How Cannabis Can Help with the Treatment of Diabetes
Over 400 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes with 5 million cases of death recorded every year. The rise in this disease amongst people is majorly attributed to the high level of sugar consumption in today’s society; although other factors such Food toxins, genetics, obesity and Epstein Barr virus can also contribute to this condition. Insulin shots have been the conventional way of treating diabetes but recently there has been a major push towards innovative techniques. Cannabis has been studied extensively since 2005 to have numerous benefits for treating many cases of diseases, including diabetes.
What Exactly Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by high glucose levels. This disorder exists in two major forms; Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. While Type 1 diabetes is majorly caused by an autoimmune attack on the pancreas, type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance and a defective insulin production. The main underlying factor in cases of diabetes is insulin dysfunction. The islets of the pancreas that produces insulin have been found to carry receptors for cannabinoids ( major chemicals found in cannabis).
How Can Cannabis Help You Treat Diabetes?
Cannabis is a drug derived from parts of the plant Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa or a hybrid of both strains. There are about 483 known compounds found in this plant and 86 of them are cannabinoid chemicals. Two of the cannabinoid chemicals, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) are known to have both psychoactive and pharmacological properties. These two chemicals are highly lipid-soluble and they can stay in the body for a long period of time. For thousands of years, cannabis has been used widely to treat many disorders apart from its common recreational use. Although the use of cannabis is not yet legalized in many states, many scientific evidence have highlighted several health benefits of cannabis for diabetes which include:
#1: Insulin Benefit
Cannabis is capable of improving blood glucose metabolism in the body when the THC and CBD chemicals binds with the CBD receptors present in the Isle cells of the pancreas. This therapy is more effective when combined with a dietary change. CBD can help individuals re-balance the endocannabinoid system by increasing the activities of the mitochondrion to cause fat breakdown promoting metabolism. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine, 2013 edition, showed that about 600 male and female patients with type 2 diabetes who fasted overnight and used cannabis, experienced 17% lower insulin levels and insulin resistance compared to diabetic participants who had never used cannabis.
#2: Treatment For Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory property of CBD has been applied to treat many cases of disorders including diabetes, many cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis. Some cases of Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance are caused by chronic inflammation and current studies have found cannabis to be highly effective to prevent inflammation in people living with type 2 diabetes. Many Cannabis pills containing only CBD have been legalized in Europe since 2015.
#3: Treatment For Neuropathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication experienced by diabetics. Many patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy have been recorded to experience a decrease in the pain when treated with CBD. A study conducted in 2015 in the University of California tested varying dose of cannabis on 16 patients. The patients were recorded to feel lesser pains with increasing concentration of inhaled cannabis.
#4: Treatment for Obesity
Diabetes UK stated that 80 to 85 percent of people who are obese often develop type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, many researchers have noticed that cannabis is effective in causing a drastic weight loss in diabetic patients who are obese. A study conducted in 2013 on 4657 people including 1975 past users of cannabis and 579 current cannabis users showed that regular users of cannabis became 1.5 inches slimmer than old users and non-users of the drug. Although THC has been recorded to boost appetite, CBD usually trigger a decrease in appetite and it promotes increased fat burning. CBD also encourages exercise as users tend to get off the couch and get physical.
Many studies have evidently shown that medical cannabis is highly effective for treating diabetes and many of its complications. But unfortunately, many states have not legalized the use of this drug to tackle diabetes because they still have a low understanding of its potential therapeutic and psychoactive properties.