversely affect kidney function. In fact, this 2009 study even finds that CBD may even prevent nephrotoxicity, or kidney damage, by decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation in kidney cells.

 

Can CBD improve kidney health?

According to researchers, CBD may help improve kidney health! Because the compound reduces inflammation and mitigates chronic pain, CBD may serve as a worthwhile treatment option for those who suffer from kidney disease and other kidney issues.

CBD mitigates pain and inflammation

The pain that comes with kidney inflammation can be excruciating and seriously interfere with day-to-day functioning. Some people experience an acute inflammatory response resulting from injury or infection, while others undergo chronic renal inflammation due to ongoing disease. 

This 2009 study concludes that CBD reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, and even improves renal function. Researchers here also noted that CBD may act as a protective agent against drug-induced nephrotoxicity, or toxic damage to the kidneys.

Similarly, a more recent 2017 study found that CBD activates CB2 receptors to effectively prevent kidney damage by reducing renal inflammation and oxidative stress. Additionally, this 2018 review of cannabinoid-focused pharmacological research concluded that CBD relieves the chronic pain that accompanies a range of chronic illnesses. This may include painful kidney conditions. Many anecdotal reports claim CBD to be helpful in quelling the severe pain that arises from kidney stones.

CBD reduces opioid dependency

Many kidney disease patients find themselves dependent on opioids to manage the debilitating pain that often accompanies kidney damage. Sadly, opioids can cause additional harm to the body and promulgate issues like dependency or addiction.

Not only does CBD treat pain itself – the versatile cannabinoid also combats opioid dependency by regulating serotonin and dopamine production, modulating opioidergic pathways, and promoting neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells.

According to this 2011 study, CBD may serve as a reasonable alternative to opioid use for managing pain due to chronic kidney disease. Additionally, this 2021 review found that CBD reduces opioid cravings, as well as the addictive symptoms that arise from substance abuse generally.

CBD mitigates nausea and vomiting

Common to many kidney ailments, nausea and vomiting are symptoms that can lead to further renal damage by way of chronic dehydration. Nausea and vomiting are often caused by the disorder itself, but some experience these issues as side effects from the heavy medications typically prescribed to kidney patients.

A number of studies, like this one, find that CBD interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain to regulate nausea and vomiting. Here, researchers concluded that CBD suppresses severe and ongoing nausea and vomiting and may be particularly helpful for chemotherapy patients. This may be especially helpful for kidney disease patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy or dialysis treatments.

 

CBD offers relief for a myriad of conditions, from sleep disorders to fibromyalgia. It also appears to help treat a range of illnesses involving the kidneys, even acting as a preventative or protective measure in some cases.

We hope that, as you continue on your journey towards better health and wellness, CBD offers you some much-needed relief.



time Feb 29, 2024
1

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