Diabetes is the most prevalent, expensive, debilitating, and deadly disease. It is difficult to treat and is the “major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation“. Over 100 million Americans are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
The treatment of this disease is costly, and it would be helpful if there were a solution that could help provide relief from this disease and its myriad symptoms in an inexpensive way.
Can CBD Oil Treat or Prevent the Symptoms of Diabetes? – Current Research
Diabetes is mainly of two types – Type 1 and type 2. The cause of diabetes is still not very clear. It is a lifestyle disease that occurs when the body is not able to produce enough insulin. Insufficient insulin means that blood sugar levels go up.
To manage diabetes, it is essential to be able to manage blood sugar levels. The worst outcomes of diabetes are loss of vision, limb amputation, and kidney damage.
Studies are being conducted to look into the relationship between CBD and diabetes. The results are promising, but clinical trials are pending. The studies fall into two sections – treatment and prevention.
As per The Diabetes Council, the link between diabetes and CBD lies in the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. Research conducted implies that cannabis may help prevent inflammation of nerves, stabilize blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and improve blood circulation. It also implies that CBD may well be a better treatment for diabetes than current diabetes medications. Basically, CBD can prevent the ‘by-product’ symptoms of diabetes such as vision problems, pain and cardiovascular problems.
The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis conducted its own research and reported the following observations:-
- CBD can reduce pain because of its “neuroprotective” effect.
- CBD provides relief from GI pain and cramps because it contains “anti-spasmodic” agents.
- CBD improves circulation because of its “vasodilator” effect.
- CBD calms the ‘restless leg syndrome’ from which people with diabetes suffer, enabling them to sleep well.
CBD Oil & Diabetes
The reason why there is so much research and study being conducted into the possibility of CBD as a treatment for diabetes is CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that CBD may reduce insulin resistance. It may also moderate blood sugar levels in people who have Type-2 diabetes if they are not on insulin.
CBD Oil’s Popularity To Find Relief From Diabetes
If you are a Type 1 or 2 diabetic, there are concerns when using CBD, just as you would have when you use an over-the counter-medication or supplement. These concerns can be anything from the quality of the CBD product to the potential side-effects. However, the chief concern would be the risk of interaction of the medication/insulin with CBD.
Marijuana was illegal until 2018, and hence, there are not enough clinical studies regarding the effect of CBD on blood glucose levels. The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in regulating energy metabolism, important for diabetics. Studies show that the body’s natural ECS “sets the sensitivity of the insulin response in adipocytes“. What this means is that the ECS determines the body’s response to insulin. It increases or decreases insulin sensitivity.
It is also important to note that each person responds differently to the use of CBD. While one person can have a dramatic decrease in blood sugar in minutes, another can have no change at all. This difference in CBD’s effect in each person is due to the ECS of the person, which is unique.
What Kind of CBD Should You Choose If You Are Diabetic?
If you have diabetes, then you should ensure that your CBD comes from a good brand. At present, the CBD market is unregulated and studies show that several manufacturers mislead the consumers about the ingredients. When purchasing CBD, you need to check how good the brand is- whether the product is third-party tested or not, where the plant was grown, the method of extraction of CBD, and how transparent the brand is.
Always try to buy a full-spectrum CBD oil so that you get all the benefits of CBD. A full-spectrum CBD contains additional cannabinoids, phytochemicals, and terpenes. They all play important roles in providing relief from diabetes.
People with diabetes should avoid CBD Gummies that contain sugar since the purpose of using CBD is to stabilize blood sugar. Using a CBD product that contains sugar is counterproductive and defeats the purpose.
2 out of every 5 US adults have Type -2 diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disorder that stems from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin. The body becomes insulin-resistant and is unable to use up the sugar from the food eaten.
Although several studies have explored the effect of CBD on diabetes, very few have investigated the use of CBD as a treatment for diabetes. The use of CBD to treat diabetes is only a speculation based on the properties and some studies, for which clinical trials have not yet been conducted.
Most of the studies have been conducted on animals with good results. CBD has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce nitrative and oxidative stress.
A test conducted on diabetic rats showed that CBD treatment reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, eliminating retinal cell death.
Another study noted CBD not only helped reduce inflammation in diabetic mice, but it also helped decrease the risk of cardiovascular disorders.
A 2019 study confirmed CBD’s neuroprotective effects and also observed that, when administered to diabetic rats, CBD improved memory and prevented inflammation.
Further studies have found that although there is no change in glycaemic control, there is a reduction in resistin concentrations.
Dr.Elaine Burns, Medical Director of The southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center, Arizona, states that “I have not seen a lot of evidence that CBD could be a first-line of treatment for diabetes – nor have I seen that in my practice over the years“.
She does agree though that CBD can help with the damage caused due to diabetes. She says that it can help with diabetic neuropathies and vision damage.
Bart Wolbers, Health Scientist and Researcher, Nature Builds Health, states that all the studies have been conducted on rats, and there is insufficient evidence to prove that CBD can be effective in treating humans with diabetes.
Dr. Roberta DeLuca, Educator and Physician, Cbdbiocare, states that “Clinical research although promising in the early years of study, was first conducted in animal studies.” She believes that CBD can be beneficial to diabetics, but people should refrain from using CBD as primary treatment until there are conclusive results.
She further states that until such time that there are conclusive and positive results, CBD can be used as a lifestyle approach and be included in the daily diet and exercise.
Everything is still in the research and study stage, and CBD should not be used as the first line of diabetes treatment. There is insufficient clinical evidence to offer guidelines regarding the efficiency and safety of CBD. The initial findings are promising, but the success is only anecdotal. It needs more serious study and correlation to be used as a treatment for diabetes.