Kidney stones are hard masses that can form in the kidneys and cause pain. While evidence notes that smoking is a risk factor, no research suggests cannabis increases the risk of kidney stones.

Kidney stones describe hard deposits of dissolved minerals that can accumulate in the kidneys. If the stones become large enough, they can lodge themselves in the urinary tract, causing pain. Without removal, they can lead to complications such as infection and kidney damage.

Cannabis is a plant containing compounds that may have medicinal benefits. The most abundant substances in cannabis are cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). People can use the cannabis plant in a variety of ways, such as by smoking or consuming it.

While smoking tobacco can increase the risk of kidney stone formation, no evidence suggests smoking cannabis increases the risk. Instead, some research suggests it may actually lower the risk. However, more research is still necessary.

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Kidney stones are a common health problem. Evidence notes that smoking can greatly contribute to the risk of kidney stones.

A 2023 analysis and 2023 presentation both suggest smoking tobacco increases the risk of kidney stones due to increasing the concentration of cotinine in the blood. This is a by-product that forms after nicotine enters the body. A 2022 study notes that cotinine can decrease kidney function, while a 2023 study indicates secondhand smoke is also a risk factor for kidney stones.

While smoking tobacco is a direct risk factor, and smoking anything can be harmful, there is currently no association between cannabis use and kidney stones. However, possible complications from chronic cannabis use may increase the risk.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) describes when a person experiences nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain after long-term and frequent cannabis use. A 2023 case study proposes a link between CHS and kidney stones due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. However, the authors highlight that the link is unclear and that further research is necessary.

A 2020 article notes that there is little guidance or evidence regarding the effects of cannabis use on kidney health. However, it adds that possible links between smoking cannabis and kidney disease are more likely to relate to tobacco use. It further mentions that using cannabis in other ways, such as oral consumption, may avoid possible health risks.

The article concludes that the possible link warrants further research.

According to a 2023 study, cannabis use in males has an inverse relation to kidney stones. This suggests that cannabis use may reduce the risk of kidney stones. However, the study found no significant difference in females or the overall population.

Kidney stones typically occur when high levels of certain substances accumulate in the urine. These substances can include calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus.

Anyone can develop kidney stones, though certain factors may increase the risk. Causes and risk factors of kidney stones can include:

  • not drinking a sufficient amount of water, known as dehydration
  • a diet rich in protein, sodium, or sugar
  • having obesity
  • previous surgery on the intestines
  • a personal or family history of kidney stones
  • having polycystic kidney disease
  • taking certain medications, such as diuretics or calcium-based antacids
  • health problems that may cause substances, such as calcium, to build up in the urine
  • health problems that can cause swelling in the digestive system or joints

Read on to learn more about natural remedies for kidney stones and how to speed up the process of passing stones.

Although kidney stones are common, people can take preventive steps to reduce the risk of them developing. Typically, this involves making some lifestyle changes.

Tips to prevent kidney stones can include:

  • drinking sufficient amounts of water
  • limiting foods and beverages containing excessive sugar or high fructose corn syrup
  • consuming more fruits and vegetables
  • consuming more plant-based proteins and less animal proteins
  • reducing excess salt in the diet
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • trying to reduce oxalate intake
  • consuming calcium-rich foods, as they can actually help prevent stone formation

Read on to learn more about preventing kidney stones.

Research into the possible health benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids is ongoing, though it can be difficult to evaluate the safety of these substances accurately. This is due to the variety of ways people can use them and the varying levels of different compounds such as CBD and THC.

Many people may consider using cannabis recreationally due to its euphoric or psychoactive effects. Currently, there is a lack of evidence investigating the benefits of recreational cannabis.

At present, components of the cannabis plant are the active ingredient in a number of medications. This includes drugs that may be beneficial for individuals with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis (MS), and epilepsy.

Evidence suggests possible health benefits of cannabis may include:

Currently, it is advisable only to take cannabis, cannabinoid-containing products, or medications as a healthcare professional advises.

Read on to learn more about the health benefits of cannabis.

Evidence notes that smoking is a risk factor for developing kidney stones. However, research notes that this relates to tobacco products containing nicotine. As such, there are currently no direct links between cannabis and the development of kidney stones. Instead, some evidence suggests that cannabis may reduce this risk.

Research is still ongoing into the potential health benefits of cannabis, including its effects on the kidneys. Therefore, further research is still necessary.

Tips for preventing kidney stones can include drinking water, dietary changes, and maintaining a moderate weight.