How CBD Helps Treat Kidney Disease

Kidney disease also known as kidney failure describes the gradual loss of the kidney function. The kidney is responsible for filtering wastes as well as excess fluids from the blood, which are then excreted through urine. It should be noted that in the early stage of a kidney disease, an individual may have few symptoms and the disease may not become apparent until the kidney function is significantly impaired.

Kidney disease can either be chronic or acute and the signs and symptoms may develop slowly over time, if kidney damage progresses slowly.

Some of the most common symptoms of kidney disease include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, sleep problems, loss of appetite, decreased mental sharpness, changes in how you urinate, persistent itching, swellings in feet and ankles, muscle twitches and cramps, chest pain, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath.

Chronic kidney disease often occurs when a disease or condition impairs kidney function, thereby causing kidney damage to worsen over several months or years. Some of the diseases and conditions that cause chronic kidney disease include Types I & II diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract from conditions such as enlarged prostate, kidney stones and some cancers, vesicoureteral reflux as well as recurrent kidney infections.

The factors that may increase the risk of developing kidney problem include diabetes, obesity, smoking, heart and blood vessel disease, abnormal kidney structure, high blood pressure, being an African American, having a family history of kidney disease as well as aging. Depending on the underlying cause, some kidney infections can be treated, but chronic kidney disease often has no cure. That being said, the treatment for chronic kidney disease involves measures that help control the signs and symptoms, reduce complications as well as slow down the progression of the disease.

There are many different medications that can be used to treat complications of kidney disease, whereas the end-stage kidney disease can only be treated through dialysis and a kidney transplant.

Over the years, there have been evidences that CBD could be effective in treating some of the symptoms of kidney disease. It should be noted that cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are present in various organs and tissues of the body, the kidney inclusive. Even though research is yet to fully explain the role of the endocannabinoid system in the development of renal conditions, or in the healing process, there are indications that unbalanced endocannabinoid production and overactivation on CB1 and inhibition of CB2 plays a great role in chronic kidney disease.

A 2009 study found that CBD could reduce the toxic burden on kidneys caused by chemotherapy. One of the common adverse side effects of the potent chemotherapy agent cisplatin, is cell death in the kidney. Well, this 2009 study observed that using CBD to treat mice with cannabidiol attenuated the cellular stress, inflammation, and cell death in the kidney caused by cisplatin, thereby greatly improving the renal function. The findings from this study, therefore, suggest that CBD may act against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity of the kidney.

Moreover, CBD is effective in alleviating some of the symptoms of kidney disease, including nausea, anorexia, chronic pain and insomnia. It is worthy to note that the adverse effects of opioids are often strong for kidney disease patients and could instead increase the severity of those symptoms. On the other hand, there are many anecdotal evidences showing that CBD is a milder alternative in treating symptoms such as nausea, chronic pain and sleeping disorders.

As a matter of fact, CBD has fewer side effects on our organs unlike other conventional pain and sleep medications. Nevertheless, it is imperative to first of all discuss with your healthcare provider before indulging in CBD as an alternative treatment of kidney disease.

It is also apparent that there is a need for more human studies on the effectiveness of CBD in treating kidney diseases.

Sources

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