Occasional and relatively light use of marijuana may not increase risk of kidney disease in healthy adults below the age of 60, suggests new research.
The study, published in The American Journal of Medicine, found no association between current or previous marijuana use and kidney function.
“Our research provides some reassuring evidence suggesting that there is no detrimental effect of infrequent, relatively light use of marijuana on kidney function among healthy adults under age 60,” said lead investigator Murray Mittleman, professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“However, our research does not address heavy users, the elderly, or those with pre-existing chronic kidney disease. Research is needed to evaluate the impact of marijuana use in adults 60 and over, and among those with existing or at risk of developing kidney disease,” Mittleman said.
The researchers analysed a nationally representative sample of nearly 14,000 predominantly healthy adults aged 18-59 years living in the US who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2014.
The investigators found no statistically significant association between history of marijuana use and the likelihood of developing stage-2 or greater chronic kidney disease.
Likewise, they did not observe a statistically significant association between the history of marijuana use and the incidence of microalbuminuria, a moderate increase in the level of urine albumin and a marker of kidney disease.