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?”
While CBD may be extracted from the same plant as cannabis, it does not produce the same effect as more famous cannabinoids such as THC. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the molecule in cannabis known to cause a euphoric “high”.
While CBD may come from the same source as THC, it doesn’t produce the same effect. This is why CBD extracts are available to purchase online, while THC is a controlled substance.
A study by the World Health Organization found that CBD has a good safety profile and is generally well-tolerated.
But 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.
What's in this Guide?
What Is The Role Of The 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.
The kidneys are also responsible for creating an active form of vitamin D the body can use.
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 choices of food and drink 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.
Kidney problems can be caused by a range of conditions. Chronic kidney disease is a difficult disease to live with, but it can be managed.
Chronic kidney disease may be caused by:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney infections
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Kidney stones
- Long-term use of certain medications, including NSAIDs
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 check ups to monitor their kidney function.
CBD Oil and Kidney Health
Anyone living with chronic kidney disease would be right to be cautious about the supplements they take.
CBD taken sublingually and orally will enter the bloodstream where it is used by the endocannabinoid system. Anything that is not used will be filtered by the liver and kidneys.
We can say with some confidence that CBD will reach the liver and kidneys.
According to one study, there is growing evidence that endocannabinoid receptors on the kidneys are responsible for renal homeostasis.
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 worried about this risk.
Is CBD Harmful To The Kidneys Or Liver?
It is not thought that CBD is harmful to the kidneys or liver, but more research is needed before anyone can say for certain.
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.
Likewise, we don’t yet know if CBD has a negative impact on the liver. Since most CBD extracts are added to a carrier oil, we know that the liver will play a role in filtering this out.
One study found that extremely high levels of CBD oil can be harmful to the liver.
However, it’s worth noting that these studies have only been carried out on mice.
Also, it would be unusual for an everyday CBD user to take a very high dose. The mice in this study were given the equivalent of 200mg of CBD per kg of body weight.
Experts are keen to point out that most things are dangerous in high quantities, which is why we always stick to 2 paracetamol at a time, with no more than four doses per day.
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 important to look for reputable sellers that are happy to share the source of their CBD.
A certificate of analysis will also help to confirm if the product has been tested for purity.
What Happens If You Take CBD Every Day?
If you take CBD every day, there is no reason to believe that it will “build up” in the body.
CBD is often taken in small doses, and the recommended daily limit as set out by the Food Standard Agency is 70ml.
Doses this small do not pose a risk of addiction or habit-formation.
If you are taking much higher doses of CBD oil, and regularly exceeding the recommended daily limit, this may present a problem.
There isn’t enough research available to know if this is safe.
When taken in small doses, and in a CBD strength suitable for your weight and experience, CBD can be very effective in helping to support a healthy lifestyle.