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How Does CBD Oil Affect the Kidneys?

5 min read
CBD for kidneys

How Does CBD Oil Affect the Kidneys?

5 min read

Medically reviewed by

CBD oil is growing in popularity throughout the world. 

While cannabis and cannabinoids have been used for health and recreation for thousands of years, it is only in recent years that research into the potential benefits has gathered steam.

But it’s important to acknowledge less positive research and question, “is CBD harmful to the kidneys?”

Before adding any new supplement to your daily routine, you need to consider how it might interact with other medications or impact your wider health.

While CBD is thought to be generally safe for healthy adults, it’s important to be cautious and aware of the potential side effects.

Those with kidney problems might be more cautious about adding supplements to their routine.

This article will outline some of the concerns those with kidney health problems might have, including:

  • Does CBD oil affect the kidneys?
  • Is CBD oil harmful to the kidneys?
  • CBD oil side effects on kidneys

In this guide:

Does CBD oil affect kidneys?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine. They are responsible for filtering and processing the blood and converting waste into urine

The kidneys also play a role in regulating blood pressure and water levels.

They do an excellent job of filtering blood and producing urine on their own, but there are steps you can take to keep them healthy.

Your food and drink choices will have a huge impact on kidney function. The kidneys need water to be able to function correctly, but excessive alcohol can impair their function. 

And when it comes to food choices, fatty or salty foods will force your kidneys to work harder.

So, that’s the role of the kidneys, but how does CBD affect your kidneys?

CBD taken orally will enter the bloodstream where it is used by the endocannabinoid system. The liver and kidneys will filter out any CBD that doesn’t make it into the bloodstream.

So we can say with confidence that CBD will reach the kidneys eventually. More research is needed to understand how this might affect those with kidney problems. 

At the moment, there is very little research on the safety of CBD, but this isn’t the only source of concern for CBD users. 

Since many CBD brands do not carry out purity testing on their products, there is the risk of pesticides, heavy metals and other contaminants remaining in the CBD oil. 

Anyone with chronic kidney disease would be right to be concerned about this risk.

Is CBD oil bad for kidneys
CBD that is not absorbed will be excreted through the kidneys.

Is CBD oil excreted through the kidneys?

The liver plays a bigger role in excreting CBD, but small amounts may be filtered through the renal system, which includes the kidneys.

The type of  CBD product you choose will also have a big impact on how it is filtered out of the body. Some companies are using a process called nanoemulsion to break down the cannabinoid into smaller molecules.

When this happens, the molecules are able to be absorbed into the body more easily. However, the smaller size makes it possible for them to enter cells where they could cause damage.

More research is needed to understand the benefits and risks of nanoemulsion.

Is CBD harmful to the kidneys?

It’s the big question – is CBD bad for kidneys?

It is not thought that CBD is harmful to the kidneys, but more research is needed before anyone can say for sure. 

According to one study, we simply don’t know enough about the renal system and the endocannabinoid system to know if CBD could be harmful or beneficial for patients with kidney problems or those at risk of developing them.

Experts are keen to point out that most things are dangerous in high quantities. As with any drug, higher doses carry higher risks.

While CBD might be generally well-tolerated and be helpful for supporting a healthy lifestyle, not all CBD oil is created equal.

Differences in quality could mean that CBD oil products contain harmful components that should ideally be filtered out during manufacturing.

To protect yourself from dangerous CBD supplements, it’s essential to look for reputable sellers that are happy to share the source of their CBD.

A certificate of analysis will also help confirm if the product has been tested for purity.

Looking at kidney to determine if Is CBD oil harmful to the kidneys
More research is needed to determine if CBD is harmful to the kidneys.

CBD oil side effects on the kidneys

So, are there any side effects of CBD oil on the kidneys?

At present, there isn’t enough information about CBD and kidney health to know if it is either safe or beneficial.

However, we do know that none of the common side effects of CBD are linked to kidney function, so this is reassuring. 

The common side effects of taking CBD oil include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

Some might be concerned that
dry mouth is caused by dehydration, which would have an impact on the kidneys. However, dry mouth is thought to be caused by CBD inhibiting the salivary glands, so this is less of a concern.

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CBD oil and kidney disease

Kidney problems can be caused by a range of conditions. Chronic kidney disease is a complex disease to live with, but it can be managed. 

There is no cure for chronic kidney disease, but lifestyle changes can help to improve symptoms and prevent the condition from getting worse. 

Medication to control blood pressure and cholesterol may be recommended. If the kidneys fail to perform their function, dialysis or kidney transplant may be required. 

Patients with chronic kidney disease will attend regular checkups to monitor their kidney function.

The biggest concern for patients with kidney disease would be the risk that CBD could interact with other medications.

Before adding CBD oil to your daily routine, always speak to a pharmacist or your GP to find out if there is a potential interaction between your kidney medication and CBD.

CBD and kidney stones

Kidney stones result in a painful condition where hard deposits of minerals and salts build up in your kidneys. 

This normally happens because the minerals and salts are not properly filtered out. 

You can either wait for the kidney stone to pass naturally, or you can have it surgically removed.

Since pain radiating through the back and ribs is one of the most common symptoms of kidney stones, there is hope that CBD could offer some relief.

CBD helps to regulate the endocannabinoid system, which is involved with pain response and inflammation. By supporting the endocannabinoid system with CBD oil, you could help to restore balance.

Final thoughts on CBD oil and kidneys

There’s still a lot we don’t know about CBD and kidney health. To be on the safe side, it would be advisable to speak to a pharmacist or GP before taking CBD supplements if you are concerned about kidney health.

Another excellent way to protect your kidneys is by prioritising premium-quality CBD oil from a reputable source.

This will help to reduce the risk of contamination with things like pesticides or heavy metals that could find their way to your kidneys.