Can Marijuana Help Diabetes?

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Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States with more than 29 million adults and children suffering from the life-threatening disease. Diabetes is marked by an inability to produce or respond to insulin and those with the disease cannot regulate their blood sugar. This can lead to complications such as glaucoma, neuropathy, circulation issues, and heart disease. Though type 1 diabetes must be treated with insulin injections, many of the symptoms can be additionally managed with cannabis use. Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented with lifestyle changes and the addition of cannabis. Here is more information on the relationship between cannabis and this deadly disease.

What is diabetes?

The most common disorder of the hormone or endocrine system, diabetes is the result of blood sugar levels that are consistently above normal. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body has an inability to make insulin. Type 2 diabetes is what happens when the body no longer responds to the effects of insulin. Insulin is the main hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and lets the body use sugar for energy, so when the body cannot make it or does not respond to it, major complications can result. 

Type 1 diabetes usually begins to affect sufferers under the age of 20. Because those with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin, they have to inject it to control their blood sugar. Those with type 2 diabetes usually develop it later in life and it is often a result of poor diet or obesity. However, more and more young people are developing type 2 diabetes because of lack of exercise and excess weight. Type 2 diabetes can often be reversed by altering one’s lifestyle.

What are common treatments for diabetes?

As noted above, treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes is different. Those with type 2 can often manage symptoms by losing weight, watching their diet and getting regular exercise. However, some with type 2 diabetes must also take a pill or injections that help them use insulin better. Common drugs taken by those with type 2 diabetes include amylinomimetic drugs that delay the time it takes the stomach to empty itself, therefore lowering blood sugar, biguanides that decrease how much sugar the liver makes, and dopamine agonists that help prevent insulin resistance. 

For those with type 1 diabetes, insulin is the main treatment. There are many different types of insulin such as short-acting, rapid-acting, intermediate-acting and long-acting. The type used depends on the individual. 

Medical Marijuana and Diabetes

How can marijuana prevent type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is often preventable. Along with lifestyle changes, cannabis can be an effective preventative measure because it can help control blood sugar. Those who use marijuana are less likely to be obese and have a lower BMI (body mass index), both of which are helpful in preventing type 2 diabetes. Using marijuana can also increase levels of good cholesterol, another fact in diabetes prevention. In the case of type 1 diabetes, research has shown that CBD can delay the onset of the disease and can even reduce the occurrence of it. 

How can marijuana treat diabetes?

Once an individual has developed either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, many different symptoms and complications can occur. Cannabis can be very effective in treating many of these conditions. The first is eye disease. Those with diabetes often have higher fluid pressure in the eye which can lead to glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Cannabis is known for lowering this pressure and thus preserving eye health. 

Diabetes is also known for causing inflammation in the arteries and nerves. Cannabis has known anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective effects that can reduce the pain of neuropathy and sometimes even prevent further nerve damage. Improved circulation and lower blood pressure are also benefit of using cannabis for diabetes sufferers. Poor circulation can lead to damage in the extremities and high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of strokes and heart attacks. 

Diabetic restless leg syndrome is another common complaint for those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Smoking or vaping cannabis while sleeping can reduce the symptoms of RLS and help those with diabetes sleep better. Better sleep is also associated with reduced blood pressure and stress. 

For those who have developed type 2 diabetes, using cannabis can have an even more profound effect. By using strains that are high in CBD, sufferers can reduce the amount of insulin or other medications needed, can reduce their insulin resistance, and fix the endocannabinoid imbalance that is present in many who develop diabetes because of their inability to lose weight. 

Best ways to use marijuana for diabetes 

Those who have risk factors for diabetes such as relatives who have developed the disease, are obese, or have high blood sugar, using strains of marijuana that are high in CBD can be an effective preventative treatment. As noted previously, cannabis can help treat stress and enable restful sleep, both of which lead to lower BMIs and lower blood pressure. 

For those who have already developed either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, using cannabis in a variety of ways depending on symptoms can be very helpful. For those who have trouble sleeping or have RLS, vaping strains high in CBD can help alleviate symptoms and increase restful sleep. Smoking, ingesting, or vaping high-CBD strains during the daytime can help treat neuropathy, increase circulation, and lower eye pressure. Long-term use of cannabis can also lead to overall lower blood sugar levels.

How to get a cannabis card for diabetes

Diabetes CTA

If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes or risk factors for developing diabetes, you can use cannabis to prevent the disease or treat the symptoms. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, you can get your MMJ card online and start benefitting from the many positive effects of cannabis immediately. Schedule your online appointment with to talk with one of their qualified physicians and get your medical marijuana ID card without having to leave your home. 

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