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CBD Oil Side Effects on Kidneys: Everything To Know

CBD Oil Side Effects on Kidneys: Everything To Know

Everything you ingest is processed by your body, and CBD oil is no exception. If you like to make informed choices about the wellness supplements you use and the health decisions that you make, understanding the potential side effects is one of the most essential parts of that decision process. 

If you have concerns about your kidney health, that decision process is even more important. You should never use anything that might jeopardize your health or impact the treatment plan your medical care providers have established for you.

Every supplement, CBD oil included, has potential side effects that users should be aware of. Here’s what you need to know about CBD oil side effects on kidneys to make the right decision for your health and wellness. 

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a combination of a cannabinoid called cannabidiol and carrier oil. The carrier oil will vary from brand to brand. Many brands use medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT) oil derived from coconuts to dilute the CBD oil to an appropriate strength. The oil part of the mixture is less important than the CBD part of the mixture. 

CBD is almost always derived from cannabis plants, specifically hemp varieties cultivated for their lower THC content. There are a few exceptions. Our CBD is made from the aromatic terpene compounds of orange peels and therefore does not contain any THC. 

CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system to provide holistic support to your mind and most of your body. CBD doesn’t alter the way your body is intended to work, and it doesn’t make you high. It encourages your body to perform its best with its own natural resources. 

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

Humans and all animals have endocannabinoid systems, although the complexity and extensivity of the system will vary from living thing to living thing.

The human endocannabinoid system is extensive in scale. There are cannabinoid receptors in almost every part of your body. 

When CBD comes into contact with these receptors, it provokes a response. It stimulates your endocannabinoid system to perform the functions it was intended to perform. Depending on where the receptors are located, these functions can be any number of things. 

There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, central nervous system, immune system, reproductive system, digestive system, and most of your internal organs. Your endocannabinoid system supports each system and organ’s efforts to find homeostasis, or natural balance. 

Your body makes at least two of its own cannabinoids to stimulate your endocannabinoid system, but they’re rather elusive. Medical researchers have been able to detect them, but they still aren’t sure exactly how much of each cannabinoid the body makes and uses or how often the process takes place. 

How Does the Endocannabinoid System Affect the Kidneys?

Your kidneys contain cannabinoid receptors, which means they’re able to receive influence from the endocannabinoid system. Research on the endocannabinoid system isn’t as extensive, comprehensive, or conclusive as medical scientists would like for it to be. 

The role of the cannabinoid receptors in the kidneys is still unclear, and it’s unknown how using cannabinoids like CBD may directly impact the kidneys.

At the moment, CBD is generally recognized as safe for most people. CBD isn’t directly known to cause any harm to healthy adult kidneys.

Can CBD Use Cause Side Effects?

CBD use can cause side effects in large doses. These side effects are usually correlated with the carrier oil used to produce the CBD oil rather than the CBD itself. 

  • Fatigue (with large doses of CBD)
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in the way the body metabolizes certain medications (with any CBD)

These side effects will stop when you stop using CBD. They may be managed by reducing the amount of CBD you use or switching to a different form of CBD that doesn’t use a carrier oil. Diarrhea and nausea can often be attributed to consuming oil on an empty stomach, so taking CBD oil with a meal may prevent this side effect. 

The most severe area of concern with CBD use is its ability to change the way the body uses or metabolizes certain medications.

Does CBD Negatively Affect People With Kidney Disease?

CBD’s effects on the kidneys haven’t been extensively studied. There have not been any documented cases of kidney damage or kidney disease directly correlated with CBD use. 

There may be special concerns for people living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who want to use CBD or any other supplement. 

The biggest area of concern would be CBD’s ability to modify the way the body receives any medications used to manage kidney disease. 

When you use multiple medications or supplements at the same time, they compete for resources as they’re being metabolized by your liver. This can lead to incomplete metabolism of one substance or the other. If your CBD is metabolized more efficiently than your medication, you won’t ultimately receive an adequate therapeutic dose of the medication you need. 

This is a common phenomenon that occurs with many supplements. St John's Wort, echinacea, goldenseal, and saw palmetto can cause similar interactions with medications. If you’re taking any medications to manage kidney disease or other chronic health conditions, you should always speak with your doctor before incorporating supplements into your diet. 

Can CBD Help with Kidney Disease?

At this time, there is no evidence that suggests that CBD has a direct impact on the health of your kidneys. CBD has never been researched for its effects on people with chronic kidney disease. As frustrating as that may be to people with kidney disease who are seeking treatment options, this lack of testing protects patients. 

If someone is living with chronic kidney disease, they would need to stop their current course of doctor-managed treatment in favor of using an experimental CBD instead. 

During this time, they wouldn’t be receiving adequate treatment or care. Tests like these leave patients vulnerable, which is unnecessary when proven treatments work to help manage kidney conditions.

Because of this, it’s unlikely that CBD will ever be studied in patients with kidney disease. 

Can People With Kidney Health Issues Use CBD?

CBD works to support the body in several important ways, including supporting relaxation or a better mood and supporting better sleep. It’s easy to understand why people who live with the discomfort of kidney disease would want to enjoy these benefits, but it’s not a good idea to make the decision to use CBD without speaking to a professional. 

Only your doctor can determine whether or not CBD is safe for you. 

If you live with a condition that affects your health in any way and you’re under the care of a medical professional, you should never take any supplement or make any changes to your care plan without first receiving the approval of your care provider. This is especially important if part of your care plan involves medications.

Taking CBD without talking to your doctor can cause issues with your overall care plan. If you begin to experience symptoms or side effects and your doctor doesn’t know you’re using CBD, your doctor won’t be able to determine the origin of these changes. 

How To Talk to Your Doctor About CBD

Many physicians are still divided on CBD use. Some see promise and understand the rising demand for natural alternatives, supplements, or complementary therapies that can improve the symptoms and outcomes of their patients. Other doctors aren’t comfortable with the current lack of research regarding CBD products. 

If you’re interested in using CBD as a part of your wellness plan, speak to a doctor who is comfortable with cannabinoids and educated about proper ways to use them. You’ll get the best insight from a physician who has taken the time to fully understand the implications of current research and the way cannabinoids work in the body.

You should always take your doctor’s advice regarding your health. Your doctor will conduct a risk and benefit analysis for CBD use. If the potential benefits outweigh the risks, your doctor may give you permission to use CBD products as a part of your wellness routine. 

Using CBD without THC

If your doctor agrees that you may benefit from CBD use, try Peels

Peels is CBD without the THC. Our bioidentical CBD is derived from orange peels instead of cannabis. If you need to avoid THC or choose to avoid THC, Peels will fit your needs.


Cannabinoid Receptors: Where They are and What They do - Mackie - 2008 | Journal of Neuroendocrinology | Wiley Online Library

Common Herbal Dietary Supplement—Drug Interactions | American Family Physician