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New Study Says Weed Won’t Hurt Kidney Function In Young Adults

Weed Won't Hurt Kidney Function In Young Adults

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New Study Says Weed Won’t Hurt Kidney Function In Young Adults

A recent study has concluded that weed won’t hurt kidney function in young adults—but what about older patients suffering from kidney disease?

Results from a recent study debunked yet another notion that cannabis is detrimental to body function: weed won’t hurt kidney function in young adults

Published on August 24 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the study—which monitored the health of its participants for a fifteen year period—ultimately concluded there is no correlation between cannabis usage and kidney health. But is a lack of evidence the same as a definitive conclusion?

A Study Years In The Making

Weed Won't Hurt Kidney Function In Young Adults

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco VA Medical Center used a participant pool of roughly 5,000 adults.

Using data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), their research pool included adults ranging in age from 18 to 30 during 1985-1986, 83 percent of which admitted to former or current weed use.

Over the next fifteen years, these patients were given regular check-ups to note any

Over the next fifteen years, these patients were given regular check-ups to note any progress or decline in their kidney health—especially in ratio to their cannabis consumption.

After this fifteen year-long period, lead researcher Dr. Julie Ishida and her team found little if any evidence of a cause-and-effect for participants with reduced kidney function who also admitted to being heavy smokers.

“Findings were largely null and did not demonstrate a longitudinal association between marijuana and… decline, or prevalent albuminuria,” the report concluded.

This is a significant find, considering that kidney disease is the ninth-leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Kidney Fund, nearly 10 percent of Americans have a form of chronic kidney disease, numbering at approximately 31 million people.

Final Hit: New Study Says Weed Won’t Hurt Kidney Function In Young Adults

But does a lack of a link between kidney function and weed use mean that weed won’t hurt kidney function in young adults? According to Ishida, it’s at least enough to inform patients affected with kidney disease that smoking pot has a negative bearing on their overall health.

“Results from our observational study in young adults with normal kidney function may not translate into a clinically meaningful difference and may be insufficient to inform decision-making concerning marijuana use,” Dr. Ishida told the press.

But then again, the study doesn’t mean that smoking pot won’t impact all demographics with reduced kidney function. As the Ishida noted, the researchers only observed a particular, younger age range. Further exploration is needed In regards to if, or how, a link between weed usage and kidney health exists in older patients.

“It is possible that the association between marijuana use and kidney function could be different in other populations such as older adults or patients with kidney disease, so additional research is needed,” the scientist concluded.

J.E. Reich

J.E. Reich is a Brooklyn-based GRD staff writer and a former night/weekend editor at Jezebel. Their work has appeared in Slate, the Toast, the Forward, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere.

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