The kidneys are responsible for ridding the body of waste, like food, medications and toxins, through the process of urination. They also help regulate and filter minerals from the blood before it returns to the heart. Kidneys help maintain fluid balance and produce hormones that make red blood cells, improve bone health and regulate blood pressure . The kidneys are part of the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, urethra and ureters.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t cause a high. Cannabidiol acts as fuel for a physiological system in the body called the endocannabinoid system. The ECS has a primary role of creating internal balance, or homeostasis. The ECS is responsible for regulating functions like balancing mood, immune support, fighting infection, reducing pain and alleviating inflammation. When it comes to kidney health, there is a variety of conditions, diseases and disorders that CBD can help with. Below, we’ll discuss how cannabidiol can help support some more common kidney issues.
Kidney stones are solid masses, which are crystallized minerals and other substances from the blood, form in the kidneys. While they are generally passed through the process of urination and contractions, the process is painful. The stones travel through the remainder of the urinary tract before coming out. CBD can help with pain relief, as it is an analgesic and uses the same pain pathways in the body as opiates. As a powerful anti-inflammatory, cannabidiol will reduce any swelling in the tract caused from the passing of the stone.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs )left untreated can spread to the kidney and cause kidney failure. Women are at a higher risk of developing an infection, but it is quite common. Many people often don’t recognize they have a UTI or mistake it for something else. CBD is a natural anti-microbial, capable of fighting bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Cannabidiol also helps support the functioning of the immune system.
Glomerulonephritis is a condition in which the glomeruli are inflamed. Glormeruli are tiny structures that filter blood in the kidneys. As mentioned earlier, the inflammation can be treated with CBD as it reduces swelling in the body by regulating immune function. In the cases where glomerulonephritis is caused by infection, the anti-microbial nature of CBD can fight that source of the inflammation as well.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a chronic condition commonly caused by high blood pressure and diabetes. High blood pressure damages the glomeruli, decreasing their ability to function and filter blood (2). CBD is highly effective in lowering blood pressure, which protects blood vessels. Cannabidiol is considered to be a vasodilator which opens up blood vessels and allows blood to flow more easily. CDB balances out anxiety and the effects of stress, promoting a sense of calmness in the user. Diabetics with uncontrolled high blood sugar also run the risk of damaging their kidney function. CBD is showing stabilization of blood sugar, reducing the inflammation of nerves and the pain of neuropathy and lowering blood pressure