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More Choices for Diabetes



Over 40 million people in the US have diabetes, and although lifestyle changes and medication generally help stabilize blood sugar levels, many Americans are considering the use of cannabidiol (CBD) as an option. Research shows CBD might help control blood sugar and reduce stress and anxiety, which are important for people with diabetes. Other studies indicate that CBD could possibly help prevent diabetes.

Many people with chronic conditions like diabetes are turning to CBD because they believe that it can help restore balance and well-being—and there is an increasing amount of research to back it up. As we learn more about the benefits of holistic wellness and alternative therapies, it becomes ever clearer that hemp products like CBD can be helpful.


What Does CBD Do to Help Diabetes



CBD has been shown to improve inflammation levels and oxidative stress (effects from free radicals within the body). Cannabinoids work on nerve endings, reducing pain and inflammation. It can get to the heart of the problem versus taking a pain reliever, which is temporary. This can be a big deal, as diabetes is an inflammatory condition. Rampant inflammation can also cause insulin resistance.


The American Journal of Pathology found, “CBD was able to reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, cell death, and vascular hyperpermeability associated with diabetes,” noting that “oxidative stress and inflammation play critical roles in the development of diabetes and its complications.”


CBD may also improve insulin resistance and pancreas health. In a study on animal subjects with non insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, it was found that subjects who received CBD at 100 mg twice daily saw significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose and improved pancreatic health.


According to Rory Batt MSc, who studies the connection between the endocannabinoid system, CBD and type 2 diabetes, CBD may help boost pancreatic health in humans as well. “CBD can also help to protect the pancreas from becoming destroyed by overactive immune cells. Effectively, this means someone may be able to keep producing insulin themselves for longer. However, unless they ultimately change their diet as well, they will inevitably end up with a pancreas that cannot produce insulin—but CBD could significantly extend the time until that happens.”

 

Obesity and Insulin Resistance



Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, is closely linked with being overweight.


CBD and Weight Gain


CBD shows some promise in fighting weight gain and insulin resistance, both of which can increase the risk for diabetes. A 2020 medical review found that CBD has the potential to affect a number of factors that contribute to the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. These include the potential to reduce inflammation and alter glucose metabolism. In turn, that can reduce the symptoms of:


  • Insulin resistance

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • Blood Sugar Control


When combined with a THC-based compound (the chief intoxicant in cannabis), CBD helped people with type 2 diabetes better control their blood sugar levels, according to a research study that looked at blood sugar levels when fasting.


The study found that CBD alone:


  • Decreased resistin: A hormone that can contribute to insulin resistance

  • Increased glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide: A hormone that prompts the release of insulin


This indicates that CBD could help with some of the hormonal imbalances that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

 

CBD and Diabetes: Benefits and Precautions



Nerve Pain


Nerve damage, known as diabetic neuropathy, is a common complication from diabetes. Symptoms can include pain and burning sensations, especially in the hands and feet. An animal study on rats found that CBD can increase the development of nerves and nervous tissue, possibly alleviating nerve pain. Although the effect CBD has on nerve pain hasn’t been studied in humans, rodent studies are considered an important indicator of what might be found in human studies.


Anxiety and Stress Management


For some people with diabetes, managing the illness causes stress and anxiety. In turn, stress and anxiety can worsen the symptoms of diabetes.


Stress and Diabetes


When the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are released, they can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Research shows that CBD can help relieve the symptoms of anxiety. People who struggle to control their blood sugar levels due to the hormonal effects of stress and anxiety might be helped by CBD.


Other Conditions Related to Diabetes


Many people with diabetes have other health conditions as well, and CBD may help control the symptoms of those conditions. These include:


Insomnia: CBD may have effects in relieving insomnia. People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Improving your sleep can help control your blood sugar levels, reducing the risk for complications from diabetes.


Chronic pain and inflammation: CBD has been shown to effectively treat chronic pain and reduce inflammation, both of which can reduce the quality of life for people with diabetes and accompanying conditions.

 

Blood pressure: People with diabetes are at an increased risk of high blood pressure.A dose of CBD can reduce blood pressure in healthy subjects, but more study is needed to determine any long-term benefits from repeated doses.

 

Additional Benefits of CBD for Diabetics

It can help improve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a painful type of nerve damage that is caused by high blood sugars damaging nerves through the body. Patients often feel this in their feet or legs, and CBD can help relieve some of that discomfort and pain.

CBD can have a therapeutic effect on the brain without causing hallucinations or the psychoactive effects that most people associate with the “high” from cannabis. Because of this, CBD has a lot of potential for therapeutic uses.



The endocannabinoid system, which regulates food intake and energy use, is often overactive in people who are overweight or who have type 2 diabetes. CBD acts on receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which is the root of many of its possible therapeutic applications.

 



FDA DISCLOSURE: The statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, consult your health physician before use.

 

References:

Jadoon KA, Tan GD, O'Sullivan SE. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight. 2017. doi:10.1172/jci.insight.93760

The Role of Inflammation in Diabetes: Current Concepts and Future Perspectives:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523054/

Diabetes and CBD Oil:

Efficacy and Safety of CBD:

Cannabidiol lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice:

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