More than 30 million people in the U.S. alone are living with diabetes. Add those at a high risk of becoming diabetic (known as prediabetics), and that number more than triples. Today, let’s delve into the topic of using CBD for diabetes…
CBD for Diabetes at a glance
What the claims are: CBD for diabetes can not only help level out blood sugar, but it can also assist with some risk factors, symptoms, and complications associated with this disease. These include but are not limited to obesity, neuropathy, inflammation of the skin, and of the pancreas.
What the studies show: Research on mice shows a distinct reduction of early pancreatic inflammation in Type 1 diabetics in response to a CBD regimen. Research shows that CBD for diabetes substantially lowers incidences of the disease in non-obese mice. Research shows that CBD may also be able to help manage the pain and other complications associated with various diabetes symptoms.
What the facts say: Until comprehensive clinical trials on CBD for diabetes are completed, we largely have to rely on anecdotes and the results of preliminary research and preclinical studies. At this time, though, both indicate that CBD for diabetes shows tremendous therapeutic potential in multiple ways.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to process glucose (sugar) efficiently. A healthy pancreas typically makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into our cells. Depending on the type of diabetes, the pancreas is either not producing any insulin at all, or it’s just not producing enough to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 typically presents in childhood and causes the pancreas to produce little to no insulin. The exact cause of this disease is unknown, but genetics and certain viruses are considered potential factors. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but due to research and better treatment and detection options, the mortality rate of diabetics as a whole is on the decline.
Type 2 is the more common form of diabetes, and typically affects adults. While the cause is also unknown, environmental factors, family history, excess weight, and inactivity are considered to be contributing factors. Despite type 2 diabetics having a pancreas that often initially produces enough insulin, the body’s inability to process it properly causes insulin resistance.
Both forms of diabetes can cause excess sugar in your blood, which can lead to a host of serious health problems and even death. Some of the symptoms of diabetes can include:
- Increased thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Frequent urination
- Slow-healing sores
- Frequent infections
How CBD can be used to help diabetes?
CBD for diabetes is being used in many different ways. One of the most interesting is its use as a preventative measure. Studies indicate there seems to be a correlation between the compounds in the cannabis plant and lower levels of fasting insulin, as well as a smaller waistline. This is excellent news as obesity is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
We’re also seeing people adopting a CBD for diabetes regimen due to its potential effect on neuropathy, which is nerve damage often caused by this disease that results in numbness, pain, and/or that “pins and needles” feeling we all hate when our foot falls asleep. Some users are even finding total relief from this disturbing and sometimes excruciating symptom.
Others are still using CBD oil to treat rashes and skin irritation caused by diabetes. Users seem to be finding relief from CBD’s soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, and there are users indicating that CBD seems to accelerate healing.
What do medical studies tell us so far?
As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of amazing results coming from preliminary studies. In fact, a report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states the following:
“Although there is much controversy in the field of EC [endocannabinoid] research, experimental evidence and clinical trials have clearly shown that ECs plays a key role in the development of primary diabetes and various diabetic complications.”
We’re very encouraged and excited by these results, and look forward to seeing what comes next in CBD for diabetes research, and the benefits it might provide for those suffering from this chronic disease.
Are there any potential downsides of using CBD for diabetes?
While some users of CBD report minor side-effects such as diarrhea, tiredness, or change in appetite, studies have shown that using CBD oil has very few potential side effects and negative reactions are rare. It also bears mentioning that research suggests the cannabinoid alone wouldn’t be to blame in the case of most side-effects and that “reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.”
It’s also important to note that CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant. For those concerned about potential reactions causing impairment, that means using CBD for diabetes cannot get you “high”.
We also know that, no matter how diligent you are about your regimen and the quality of the product you purchase, there is a chance that CBD for diabetes might not help regulate your sugar or impact your symptoms at all. And you always want to check with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that you aren’t taking any medications known to interact with CBD.
Is CBD for diabetes the right choice for me?
With the many potential complications caused by both type 1 and type 2 of this disease, it seems as if CBD for diabetes may be able to help. There are also indications that it may offer hope to those diagnosed with prediabetes by mitigating risk factors and lowering blood glucose levels. More comprehensive clinical studies are still in progress and, as always, you should consult with your primary care physician before making changes to your healthcare routine.
- Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
- The Endocannabinoid System and Plant-Derived Cannabinoids in Diabetes and Diabetic Complications
- Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes
- Cannabidiol lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice.
- Experimental cannabidiol treatment reduces early pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes.
- Mayo Clinic : CBD oil for Neuropathy
- Mayo Clinic : Diabetes
- Mayo Clinic : Type 2 Diabetes
- Does anyone have experience using CBD for cuts and scars?
- Forbes : WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD
- National Diabetes Statistic Report, 2017
- Does CBD help with neuropathy?
- The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults
- Trends in Death Rates Among U.S. Adults With and Without Diabetes Between 1997 and 2006