Marijuana has continually gained widespread recognition over the years due to its numerous health benefits. Recent studies show that using cannabis supplements may help to mediate diabetes. But should a diabetic patient use marijuana? Read on for more insights into that.
Understanding Diabetes and the Role of Cannabis
Diabetes refers to a metabolic disorder that causes high blood sugar. The hormone insulin regulates blood sugar levels by distributing sugar from the blood to various body cells, where the sugar is stored for use in energy production. Diabetes occurs when the body is either unable to secrete enough insulin or inefficient at using the insulin that it makes.
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes falls under four primary categories, namely Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for about 10% of all diabetes cases. It occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys cells located in the pancreas, the organ that secretes insulin.
Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes, results from the body’s resistance to insulin. This results in the build-up of sugar in the blood. Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels get abnormally high. However, blood sugar levels in prediabetes patients are usually lower than in people with type 2 diabetes.
Lastly, gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that’s common during pregnancy. It results from an over-production of insulin-inhibiting hormones by the placenta.
Causes and Symptoms of Diabetes
The causes of diabetes depend on the type. For instance, the causes of type 1 diabetes remain unknown. However, genetic predisposition and viral infections may increase the risks of the disease. Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors. Obesity and overweight, sedentary lifestyles, and old age are common risk factors of type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes results from hormonal changes during pregnancy. Regardless of the type or cause, the common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Frequent urination followed by increased thirst sensation
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Poor wound healing
- Joint pain
- Erectile dysfunction and poor muscle strength (especially among men)
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs), yeast infections, and dry, scaly skin (for women)
Without treatment, diabetes could result in a host of complications, such as heart disease, hearing and vision problems, depression, skin conditions, and dementia. Fortunately, get kush dispensary on your list to relieve many symptoms of diabetes, making the condition more bearable.
Cannabis Benefits for a Diabetic Patient
1. Cannabis and Insulin Resistance
Cannabis has shown promise in combating insulin resistance. That makes it a top recommendation for people with type 2 diabetes.
In one study involving 62 participants with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, researchers placed the subjects into five treatment groups. The first group received 100 mg of cannabidiol (CBD) twice a day, and the second group 5 mg of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) twice a day. The third group received equal ratios of CBD and THCV twice a day, the fourth 20:1 ratio of CBD and THCV twice a day, and the fifth a placebo.
After 13 weeks, researchers noted a marked reduction in insulin levels for the groups that received either CBD or THCV or a combination of both.
2. Cannabis and Blood Sugar Levels
Besides combating insulin resistance, marijuana might also help to regulate blood sugar levels. Cannabis acts as a vasodilator. As such, it can dilate constricted blood vessels, thereby enhancing blood circulation. Improved blood flow ensures efficient distribution of blood glucose from blood vessel walls to various body cells.
Marijuana’s vasodilating properties may also help to keep blood pressure in check. In turn, weed-based supplements might prevent cardiovascular risks associated with diabetes, such as hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.
3. Cannabis and Pain
If diabetes goes untreated, the disease may cause the breakdown of the musculoskeletal system. A breakdown in the musculoskeletal structure leads to joint damage, which subsequently causes joint pain and reduced mobility. Using cannabis supplements may go a long way in relieving diabetes pain.
Marijuana extracts like CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) relieve pain by binding to pain-mediating receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These compounds may also attenuate pain by stimulating the secretion of endocannabinoids associated with pain mediation, such as anandamide.
4. Cannabis and Inflammation
Inflammation is another diabetes-related complication that cannabis may help with. Marijuana has long been known for its anti-anti-inflammatory properties. Various weed extracts, particularly CBD and THC, alleviate inflammation by inhibiting the body’s inflammatory messenger activity.
According to a 2017 study conducted on diabetic animals, CBD may reduce inflammation while also exerting neuroprotective effects, both of which are beneficial for people with diabetes.
5. Cannabis and Other Diabetes Complications
In addition to the above-reviewed side effects, there are numerous other diabetes complications that marijuana may treat, such as insomnia and obesity. Cannabis can boost sleep by treating the most common sleep disorder associated with diabetes – restless leg syndrome. Marijuana is a potent sedative. So, it can aid sleep by shortening sleep onset time.
Cannabis may also boost sleep among diabetes patients by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the sleep phase associated with lucid dreaming.
There are numerous benefits that diabetic patients can enjoy by incorporating weed into their health routine. Marijuana can relieve multiple symptoms and side effects associated with diabetes. The plant also contains powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which may help keep diabetes at bay.