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Does CBD Help with Diabetes? Cannabinoid Research

November 23, 2020

CBD for diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a form of metabolic disease which is characterized by hyperglycemia caused by defects in insulin action, insulin secretion, or both. When the body enters a state of chronic hyperglycemia, as in the case of diabetes, the associated long-term damage is wide-spread, affecting the healthy functioning of a variety of organs from the eyes, kidneys, nerves, brain, heart, and blood vessels. Multiple pathogenic processes are involved in the development of diabetes. These can range from autoimmune destruction of the B-cells of the pancreas with resulting insulin deficiency to metabolic abnormalities and inflammation that result in insulin resistance.

Can CBD oil help lower blood sugar levels?

In a 2011 study, researchers concluded that cannabinoid treatment may be of assistance in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes stating, “both central and peripheral aspects of endocannabinoid regulation of energy balance can become skewed and contribute to obesity, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes, thus raising the possibility that CB1 antagonists might be used for the treatment of these metabolic disorders. Evidence is emerging that some non psychotropic plant cannabinoids, such as CBD, CBDV and THCV can be employed to retard β-cell damage in type 1 diabetes.” [1] 

Can drinking a lot of water lower your blood sugar?

When blood sugar levels are high, the body attempts to bring excess sugar in the blood down through excreting it in urine. Drinking more water will help to rehydrate the fluids lost from this process. So, drinking more water can help flush glucose from the blood.

In a 2013 study, consisting of one of the largest studies on cannabis use in humans focusing on metabolic processes, researchers discovered that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, along with a smaller waist circumference. [2]

Potential benefits of cannabinoids for people with diabetes

  • The stabilization of blood sugars
  • Neuroprotective effects that assist in reducing nerve inflammation and neuropathy pain by activating receptors in the body and brain
  • Antispasmodic agents that assist in relaxing muscle cramps and pain from gastrointestinal disorders
  • Vasodilating effect that helps keep blood vessels open and improves circulation, leading to lower blood pressure over time (crucial for diabetics)
  • Anti-inflammatory action that could assist in reducing some arterial inflammation common in diabetes [3]

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Prior to making changes to your lifestyle or treatment plan, consult your doctor. It is recommended that those wishing to use CBD oil or medicinal cannabis utilize the help of a medical professional who has experience with cannabis products so that dosage and delivery method can be adjusted. At the same time, those who have taken the time to educate themselves can become their own highly aware health consultants.

Does CBD Help with Diabetes

Best strain for diabetes

Cannabidiol products with a ratio of 20:1 or higher are typically recommended and given as capsules, edibles, or drops. Always start with a micro dose to test for sensitivity and titrate up as needed until symptoms subside. As with all cannabis use, you can always take more, but you can’t take less. Start low and slow. The standard dose is generally used with diabetes.

Does CBD interact with metformin?

Metformin isn't metabolized in the same way many other pharmaceuticals are, which means ingesting CBD oil will likely not affect it. Although, because metformin is considered to be a powerful CYP3A4 inhibitor, it may decrease the effectiveness of cannabidiol.

For immediate relief of symptoms, vaporizing or smoking cannabis is the fastest acting method. This can be helpful in neuropathic pain or “restless leg syndrome.” It’s also of value for sleep issues. Sublingual tinctures or sprays taken as liquid drops take effect rapidly and last longer in the body than inhaled products. When neuropathic pain is present, topical products made with CBD-dominant strains can be applied such as in a balm, oil, ointment, or salve. Topical application affects the cells nearby, but cannabinoids applied this way do not cross the blood-brain barrier, and therefore, are not psychoactive, even in high-THC topical products. A ratio of 1:1 CBD to THC is generally best for skin application as the skin has the highest amount and concentration of CB2 receptors in the body.

Does CBD really help with anything?

A Harvard article showed that there is moderate proof of CBD oil use in improving fibromyalgia pain, sleep disorders, muscle spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, and anxiety. With one doctor mentioning that the most benefit he's seen in patients has been in the treatment of sleep disorders, pain, and anxiety. A full spectrum oil is another variety of cannabis oil that holds much promise.

Cannabinoids and Diabetes

The Cannabis Health Index is a scoring system based on the best available evidence in the medical literature for cannabis (in general, not just CBD products) and its effectiveness on a variety of health concerns. Based on the current studies available, cannabis rated in the possible-to-probable range of efficacy for the treatment of diabetes.

cannabinoids and diabetes

In studies from 2006 and 2008, researchers discovered that CBD oil could reduce the manifestation of diabetes in animals induced with the disorder. The disease in only 32 percent of the mice in the CBD-treated group, compared to 86 percent and 100 percent in the emulsifier-treated and untreated groups. [4] [5]

Authors of a 2010 study concluded that, “collectively, these results, coupled with the excellent safety and tolerability profile of CBD in humans, strongly suggest that it may have great therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic complications, and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death and fibrosis.” [6]

What will lower blood sugar quickly?

Physical activity is an effective solution to lowering blood sugar levels because exercise has the ability to lower blood sugar levels for 24 hours or more after you've stopped training. This is largely due to the fact that physical activity makes your body more sensitive to insulin, mopping up excess sugar in the blood more easily.

The endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system of physiology that until recently, no one knew about. In the mid 1990’s, Dr Raphael Mechoulam discovered the ECS when studying the effects of THC on the body, and from that point, research has exploded over the past twenty years. This has resulted in not only medical science around the human anatomy needing to be rewritten, but also science on cannabis and what the cannabinoids found inside the plant can actually do for human health. The ECS has “receptors” which act like little locks, and cannabinoids are the keys that unlock these receptors. When we supply the body with enough cannabinoids, it unlocks our body’s own medicine cabinet, helping to bring balance and order back to the body. This can result in chronic states of disorder, dysfunction, and illness, to beginning to dissolve.

Does Hemp protein spike insulin?

Fascinatingly, a small tablespoon dose of hemp protein can lead to higher insulin responses and blood glucose following a meal consumed 60 minutes later. This also doesn't take into account hemp seeds, which is what hemp protein is made from. Consuming hemp seeds provides rich fatty-acids and other nutrients that undoubtedly help in stabilizing blood sugar levels.

The use of pharmaceuticals was already deeply entrenched in the western medical system by the time we discovered the ECS and how cannabinoids can assist us with a range of medical conditions. Now, we run the great challenge of bringing the science of the ECS and cannabinoids into line with the current practices of medical practitioners today. Much progress has been made over the past decade, as thousands of research papers are published in reputable peer-reviewed medical journals. The evidence is now overwhelming on the efficacy of and cannabis to bring an unprecedented level of health and wellness to the world. Now we just need to spread the word.

For more information on cannabinoids and diabetes, read our other article called Benefits of Cannabinoids in Diabetes & Weight Loss. In this article we cover type 1 and type 2 diabetes and how people can benefit from the effects of CBD oil to stabilize glucose levels, relieve nerve pain, and get healthier with extracts from the cannabis plant. It is important that people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to take the time to make themselves familiar with the risk and side effects of using CBD oil.

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1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21484568/
2. https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(13)00200-3/fulltext
3. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/news/2015/apr/cbd-compound-in-cannabis-could-treat-diabetes,-researchers-suggest-95335970.html
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18563385/
5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16698671
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3026637/