• A kidney stone is composed of millions of microscopic crystal pieces. Typically, these kidney stones form on the kidney’s internal surface, where urine exits the kidney tissue and enters the urinary collecting system(1).
  • CBD may help patients suffering from severe pain due to kidney transplant operations(2). Many individuals with kidney stones experience severe back and side pain(3)
  • Unlike THC in marijuana, which has a psychoactive effect, cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive substance found in hemp plants(4).
  • According to research, cannabis and cannabinoids may reduce the need for opioids in advanced chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure(5).
  • A recent study has indicated that the endocannabinoid system regulates key cell signaling pathways in energy balance(6). Endocannabinoids interact with G protein-coupled receptors located throughout the central nervous and peripheral nervous systems, including the kidney. Thus, cannabinoid therapeutics may be help manage kidney disease, including the formation of kidney stones.

How Can CBD Help With Kidney Stones?

The NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) reports that some of the health advantages associated with CBD and THC include their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties(7).

CBD may assist in alleviating severe pain in patients suffering from medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, advanced cancer, and patients undergoing chemotherapy(8). The CBD’s potential benefit in pain is significant since many kidney stone patients report having severe back side pain around the location of the kidneys(9).

CBD is one of the cannabinoids in hemp plants, including tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) (10). However, unlike THC, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect.

High levels of dissolved salts and minerals in the urine can lead to kidney stones. These stones may be small, but they can grow to a size that can affect the kidney’s inner hollow structures(11). Sometimes, a kidney stone can get stuck in the ureter, a tube connecting the kidney to the bladder. These kidney stones can cause pain and urine loss.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) interacts with cannabinoids(12), produced naturally in the body and consumed in hemp and medical cannabis products. 

These cannabinoids bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors), conferring several beneficial health effects.

Numerous organs, including the kidneys, have two distinct receptors, CB1 and CB2, activated by the pharmacologically active components in the cannabis plants(13)

Recent research employing isolated cells, animal models, and human subjects has shown that the ECS plays a significant role in renal function and illness. Thus, therapeutics that modify the activities of CB1 and CB2 may become relevant in renal disease(14).

Research on CBD for Kidney Stones

Cannabis and cannabinoids may be used to manage advanced chronic kidney disease symptoms and end-stage renal failure, minimizing the demand for opioids(15)

In healthy people, cannabis use does not affect renal function. However, those with chronic kidney disease should constantly check their renal function, utilize the lowest effective dosage, and avoid smoking. Moreover, cannabis use may delay or disqualify transplant candidates(16)

CBD has lately gained in popularity. However, unregulated CBD products are easily accessible to consumers, some with misleading labeling and deceptive health claims. CBD may also elevate tacrolimus levels(17).

Tacrolimus may impair kidney function, most often when tacrolimus blood levels are too high(18)

CBD-related research demonstrates that it has a beneficial effect on chronic kidney stone pain and overall kidney health.

According to the American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology research, cannabinoids such as CBD may help manage kidney health by activating CB1 and CB2 receptors(19).

Another clinical trial examined the effect of cannabis on chronic kidney disease symptom management(20). In studies conducted on patients without kidney impairment, those treated with nonsynthetic cannabinoids were 43% to 300% more likely to report a ≥30% reduction in their chronic pain than those given a placebo.

Currently, the data supporting the use of nonsynthetic cannabinoids for symptom management is restricted to the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain, with significant potential for treating uremic pruritus when applied topically(21).

In another clinical study, researchers investigated the effects of cannabidiol on the function and quality of life of mice with multiple sclerosis. CBD was recently approved for managing spasticity and inflammation in patients with multiple sclerosis disease(22).

There is a bidirectional relationship, metabolic activity, and functional similarity between the central nervous system (CNS) and the kidneys(23)

Thus, the kidney tissue may exert beneficial effects on specific aspects of multiple sclerosis disorder. CNS impairment in these patients compels the kidney to respond to central inflammation.

In one study, the effects of cisplatin on the expression of various enzymes were researched(24). As a result, researchers found that CBD significantly reduced the effects of cisplatin on the kidney. It also improved kidney function. The study suggests that CBD may be a promising new strategy to prevent kidney damage caused by cisplatin(25).

Cisplatin is a platinum-based chemotherapy agent commonly used to treat various types of cancer. Unfortunately, it can cause kidney damage(26).

Is It Safe to Take CBD For Kidney Stones?

There is no recent clinical study on the safety and efficacy of taking CBD for kidney stones. 

However, the safety profile of cannabidiol was confirmed in humans through a review of the available studies(27). The study noted that CBD may possess a favorable safety profile on humans. 

Meanwhile, extensive further research is needed to examine the effects of cannabis and cannabinoid exposure on various renal outcomes, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD)(28). These studies should also investigate the effects of cannabis on other harmful effects on the kidney.

Does CBD Oil Affect Kidneys?

There is currently no indication that CBD products like CBD oil have a severe effect on kidney function. 

However, individuals should be careful of CBD products that may include hazardous pollutants such as heavy metals, insecticides, and solvents(29)

CBD Oil for Kidney Stones

CBD-infused hemp oils, tinctures, creams, foods, and beverages, among other CBD products, have gained popularity since the 2018 Farm Bill. 

This law states that the declassified hemp (Cannabis sativa with less than 0.3 percent THC) from the Controlled Substances Act legalized CBD’s domestic agricultural production as a commodity(30).

CBD products are available at health food stores, retail establishments, dispensaries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and online. 

CBD is generally well tolerated, safe, and beneficial for some neurological and psychiatric problems. However, excessive dosages may elevate liver enzymes and interact with some prescription drugs(31).

Side Effects or Risks

There are potential side effects when using CBD products. CBD may cause dry mouth, diarrhea, decreased appetite, tiredness, and weariness, despite being generally well-tolerated in humans(32). Blood thinners and other drugs may also be affected by CBD’s effects.

Due to the purported health benefits of CBD, which is a component of the cannabis plant, the consumer demand for its products has grown. Most of the retail market for cannabidiol is dominated by the vaporization liquid and plant-derived extracts(33).

However, due to the conflicting federal and state laws regarding the regulation and labeling of cannabis, some CBD products have been mislabeled(34)

​​In a study conducted, out of 84 CBD products analyzed, 42.85% were under labeled, 26.19% were over labeled, and 30.95% were accurately labeled(35). The observed concentration of cannabidiol ranged from 0.10 to 655.27 mg/ml.

The accuracy of CBD labeling depended on the CBD product type, with vape liquid being the most frequently mislabeled product(36). Unlabeled cannabinoids were also detected in 18 of the 84 samples, and THC was detected in 15.4%.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound in strains of the cannabis plant(37).CBD is one of many naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant known as cannabinoids.

The cannabis plant contains distinct cannabinoids. Each cannabinoid can interact with the body uniquely. THC produces the “high” associated with marijuana usage(38).

Benefits of CBD Oil

Hemp is used to produce cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Rather than seeds, CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, and stalks of mature hemp plants.

Producers then harvest the whole hemp plant, obtaining all of the medicinal components found in CBD. CBD oil full spectrum CBD contains essential oils, terpenes (aroma compounds), and cannabinoids, including cannabinol.

Additionally, animal research, as well as self-reports and human studies, show that CBD may help with the following(39):

  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction

Proper CBD Dosing

An appropriate CBD dose is critical for safe and efficient kidney stone pain management, as with any other health supplement.

Pharmaceutical cannabis-based medications approved are Sativex, nabiximols, and Epidiolex(40)

Epidiolex is a CBD-derived oral solution that was authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA for managing seizures associated with two uncommon and severe types of epilepsy(41).

Meanwhile, researchers attempt to give consumers comprehensive facts on cannabis pharmacology, including THC, CBD, other components, administration routes (smoking, vaporization, and oral use), and dose recommendations(42).

In order to minimize the psychoactive effects and tolerance of THC, the total daily dosage equivalent of THC should be kept to 30mg or less(43)

The dose should begin gradually, and any cannabis formulation should be titrated for a maximum of two weeks(44)

However, further clinical studies are essential to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and acceptability of medical and recreational cannabis usage in patients with kidney stone disease(45)

What Are Kidney Stones?

A kidney stone is made up of millions of tiny crystal fragments. The majority of kidney stones develop on the kidney’s internal surface, where urine exits the kidney tissue and reaches the urinary collecting system. The size of kidney stones can be small, like a grain of sand, and grow to a much larger size(46).

John Hopkins Medicine cited kidney stones which come in various mineral forms(47):

  • Most kidney stones are composed of oxalate and calcium. However, some individuals have too much calcium in their bodies.
    Thus, some individuals have kidneys that do not adequately regulate the calcium they release into their urine. The inadequate regulation of calcium can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate stones. This condition is known as hypercalciuria.
  • Unlike oxalate stones, which are commonly found in the kidney, calcium phosphate stones are less common. They can be caused by a medical condition called renal tubular acidosis.
  • Some individuals have struvite stones composed of calcium carbonate, ammonium, and magnesium. These stones form when an individual gets infected with a type of bacteria that produces ammonia.
  • Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down protein. When the urine pH drops below 5.5, it can become saturated with uric acid crystals. This condition can lead to the formation of uric acid stones.
  • Cystine stones are rare. They can be formed in individuals with a metabolic disorder that increases cystine levels in their urine.

What Causes Kidney Stones

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, around 11% of men and 6% of women will develop kidney stones throughout their lifetime(48).

Meanwhile, another study collected data on 10,521 individuals older than 20 years(49). The prevalence of kidney stones in the study was 11%. The 12-month incidence was 2.1%, or 2,054 stones, per 100,000 adults. 

The researchers identified various risk factors for kidney stones, such as age, body mass index, and history of hypertension.

The risks include patients with chronic renal disease, obesity, or recurrent urinary tract infections(50).

Moreover, certain drugs, such as diuretics, calcium-based antacids, and anti-seizure medications, may also contribute to the formation of kidney stones(51)

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

 Individuals may be unaware that they have had a stone in their kidneys for years. 

However, if the kidney stone begins to move or grows vastly, an individual may experience symptoms. Cleveland Clinic cited the common symptoms of kidney stones(52):

  • Discomfort in their lower back or on one side of their body. This kind of pain may begin as a dull aching that comes and goes. 
  • Nausea and vomiting, in addition to the discomfort when urinating.
  • Detecting blood in one’s urination
  • Inability to urinate or feel the urge to urinate more often
  • Fever or chills
  • Urine that smells foul or is hazy

The pain associated with kidney stones is not always isolated. It may radiate into the lower abdomen, and its severity may fluctuate over time. Additionally, individuals may feel more significant pain or burning while urinating(53)

Smaller kidney stones may be painless and exhibit no additional symptoms. These “silent stones” are eliminated from the body via the urine(54).

Diagnosis of Kidney Stones

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the doctor will perform a comprehensive history and physical examination to check for signs of kidney stones(55)

This step will collect necessary information about the patient’s health history, including the family history and medical conditions.

Then, the physician will perform a urinalysis to check for blood or infections in the urine. There is also a need to collect a blood sample to measure kidney function.

Although a kidney stone can only be diagnosed through a radiologic evaluation, other tests such as an intravenous pyelogram or a computed tomography scan are performed to check for further abnormalities(56).

Note that sometimes, a kidney stone does not cause any symptoms. However, kidney stones can still cause other problems such as recurring infections and blood in the urine(57).

Treatment of Kidney Stones

According to Mayo Clinic, most individuals with small kidney stones do not require treatment(58) and can pass the stones without symptoms.

Drinking water helps keep urine from becoming too thick and prevents stones from forming. It is recommended to drink about 2 to 3 quarts of water a day to clear the urine.

Moreover, pain relievers or painkillers commonly treat minor pain caused by passing a small kidney stone. These drugs can help relieve the discomfort and prevent it from returning.

The doctor may also give individuals a medication known as an alpha blocker. This type of drug works by relaxing the muscles in an individual’s ureter, which helps pass the kidney stone more quickly(59).

On the other hand, larger kidney stones that cannot pass naturally or cause bleeding kidney or recurrent urinary tract infections may need more thorough treatment(60)

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases cited some procedures for kidney stone problems(61):

  • Shock wave lithotripsy: The doctor uses a shock wave to blast a kidney stone into small pieces. These kidney stone pieces then pass through the urinary tract.
  • Cystoscopy and ureteroscopy: The doctor uses a small instrument to look inside the bladder and the urethra to find a kidney stone during the procedure. During a ureteroscopy, the doctor uses a long, thin camera to visualize the lining of the kidney and the ureter to visualize the rest of the urinary tract.
    After finding the stone, the doctor can break it into smaller pieces or remove it.
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: A kidney stone removal procedure known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy is performed using a thin viewing tool called a nephroscope. Kidney stones can also break into smaller pieces using a laser.

Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

For kidney health, urology specialists suggest the following natural remedies for kidney stones(62):

  • Consume lots of water. Kidney stones must be eliminated from the body, so consume plenty of water to keep the kidney stones moving. While passing a kidney stone, individuals should avoid coffee, wine, tea, and soda, since they may promote dehydration and exacerbate the discomfort.
    Remember that hydration is critical for both passing and avoiding kidney stones.
  • Consume a lemon-olive oil combination. Lemon juice contains citrate, which aids in the breakdown of stones, while olive oil aids in the removal of stones from the body. Combine 14 cups of each and then add water.
    Consume only fresh lemon juice and virgin olive oil; additions such as sugar or flavorings might exacerbate symptoms. This cocktail should be consumed every hour to alleviate renal discomfort.
  • Consider using raw apple cider vinegar. Individuals may add a few ounces of water to make it more drinkable. Additionally, this will aid in the disintegration of the stones and may help prevent future kidney stone development.
  • Consume diuretic meals. Celery, brussels sprouts, cucumber, watermelon, and asparagus are excellent kidney stone-passing foods.

  1. Kidney Stones
  2. A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain
  3. Kidney stones
  4. Cannabidiol and Other Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids for Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders: Useful Nutraceuticals?
  5. The nephrologist’s guide to cannabis and cannabinoids
  6. Cannabinoid receptors in the kidney
  7. Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana
  8. A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain
  9. Kidney Stone Disease: An Update on Current Concepts
  10. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals
  11. What are Kidney Stones?
  12. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System
  13. Cannabinoid receptors in the kidney
  14. Ibid.
  15. The nephrologist’s guide to cannabis and cannabinoids
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Tacrolimus (Prograf)
  19. Cannabinoids and the kidney: effects in health and disease
  20. A Review of Cannabis in Chronic Kidney Disease Symptom Management
  21. Ibid.
  22. Cannabidiol Attenuates Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity by Decreasing Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress, Inflammation, and Cell Death
  23. Cross-talks between the kidneys and the central nervous system in multiple sclerosis
  24. Cannabidiol Attenuates Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity by Decreasing Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress, Inflammation, and Cell Death
  25. Ibid.
  26. Ibid.
  27. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies
  28. Cannabinoids and the kidney: effects in health and disease
  29. The nephrologist’s guide to cannabis and cannabinoids
  30. Ibid.
  31. Ibid.
  32. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
  33. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online
  34. Ibid.
  35. Ibid.
  36. Ibid.
  37. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals
  38. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  39. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
  40. Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing
  41. FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy
  42. Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing
  43. Ibid.
  44. Ibid.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Kidney Stones
  47. Ibid.
  48. Definition & Facts for Kidney Stones
  49. Incidence of Kidney Stones in the United States: The Continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  50. Definition & Facts for Kidney Stones
  51. Ibid.
  52. Kidney Stones
  53. Kidney Stones
  54. Kidney Stones
  55. Kidney Stones
  56. Ibid.
  57. Ibid.
  58. Kidney Stones
  59. Ibid.
  60. Ibid.
  61. Treatment for Kidney Stones
  62. ​​Passing Kidney Stones Naturally


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