By Lydia Kariuki

According to a new study which was published in the journal Kidney Medicine, cannabis use is in no way linked to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Previously, cannabis consumption has been associated with a tons of harms, one of them being kidney disease. This theory has advised the use of medical cannabis in CKD.

This new study may however change things and allow patients to access medical cannabis treatment, in spite of kidney disease.

Photo by julien Tromeur via Unsplash

Details of the Study

Dellepiane and Paranjpe conducted a retrospective review study based on data from 22,354 participants; those who’ve never used cannabis, monthly users, weekly users, and daily users. Out of this, the researchers found 89,132 participants who’ve used cannabis frequently.

Unlike other studies that have been biased towards the stigma that comes with cannabis, this study sought to establish causality other than just a link between cannabis use and kidney disease. To this end, the researchers first identified a positive link between cannabis use and kidney disease.

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It’s important to note that previous studies have stopped at this point and concluded that cannabis causes CKD. The researchers in this study use Mendelian Randomization as a method to measure the variation in genes to determine the existence of a causal relationship in observational studies. There was no causal effect linking cannabis use to kidney disease.

Preliminary research has shown that patients with kidney disease may benefit from cannabis use. A study that was conducted by Canadian nephrologists found some usefulness of cannabis in relieving symptoms of CKD.

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A different study that was published in Nephrology and Hypertension in 2020 found that cannabis use does not impair kidney function in healthy individuals. Further studies are needed to provide clearer direction in this area. Meanwhile, it seems misguided to lock out CKD patients from legal medical cannabis programs.

This article originally appeared on and has been reposted with permission.

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