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Learn | 09.26.2022

Does Cannabis Affect Kidney Health?

The long-term effects of cannabis are still up in the air. Should kidney health be a concern?

If you’re a frequent cannabis user, you might wonder what the long-term effects are.

While there simply isn’t enough research and data to verify if cannabis has long-term effects, it’s wise to consider the potential harms for the sake of your future health and wellness.

Of course, when it comes to cannabis use, many of us choose to turn a blind eye to the short-term effects, like memory problems and feeling a little extra tired an hour after a session.

It’s in your best interest to acknowledge that cannabis might be great, but is it affecting your health on a deeper level? Let’s see what research has to say about how cannabis affects kidney health.

Cannabis & Kidney Health

Lucky for us weed users, there are a handful of studies that note how cannabis doesn’t have any major adverse effects on kidney health.

One particular study published in 2017 in The American Journal of Medicine looked at how likely individuals were to develop chronic kidney disease based on serum creatinine concentration and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

What’s interesting is how between the group of cannabis users, non-users, and past cannabis users, there was no specific group who was more likely to develop chronic kidney disease.

Another 2020 review looked at 156 different studies and found that frequent cannabis use did not have any negative effects on the kidney. In fact, researchers have been finding the opposite.

Cannabis Supports Kidney Health?

Regarding the 2020 review mentioned above, it noted that cannabis might provide relief to those struggling with kidney disease and is far less addictive than prescription drugs.

The study added that individuals towards the end stages of their renal disease might benefit from the relieving effects of cannabis, providing similar yet less addictive results than opioids.

Circling back to the 2017 study, the researchers noted how Kidneys have CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are also present in the brain and bind to cannabinoids from cannabis like THC to cause psychoactive effects.

Interestingly, the researchers found that cannabis may regulate CB1 and CB2 receptors in the kidneys, which can prevent future kidney conditions and tame existing ones. The relaxing effects of cannabis clearly aren’t just present in the brain and our overall mood but throughout the body.

So, next time you’re wondering if cannabis negatively affects your health, take another hit. Your kidneys are likely doing just fine.

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Melissa Jaramillo

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Melissa Jaramillo


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