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 damage to the kidneys, 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
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 In Terms of Kidney Damage?
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.