Chinese researchers recently investigated the relationship between kidney stone rates in male cannabis users and men who do not consume cannabis, and found that male cannabis use was, in fact, “inversely associated with kidney stones.” did.The study was published in the journal Frontiers of pharmacology.
Kidney stones have been recorded in humans for thousands of years. Also known as kidney stones, nephrolithiasis, and urolithiasis, these refer to hard deposits of minerals and salts that form within the kidneys and can pass through a person’s urinary tract. Although passing a kidney stone can be incredibly painful, stones usually do not cause permanent damage as long as they are recognized in a timely manner.
Kidney stones may require some people to take painkillers and drink lots of water, but stones can become lodged in the urinary tract, which may require surgery to remove.
Kidney stones are Probability is high However, many other risk factors are associated with developing kidney stones, including genetics, dehydration, exercise habits, diet, and digestive disorders.
Kidney stones and cannabis use: a potential link?
To investigate the potential link between cannabis use and kidney stones, a team of Chinese researchers evaluated a representative sample of more than 14,000 U.S. subjects between the ages of 20 and 59. Data are from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2009 to 2018. , data on kidney stones and cannabis use were collected from self-report questionnaires.
Researchers used multivariate logistic regression and multiple sensitivity analysis to examine the association between cannabis use and kidney stones. They also note that, to their knowledge, this is the first cross-sectional study to examine the association between cannabis use and kidney stone risk from this population-based dataset.
“Our findings suggest that marijuana use is inversely associated with kidney stones in men,” the authors said. “Furthermore, we found that regular marijuana use (less than six times per week) in the male population showed a negative association with kidney stones. However, no such difference was found in the overall population and in the female population. did not.”
The authors point out that there is limited data already available to investigate the relationship between cannabis use and disease, as cannabis consumption is less accessible in most countries. However, the researchers explain potential reasons for this association.
Cannabis use may prevent kidney stone formation in men
Researchers have developed a theory as to why cannabis use may be associated with a lower incidence of kidney stones. According to the study, previous studies have demonstrated that “the application of cannabinoids increased urine output without affecting excretion.”
This suggests that the diuretic effect, or accumulation-reducing effect, of cannabinoids may reduce the amount of time crystals remain in the kidneys, which may reduce the risk of kidney stone formation, the researchers noted. are doing.
“Additionally, cannabidiol, the main component of cannabis, exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits,” the researchers continued. They also note that crystal deposition in the kidneys is associated with the regeneration of reactive oxygen species and activation of inflammasomes, adding, “Therefore, cannabidiol has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammatory responses and reducing oxidative stress.” It is assumed that there is a natural benefit in mitigation,” it adds.
What about female cannabis users?
Because the study found “no association between marijuana use and kidney stones in women,” the researchers hypothesized that hormone levels “cannot modulate this association.” They also note that previous research has demonstrated that lower urinary saturation of stone-forming crystals “may be a reason for fewer kidney stone formation in women” and that estrogen is associated with kidney stone formation. They also point out that this suggests that it may be associated with a reduced risk of Postmenopausal women also had an increased risk of kidney stones.
“It has been speculated that estrogen may overwhelm the effect of marijuana use on kidney stones. Therefore, marijuana use may not be fully associated with kidney stone risk in the female population,” the study said. They say:
Although this finding warrants future studies investigating the association between cannabis dose and type and kidney stones, the researchers concluded: Marijuana use between 1 and 6 times per week was inversely associated with the risk of kidney stones in men. ”