CBD and kidney failure: what you need to know

Two to three million French people suffer fromrenal failure. A figure, already substantial, which could in fact be more important as it is difficult to identify the problem at the mere sight of the symptoms. Fortunately, a simple blood test usually helps to get a clearer idea of ​​the condition of an individual's kidneys. Anti-inflammatory increasingly used in the context of chronic pain, the cannabidiol (CBD) is often mentioned as an opportunity for people with kidney failure. Weedy.fr separates the true from the false.

Kidney failure: what are we talking about?

the kidneys filter the blood

Failure occurs when the kidneys no longer properly filter waste products from the blood.

We talk about kidney failure when we see a gradual decline in kidney function. The kidneys, it should be remembered, are the body's natural filters, responsible for cleaning our blood of the various waste products with which it is confronted.

  • Urea: waste from food and more specifically from the degradation of proteins by the liver. When the urea level is too high, it is called uremia, which is a sign of kidney failure. It is ideally between 3 and 7,5 mmol/l.
  • Creatinine: waste products resulting from the functioning of the muscles. It is related to a clearance rate, taking into account in particular the age, weight and sex of the patient. Clearance below 60 mL/min is generally considered a sign of renal failure.

When the kidneys do not ensure their normal functioning, waste accumulates instead of being passed out in the urine. As they are toxic in high doses, they can lead to more or less serious health problems. In the most serious cases, treating kidney failure can go as far as dialysis or even kidney transplantation.

One of the major problems with kidney failure is that it is, at least initially, what is called a silent disease. That is to say, it does not cause visible signals. In the absence of regular blood tests, it can therefore evolve slyly without the person concerned having the chance to act on its origin.

Factors influencing chronic renal failure

balanced diet to limit renal failure min

A healthy lifestyle can reduce kidney problems

  • Arterial hypertension,
  • Diabetes,
  • Immune Diseases,
  • Hereditary Kidney Diseases,
  • excess cholesterol,
  • Smoking,
  • Overweight,
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections,
  • Kidney stones,
  • Exposure to certain toxic products such as lead or mercury,
  • Some drugs.

Symptoms of Kidney Failure

As we have mentioned, kidney failure can remain silent for a long time. However, after a while, symptoms begin to appear. They can be diverse and hardly facilitate the diagnosis as they are weakly characteristic :

  • Abnormal fatigue after an effort,
  • Urge to urinate frequently,
  • Cloudy, dark or scanty urine
  • Anemia,
  • Edema related to water or salt retention
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • Sleeping troubles,
  • Headache,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Preventing kidney failure therefore first and foremost requires healthy lifestyle, involving in particular:

  • Eat healthy,
  • To exercise,
  • Avoid overweight
  • Drink enough water,
  • Regularly check blood pressure, diabetes and creatinine and urea levels (both of which are very easily measured during a routine blood test).

However, these preventive measures do not in any way guarantee that you will not develop kidney failure. CBD exhibiting many virtuous effects, including analgesics and anti-inflammatories, it seems reasonable to ask whether it can help those with kidney problems. It is also justified to wonder if its action cannot, on the contrary, make the kidneys work too much.

Effects of CBD cannabis on the kidneys: what you need to know

cbd oil and kidney failure min

We still know little about the actions of cannabinoids on the kidneys

A 2017 study [link in English] was interested in the action, both positive and negative, that cannabinoids could have on the kidneys. The first interesting element to mention is that the two types of sensors in the human body activated by cannabinoids (CB1 and CB2) are distributed in different places in the body, and in particular in the kidneys. It therefore seems reasonable to think that taking CBD or other cannabinoids does indeed have effects on the kidneys. However, these have not been fully identified.

Do cannabinoids pose a risk to the kidneys?

Consuming cannabis in general and CBD in particular does not seem not affect the kidneys of healthy individuals.

Regarding thechronic renal failure, the risks appear to be limited since, for the individuals studied who used drugs of any kind, it appears that marijuana use did not result in a statistically significant decline in kidney function.

On the other hand, cases ofacute renal failure have been documented following the consumption of synthetic cannabinoids. We therefore repeat it, it is essential at all costs to avoid the synthetic cannabis, created in a laboratory and whose risks can be extremely dangerous.

Can CBD relieve kidney failure?

Still according to the same study, it seems possible that taking CBD may have beneficial effects on some forms of kidney disease, without however drawing any conclusions on the useful dosages, or even the pathologies concerned. According to an article published in the magazine Kidney Medicine (“Reins magazine”), a little more than 10% of Canadian nephrologists (cannabis has been completely legalized in Canada in 2018) prescribe cannabis to their patients to help them manage chronic kidney disease. However, these requirements are primarily intended to reduce chronic pain that accompanies kidney failure, not to treat it.

At the current stage of research, it therefore seems reasonable to conclude that CBD can, in certain cases, contribute to reduce symptoms of kidney failure or another disorder affecting the kidneys. However, it is too early to discuss any CBD-based treatment opportunity.

Finally, remember that medical cannabis is not recognized in France. Even legal or in the form of CBD isolate, so there is no question of talking about treatment. If you are considering taking CBD and suffer from kidney failure, it is essential to speak to a nephrologist or, at the very least, a general practitioner beforehand.


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