Updated on December 19, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Kidney disease can be a major symptom for patients with nail-patella syndrome (NPS). Since your kidney helps you filter toxins out of your body, having one that doesn’t work well can cause serious harm. But, increasingly more patients are using medical marijuana to manage NPS and kidney disease symptoms.
NPS is a rare genetic disorder that affects your connective tissue and collagen. Some people with NPS experience no symptoms at all, while others deal with severe health issues. Symptoms can involve the nails, kidneys, eyes, joints and bones.
A common issue NPS can cause is kidney disease. About 30 to 40 percent of patients with NPS have kidney problems caused by filtration issues. In some cases, the patient gets high blood pressure and renal failure from their kidney disease.
Kidney issues often cause inflammation that makes it harder for your kidney to recover. Medical marijuana works as an anti-inflammatory agent that doesn’t have the side effects of standard medication. By reducing inflammation, cannabis can help your kidney fight disease and repair tissue.
Cannabis contains compounds that naturally reduce inflammation. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and beta-caryophyllene (E-BCP) have been shown to lower inflammation. While THC can cause a psychoactive high, you can always try a strain low in THC and still take advantage of the E-BCP.
Another major component of marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD), can help your body detoxify itself. Oxidative stress can increase your chance of getting kidney disease. So, CBD lowers your chance of developing NPD-related kidney disease or aggravating existing issues.
Patients with kidney disease often experience chronic pain. Plus, NPD can cause pain in other areas. So, many folks dealing with NPD must take painkillers to manage the discomfort they feel.
However, even mild painkillers can cause damage to your kidneys and the rest of your body. Stronger pain medications like narcotics and opiates can make a patient dependent on them. Some pain medicine can also damage your kidneys if you take too much of it, which worsens the reason you take it in the first place.
Patients dealing with this conundrum can take advantage of marijuana medicine’s painkilling powers. Many of the states that allow medical marijuana consider chronic pain a valid reason for using it. People generally have confidence in the pain-relieving properties of cannabis because of the extensive research showing its effectiveness.
In addition to tackling the main sources and symptoms of kidney disease, cannabis medicine can reduce other kidney disease-related issues. Patients with the following symptoms can use medical marijuana to feel more comfortable: