CBD Effects on Kidneys
Posted on August 14th, 2022
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has become quite popular. Its popularity has peaked over recent years, with advertisements everywhere, from the internet, billboards, television, and even social media. Currently, kidney disease is the ninth most common cause of death in the United States, and things are not getting any better. A common symptom is having physical and emotional pain, that will vary its intensity depending on the patient. Doctors usually prescribe painkillers as a treatment for the pain, but they are usually excreted by the kidneys, which could lead to more kidney damage. With all that it might offer, how could the effects of CBD impact the kidneys?
CBD, according to studies, may be able to help alleviate pain. Early trials of CBD have revealed that it may also help the kidneys due to its potential anti-inflammatory properties, pain management, blood pressure stabilization, and anxiolytic properties. Let’s take a deeper look at the effects of CBD on the kidneys.
What Is CBD and Its Potential Effects on the Kidneys?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. Unlike its other counterpart Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive; hence it will not make you high. It might also help alleviate aches, symptoms of anxiety, and inflammation. The advantage that CBD may have over pain medications such as acetaminophen is that the latter is metabolized by the liver and eventually eliminated by the kidneys. They also might damage the cells in the kidney, therefore worsening the condition. CBD, on the other hand, though metabolized by the liver, does not appear to cause any damage to the kidneys, as it is not toxic.
Some of the potential effects of CBD on the kidneys are as follows:
- Has the potential to help to reduce inflammation in kidneys
- May help alleviate pain associated with the side effects of the kidney ailments
- Could help to slow the progression of kidney disease
- May aid in the prevention of oxidative damage in the kidneys
What Is Kidney Disease?
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs situated on either side of the torso. Their primary role is to clean the blood and extract all the excess fluids in the body. The fluids are then removed from the body as urine. They play a crucial role in the filtration of blood in the body. Therefore, the kidneys are crucial to the body, and once they get impaired in their functions, there can be serious implications.
Usually, you can live a long and healthy life without one kidney, so kidney donors and recipients survive for many years. However, if both of your kidneys fail, then you will be in a traumatizing condition. This is because the condition is fatal; you would need to have a kidney replacement done to survive.
Kidney disease can be acute, and in severe circumstances, become chronic. Below are the different types of kidney disease:
Chronic Kidney Disease
This is the most common form of kidney disease, affecting millions of people all over the world. In fact, most people do not even realize that they have it, which can be quite daunting. Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease does not get any better with time but only worsens. It happens when waste builds up in the body since the kidneys are not working as they should. In the advanced stages, the kidneys may fail altogether, becoming life-threatening. Here, you may need dialysis to remove the excess fluids.
Glomeruli are usually the tiny blood vessels where cleansing of the kidneys take place. This condition is therefore caused by congenital conditions, some drugs, and infections that can make the glomeruli inflamed. The symptoms usually include foamy urine, retention of fluid, and brown or pink urine. The good news is that glomerulonephritis resolves itself with time.
The kidneys clean numerous materials from the blood. An example of this is mineral particles. Over time, these minerals crystallize and form kidney stones. Many people are usually able to pass the stones out through urination; however, the process can be quite painful. In severe cases, you may need surgery to remove them.
This is a condition in which the kidneys get inflamed due to bacterial infections. It can damage the kidneys permanently and even be fatal. Symptoms of this condition include fever above 102°F, cloudy urine, painful urination, and pus in the urine. You may also experience nausea and vomiting. It can be treated with antibiotics, and in severe cases, you may need to be hospitalized.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
It is common for the kidney to form cysts or fluid sacs on its surface. Most of them are usually benign and have no severe side effects. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic condition that will cause the kidneys to grow numerous cysts all over the surface. It can even lead to kidney failure if the cysts interfere with the regular functioning of the kidneys. However, if both of your kidneys fail due to polycystic disease, you might need dialysis.
The Effects of Kidney Disease
Below are some of the effects seen in result to kidney disease:
- Bleeding disorders
- Lowered immune function
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Skin disorders
- Neurological disorders
Causes of Kidney Disease
On a typical day, the kidneys usually filter around 180 liters of blood. One of the most common causes of kidney disease is diabetes. Diabetes usually leads to high sugar levels that tend to damage the body tissues, including the kidney nephrons. The other most common cause of kidney disease is hypertension. It does this by reducing the blood supply and the autoregulatory sensitivity of the kidneys. Therefore, the nephrons get damaged, causing a strain on the other remaining nephrons, hence increasing their chances of getting damaged. The other causes of kidney disease include:
- Heart disease
- HIV/ AIDS
- Hepatitis B and C
CBD and Kidney Disease: Where Does It Fit?
CBD is not a cure for kidney disease, but how might the effects of CBD impact the kidneys? The body has CB1 and CB2 receptors that may help with bodily functions. When you take CBD, it might stimulate the production of natural cannabinoids, which attach themselves to these receptors and may provide a homeostatic balance to the body. Cannabinoids from CBD also interact with these receptors, which is thought to also aid in homeostasis.
The other effect of using CBD is that it might help promote renal function. It has the ability to protect the nephrons from inflammatory and oxidative damage due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD may also promote the normal functioning of the glomerulus. It might also help to prevent the malfunctioning of the body’s filtration mechanisms depending on the type of kidney injury.
Below are ways in which CBD effects may help reduce the symptoms of kidney disease:
CBD is thought to be an analgesic and may help reduce pain in arthritis and other conditions. CBD enhances the function of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by blocking the FAAH, a fatty acid used to break down anandamide, and keep more of it in the body. The anandamide binds to the CB1 receptors to help control your pain response. Kidney disease is harrowing, due to the inflammation of the organ, incisional pain from kidney surgery, kidney stones, and even dialysis.
According to studies, CBD may have anti-inflammatory properties. Since some kidney diseases are inflammatory, then CBD might have a positive impact on the inflammatory symptoms. This is done due to its ability to stimulate the endocannabinoid system.
The presence of toxins in the renal tissue is known as Nephrotoxicity. These toxins affect the renal function of the kidneys and affect the normal functioning of the organ. CBD might help reduce drug-induced Nephrotoxicity through its relationship with the cannabinoid receptors. This, therefore, may help promote kidney health.
Diabetes is an inflammatory condition that usually affects the regulation of blood sugar by the body. According to studies, CBD may reduce inflammation. Since diabetes is one of the risk factors of kidney disease, CBD may be able to help.
What Is the Recommended Dosage of CBD?
One of the crucial things that you need to note is that you should talk with your doctor when you want to start taking CBD. This is especially true if you have any health conditions or are taking any medications. CBD can interact with certain medications, so it’s always best to speak with your doctor before starting CBD.
Finding the right dose of CBD may seem daunting, as it affects people differently. Therefore, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and start low and slow. Note how your body is responding and adjust as needed.
Kidney disease is a severe condition that can be fatal in severe cases. More research is needed before we fully understand the effects of CBD on kidneys. However, CBD does appear to have several potential benefits. Remember to always consult with your doctor before starting CBD. When looking for the right CBD product for you, search for a trusted and transparent source. Reliable manufacturers will provide third-party lab tests and a certificate of analysis.