Can CBD Help Slow Kidney Damage Caused by Chemotherapy?

byhellomd3 minutes

Any patients undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer also face another danger: kidney damage.

Although chemotherapy is a widely used and effective form of treatment for many types of cancer, it carries the distinct risk of kidney damage, or nephrotoxicity. Most chemotherapy is executed with the help of a platinum drug known as Cisplatin. Although Cisplatin is a powerful drug that is effective at treating cancers, it often causes severe kidney damage, as well as heightened levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood.

Although some kidney damage may be temporary, chemotherapy-induced kidney damage is often permanent and, in extreme cases, may lead to kidney failure and death. Fortunately, scientists have uncovered a new treatment for chemotherapy-induced kidney damage: cannabidiol.

What Is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol is one of the cannabis plant's 85 active cannabinoids, accounting for at least 40% of the marijuana plant's extract. Considered a non-psychoactive compound, CBD is often used to treat Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy, and other similar disorders. Additionally, the compound has been used to effectively treat inflammation, pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.

How Is Cannabidiol Used?

In addition to its uses as a treatment for other debilitating diseases, scientists are beginning to formulate ways to use CBD to treat the often devastating kidney damage caused by chemotherapeutic drugs. A recent study suggests that, when used in concert with chemotherapy drugs, CBD can actually have an antioxidant-like effect, causing the human body to produce beneficial enzymes and help counteract the negative effects of the chemotherapy drugs. When animal test subjects were treated with cannabidiol in a study, the extract was able to help prevent kidney damage usually caused by Cisplatin and similar drugs, and may actually have even improved kidney function in the treated animals.

What Is the Future of Cannabidiol Treatment?

Although the future of CBD treatment is uncertain, as the compound is still undergoing laboratory testing, it does seem promising. Doctors currently believe that using CBD prior to beginning medical or chemotherapeutic intervention for cancer may actually decrease kidney damage caused by the chemotherapeutic drugs. Additionally, because CBD is not a toxic drug itself and does not possess any physic-activity associated with THC. Patients have a very low chance of reacting poorly to it, which may mean easier chemotherapy treatments and better outcomes for patients.

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