There is plenty of speculation about CBD oil, both in regard to its beneficial effects and potential side effects. CBD oil side effects on the kidneys, like any other case involving CBD, can be murky due to lack of research in the area, and the fact that when research is done, it usually includes CBD amounts of 10x or even 100x as much as in a normal dose the average person would take!
What does this mean for you and CBD oil side effects on kidneys? Obviously, if you have compromised kidneys or a form of kidney disease, it’s advised that you speak to your medical team before adding any type of supplemental treatment (like CBD) to your regimen.
However, if you are healthy, there is no sign that average CBD use can compromise your kidneys. If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease ESRD), CBD may be beneficial as an alternative or supplement to opioid pain relief but be sure to consult your doctor.
Here’s what you need to know about CBD oil, side effects on kidneys, and how to take CBD responsibly.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are found naturally in both plants (phytocannabinoids) and humans (endocannabinoids). In the human body, cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, helping regulate mood, sleep, and even the sensation of pain.
CBD and other phytocannabinoids are found in the Cannabis sativa plant, which had a bad rap in the United States for decades. This is because Cannabis sativa also contains the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. As a psychoactive, THC can cause feelings of euphoria and/or paranoia, or the “high” people often report from smoking marijuana.
However, many strains of Cannabis sativa have been selectively bred to reduce the amount of THC and increase the amount of CBD they contain. CBD and many other cannabinoids are not psychoactive. And they can deliver beneficial effects by interacting with the ECS and boosting the longevity and efficacy of endocannabinoids in the human body.
These high-CBD, low-THC strains have now been classed by the U.S. government as “industrial hemp.” As long as the THC content of the plant is below 0.3%, CBD from the plant is legal to be used in the manufacture of CBD oils and other CBD products.
CBD has been found to provide a wealth of wellness benefits for many people. These include but aren’t limited to:
Lowered stress and anxiety levels
Millions of people suffer from stress and anxiety and their related symptoms. For chronically ill patients, illness can also trigger feelings of deep anxiety and contribute to stress as the patient worries about their ability to work and care for children or other tasks. CBD has been shown to gently and safely reduce anxiety and lower stress levels, making it a go-to for many people who suffer from either or both.
CBD oil has been noted to improve appetite and decrease nausea. These attributes make it a favorable choice for people who suffer from eating disorders as well as those whose medical conditions make them feel nauseated or unwilling to eat due to appetite loss. Taking a small dose of CBD 20 to 60 minutes before a meal may make it easier to face food and may even lead to the renewed enjoyment of meal times.
Depression can be related to a specific life event, caused by a chronic illness, or be a severe and debilitating condition that resists many types of treatment. People with life-threatening or life-altering disease often suffer from depression related to their situation. CBD oil has been found to help reduce depression levels, which can be extremely important for those who feel trapped and helpless because of their health.
Better sleep cycles
Inability to sleep can have many causes. The brain may have trouble slowing down after a day of stressors. Anxiety can creep in as soon as the head hits the pillow, making it impossible to nod off. Pain can defeat the hopes of those who wish for the relief provided by sleep, only to be thwarted by an inability to be comfortable enough to doze off. CBD has great success for many people who report that no matter what their problem is with restful repose, CBD oil can help them fall asleep and stay asleep when they need some shuteye.
When someone can’t get comfortable no matter what, CBD oil has often been reported to make life more bearable. By disrupting the constant stream of signals to the brain, CBD can help patients who suffer chronic discomfort due to a medical condition. This can be extremely important to patients who are in end-stage organ failure and want to get relief so they can spend quality time with loved ones without being in a haze from opioid pain relievers.
CBD and Kidney Disease
Research suggests that not only is CBD unlikely to have bad side effects on healthy kidneys, it may even have medicinal benefits for treating symptoms of advanced CKD or ESRD. Typically, the suggestion is that the lowest effective dose be taken, and that patients should abstain from smoking. CBD oil can allow for precise dosing and get into the bloodstream quickly, without the need to smoke.
The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is present in many tissues including the kidneys; it has been shown to influence renal blood flow, glomerular filtration rate, fibrosis, proteinuria, and tubular function, all of which contribute to the normal, healthy function of the renal system.
However, studies regarding how phytocannabinoids affect people with impaired kidney function is scarce. There was one study published which showed that 200 mg of oral CBD did not have a statistically significant difference in effect between kidney impaired patients and those with normal kidney function.
Another study showed that patients who already had very bad and quickly worsening CKD continued to worsen rapidly when patients took CBD, but there was no evidence to show that CBD made the condition worse. A third study tracked CKD patients over a time period of 5.5 years and showed no worsening of the condition associated with taking CBD.
This would seem to indicate that CBD is likely equally safe for both patients with healthy kidneys and those with kidney disease. CBD is commonly thought to be safe to take by kidney patients with the approval of the patient’s doctor.
Like many supplements, CBD can interact with certain medications, so it’s critical that your medical team be in the lopp regarding any and all additional treatments and supplements you are pursuing.
Synthetic cannabinoids and acute kidney injury
There have been instances when people who took large amounts of synthetic cannabinoids suffered acute kidney injury. These synthetic cannabinoids can be found on many marketplaces as a recreational drug, and shouldn’t be confused with natural CBD obtained from legal industrial hemp. For most people who take legal, appropriately sourced CBD oil, side effects on kidneys usually isn’t a major concern.
CBD for kidney transplant patients
An exciting new realm of study is the area of transplantology. CBD can have immunomodulatory effects among kidney transplant recipients. This could be beneficial post-transplant, but more study is needed to find out how the immune system would react, and what place, if any, CBD has for post-transplant patients.
More importantly, it’s critical to understand that people who take CBD prior to a transplant may find themselves with a delay in their candidacy listing, or be deemed ineligible. If you are a candidate for a kidney transplant, it is critical that you discuss any CBD use with your medical team and find out what the transplant center policies are regarding patients who take CBD.
Common Symptoms Associated With CKD and ESRD
In the United States, about 1.5 million people at any given time suffer from CKD. Around 750,000 have ESRD. Half or more of all kidney patients suffer from a range of symptoms that have potential for relief if the patient is approved to take CBD oil.
Kidney failure can be extremely painful. Not only may the kidneys themselves become inflamed, but additional inflammation and pain can spread to the bladder and the gut. Kidney patients may suffer from the formation of kidney stones, bladder stones, degrading quality of the kidney tissue, or even necrosis. Renal colic may cause spasms and cramping.
CBD is often taken for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and has even been shown to be helpful as an antispasmodic and for assistance in the passing of kidney stones. Access to medical cannabis has been associated with decreased opioid prescriptions and dose reductions, which may also be a benefit.
Nausea and/or anorexia
A hallmark of kidney disease is weight loss. This can be contributed to by nausea and lack of appetite, leading to significantly reduced caloric consumption. If there is gut pain, kidney patients may be even more reluctant to eat from fear of spasms or a burning sensation.
CBD can help boost appetite and quell nausea, while tamping down responses in the gut, like spasms or cramping. This may make it easier for a patient with CKD or ESRD to maintain a food intake that prevents drastic weight loss and the accompanying loss of energy and strength.
Anxiety and depression
As noted, chronic illness and pain can trigger mental health issues. It’s very common for kidney patients to suffer from acute anxiety and severe depression that may or may not be directly caused by their condition. At the very least, such ailments are commonly exacerbated by illness.
CBD oil is taken by many patients with a wide range of chronic illness as well as those with solely mental health symptoms. These patients report that talking CBD can significantly reduce their anxiety and depression symptoms, making day-to-day existence much more palatable.
Up to 50% of kidney patients report trouble sleeping, often in tandem with other symptoms like pain, nausea, or anxiety. Getting a good night’s sleep can seem impossible at times, whether the issue is with falling asleep at a decent hour, or remaining asleep for more than a few minutes at a time.
A search for better sleep is one of the most common reasons people take CBD oil, and for good reason. It’s shown to be effective across a range of people with different conditions and complaints, and can be safely combined with other natural sleep aids for high efficacy.
Taking CBD oil
When you decide to take CBD oil, side effects on kidneys and other organs should be something you discuss with your doctor. From there, it remains to you to decide what type of CBD oil to get, how much to take, and when to take it.
A critical step is choosing your vendor. Yummy CBD provides safe, highly controlled CBD products that follow these guidelines:
Every CBD product we manufacture contains full-spectrum CBD from a organic growers of industrial hemp. This ensures that the product you are getting hasn’t been contaminated with anything dangerous, like heavy metals.
Every batch of CBD oils we sell has been independently batch-tested by a third party lab, and the report is accessible through a QR code on the package. We do this so you can personally verify the CBD potency and that the trace THC levels are under the legal limit of 0.3%.
We offer two types of CBD oils.
The Orange Zest CBD Oil tincture has 33 mg of CBD per mL, and delivers the dose with a delightful natural orange flavor so you can hold it under your tongue for 30-60 seconds and get your dose delivered right into your bloodstream by way of the capillary-rich sublingual tissues.
Mellow Mint CBD Oil
The Mellow Mint CBD Oil formula has 67 mg of CBD per mL, plus 1 mg of melatonin (a natural sleep aid) per mL, and a yummy mint taste.