The correlation between cannabis and the treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes symptoms is thought to lie in anti-inflammatory capabilities of cannabinoids.
Research has indicated that the use of cannabis may help with stabilising blood sugars, preventing nerve inflammation, lowering blood pressure, keeping blood vessels open and improving circulation.
For people with Type 1 diabetes, clinical studies have shown that CBD can reduce the occurrence and delay the onset of the disease by saving insulin-forming cells from damage so that normal glucose metabolism can occur. And while our oils don't contain it, THC has also been found to suppress the autoimmune response of the disease, reducing the amount of insulin needed during treatment.
And in people suffering from Type 2 diabetes, CBD may fix an endocannabinoid imbalance that makes it harder for them to lose weight, as well as help to reduce insulin resistance - the crucial mechanism that causes the disease to progress.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis may also be critical in helping to treat the secondary symptoms of the disease, including heart problems, pain, and eye issues.
Research shows that cannabis can offer:
- A “neuroprotective” effect that reduces nerve pain
- “Anti-spasmodic agents” that relieve gastrointestinal cramping and pain
- A “vasodilator” effect to improve circulation
- The calming of diabetic “restless leg syndrome” to help people sleep better
While cannabis is not necessarily a cure-all, it does offer a potentially safer - and less expensive - way to treat and manage the disease.
More research is definitely needed, but anecdotal evidence of the success of cannabis in treating diabetes, together with some promising initial scientific findings, certainly warrant further, more serious study into the correlation.