There has been a steady rise of cannabis users around the world, ever since more and more restrictions about the drug have been lifted. This has given way for research about the plant to flourish and start to unveil the many benefits that cannabis offers to humans, especially in the world of natural medicine. There have been many people suffering from one debilitating disease to another that have experienced significant relief in symptoms through the use of cannabis. This has led many people to wonder if cannabis does have some significant effect on chronic medical conditions like diabetes.
Across the world, millions of people suffer from this debilitating and life-altering disease known as diabetes and that number is steadily increasing. The treatment is a combination of daily finger prick monitoring and insulin injections. So it is no surprise that researchers and patients alike are looking for a possible alternative for the management of diabetes that is more effective yet less invasive. Many have explored the potential of cannabis to fit that bill. Here are a few facts about why cannabis could possibly be a cure for diabetes.
- Cannabis users have better fasting insulin levels
A study conducted in 2013 and published in the American Journal of Medicine has stated that diabetic patients who use cannabis have a 16% lower fasting insulin levels than those that don’t use the drug. High levels of fasting insulin level are a symptom of type II diabetes. And while lifestyle changes and proper monitoring are still the dominant methods at managing this disease, this research has proven that cannabis has the potential to be used as a supplementary therapy for people suffering from diabetes. Further research still needs to be done but these early results look promising and reason enough to delve deeper into cannabis research.
- Cannabis users weigh less
It’s no secret that there is a correlation between weight and the occurrence of diabetes. Those with BMI are prone to many diseases including diabetes. So being able to keep your weight down can prove helpful in preventing the development of diabetes. Two studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that cannabis users have lesser chances of being overweight. Many people might find this preposterous but both studies have revealed that those who consume marijuana at least three times a week has significantly lowered their chances of being obese by one-third.
- Cannabis users have a smaller waist circumference
In conjunction with the fact above, a study that was published in the American Journal of Medicine has also revealed that regular cannabis consumers have a smaller waistline compared to that of non-users. This is significant because the average waistline is used as a marker for diabetes. Generally, people with a larger waist have an increased risk of developing type II diabetes.
- Cannabis users have a better carbohydrate metabolism
A recent discussion in CNN delved into the topic of cannabis and how it affects people with diabetes. During the discussion, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School stated that current users of cannabis or marijuana have a better metabolism for carbohydrates than nonusers. We get carbs from the food we eat. These are then broken down into sugar which enters in the blood. Insulin is released from the pancreas so cells absorb the blood sugar. Further research needs to be conducted but early results in pilot studies have shown that cannabinoids, the compound in cannabis that binds to receptor cells in the body, interact with insulin which helps to break down carbs faster. Also, cannabis users have been known to be less resistant to the insulin produced by the body reducing the need for additional insulin to be injected.
- Cannabis products can help with symptoms of neuropathy
Many diabetes patients experience what is known as peripheral neuropathic pain which happens when there is no sufficient oxygen supply to the nerves especially in the extremities and is damaged or dies. Patients experience pain, numbness, and impaired muscle movement. Cannabis products such as CBD hemp oil has been shown to reduced symptoms of neuropathy in diabetic patients. Patients sprayed cannabinoids into their hands and feet and experienced relief from the pain. This has led to a surge in the popularity of CBD and hemp oils, lotions, and balms that are currently available for purchase at online stores such as the Green Society.
- Cannabis users are less prone to retinopathy
One major result of having diabetes is the destruction of the cells in the eyes due to lack of oxygen resulting from high blood sugar. This has led many diabetic patients to lose their eyesight. In fact, retinopathy is the most common causes of blindness in adults. New research and studies have revealed that cannabis can be used to protect diabetic patients from developing retinopathy. The study conducted was only conducted using animal models but early results are promising and great news for patients suffering from diabetes.