A new study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found little evidence that marijuana use affects kidney function in healthy young adults.

Julie Ishida, MD, MAS , from the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco VA Medical Center and her colleagues examined the potential links between marijuana use and kidney function in healthy young adults. Their analysis included data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, which contained repeated assessments of marijuana use and kidney outcomes.

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The team found that at the start of the study, individuals with higher marijuana use had lower kidney function. Upon follow-up, however, marijuana use was not associated with change in kidney function over time or the appearance of albumin in the urine.

“Although we identified a modest cross-sectional association between higher marijuana exposure and lower eGFRcys among young adults with preserved eGFR, our findings were largely null and did not demonstrate a longitudinal association between marijuana use and eGFRcys change, rapid eGFRcys decline, or prevalent albuminuria,” the authors wrote.

“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; however, 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,” said Ishida.