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Affecting millions of people, kidney disease is a complex deterioration of healthy kidney function. If left untreated it can lead to complete kidney failure. Researchers studying the effects of CBD, a compound extracted from cannabis, believe it could help protect the kidneys and possibly prevent end-stage renal failure.
The main purpose of the kidneys is to filter extra water and waste from the blood. Scientists investigating CBD believe that it may provide a benefit not only in the treatment of kidney disease but also in protecting the kidneys during chemotherapy or surgery.
Chronic kidney disease develops slowly over time. If untreated it can eventually lead to kidney failure. And because the kidneys are work very efficiently, many won’t realize they have kidney disease until it’s already in an advanced state.
Medical scientists studying the effects of CBD in a variety of chronic diseases have discovered that the compound has a multitude of therapeutic properties. Experts believe that the compound might provide tremendous relief to patients living with kidney disease.
The kidneys balance the salts and minerals that circulate in the blood and make hormones that help control blood pressure. It’s also responsible for making red blood cells and helping to keep bones strong.
Chronic kidney disease progressively worsens through several stages ultimately leading to permanent kidney failure. When kidney function deteriorates to certain point symptoms begin to develop that show signs of kidney disease including,
When the kidneys can no longer filter the blood properly, swelling known as edema begins to occur. Edema is typically seen in the legs, feet, or ankles of those with the disease. There are more than 30 million adults in the U.S. that may be living with chronic kidney disease, according to the CDC.
The three leading causes of kidney failure in the U.S. are:
Other factors that can cause kidney damage and disease include:
Experts suggest that preventative care and early screening for the disease may be the best approach to reducing the rates of incidence.
Reducing risk factors associated with Type II diabetes and Hypertension greatly reduces the chances of developing chronic kidney disease. Researchers studying cannabidiol believe the compound can possibly help,
Research indicates that the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in the renal function and kidney disease. The system can attenuate or modify numerous systems and functions of the body that maintain health and homeostasis such as the activity of the nerves, immune system, muscles, and brain.
"A full endocannabinoid system (ECS) is present in the kidney and it has recently emerged as an important player in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy, drug nephrotoxicity, and progressive chronic kidney disease."
The top two leading causes of kidney disease in the U.S. are Type II Diabetes and Hypertension. CBD in the treatment of these conditions suggests that the compound may help to prevent kidney disease by reducing the risks of developing these conditions.
Chronic inflammation and high blood pressure, or hypertension, characterize the onset of diabetes. Studies show that CBD may prevent the onset of diabetes through a number of different anti-inflammatory and Immuno-modulatory mechanisms that can reduce high blood pressure and inflammation. 
The results of a 2004 study published in the journal Circulation indicate that CBD indirectly activates the endocannabinoid system at receptor CB1.
This function allows for higher concentrations of the endocannabinoid anandamide to build up in the blood, which can normalize blood pressure reducing the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and subsequently kidney disease.
A 2006 study reports that CBD significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes in NOD mice from 86% to 30%. Data from the study indicated that CBD drastically reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines and other biochemicals responsible for inducing hypertension.
In another study using an animal model of ischemia/reperfusion kidney injury, researchers administered CBD to investigate the compound’s potential therapeutic effects in humans.
“The cannabidiol treatment had a protective effect against inflammation and oxidative damage in the kidney ischemia/reperfusion model.”
The platinum compound cisplatin is one of the most potent chemotherapy agents available to treat various malignancies. However, it is extremely toxic to the kidneys. The drug is used to treat many types of cancers, however, its clinical applications are severely limited because it induces dose-dependent nephrotoxicity, among other complications.
Researchers investigating CBD’s therapeutic properties tested the compound as a treatment against the renal complications of chemotherapy and found that
“CBD may be of significant therapeutic benefit against the renal complications of cisplatin chemotherapy by attenuating oxidative/nitrosative stress and cell death. This is particularly encouraging in light of the excellent safety and tolerability profile of CBD in humans and reported anticancer and antiangiogenic effects of the compound and its derivatives.”
Michelle Demello, a 5th stage kidney failure patient, reports that she has been self-treating the disease with CBD for over three years. She says she isn’t on dialysis and her quality of life has improved a great deal since she began CBD therapy.
CBD has been found to have therapeutic benefits for chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases that contribute to the onset of kidney disease and failure.
Because CBD is non-toxic, it’s considered clinically safe and applicable. Even in highly concentrated doses, there are little to no adverse side effects associated with the compound. Also, CBD doesn’t induce the psychotropic effects that are associated with THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis.
If considering experimenting with CBD therapy in the treatment of kidney disease, or any other chronic disease, first consult a professional healthcare provider or physician.
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