Medical Marijuana for Dialysis and Kidney Disease

Medicinal cannabis and kidney disease/dialysis 

Dialysis is a life-saving treatment for millions of people when their bodies begin to break down rapidly as kidney function deteriorates. When kidney function is at 15% or lower, dialysis is required for survival, according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

Medical cannabis has been shown to help with a variety of underlying ailments thanks to its ability to affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a multifunctional cell-signaling mechanism. Blood pressure, insomnia, and inflammation are examples of conditions that medical cannabis has successfully treated, according to Healthline.

Dialysis / Kidney Disease: Types and Side Effects

Dialysis is the treatment of choice for patients with kidney failure. Hemodialysis, in which a man-made organ called a hemodialyzer removes waste and chemicals from the blood, and peritoneal dialysis, in which catheters are inserted into the abdomen to cleanse the blood from within.

Before dialysis begins, there is a five-stage breakdown of CKD from mild to failure. According to the U.S. Renal Data System, up to 30 million Americans were at risk of having early phases of the disease in 2018. According to the study, “this is due to the high prevalence of risk factors for disease, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other ailments.”

Dialysis / Kidney Disease: What Cannabinoids Might Do 

Blood pressure will be affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD) and dialysis, which has shown that medical cannabis can affect blood pressure. A 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that in preclinical studies, cannabis raised blood pressure dose-dependently. The rise or fall in blood pressure as a result of cannabis usage proves its effects.

Among the symptoms of dialysis-induced CKD are sleeplessness and difficulty sleeping. Insomnia is a typical consequence of dialysis, which is why it’s such a problem for patients. Again, non-psychoactive cannabidiol CBD and psychoactive THC aid in the alleviation of this symptom through medical cannabis. A study published in Sleep Medicine Reviews in 2008 found, “Smoked marijuana and oral Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) decrease REM sleep. Additionally, cannabis appears to facilitate falling asleep and promote Stage 4 sleep when administered acutely.”

Pericarditis, a common indicator of kidney failure and dialysis, is characterized by abnormal inflammation, one of the most frequent ailments treated with medicinal cannabis. In a 2009 edition of Future Medicinal Chemistry, one of the most well-known studies proving that CBD relieves inflammation was published.

“CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the brain, and CB2 receptors, which are mostly found on immune system cells,” according to the research. “ Cannabinoids appear to play an important role in immune system regulation because both CB1 and CB2 receptors were discovered on immune cells. It makes sense that medical marijuana treats the condition and side effects of chronic kidney disease and dialysis, given that inflammation is the body’s reaction to damage and injury.   

*DigiDrs is not offering this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided in these pages. Consult a physician before making decisions on the treatment of any of these medical conditions.

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