Individuals with diabetes never stop to look for possible treatments to control their disease. One of which is the usage of marijuana to suppress the negative effects and complications of diabetes. Medical marijuana has drawn attention among the governments, the healthcare sector, and the masses whether it can really treat diabetes or not.
In some parts of the world, marijuana is currently maximized to treat both types of diabetes, which include type 1 or insulin-dependent and type 2 or non-insulin dependent or lifestyle-related diabetes. The health benefits of cannabis have been brought out by exposures in social media, online studies, and traditional media, including those with diabetes management.
In this post, we have compiled the studies, research, and anecdotal evidence to provide patients and consumers a complete resource about using cannabis for diabetes management. Let’s get started!
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis, taken from a cannabis plant or also known as “marijuana, weed, herb, and dope, etc.”, is a form of drug which serves a lot of purposes in terms of medicinal, recreational and others.
This kind of plant comes up with compounds known as cannabinoids. The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive compound that affects the brain’s function. This marijuana has a lot of THC resulting in the user’s “high feeling” every time it’s inhaled. Meanwhile, there are two other compounds that are found to be helpful to control blood sugar as well as metabolism in relation to studies about diabetes. These are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
In addition, it serves as a natural analgesic that comes from cannabidiol. It is said to fight against anxiety and seizures. In fact, there have been proofs and studies to support its effectivity especially in developing the behavior of children with autism and the curing of Bell’s Palsy. Currently, a lot of studies and researches are being done with this drug and diabetic patients. Accordingly, positive results have been recorded.
Knowing More About Diabetes
Diabetes is a kind of disease wherein you have a too high level of blood glucose or blood sugar. Glucose is taken from food eaten. Type 2 diabetes is a killer disease especially in the western parts of the world. Obesity is the biggest contributor to this disease. Certain enzymes from cannabis are said to be effective to prevent and cure this disease.
According to the statistics from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, one among people aged 65 has diabetes and up to 95% among adult patients are type 2. Meanwhile in the 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report estimated that this disease has an effect on the U.S population by about 9.4 percent equivalent to over 30 million people.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone in the body which help your body absorb the glucose and get them into your cells. This provides the cells with the energy it needs. There are two types of diabetes anyway. With type 1, your body does not produce insulin.
Meanwhile, type 2 neither uses or produces insulin. For your knowledge, the absence of insulin keeps the glucose in your blood. This can result in prediabetes. You get a higher blood sugar than the normal level. Luckily, it cannot be termed yet as diabetes. However, don’t be at ease with having just prediabetes because actually, you have a higher chance of developing type 2.
If you have stored an enormous amount of glucose in the blood, you may feel some bigger health problems that would harm your kidneys, nerves and even your eyes. Moreover, it could develop more serious diseases like stroke, heart problems, and stroke or would cause you to cut your limbs. In the case of pregnant women, they might also develop gestational diabetes.
To know if you have acquired this disease, you can undergo blood testing. To prevent having diabetes, health practitioners greatly advise on having regular exercise, managing weight and guarding your meal. Don’t forget to have a monitor of your glucose and take the necessary medication as what your doctor prescribed.
Cannabis and Its Relation to Diabetes
It refers to the whole usage of the cannabis plant which is still unprocessed as well as the extracts to treat some health problems. The approval of one product having extracts from marijuana has just been approved lately. extracts. In 2018, Epidiolex was introduced, containing CBD as safe and effective to treat epilepsy. Also, three more drugs having a synthetic form of THC to treat conditions, like clinical presentations of anorexia.
Countries like Canada, UK, and some European countries approved of using Sativex, a mouth spray having CBD and THC. This gives relief from pain and muscle cramps. The legalization of marijuana for medical use is done in some states in the USA and other parts of the world. This is because of the increasing studies and proofs which support Cannabis having potential medicinal abilities for disorders and diseases.
Since there are some regulations and stereotypes about this plant, it doesn’t change the fact opinions can still be biased. However, there have been researches saying marijuana helps in preventing and treating diabetes. Cannabis produces a lot of compounds and two of which are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (TCV). These compounds accordingly contribute to health effects in relation to diabetes. On top of its effectivity, cannabis is certainly safe and no deaths are associated due to poison.
Importance of Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
THC cannabinoid enzyme is an important enzyme in health studies about marijuana. Although THC has healing properties, the enzyme CBD has higher medicinal value for a lot of diseases like psychological disorders, effects of neuroprotective, rejuvenating properties, and the like.
It solely works on cannabis psychological effects. The cannabinoid receptors are located in the area of the brain which deals with thinking, pleasure, perception of time, memory, and coordination. These areas when the THC clings to the receptor. This creates a euphoric feeling and impairment coordination. In addition, it showed increase dopamine, appetite, metabolism, gives a strong relief of pain and weight loss.
It doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. It contains a chemical that controls anxiety and panic attacks caused by THC. It also works on someone’s wakefulness and suppresses pain and spasms in the muscles. In addition, it fights against epilepsy, inflammation, and anxiety. Moreover, it protects neurons and brain cells and a good anti-aging agent.
Studies Conducted about Cannabis and Diabetes
There have been numerous studies suggesting that marijuana users showed a lower risk of having a diagnosis of diabetes. One of the studies done was conducted by TripathiRajavashisth which was published in 2012 in BMJ Open, discovered there was a lower age for the users of marijuana than those who don’t use.
In addition, marijuana consumers had lower insulin and about 16% is associated with having a smaller circumference of the waist. Yann Le Strat and Bernard Le Foll got the same results. They found out that overweight is lower among users than those who don’t.
Here are the good to-know-facts about CBD incurred positive results to treat diabetes.
- Mohanraj Rajesh did a study of CBD’s effect on the dysfunction of the myocardial, inflammation, the stress in oxidative/nitrative, death of cells, etc.
- It was found out that CBD has a big potential therapeutically and that it can treat complications in diabetes and other diseases of the cardiovascular
- Besides the conduct of studies, researches about diabetes treatment using cannabis are still going on. This is being done by the Phoenix Life Sciences International under the contract of the Republic of Vanuatu.
General Health Benefits of Cannabis Among Diabetic Patients
The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) an advocacy group published the following health benefits of cannabis to people with diabetes. Cannabis stabilizes the level of the blood sugar, lowers the inflammation of the artery, lessens neuropathic pain, keeps the blood vessels open, provides muscle cramps relief, and relieves cramping and pain in the digestive system.
Here are the health benefits of marijuana among patients with diabetes:
- Cannabis makes the waist smaller which lowers the risk of being overweight. If you are overweight, you get a higher chance of having Type 2 diabetes. According to the study in 2013 conducted to 4,657 people which includes 579 current marijuana consumers while 1,975were ex-users, had an association between marijuana use and smaller waist size.
- Another amazing benefit is that cannabis increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. As we know, insulin helps the body absorb glucose, but type 2 diabetic doesn’t mind insulin’s effect. In a 2016 study, people having type 2 diabetes who don’t take insulin showed that form of the cannabinoid THC resulted to the following; drop in their fasting blood glucose, higher insulin production, and increase in adiponectin. It is a protein which regulates the blood sugar.
- In addition, the topical CBD hemp oil which is a combination of CBD and THC brought up the reduction of the pain in peripheral neuropathic. It comes in a spray which people rub can apply cannabinoids to the feet and hands to lessen the pain and sensations caused by diabetic neuropathy.
- Aside from these, cannabis has anti-inflammatory agents. This inflammation contributes to the occurrence of type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as other diseases. A 2015 research advocates that CBD’s properties can treat this inflammation.
- Losing vision is one result of diabetes. This is mainly caused by diabetic retinopathy. It is the common factor for blindness among adults. However, with CBD treatment 1-4 times a week, protection from this retinopathy would be achieved. In addition to vision loss, neuropathy pain is another complication of diabetes. It is a damage in the nerve mostly in the feet or legs. It brings extreme pain. Nonetheless, it can be relieved by inhaling cannabis and feel long hours of relief. This is according to a 2015 study. The higher the THC dose is given; the greater the relief it brings.
Health Benefits of Cannabis for Type 1 Diabetes
Through research, the potential of (CBD) to lessen the existence and prevention of Type 1 diabetes was demonstrated. Accordingly, CBD possesses anti-autoimmune abilities. Clinical studies showed that CBD can save from damage the cells that form insulin in order that there would be normal metabolism for glucose.
The THC enzyme represses attacks from the autoimmune making less insulin required to lessen the level of blood glucose. At the same time, it has been found out that it decreases pancreatic cell inflammation. Also, THCV proved to have tolerance for glucose and makes sensitivity for insulin higher. It means there would be a lesser amount of insulin required to manage the fluctuation of the blood glucose.
Another research was done in 2012 where rats experienced a growth in the weight of the pancreas after being exposed to the extract from organic Cannabis. It means the production of insulin production in the pancreatic cells are protected by cannabinoids in type 1 diabetes. In addition, stress and anxiety can worsen the fluctuation of blood glucose. CBD and THC make it easy to manage and boost energy level.
Health Benefits of Cannabis for Type 2 Diabetes
People experiencing obesity and type 2 diabetes have endocannabinoid imbalance. It is one reason why it is difficult to lose weight, particularly the tissue in intra-abdominal adipose. Once the endocannabinoid system is regulated too much, it leads to too much accumulation of visceral fat in our stomach and the release of adiponectin from the tissue would be reduced.
Adiponectin is a protein which works for the regulation of glucose levels and breakdown of fatty acid. If there is a decrease in it, there would be insulin insensitivity and an increase in the risk of having type 2 diabetes. This chain reaction can eventually result in a vicious cycle of resistance to insulin, and once the endocannabinoid system is activated, there would be a higher desire to eat leading to heavier body weight and fat accumulation.
As compared to THC which creates higher appetite, CBD is otherwise. Instead, it suppresses the desire to eat and aid in re-balancing the endocannabinoid system through breaking down the fats, making more activities for the mitochondria and promotes metabolism, as well as reducing the stored fats.
In that way, CBD makes the cells with store white-colored fat into cells with beige-colored to make energy. In this way, the fats are easily burned. Meanwhile, these beige fat cells increase glucose tolerance as it decreases the resistance to insulin in the cells of the liver and muscle. CBD helps diabetic patient suffer less due to fluctuation in blood glucose at the same time it helps them manage lesser medication for their blood glucose.
CBD is surely a beneficial treatment for type 2 diabetes since resistance to insulin contributes a lot to the disease. CBD’s anti-inflammatory power regulates the body’s metabolism to sugar metabolism and suppress sugar ingestion reaction, and gives more health benefits to help stop the occurrence of complications from type 2 diabetes. Cannabis is an effective diabetes adjunctive treatment that helps prevent complications, like eye retinopathy.
Video Source: KPIX CBS SF Bay Area
Best Cannabis Strains for Diabetes
Below are the 5 top choices in terms of marijuana strains. This is specifically made having high THCV levels.
- Doug’s Varin
This is a sativa strain that is rare. It is made specially to have a high amount of THCV. THCV is cannabis which is the psychoactive compound which works for panic attack relief, bone growth stimulation, and energy booster.
Patients having a loss of appetite, anorexia should have this as it suppresses one’s hunger. It has 3 different flavors including woody, energetic and lemon. Doug’s Varin gives a clear and headed explosion of mental stimulus. In addition, this makes someone energetic, focused, uplifted, euphoric and creative.
- Durban Poison
This sativa is pure and originated from Duban, a port city in South Africa. It has become popular around the world for having a sweet scent, uplifting results and energetic. This is the best for making you productive for the whole day or even when you go on an adventure or do some sort of creative activities.
Individuals including enthusiasts and growers surely will have fun with this big gland of resin and make it a premium choice to have a focused extraction. This has round and chunky buds having thick trichomes coating on most parts of this plant. This Sativa keeps you energetic, happy, uplifted, focused, and euphoric. It comes in earthy, pine and sweet flavors.
This was previously called Girl Scout Cookies. It a hybrid of OG Kush and Durban Poison. Its reputation became too big that it had stayed with the border of California, its homeland. Having a sweet and earthy smell, this brings you to the highest euphoria’s where your whole body is relaxed. This cannabis strain has brought home awards in the GSC Cup awards.
There are few phenotypes of this strain like Platinum GSC and Thin Mint. This shows differences in effect and appearance. It comes in a green twisted calyx wrapped with leaves in purple color and hair which is fiery orange. To grow this plant, it takes 9-10 weeks for it to finish its flowering.
- Pineapple Purps
This strain is Sativa-dominant which is found rarely but always loved by users with the high profile of THC cannabinoid. This compound is used to prevent panic attacks, and so on. This strain is a special type since it has THC and THCV and the ratio is 3:1. This is great energetic and psychoactive; however, it doesn’t affect that long.
THCV, a compound known to block panic attacks, reduce Parkinson’s tremors, and suppress the appetite, is typically only found in trace amounts in most cannabis. This strain is highly psychoactive and energetic, but its effects generally won’t last as long as you use a low-THCV variety.
- Jack the Ripper
This strain is said to be racy and exhilarating. It puts a user’s mind is cloudy and foggy space having a psychedelic effect. The charged energy, stimulation of the cerebral and euphoria waves raise the individuals’ spirits. The effects on the cerebral are so strong that the mild body-high is removed.
As a result, the user recognizes it rarely. This bud comes in a flavor which is a sweet lemon. In general, this medication is good. It is best to use during the daytime because the effects on the cerebral are stimulating and not soporific. In addition, it will ease the pain in the muscles.
Best Methods of Marijuana Treatment to Use to Treat Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
As medical cannabis treatment for type 2 is expanding, patients and health practitioners look for ways aside from smoking based on anecdotal evidence. Apart from traditional ways, high tech ways are now possible. New methods include edibles, tinctures, and oils, suppositories and topicals and vaporizers.
Edibles make a tasty alternative for cannabis which is smoked or vaporized. It is made by infused food and marijuana. It is easy to ingest and gives a long and relaxing result. It is one of the most well-known methods.
Edible cannabis products are cannabis-infused having cannabinoids of THC and CBD. CBD oil or extracts can be infused with any food like chocolates, cookies or even brownies and hot or cold beverages. It is made by mixing with butter or oil. Canna oil and cannabutter would be used for baking or cooking cannabis-infused food.
Video Source: The Spoon
- Cannabis Tinctures
Cannabis tinctures are a green or golden dragon, which is alcohol-based tincture. It is great for both medical and recreational purposes to ease methods of smokeless consumption. CBD tinctures are usually given sublingually or under the tongue for faster effect, such as pain relief.
It comes in a capsule. It is put into rectum or vagina directly. It is about 1 inch of cannabis suppositories and 10 to 15 minutes to feel the effect. After the administration, you will feel warm in your pelvic and it will move up to your body. Then the pain will subside.
Topicals usually come in creams, oils, salves, and lotions. This is for external use only. It is used for pain, skin conditions, and inflammation. Its effect is localized on the area which you applied application. It doesn’t have a mental high.
Vaporizers heat or vaporize dried cannabis leaves to a temperature below the combustion point which is 392°F.
Important Points about Using Medical Cannabis
There are some things to consider when you are in the usage of cannabis. First, you should always be conscious when your perception changes. This may include visions going blurry or feeling a sense of unbalanced which is very similar after drinking alcohol. You might have thought of having hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia and feeling high might also occur.
Second, constantly monitor and check the level of your blood glucose. This is to make sure that you are safe and your level doesn’t go higher. Third, Keep your equipment next to you. When you needed the medication immediately, getting it will not be a problem.
Fourth, don’t take the medication in public. There is some task you cannot do when you are under the drug’s influence. Fifth, have bolus. Have an insulin adjustment to remunerate extra sugar and calories. Last, never forget the edible carbs. This has a big amount of carbohydrates including calories and fats. Have a pot cookie because it contains more sugar and always have insulted dosage adjustably.
Indeed, cannabis can help prevent and treat or even cure diabetes. As shown in some research, studies, and anecdotal evidence, marijuana has helped a lot of diabetic patients all over the world. Cannabis can be taken in different forms that best suit your taste and your lifestyle. Now patients who have diabetes have better options when it comes to disease management.