Despite the ever-growing body of information about marijuana and the health conditions it helps to treat, there is very little scientific data about whether or not the drug offers any benefit to the treatment of diabetes. Within the diabetic population, however, there is a significant amount of anecdotal information suggesting that the use of cannabis might help stabilize blood sugar. This may be because it helps to reduce catecholamines and/or the hormones that cause stress: glucocorticoids.
According to the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, cannabinoids, "…act primarily to inhibit prostaglandins and COX-2, while providing powerful anti-oxidant properties to salvage free radicals, and inhibit macrophage and TNF."
In plain English, this means that marijuana works well as an anti-inflammatory treatment without the side effects of steroids. The latter is important, because diabetics are supposed to avoid steroids. As well, many NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - things like Tylenol and Aleve) cause liver or kidney issues, which cannabis does not. Since diabetics are prone to arterial inflammation, this property of cannabinoids is of great interest.
Cannabis has another trait that is helpful to diabetics, though: it is neuroprotective. This means that it helps protect the nerve covering (myelin sheath) from inflammatory attack believed to be caused by glycoproteins in the blood, and reduces the pain associated with this condition, called neuropathy, by activating receptors throughout the brain and body. It's also thought that the anti-spasmodic elements of marijuana - likely cannibidiol - help relieve the muscle cramps and GI upset that many diabetics suffer.
While marijuana is not believed to offer anti-hypertension aid, it is a vasodilator and helps promote blood flow, and reduce blood pressure. As well, when cannabis is added to food products it improves the levels of key cannabinoids in the bloodstream, and provides (in the form of cannabis butter and oil) a triple-bonded fatty acid in place of the saturated fats normally contained in these products. This is a benefit to arterial and cardiac health for anyone using edible forms of the plant.
Cooking with cannabis can be extremely beneficial for diabetics, also, because it's far easier to maintain good blood sugar levels when cooking at home instead of eating prepared foods, but cannabis can also be mixed with aloe or emu oil to form a topical cream or salve that will help the neuropathic pain and tingling patients often experience, while smoking or nebulizing marijuana at bedtime can reduce the need for muscle relaxants to ease restless leg syndrome.
Finally, if overnight hypoglycemia is an issue the patient can nibble a cannabis cookie before bed or first thing in the morning - it's perfectly safe, as long as portion control is exercised.
I'm not a diabetic but I do watch my diet by using mainly natural ingredients and less genetically-engineered ingredients. But now knowing that cannabis cooked food have good fatty acid and maintains good blood sugar levels.
I recently told my other in law about the medical properties and she
Was interested in trying the edibles for her pain, I gave her a small peice of
A rice crispy happy treat and she did fine until it started really working and then
She freaked out. I felt soo bad she was fine but really high and thought the world
Was ending basicly, I know she had a little to much but on the upside her pain was
Gone completely but her poor head was spinning. She said she would never try it ever
Again but I know it would have been better if she didn't eat soo much to start out with.
By the way she has diabetes and a recently replaced hip and a later after surgery broken
Leg, she hasent been without pain for several years takes vicodine all day every day. The small
Dose of edible took the pain away completly.
Laboratory of Physiological Studies, National Institutes of Health 2007
Collectively, our results suggest that the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid CBD have significant therapeutic benefits against diabetic complications and atherosclerosis..
…This is particularly encouraging in light of the excellent safety and tolerability profile of CBD in humans.
A provocative new analysis of data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) indicates marijuana users had 66% lower odds of having diabetes after adjustment for numerous potential confounding factors, Dr. Magda Shaheen reported at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.
Researchers at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem reported that injections of 5 mg per day of CBD significantly reduced the prevalence of diabetes in mice from an incidence of 86 percent in non-treated controls to an incidence of only 30 percent. In a separate experiment, investigators reported that control mice all developed diabetes at a median of 17 weeks (range 15-20 weeks) while a majority (60 percent) of CBD-treated mice remained diabetes-free at 26 weeks.
Investigators also reported that CBD significantly lowered plasma levels of the pro-inflammatory cykotines (proteins), INF-gamma and TNF-alpha, and significantly reduced the severity of insulitis
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