CBD has helped many people deal with pain, but can it help you manage your diabetes? Read on to learn about research on CBD and its potential benefits. Having trouble deciding on the right CBD for you or a loved one's diabetes? Start here we address the most important considerations and share our top pick.
CBD & Diabetes
CBD—short for cannabidiol, a part of cannabis (marijuana)—has gotten a lot of attention lately. With changes in the legal status of cannabis, CBD has gone from a criminalized substance to being called a miracle drug. You can find CBD oil supplements, as well as foods, drinks, and lotions in stores and pharmacies across the U.S. and worldwide. However, research on the effects of CBD on the body is still limited and so far no CBD products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What to Know
Along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is the major element of cannabis. But CBD does not cause the “high” that many feel from using cannabis. For decades, CBD was considered inactive, but last year, the FDA approved it under the brand name Epidiolex for a rare form of childhood epilepsy (at a much higher dose than is available in supplements). Researchers are in the very early stages of exploring other potential uses for CBD, including relieving anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and inflammation.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding CBD oil and diabetes. There is no noticeable effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) or insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Researchers continue to study the effects of CBD on diabetes in animal studies.
Although CBD is well tolerated by most people, there are side effects. It can suppress immune responses, raise eye pressure (which may worsen glaucoma), and increase blood levels of certain medications, such as the blood thinner Coumadin, which can lead to serious bleeding. Talk to your doctor if you’re thinking of trying CBD.
Find Out More
CBD sits in a gray area. While used as a medicine, it’s also a natural compound. Many effective medications are derived from compounds found in nature, but a lot of work goes into identifying the specific, active compound and determining what dose is safe and effective. Researchers aren’t close to that yet with CBD oil.
Its status as a supplement makes things tricky, too. Because CBD is not regulated by the FDA, creators of these supplements often make claims about its effectiveness based on little—or no—evidence. It’s hard to know what you’re getting. The amount of CBD in any product varies widely. The FDA has warned that in some products, lab tests have shown no CBD at all. Under the FDA’s Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, manufacturers of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are banned from marketing products that are tainted or misbranded.
Although many claims continue to be made about CBD oil, there is little evidence of any benefit. It’s certainly not an alternative to traditional diabetes management. The safety of CBD is also unknown—it may have dangerous side effects that we won’t know about unless further research is done. But there is a great deal of interest in CBD research, so we should learn a lot more in the coming years about what exactly CBD can and can’t do. In the meantime, it’s best practice pursue optimal health and diabetes management with treatments that have evidence to show they are safe and effective.
CBD for Diabetes
If you are one of the millions of people living with diabetes, you know how challenging it can be to manage the disease.
And most prescribed medications come with a long list of potential side effects ranging from upset stomach to liver disease.
But the good news is…
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been well-researched as a potential treatment for diabetes. And it’s showing great promise. With mild and infrequent side effects, CBD may be the answer many diabetic patients have been waiting for.
Want to try CBD to treat your diabetes?
We’ll give you info on how to get started in just a minute.
First, let’s take a look at what makes CBD such a powerful therapeutic option for treating wide a variety of conditions – including diabetes.
It all starts with the internal system responsible for maintaining homeostasis; it is known as our endocannabinoid system.
CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors found throughout our brain and body. These interactions can have powerful therapeutic benefits – and that fairly recent discovery has led to exciting new areas of research.
CBD may soon play a much larger role in managing the symptoms of diabetes, and may someday have the potential to prevent or reverse the disease.
How is this possible?
CBD Interacts with Receptors in the Pancreas
Endocannabinoid receptors are highly prevalent in the pancreas. In fact, these receptors have been found specifically in the islet cells of the pancreas – exactly where insulin is produced in the body.
What does this mean?
Well, for the moment it means more research is needed. But the indication is that these receptors may play an important role in the production of insulin, which of course will be key in determining new diabetes treatments.
Can CBD Prevent Diabetes?
In a 2006 study, CBD demonstrated the remarkable capability to delay the onset and decrease the incidence of Type 1 diabetes in laboratory mice.
While clinical studies are still needed, early results are revealing that CBD may have the potential to prevent diabetes – which would be life-changing for future generations.
Can CBD Cure Diabetes?
The short answer is, probably not. BUT — we shouldn’t rule out the possibility before more research is done.
Studies have shown that CBD helps protect islet cells so they can produce insulin and healthy glucose metabolism can take place.
Perhaps the most exciting cure-focused research is…
Scientists have successfully used CBD to reverse early stage Type 1 diabetes in mice. While this is a long ways away from being a prescription-ready treatment, this is exciting and hopeful news for millions.
Preparations for clinical trials are underway.
What we do know for sure is…
CBD is providing new hope for preventing, treating, and possibly curing diabetes. While we await further research with anticipation, we can take advantage of the many ways CBD can ease the symptoms associated with diabetes.
Here’s how CBD can help treat the symptoms of diabetes:
Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels
Research has shown that CBD improves overall metabolism and its anti-inflammatory properties directly treat glucose metabolic disorders.Reduces Chronic Inflammation
Cannabis is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so this one is probably not a surprise. Chronic inflammation plays a key role in 2 diabetes and its associated resistance to insulin. Researchers believe CBD could be an effective treatment for reducing this inflammation and enabling healthy glucose metabolism.Promotes Metabolism
Obesity plays a major role in Type 2 diabetes and associated complications. CBD can help to suppress appetite and increases fat breakdown to promote metabolism. This gives the endocannabinoid system a chance to re-balance.
CBD has neuroprotective properties that can reduce nerve pain often associated with diabetes. Many people with diabetes experience limited feeling in their hands and feet. Typically this is due to insufficient blood flow, which can break down tissues, cause them to die, and increase the risk for infection. CBD is fully recognized and federally patented as a neuroprotectant with the capability to reduce the breakdown of tissue by up to 30%.Protection Against Diabetic Retinopathy
Retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the eyes. When the damage is caused by high levels of blood glucose, it is known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the number one cause of blindness in adults. For people with Type 1 diabetes who have managed the disease for at least 20 years, nearly all are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. For people who have managed Type 2 diabetes for at least 20 years, 80% are expected to develop the condition. Lab research has revealed that CBD provides significant protection against it.Diabetic Cardiomyopathy
People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing cardiomyopathy – a disease that causes the heart muscle to become enlarged or thickened. It is a serious condition that can lead to heart failure. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has identified that CBD can reduce symptoms of diabetic cardiomyopathy in laboratory studies.
High blood pressure is commonly associated with patients who have Type 2 diabetes. In fact, an estimated 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes have elevated blood pressure. In preclinical studies, CBD has shown its capability to reduce blood pressure.Vasodilator
CBD is a vasodilator which means it widens arteries and blood vessels, reduces pressure, and allows for more blood flow. This improves circulation which is particularly important for diabetics.Relieves Gastrointestinal Pain and Cramping
Gastrointestinal pain (GI) and cramping is not uncommon for people with diabetes to experience. CBD can relieve GI pain and cramping.
Eases Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
This condition is a neurological sleep disorder that afflicts a high percentage of people with diabetes. The neuroprotective properties of CBD make it an effective treatment.
Specific CBD Benefits for People with Type 1 Diabetes
Insulin is the critical hormone produced in the pancreas that enables sugar (glucose) to enter cells and produce energy. In people with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little to no insulin and glucose is prevented from entering cells.
Without this process functioning properly, the body cannot sufficiently regulate blood sugar levels.
Early research has shown exciting results that CBD can delay the onset of Type 1 diabetes. In studies with laboratory mice, CBD significantly decreased the occurrence of the disease.
While clinical trials are still needed, preliminary results have been promising.
People with Type 1 diabetes can also benefit from CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing inflammation of pancreatic cells, CBD can help reduce the need for other medications that may have more serious side effects.
Additionally, CBD can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are a common issue for patients with Type 1 diabetes and can trigger blood glucose fluctuations.
Specific CBD Benefits for People with Type 2 Diabetes
People who suffer from Type 2 diabetes often struggle to lose weight, and an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system may be the reason why. CBD can help restore balance to this important system and help individuals lose weight.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties also benefit people with Type 2 diabetes by suppressing the inflammatory reaction after ingesting sugar.
And just recently…
This is exciting news for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Harvard Medical School researchers have recently taken an interest in a study originally published in 2013 that suggests regular marijuana use decreases insulin resistance and improves blood sugar levels.
The study spanned five years and included data from 4,657 patients.
Consistent cannabis users had —
- 17% decrease in insulin resistance levels
- 16% reduction in fasting insulin levels
- Increased levels of HDL-C
What does all this mean?
While science is still unraveling exactly how CBD as an individual cannabis compound is able to provide so many benefits to diabetic patients, one thing is clear – there is a ‘significant link’ between the regular use of cannabis and healthy blood sugar levels.
And here’s more good news —
The cost of treating diabetes in the United States is estimated to be a staggering $327 billion. That’s the equivalent of 1 in 4 healthcare dollars spent on managing diabetes.
The high cost of currently available diabetes medications are putting a real strain on individuals and families.
CBD, on the other hand, is considerably more affordable. And while CBD should not be considered a replacement for doctor prescribed medications at this point, it is hopeful to know a more affordable treatment option may be in the future for diabetes patients.
Here’s the Key Takeaway
This is an exciting time for cannabis research with new therapeutic benefits being discovered at a rapid pace.
And while CBD has been the most widely researched cannabinoid, we’re still just scratching the surface when it comes to uncovering its full healing potential.
For people with diabetes, there may be great potential to prevent, treat, and cure the disease using CBD and perhaps other cannabis compounds.
Clinical studies will be the next defining moment in this critical research, and the results could forever change the face of this disease and how it’s managed.
Using CBD to Manage Symptoms of Diabetes
Here’s How to Get Started
If you have diabetes, CBD may be able to help you manage associated symptoms. Of course, you should always discuss this – and any regimen you plan to start, with your doctor first.
Here’s everything you need to know to get started with CBD —
Determine Your Dosage
Understanding the dosage of CBD to start with can take a bit of guesswork. Factors that are involved include your symptoms and experience with CBD, as well as your age and weight. To help you get started, we’ve developed this handy CBD dosage calculator.
Choose Full-Spectrum or CBD Isolate
A full-spectrum product will contain CBD along with all the other cannabinoids that are extracted with it. Due to the entourage effect, it is widely accepted that full-spectrum products may provide more overall benefits than isolates.
Choose High-Quality CBD Products
To experience the maximum therapeutic benefits of CBD, you must choose a high-quality product. How your product is grown, harvested, dried, and extracted all make a big difference in the overall quality.
High-quality products are —
Look for cannabis growers who believe in organic practices, avoid harmful chemicals, and use natural methods of pest control.
Cannabis growing experts understand the critical step of careful harvesting to ensure the delicate trichomes are preserved in order to produce the highest quality product.
Extracted with CO2
Extraction methods matter! If you’re looking for a high-quality CBD oil, consider one that has been CO2 extracted. This extraction method produces a clean, pure CBD oil. Low-quality brands typically use harsh extraction methods that involve synthetic chemicals and toxic additives.
This is the process of applying heat to hemp flowers to activate a key compound – CBDA. The activation of CBDA provides greater therapeutic benefits. CBD oil that is not decarboxylated is less effective.
Choose a CBD Product That’s Right for You
There is no shortage of CBD products now available. You can completely customize your CBD experience and have a bit of fun with it.
CBD Products Are Growing
With CBD now legal in all 50 states, the number of CBD products on the market continues to grow. Beverages, candies, sprays, ointments, and so much more are now widely available.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil – an Easy Way to Get Started
Many people who try CBD for the first time, start with a CBD oil. They’re straightforward and easy to use. Still, the options can be overwhelming if you’re just getting started. That’s why we’ve created the Definitive Buyer’s Guide to Full-Spectrum CBD.
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