Study: Cannabis Doesn’t Cause Chronic Kidney Disease

Written by Lydia Kariuki

A new study that was published in Kidney Medicine has found that cannabis consumption does not cause chronic kidney disease (CKD), leading the researchers to conclude that  CKD should not be a limiting consideration for the use of cannabis.

The researchers noted several biases on cannabis studies that link cannabis to kidney disease, mostly due to the social stigma around cannabis. Hence, they took a different approach in their study where they first observed a positive link between cannabis use and kidney disease and then proceeded to determine causality (using Mendelian randomization).

The researchers analyzed survey data collected from 223,354 participants who were categorized based on whether they had used cannabis in the last three months and the frequency of use; monthly, daily, and weekly. Of the 80,132 participants who used cannabis frequently, the researchers did not find causality of CKD and neither did frequent users have a higher prevalence of CKD compared to non frequent users.

The two authors of the study Dellepiana and Paranjpe have suggested that chronic kidney disease should not be used as a factor to deny patients access to medical cannabis treatment. At the same time, a survey by Canadian nephrologists has shown that cannabis may help to relieve some of the symptoms of chronic kidney disease. It seems that if there’s a link between cannabis use and kidney disease, it is a beneficial one. But larger studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

About the author

Lydia Kariuki