Medical Cannabis as Treatment for Diabetes
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose levels are too high which comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use.
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
With type 1 diabetes – the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin.
With type 2 diabetes – the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.
Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.
When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it’s broken down to produce energy. However, if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly.
Although there are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight.
Can Marijuana Help Diabetes?
While there’s some conflicting evidence on marijuana’s role in delaying the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research shows it is beneficial indeed for those already diagnosed with either type 1 or 2, and especially for those who suffer complications.
A milestone study published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2013 concluded:
- Cannabis compounds may help control blood sugar
- Marijuana users are less likely to be obese, and have lower body mass index (BMI) measurements
- Pot smokers also had higher levels of good cholesterol and smaller waistlines
There is a whole body of evidence showing that marijuana is effective in treating eye disorders, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and a number of other ailments often associated with diabetes. So if you are living with one or more complications of diabetes, marijuana may very well ease your pain or slow the progression of the disorder you’re living with.