CBD For Kidney Disease, Studies Evidence and Benefits Guide
According to the NHS, over 1.8 million people have chronic kidney disease in England, and that’s not counting the nearly 1 million people that they estimate to have it undiagnosed. The role of the kidneys is to help to remove waste from the body, and so for those with kidney problems these substances can build up in the body.
Inside the kidney, there is an intense blood circulation whereby very small structures called nephrons filter the toxins out of the blood – at a speed of half a cup per minute. This is then passed into the bladder then out as urine. The kidneys also maintain the balance of certain minerals – such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, as well as water.
Some of the symptoms of kidney disease include nausea, vomiting, swollen feet and ankles, muscle cramps, chronic pain, problems sleeping and loss of appetite. There is no cure for kidney disease, so at the moment the only thing that can be done by doctors is to help to treat the symptoms. This often includes giving medication with other side effects or that is potentially addictive such as opioids.
Kidney disease often creeps up on people without them noticing until it is at a relatively severe stage. Once the kidneys get to a stage where they cannot work properly, even given the lifestyle changes which people will have been told to make, it is likely they will have to have kidney dialysis usually three times per week.
CBD can affect the kidneys?
Research shows that there is an abundance of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the kidneys. This means that it is likely that cannabinoids like CBD – or cannabidiol – could potentially have an effect on the kidneys when it is taken.
According to a study published in 2017 by Park, Potukuchi, Moradi, and Kovesdy, there are many cannabinoid receptors which are found within the kidneys. This means that it is likely that the endocannabinoid system has an impact on the kidneys, and that cannabinoids could potentially be very beneficial for those with kidney disease.
You can find out more about CBD and how it affects the body here.
Is CBD good for kidney disease?
Researchers believe that CBD can have both beneficial effects as well as less desirable effects on the kidneys. We know that CBD can affect the endocannabinoid system, but it is still unsure under what circumstances and which doses it could be beneficial for people with kidney disease.
A study published in 2018 by The American Journal of Medicine found that there was no link between kidney diseases and past or current cannabis. However, other research, which was carried out by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2018, found that patients with chronic kidney disease deteriorated quicker if they were using cannabis. It is unclear, however, if this is to do with cannabis use or something else – like smoking.
Although there is more to research into this, it is obvious that there is a link between the two and researchers need to find out if there is a way that cannabis can be used to be beneficial to people with kidney disease.
Can CBD help with kidney stones?
Kidney stones occur as a result of a build-up of minerals which create a ‘stone’ in the kidney. They are usually passed out through a process of contraction and urination, but this can be very painful. They can also be painful to have, but although CBD cannot help to prevent kidney stones, it might be able to help to deal with the pain of them.
Kidney stones are relatively common in people between 30 and 60 years old – affecting about 1 in 10 people according to the NHS. Although most smaller kidney stones can be passed through urination, some of them need to be removed surgically.
Kidney stones can be painful, especially if they are big, and passing them can also be painful. CBD can be a useful natural pain reliever, meaning that it is possible that it could help in dealing with the pain from kidney stones.
Reversing low kidney function
If you lose your kidney function suddenly, there is a good chance that it can be restored back to working order if the underlying problem is treated. This is why it is important to see your doctor immediately if you get any of the symptoms.
Some symptoms of acute (sudden) kidney function include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased amounts of urine
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Seizures or coma
If you experience any of these symptoms speak to your doctor immediately and they will be able to help you to deal with them, find out the underlying problem, and in most cases, reverse the low kidney function.
It is possible that CBD might be able to help you to deal with some of these symptoms. Some research carried out in 2009 by Zhejiang University, China suggests that CBD reduced cisplatin-induced oxidative or nitrosative stress, inflammation, and cell death in the kidney and therefore has the potential to be able to help to reverse kidney disease with more research.
Can stage 5 kidney disease be reversed?
Stage 5 kidney disease is an advanced stage of kidney disease. When it gets to stage there will already be a build-up of toxins in the blood, and people with the condition will already feel very ill. For stage 5 kidney disease, it is unlikely that it can be reversed.
Most people with stage 5 kidney disease would be put through for either a kidney transplant, hemodialysis, (the filtering of the blood through an outside machine) or peritoneal dialysis (the filtering of the blood inside the body).
You will also need to change to a renal diet, which essentially is one that is high in grains, fruit and certain vegetables, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, low in sodium, decreasing calcium intake and taking vitamin D and iron.
Reversing stage 2 kidney disease
Many people with stage 2 kidney disease won’t even realise that they have it as the kidneys are good at functioning when they aren’t at 100% functionality. However, it is common for people with diabetes and high blood pressure to experience stage 2 kidney disease and it is often picked up at screenings.
Stage 2 kidney disease won’t usually show itself with any symptoms. However, it is something that people should be aware of, especially if you suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure. Although it cannot be cured, it can be slowed down and the impact reduced by making certain lifestyle changes, such as changes in diet, exercise, keeping blood pressure down and diabetes well controlled.
Although there are not usually any symptoms of stage 2 kidney disease, CBD can often help people who feel pain or nausea as a result of the condition.
Reversing stage 4 kidney disease
Stage 4 is the second most serious stage of kidney disease, and it is classified as serious kidney failure. Whilst reversing the kidney disease is unlikely, it is important to be able to treat the causes your kidney disease, look after blood pressure and follow the lifestyle plan which is given to you by your doctor.
By the time that kidney disease has got to stage 4, the most important thing to do is to manage your health issues such as diabetic control and blood pressure.
CBD can be useful in reducing the pain and nausea which might come along with kidney disease. There is also research carried out by Jadoon, Tan and O’Sullivan (2017) to suggest that CBD can be valuable in helping to lower blood pressure.
Reversing a low GFR
GFR refers to the Glomerular Filtration Rate, and this shows the degree to which the kidney is functioning. A 100% GFR rate is a fully working kidney and stage 5 kidney disease will usually have a GFR of 15mls/min. The aging process will naturally make you GFR reduce, but it is also possible to reverse your GFR a little.
The main way that the GFR can be reversed is through diet, exercise and the management of health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The research carried out by Zhejiang University suggests that CBD might be able to help with the reversal of a low GFR, however, there is a lot more research that must be carried out first.
Can CBD oil cause bloody urine?
One of the early signs of kidney disease is small amounts of blood detected in the urine. These are often so small that they are untraceable. There is no evidence, however, to show that CBD will cause bloody urine.
Although there are some side effects to taking CBD – some people report a dry mouth, fatigue and changes in appetite, there is no evidence to suggest that it can cause blood in the urine.
If you are noticing that there is blood in your urine, it is important that you speak to your doctor as it can be a sign of a number of different conditions.
CBD oil is safe for dialysis patients
There is no research to suggest that CBD is not safe for people who are having dialysis. However, it should be remembered that CBD can affect the way that certain medications are metabolised, upsetting their balance in the bloodstream. It is therefore recommended to speak to your doctor before you take CBD oil.
Research published by the US National Library of Medicine in 2018 shows us that small doses of CBD haven’t been unsafe for those who are on dialysis. However, more research is needed on taking higher doses of CBD to find out how it affects them.
You should always consult your doctor if you are thinking about trying CBD – especially if you are taking medication.
CBD oil and polycystic kidney disease
Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited condition whereby liquid-filled cysts form on the surface of the kidney, causing a number of symptoms similar to other kidney problems. Although children are usually born with them, they usually don’t show to be a problem until they grow bigger as the children turn into adults.
One of the main symptoms of polycystic kidney disease is abdominal pain, and CBD is a safe and natural option for potential pain relief. It is non-addictive and won’t make you high, and there are no long term or dangerous side effects, so a good option for people who are suffering from polycystic kidney disease.
CBD helping dogs with kidney failure
Dogs can also suffer from kidney disease, and also have an endocannabinoid system very similar to humans – in fact, most mammals do. CBD, however, can only really be used for pain relief and to stimulate the appetite in dogs just as with people.
CBD can be a good, natural way to relieve pain, as well as help to stimulate the appetite in both people and dogs. Unfortunately, there is no research at the moment which will show CBD to be able to help with kidney failure for your four-footed friend, except for the treatment of some of the symptoms.
If you are thinking about giving CBD to your dog – or any pet, make sure you start with a low dosage and consult your vet.
CBD helps to deal with kidney cysts
There is no research which suggests that CBD can affect kidney cysts, but it appears that it can help to treat some of the symptoms that they bring. Pain, anxiety and loss of appetite are all common symptoms that potentially could be helped by CBD.
The fact that CBD affects the endocannabinoid system which helps to regulate pain, mood and appetite suggest that it could be very effective for people who are suffering from kidney cysts. It can also help to reduce inflammation and can be a good alternative to addictive opioids or NSAIDs painkillers which can cause problems in the future.
It is important that you speak to your doctor before trying CBD, especially if you are taking medication.
Although there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that CBD can help with diseases of the kidneys there is still a lot more research to be carried out to be able to really realise its potential. One thing that we can say, however, is that it has the potential to be very useful to those who are suffering from kidney disease and cysts to help to alleviate some of the symptoms which are associated to them.
If you think that CBD might be able to help, why not give it a go and see if it works for you?