CBD and kidney stones — is it possible to cure nephrolithiasis with CBD products? How does medical marijuana affect human health with kidney stones? There is little evidence that suggests cannabis negatively impacts kidney health or cause kidney stones. However, it could provide benefits for kidneys.
Does CBD Treat Kidney Stones? Myth or Reality?
Written by Alex Patsfield on 05/31/2021.
Data Last Updated: 09/15/2022.
Kidney stones affect men and women of any age. It occurs due to the formation of large particles in the organ, which can consist of sand, salt, and calcium deposits. Ignoring this problem may lead to getting such issues as infections of the urinary system, chronic inflammatory, kidney disease , and some other things. In this article, we’ll look at all aspects of the disease and find out if CBD can treat kidney stones or these are just rumors.
The main information about kidney stones
The main causes of the disease are considered to be violations of the water-salt balance and the biochemical composition of the blood. Moreover, some kidney stones can exist in the body for a long time without increasing, while others can grow and reach more than 3 inches in diameter in just a few months. This can cause serious complications. According to their chemical composition, there are several types of stones found in the kidneys. Let’s take a look at the most common ones:
- Oxalate stones. They consist of calcium oxalic acid salts. They have a dense structure, black-gray color, and a prickly uneven surface.
- Cystine stones. The composition contains sulfur compounds of the amino acid cystine. These stones have smooth surfaces, rounded shapes and yellowish-white colors.
- Phosphate stones. Concrements, consisting of calcium salts of phosphoric acid. They are soft, crumbly, with a smooth or slightly rough surface.
- Uric stones. Presented by crystals of uric acid salts. Their structure is dense, the color is from light yellow to red, the surface is smooth or small-dotted.
The following signs report the presence of kidney stones:
- Urinary hesitancy
- Nausea or vomiting
- Cloudy urine
- Kidney pain
- Increased temperature and blood pressure
How are kidney stones usually treated?
The classic treatment of nephrolithiasis in all cases is aimed at removing kidney stones, eliminating infection, and preventing re-formation. With small kidney stones (up to 3 mm), a diet is prescribed and it is recommended to drink plenty of water. Additionally, a urologist can recommend using some drugs. Specialists resort to a standard surgical operation when relapses occur, and there is no other way out, especially if the disease is complicated.
To cure nephrolithiasis and get rid of pain, you can contact a neurologist, urologist, or therapist. We don’t recommend waiting for the situation to worsen. If you have advanced disease, the best option would be to visit a specialist.
CBD as treatment of kidney stones
At the moment, there are no reliable studies on the benefits of CBD in the treatment of kidney stones. However, other studies prove the benefits of CBD in general. For example, this research confirms the benefits of CBD in the fight against pain. Since kidney stones are quite painful and unpleasant, an organic and safe CBD oil or tincture would be a great supplement to the main treatment.
But why exactly can CBD relieve pain? What makes it so special? Well, due to its composition, cannabidiol can lower pain thresholds and delay the release of anti-inflammatory molecules. CBD can reduce inflammation by decreasing the immune system’s production of cytokines and inhibiting some of the receptors responsible for pain perception.
Some people also assume that marijuana is a diuretic and that’s why it can help with some kidney diseases. But in reality diuretic effects of cannabinoids are not proven. This study made in 2021 has found out that marijuana doesn’t contain such properties and may not be called a diuretic.
Therefore, CBD oil should only be used to relieve the symptoms that occur with kidney stones. CBD has analgesic, antispasmodic, and muscle-relaxing properties. Moreover, CBD oil can suppress side effects such as headache and nausea, which often occur with kidney stones. Thus, when using CBD, patients feel much better when they are struggling with the disease. It can be used at the same time as other medicines.
Does CBD cause kidney stones?
There are some assumptions on the Internet that cannabis may cause damage to the kidneys that will lead to further diseases. But no reliable studies are proving such statements. On the contrary, some researchers state the opposite. For example, Dr. Murray Mittleman, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard University’s School of Public Health says:
“Our research provides some reassuring evidence suggesting that there is no detrimental effect of infrequent, relatively light use of marijuana on kidney function among healthy adults under age 60,”
Ways of using medical weed
There are a lot of ways to use medical marijuana . You can choose from such options as CBD oils, tinctures, creams, sprays and balms, edible CBD products, and smokable weed. All of them have their pros and cons but deserve your attention. Also, we would like to remind you to choose the product carefully — try reading customer reviews and trusted sites’ articles before purchasing.
Does smoking weed affect kidneys?
As we already said, there are not enough studies to say exactly about weed’s effects on kidneys. That’s why we do not recommend excessive weed smoking if you have such health issues. Yes, there are theories that cannabis has therapeutic potential for symptom management in cases with kidney stones but until there are no facts you should carefully approach this way of cannabis intake.
Does CBD oil help with kidney stones?
CBD oil is an amazing medicinal substance extracted from hemp crops that have no psychoactive effects and has many beneficial properties. CBD oil has shown good analgesic effects and has tremendous potential for treating anxiety disorders, as highlighted in a 2015 report published in the scientific journal Neurotherapeutics.
But does CBD oil help with kidney stones after all? The short answer — no one knows yet. There are not enough studies. Maybe hemp oil helps to treat even kidney failure (renal disease) or polycystic kidney disease, who knows for sure? At the same time, we know exactly that CBD oil can help you with pain relief as well as mitigating inflammation. As you may know, a person can experience severe pain when a kidney stone comes out of his body. Having such an experience regularly is not the best thing at all. But with this problem CBD oil can cope — it is a super tool for pain relief.
How to use CBD oil?
CBD oil is most commonly used internally. Since it is a relatively new supplement, the exact dosage has not been precisely established. Although longer studies are needed, there is no such thing as “overdose of CBD”. So it is safe to intake even large doses.
But if you’re a beginner, you might find 12 mg of CBD a day, which is a good starting dose to help you get used to the product. You can increase this dosage slowly until you find the best amount that fits you perfectly. As with most herbal supplements, a small dose 3-4 times a day is usually more therapeutic than a single large dose.
While CBD oil itself is very safe, it can interact with medications. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about side effects on kidneys or are unsure about using hemp oil.
Get a consultation from Dr.Weedy
If you want to receive professional help and recommendations, then you can leave a request and contact the specialists of Dr. Weedy. We’ll help you decide on a good CBD product, and we can also provide a medical marijuana recommendation letter that will allow you to buy cannabis in the state you live in.
Can Weed Cause Kidney Stones?
There is currently little evidence to suggest that weed can cause kidney stones, or negatively affect kidney health in general, in healthy people. Cannabis could actually relieve the pain and nausea often experienced with kidney stones and assist with facilitating the exertion of the kidney stones through the urine. Medical cannabis could also help treat inflammation associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
How Kidney Stones Form
Kidney stones are hard, pebble-like deposits made of various minerals and salts. They form in the kidneys when you have high levels of certain materials in your urine. Kidney stones often bring severe pain, nausea and vomiting.
Anybody can develop kidney stones. However, some factors increase the risk. Some underlying conditions associated with kidney stones include having a blocked urinary tract, chronic bowel inflammation, cystic kidney diseases, gout and obesity (due to diet). Certain medications like diuretics and calcium antacids also increase the risk. Lastly, genetics can also play a role.
- Calcium stones are the most common type, developing when calcium becomes trapped in the kidneys instead of being excreted through the urine.
- Uric acid stones typically occur after long-term consumption of food containing too much uric acid.
- Struvite stones usually occur after a urinary tract infection.
- Cystine stones develop when an amino acid called cysteine enters the urine, which often occurs due to a genetic disorder called cystinuria.
Traditional Treatments for Kidney Stones
Very small kidney stones may pass through the urinary tract without any treatment painlessly. But this is not the case for many kidney stones.
Most traditional treatments for kidney stones rely on some form of surgery. Shock wave lithotripsy breaks kidney stones into tiny pieces to pass through the urinary tract. A cystoscopy involves an examination of the stone through the urethra or bladder before surgical removal. Similarly, a ureteroscopy involves an examination through the uterus and kidneys before the kidney stone is removed surgically. Finally, percutaneous nephrolithotomy removes large kidney stones by inserting a tube in your back.
How Marijuana Interacts with the Kidneys
Like many organs in the body, cannabinoid receptors are present in the kidneys. Therefore, cannabis can impact kidney health and influence several kidney functional processes, such as renal blood flow, the rate of blood flow in the kidney (glomerular filtration rate), thickening of the tissue (fibrosis), the presence of protein in the urine, and functioning of the renal tubules.
Stimulation of the endocannabinoid receptors can have a negative or positive effect on the kidneys.
It is thought that cannabis has medicinal benefits for treating the symptoms of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease by manipulating the endocannabinoid system.
It is promising that the activation of one of the endocannabinoid receptor types leads to anti-inflammatory effects in the kidney. A study in mice showed this as a therapeutic target for reducing renal inflammation.
On the other hand, the distribution, type and timing of activation of the receptors are essential considerations , and if those factors are dysfunctional, the endocannabinoid system is more likely to have negative effects on kidney health.
Fortunately, cannabis does not seem to affect the functioning of the kidneys in healthy people. In particular, there has been no evidence of CBD having adverse effects on the kidneys. Despite this, it is recommended that people with chronic kidney disease should still be monitored if using it, and the cannabis should not be smoked. CBD also has immunosuppressive properties, meaning that it can interact with medications given to kidney transplant patients.
Some studies in young adults have found an association between greater marijuana exposure and worse glomerular filtration rate after 10 years. This association may be stronger amongst those who already have kidney disease. Some researchers believe that this could lower kidney function or result in toxicity over time. However, the research in this area remains limited.
Download Free Guide to the ECS
The Connection Between Cannabis and Kidney Stones
There are limited human-based studies that directly connect cannabis to causing and/or treating kidney stones. Currently, no studies or research suggest that cannabis can cause kidney stones.
Historically, cannabis has been used to facilitate the excretion of small kidney stones. Additionally, even if cannabis doesn’t directly help treat kidney stones, it will likely provide indirect benefits. This is owing to the well-known analgesic (painkilling) and muscle relaxant properties of cannabis, which exert their action through the endocannabinoid system.
Since people with kidney stones experience pain, muscle spasms, and nausea, cannabis could help manage these effects. Additionally, renal colic (a type of pain that occurs if the kidney stones block the urinary tract) can also be alleviated with painkillers and anti-inflammatories, again suggesting the potential of medical cannabis to treat these symptoms.
The Bottom Line
For most healthy young people, weed has not been shown to cause kidney stones. However, further research and human-based clinical trials need to be conducted before coming to a conclusion.
Rather than causing kidney stones, some research has shown that weed may help treat them. This is due to cannabis’s well-known effects of painkilling, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is weed good for kidney stones?
There has not been much research conducted to discover whether weed can be used to treat kidney stones directly. However, there is robust evidence that weed can be used to manage pain for various reasons and conditions and that weed has the potential to support the healthy functioning of the kidneys.
It’s believed that weed helps manage the pain of having a kidney stone, which could help manage the pain usually experienced with kidney stones. In particular, weed could help manage or reduce the extreme pain felt when a kidney stone passes through the urinary tract.
What is the effect of marijuana on the kidneys?
Marijuana affects the kidneys because the cannabinoid receptors that partly make up the endocannabinoid system exist throughout the kidneys.
For most healthy individuals, marijuana use does not harm the kidneys. In fact, the stimulation of the receptors by cannabinoids in cannabis could have several medicinal benefits. This includes, but is not limited to, reducing pain and muscle spasms, renal colic, and inflammation.