CBD Oil for Kidney Disease: Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage
CBD may provide support for kidney disease through its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic benefits.
But there are some limitations to be aware of.
Here’s how you can get started using CBD oil today.
According to research conducted by the American Kidney Fund, roughly 10% of the American public are believed to suffer from chronic kidney disease.
In this article, we’ll explore how to use CBD as a supplement for chronic kidney disease, how it works, and when you should avoid it.
Let’s get straight into it.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
Updated on November 07, 2020
Table of Contents
- Summary: Using CBD for Kidney Disease
- The Benefits of CBD for Kidney Disease:
- What’s the Dose of CBD Oil?
- Calculating CBD Dosage Strengths By Weight
- CBD Dosage Calculator
- Guide to Using CBD for Kidney Disease
- What The Research Says: CBD For Kidney Disease
- What is Kidney Disease?
- Symptoms of Kidney Disease
- The Risks of Kidney Disease
- How is Kidney Disease Diagnosed?
- Interpreting eGFR With Kidney Disease
- Other Signs of Kidney Failure
- What Are The Causes of Kidney Disease?
- Common Causes of Kidney Disease
- How is Kidney Disease Treated?
- Common Medication Options for Kidney Disease
- Final Verdict: CBD for Kidney Disease
- References Cited In This Article
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Summary: Using CBD for Kidney Disease
Cannabis could be a useful aid in managing certain symptoms of kidney disease — which often includes chronic pain, nausea, emesis, anemia, itching, insomnia, and an overall lack of well-being
There’s evidence that CBD and other related cannabinoids can support the health of the kidneys during both acute and chronic kidney disease in mice — though this has yet to be confirmed with research on humans.
One of the main advantages of using CBD over other pain medications is that it doesn’t cause any additional damage to the kidneys.
Other pain medications — such as acetaminophen or opiate medications — are metabolized by the liver and eliminated through the kidneys. These drugs have been shown to cause damage to the sensitive cells making up the kidneys, which can lead to a worsening of the condition.
CBD is also metabolized by the liver but has been proven not to cause additional damage to the kidneys — making it a non-toxic option for managing kidney-related pain.
The Benefits of CBD for Kidney Disease:
- Potentially reduces pain associated with common side-effects of kidney disease
- May slow the progression of kidney disease
- Studies suggest it may lower inflammation of the kidneys
- Could help protect the kidneys from oxidative damage
What’s the Dose of CBD Oil?
Kidney disease is a severe disease so any potential treatment options should be discussed with a medical doctor. This condition can quickly lead to serious consequences.
With that said, many people with kidney disease are turning to CBD as an adjunctive treatment option along with other medications and diet/lifestyle modifications.
Finding the right dose of CBD can be a challenge, as the compound affects everybody differently.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much research highlighting the effective dose of CBD for kidney disease — most of the research done up to this point has been investigating the safety of using CBD with kidney disease (which is positive) and animal testing to explore how it works.
We can use dosage information from similar conditions, such as liver or cardiovascular disease which involve similar mechanisms of action. Usually, these conditions require higher doses of CBD to produce effects.
Therefore, it’s likely that the dose of CBD should be on the higher end of the spectrum to be useful for kidney disease.
Whenever using CBD (or any supplement for that matter) for the first time, it’s essential that you start with a small dose, and build up gradually over time once you know how it affects you individually.
We recommend starting at the low-strength dose and build up slowly over time to the medium or high-strength doses.
Calculating CBD Dosage Strengths By Weight
|Unit of Measure||Low Strength||Medium Strength||High Strength|
|Imperial (pounds)||1 mg every 10 lbs||3 mg every 10 lbs||6 mg every 10 lbs|
|Metric (kilograms)||1 mg every 4.5 kg||3 mg every 4.5 kg||6 mg every 4.5 kg|
Using this information, you can calculate what a low dose, medium dose, or high dose of CBD may look like.
To simplify this for you, we’ve included a dosing chart based on weight and desired strengths.
CBD may help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease and alleviate pain & inflammation. View the best CBD oils for CKD.
CBD for Kidney Disease – April 2021
Can CBD help with kidney disease, and if so, how?
Kidney failure, also called renal failure or end-stage renal disease, is the last stage of chronic kidney disease.
When the kidneys fail, it means they have stopped working well enough for the person to survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant (1 ) .
However, even these remedies are not without adverse side effects. For instance, researchers found an increased incidence of kidney stones in patients after a kidney transplant.
Calcium based stones, such as calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate, were the most common types of kidney stones found after kidney transplantation (2 ) .
Meanwhile, studies have examined the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for chronic kidney disease (CKD) (3 ) .
Findings suggested that short-term NSAID use has adverse side effects on blood pressure elevation (4 ) .
High blood pressure is the second principal cause of kidney failure in the United States after diabetes (5 ) .
CBD for Kidney Disease: What the Research Says
There are no studies specific to the use of CBD alone and its impact on kidney health. There are, however, limited studies that examined the effects of cannabis on kidneys, and they produced mixed results.
During the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week conference in October 2018, researchers shared their findings from a recent study on medical marijuana use and its side effects on kidneys (6 ) .
Marijuana and hemp belong to the s ame plant species, Cannabis sativa, but are widely different. Marijuana contains much more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than hemp, while hemp contains more cannabidiol (CBD).
The researchers, who studied kidney disease progression in cannabis users, found that chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients’ kidney function d eclined faster in those who used cannabis, compared to those who did not (7 ) . They did not report whether this was marijuana or hemp-derived cannabis which would have lower THC than CBD.
Joshua L. Rein, DO, who led the study, warned that kidney patients using cannabis should be aware of potential symptoms, such as nausea, lack of appetite, and chronic pain , which are all valid issues for medical marijuana usa ge (8 ) .
Meanwhile, researchers of a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management believe that even minor improvements in patients with difficult-to-treat CKD symptoms may be clinically meaningful (9 ) .
In their research, they found that cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, may present a reasonable alternative to pain and symptom management.
Another study , which was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics , showed that CBD might help reduce nephrotoxicity by decreasing oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell death (10 ) .
Nephrotoxicity occurs when the body is exposed to a drug or toxin that causes kidney damage, which makes the body unable to eliminate excess urine and wastes.
Still, due to limited treatment options f or chronic kidney disease (CKD), sy mptom management can be challenging.
Thus, therapeutic alternatives are in high demand, which may explain why, in recent years, medical marijuana has emerged as an attractive therapeutic option (11 ) .
As a result, medical cannabis continues to be used for a variety of indications with minimal guidance on known risks, particularly on the altered physiological state of patients w ith chronic kidney disease (CKD) (12 ) .
How CBD Works: The Endocannabinoid System Explained
According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology in 2017, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a crucial role in renal homeostasis.
While data suggest cannabis and cannabinoids could have essential effects on kidney function, there is not sufficient evidence from clinical research studies to determine the dangers faced by users of these products with respect to the development of acute kidney injury (AKI) or CKD (13 ) .
A 2016 review looked into the emerging role of the endocannabinoid system, particularly the cannabinoids and the cannabinoid receptors, in normal kidney function and other diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, that directly contribute to the development of renal diseases (14 ) .
The authors of the said review found that the activation of the CB1 receptor regulates renal vascular blood flow. Meanwhile, the renal CB2 receptor reduces the effects of inflammation, oxidative stress, and renal fibrosis.
The limited treatment options among individuals with CKD increase the demand for therapeutic alternatives.
Despite the current lack of approved CBD or cannabis therapy, some patients may still want to start experimenting with medical cannabis for symptom management.
However, although CBD has been used in many therapeutic applications, the evidence of its efficacy with chronic kidney disease has not been well-reviewed. Also, there is not enough literature accumulated to advise appropriately on consumption forms and dosage.
Before using CBD to treat CKD symptoms or as supplementary therapy, a consultation with a nephrologist experienced in cannabis use is strictly advised.
- American Kidney Fund. Kidney Failure (ESRD) Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments. Retrieved from https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/ .
- Cheungpasitporn W, Thongprayoon C, Mao MA, et al. Incidence of kidney stones in kidney transplant recipients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. World J Transplant. 2016;6(4):790–797. doi:10.5500/wjt.v6.i4.790.
- Chih-Cheng Hsu et al. Use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease in Subjects With Hypertension. Originally published 13 Jul 2015. https://doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.05105 .
- Clive DM, Stoff JS.Renal syndromes associated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.N Engl J Med. 1984; 310:563–572. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198403013100905.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2019. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2019.
- American Kidney Fund. (2018, Nov. 8). A caution about self-medication for kidney patients. Retrieved from https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-today/a-caution-about-self-medication-for-kidney-patients.html .
- Davison, Sara N. et al. Is There a Legitimate Role for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabinoids for Symptom Management in Chronic Kidney Disease? Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Volume 41, Issue 4, 768 – 778.
- Pan H, Mukhopadhyay P, Rajesh M, et al. Cannabidiol attenuates cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity by decreasing oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammation, and cell death. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009;328(3):708–714. doi:10.1124/jpet.108.147181.
- Ho C, Martinusen D, Lo C. A Review of Cannabis in Chronic Kidney Disease Symptom Management. Can J Kidney Health Dis. 2019;6:2054358119828391. Published 2019 Feb 22. doi:10.1177/2054358119828391.
- Park F, Potukuchi PK, Moradi H, Kovesdy CP. Cannabinoids and the kidney: effects in health and disease. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2017;313(5):F1124–F1132. doi:10.1152/ajprenal.00290.2017.
- Tam J. The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis and treatment of kidney diseases. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2016;27(3):267–276. doi:10.1515/jbcpp-2015-0055.
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Kidney failure, also called renal failure or end-stage renal disease, is the last stage of chronic kidney disease. When the kidneys fail, it means they have stopped working well enough for the person to survive without dialysis or kidney transplant. Can CBD help with kidney disease, and if so, how?