Cannabis And Diabetes

CBD and Diabetes

Does Marijuana Help Diabetes?

According to recent studies smoking weed and using Cannabis products may help regulate body fat, body mass index (BMI), and lower the risk of diabetes by helping the following areas:

  • Control Blood Sugar

  • Reduce Neuropathic Pain

  • Control Insulin Levels

  • Reduce Risk of Retinal Neuropathy

  • immunomodulation

Background on Diabetes

does marijuana help diabetesDiabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease characterized by either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the body not being able the use the insulin that is has produced.  Insulin is a hormone that that regulates your blood sugar.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 422 million people worldwide had diabetes in 2014.

 

  • Type 1 Diabetes – Associated with deficient insulin production requiring daily doses of insulin.  The lack of insulin production causes blood sugar to increase unnaturally, usually developed in childhood or adolescence, cause unknown.

  • Type 2 Diabetes – Commonly called adult-onset diabetes, this form is characterized by the ineffective use of the insulin produced.  This group comprises the majority of people with diabetes worldwide and is typically the result of excess body fat and lack of enough physical exercise.

National Diabetes Statistical Report

According to the 2014 National Diabetes Statistical Report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a total of 29.1 million people in the United States has diabetes.  21 million have been formally diagnosed and 8.1 million people are undiagnosed.

This means that 27.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed and therefore most likely unaware.  In 2014, 8.5% of Americans 18 and older had diabetes.

Key Facts on Diabetes according to the World Health Organization (WHO):

 

  • The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.

  • The global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014.

  • Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries.

  • Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.

  • In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes.  Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012.

  • Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age of 70 years. WHO projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030.

  • Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

  • Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.

Diabetes and Cannabis Oil

CBD and Neuropathy

One of the difficulties facing the scientific and medical professionals interested in curing diabetes is our lack of understanding of how Cannabis, and CBD in particular, affects metabolic processes as well as the complications from diabetes itself.

Fortunately, animal studies offer rich data on such matters as the effects of Cannabis on rodents with diabetic-induced neuropathy.  Neuropathy is defined as a disease or dysfunction of the peripheral nerves.  More typically, this would affect your peripheral nerves as opposed to the central nervous system (brain & spine).  Of particular interest is the fact that diabetic induced neuropathy is one of the complications for humans too affecting up to 40-50% of all diabetics.

does marijuana help diabetesIn the American Journal of Medicine’s published study on The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among U.S. Adults, researchers and statisticians studied 4,657 adult men and women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005 – 2010).  Of the participants in the AMJM study’s sample, 579 were current Cannabis users and 1975 were past users.

Results showed that current Cannabis use was associated with 17% lower fasting insulin levels.  They also found significant associations between Cannabis use and smaller waist sizes.  Epidemiologic studies (the study of disease) have also found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes in Cannabis users compared with people who have never used.  This more than hints at the existence of a relationship between cannabinoids and metabolic processes.

Diabetic Retinopathy

diabetes and cannabisIt is estimated that of those adults over the age of 40 with diabetes, close to 30% have diabetic retinopathy which can result in a loss of vision.  More studies need to be evaluated, but Cannabis users not only have significantly lower incidence of diabetes, medical research has found that properties in Cannabis like CBD can have the effect of controlling and even lowering inter-ocular pressure to healthier levels thus reducing the progression of glaucoma.

In a 2006 study that was published in the American Journal of Pathology, diabetic mice were given CBD and examined to determine the rate of retinal degradation.  The study found that doses of CBD significantly reduced the effects of oxidative stress and inflammatory response.

Immunomodulation

Well-established in the medical community worldwide as an effective immunosuppressant, CBD has been found to encourage defensive immune recovery in diabetic mice.  This method of modifying immune response is called immunomodulation.  The objective is to change destructive, auto-immune responses into protective responses allowing the proper metabolic function to return.

Diabetic Pain

Numerous painkillers have been prescribed for neurologic pain over the years including many with severe side effects while both synthetic and natural cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), have been demonstrated to be effective in treating diabetic pain without unpleasant or dangerous side effects.

Orally administering a mixture of CBD and THC to diabetic-induced rats has revealed groundbreaking results.  After 7 days of pain assessment, the rats were euthanized in order to analyze their nerve and liver tissue pathology.  Upon final analysis the results were clear.  The mixture was shown to restore pain perception in the paws and other sensory areas, and the CBD+THC exposed rat livers showed a reversal in oxidative stress-induced nerve damage.

Marijuana and Diabetes

It has been determined that chronic inflammation plays an important part in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, and the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol have the effect of improving the body’s metabolism.  Additionally, the immune system and sugar metabolism benefit from this anti-inflammatory effect.

cannabis and type 2 diabetesDr. Murray Mittleman, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead author or the aforementioned study summed up much of our current understanding of the relationship between cannabis and diabetes… “The most important finding is that current users of marijuana appeared to have better carbohydrate metabolism than nonusers,” says Murray Mittleman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study.  “Their fasting insulin levels were lower, and they appeared to be less resistant to the insulin produced by their body to maintain a normal blood-sugar level.”

Hope this helps answer some question you may have had.  Sure wish I could change my “Use Any Organ” permission on my Driver’s License to “For Cannabis Research Only”  …How about you?  Please don’t leave without making a comment below.

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