What are the kidneys?
The two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine and below the rib cage are our kidneys -our body’s trash chute. However, they are not merely blood filters, but are also responsible for some of the most vital body processes including:
- Producing erythropoietin – a glycoprotein that controls red blood cell production
- Regulating blood pressure by producing the renin enzyme
- Eliminating waste from the bloodstream
- Maintaining balance between water and minerals in blood
- Hormone regulation including adrenaline
- Producing active Vitamin D and maintaining calcium for chemical homeostasis in bones
There are various factors that could hamper the functioning of kidneys including high blood pressure, diabetes, genetics, regular intake of painkillers, etc. Kidney failure is witnessed when both of the kidneys stop processing metabolic byproducts, resulting in renal failure, an irreversible condition.
Like an inordinate number of other chronic diseases, kidney disease is linked to an imbalance of the endocannabinoid (ECS) system. Responsible for hormone regulation, metabolism, and therefore overall cellular activity levels, the ECS can have a huge effect on the function of the kidneys.
What is the role of cannabinoid receptors in the kidneys?
The kidneys maintain a healthy homeostasis in the body by removing waste and excess water from the blood. The kidney is essentially a sponge with blood flowing through it, and it absorbs anything that isn’t blood or several other specific substances. There have been many studies published focusing on the role of the endocannabinoid system in renal functioning. Primarily, kidney cells release one of 2 endocannabinoids – 2-AG or anandamide – that indirectly through a complex chemical process modulate either increased or decreased absorbency, to put it in simple english.
Additionally, unwanted accumulation of extracellular matrix or tissue deposition in the kidneys can cause renal fibrosis, which is the hardening of kidney tissue that needs to be soft and porous in order to function correctly. According to research, this autoimmune condition is the result of too much absorbency, which the body counteracts by filling in the gaps between cells, leading to this hardening. With introduction of CBD into the system, CB1 receptors are deactivated, which activates myofibroblasts, the body’s army of repair cells which produce proteins and other connective tissue, repairing damage caused by scar tissue formation in the kidneys.
Other conditions that can cause kidney damage
Anti-inflammatory properties are among the most popular benefits of CBD. When the body has an inflammatory reaction, hormone cytokines and chemokines are released that agitate pain receptors and immune cells, igniting the immune response that keeps us alive and well. When this sophisticated process gets out of whack, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are highly common. The kidneys are responsible for filtering and breaking down all of the chemicals involved in inflammation, so chronic inflammation can lead to kidney damage. CBD plays an important role in blocking the progression of kidney disease because it is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, especially when the inflammatory process is not physiologically useful at the site of injury. In this manner, it maintains a consistent and renally-manageable level of these toxins.
There are related studies showing a correlation between dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system and diabetic nephropathy, accumulation of toxins, chronic conditions, etc. The regular administration of CBD extracts steadily realigns these imbalances and augments your endocannabinoid system. If your taste buds don’t approve of hemp oil, you can also buy CBD in wholesale and CBD gummies online as a proactive approach to maintaining not just kidney health but holistic wellness.