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Cannabinoids and the Kidney: Effects in Health and Disease.

By July 26, 2017 No Comments
Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2017 Jul 26:ajprenal.00290.2017. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00290.2017.
[Epub ahead of print]


PM 2 site 207Consumption of cannabis and various related products (cannabinoids) for both medicinal and recreational use is gaining popularity. Furthermore, regulatory changes are fostering a cultural shift towards increasing liberalization of cannabis use, thereby increasing the likelihood of even larger numbers of individuals being exposed in the future. The two different types of receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are activated by the pharmacologically active ingredients of cannabis are found in numerous tissues, including the kidneys. Experimental studies suggest that stimulation of these receptors using pharmacologic agents or their naturally occurring ligands could have both deleterious and beneficial effects on the kidneys, depending on receptor distribution, type of renal insult, or the timing of the activation during acute or chronic states of kidney injury. To date, the mechanisms by which the CB1 or CB2 receptors are involved in the pathology of these renal conditions remains to be fully described. Furthermore, a better understanding of the impact of exo- and endo-cannabinoids on the renal endocannabinoid system may lead to the development of new drugs to treat kidney disease and its complications. Given the increasing public health relevance of cannabis exposure, it is clear that more research is necessary to clarify the various physiologic and pathophysiologic effects of cannabis and related analogs on the kidney. This will help limit the deleterious effects of these substances while promoting their potential beneficial impact on renal function in various types of kidney diseases.


acute kidney injury; cannabis; chronic kidney disease; endocannabinoid system; kidney

PMID: 28747360


DOI: 10.1152/ajprenal.00290.2017
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