If you are among those who are battling against diabetes, then it is very natural to get curious about new treatments being introduced in the market.
CBD or Cannabidiol, is a new compound that is still under study and scientists are trying to figure out if it helps in treating diabetes without causing any severe side effects.
Yes, you heard it right, no severe side effects!!
This compound has been tested on mice and rats and has shown some promising results. So, it is good news for humans, that a new compound will soon take over the market for not only treating diabetes, but for so many other ailments as well.
So, before taking a deep dive into how CBD is helping in managing diabetes, let us get some information about diabetes, its effects on human health, how it is caused and how it is being treated for years.
What is Diabetes?
The International Diabetes Federation describes diabetes as a chronic condition, which arises when the pancreatic gland is not making enough insulin or the insulin is not used correctly by the body.
Insulin is a hormone that the pancreases produce. The function is to take the glucose from our food in the blood and take into the mitochondrial cells, which produces energy.
The carbohydrates that we consume are lysed into glucose in the blood, and insulin facilitates glucose to get inside the energy-producing cells.
So, when the pancreas is unable to make insulin effectively, glucose starts accumulating in the blood, causing an increased level and leading to a condition called hyperglycemia, which means high levels of sugar. If this condition is untreated, it can do some severe damage to the body, as mentioned above.
There are three different types of diabetes
1. Type 1 Diabetes
So out of all the people who have diabetes, around 10% are Type 1, diabetes patients. It is an autoimmune disease where the body’s own immune system attacks the pancreases.
As a result, either no or very little insulin is produced. However, scientists are still figuring out the exact reason behind this, but for now, they link it to specific environmental and genetic conditions.
The symptoms for type 1 are:
- abrupt weight loss
- frequent urination
- Hungry all the time
Management of type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured; instead, it can be managed by giving daily doses of insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. Insulin is given by either an insulin pen or insulin pumps. In such a condition, insulin alone will not bring a remarkable difference.
The patient should take into account several other things like checking glucose levels frequently, maintaining a proper and healthy diet, physical activity, and letting go of a sedentary lifestyle.
Benefits of CBD with Type 1 diabetes
CBD is showing some promising results in the clinical trials. When mice with diabetes type 1 were subjected to CBD, they showed delayed onset of diabetes and also decreased the occurrence of the disease altogether.
CBD because of its anti-inflammatory properties is also reported to decrease the inflammation of pancreatic cells.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is responsible for 90% of all diabetes cases. In this condition, the body develops insulin resistance. The body does not completely respond to the insulin, and the body’s glucose level keeps on rising. The pancreas is exhausted because they keep on producing insulin in response to high glucose levels.
Some factors that contribute to type two diabetes include overweight, family history, poor diet, old age, lack of physical activity, etc.
The symptoms for type 2 are:
- thirst and hunger
- slow healing of wounds
- numbness of feet and hands
- blurred vision
Management of type 2 diabetes
Doctors will usually start the treatment by prescribing metformin and sulfonylureas. Medicines alone are not enough to bring your sugar levels in control. The patient should maintain a healthy diet, indulge in some physical activity, and maintain body weight.
Benefits of CBD with Type 2 diabetes
People suffering from diabetes often complain about the increase in their weight, which usually results due to imbalances of the endocannabinoid system. This is where the use of CBD comes into action. It provides balance to the system and helps the patients lose weight.
Some study is still underway, which suggests that continuous ingestion of marijuana is linked to decrease insulin resistance and also improves our blood sugar levels.
3. Gestational Diabetes
This type of diabetes only occurs in pregnant women. In most cases, it disappears after pregnancy, but it leaves the child at a high risk of developing diabetes type 2 in the future.
Scientific Studies on CBD for Diabetes
CBD’s effectiveness is still under clinical trials, but they have shown promising results so far. A study was published in Autoimmunity journal, showed that continuous administration of CBD reduced the occurrence of diabetes in mice. It was also found that CBD inhibited insulitis, which is a disease of the pancreas due to the infiltration of lymphocytes.
CBD offers anti-inflammatory properties and neuroprotective properties, which can prevent our body from oxidative and nitrative stress. These conditions can lead to retinal damage, causing diabetic blindness.
A study published in the American Journal of Pathology shows that if treated with CBD, inflammation and oxidative stress can both be reduced significantly, averting retinal cell death in the retinas of diabetic rats.
In 2010, a preclinical study published in a journal showed that CBD was not only involved in reducing the inflammation in a diabetic rate, but it also lowered the risk associated to CVS disorder, which is very common among diabetic patients.
Using CBD to treat Diabetes
CBD or cannabidiol is a magical compound, which is extracted from Cannabis Sativa. It is well tolerated in humans and has a wide safety profile, but it is still not efficiently used in the treatment of many ailments.
CBD is not the first line of treatment for diabetes, but it is indeed a great option used in its treatment. The therapy typically uses the extract from the cannabis plant from which CBD is obtained. The extract is found to have a positive effect on both metabolism and insulin.
Anti-inflammatory properties of CBD
Inflammation plays a pivotal role in causing type 1 and type 2 diabetes and some other chronic diseases.
A study was conducted in 2015, which suggested that the anti-inflammatory property of CBD can treat the inflammation that causes diabetes or some other chronic ailments.
Neuropathy pain management
Neuropathic pain is a very common complication observed in patients dealing with diabetes. In this condition, the nerves of the lower limb areas are affected the most.
This condition is extremely painful
In 2015, scientists conducted a study on patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. After they were given inhaled cannabis, they showed remarkable reduction in pain.
Protecting against retinopathy
People suffering from diabetes often experience diabetic retinopathy, which is the main culprit for vision loss. Retinopathy is triggered by the breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier.
According to a study of 2006, a group of rats were CBD for one, two and four weeks. After the time period was over and the effects of CBD were observed, it showed that the CBD reduced the inflammation and the breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier.
CBD dosage for Diabetes
CBD dosage requires due diligence and doctors take into account a number of factors before designing CBD dosage for its patients. These are:
- Severity of disease/ problem
- Body weight
- Allergy to cannabis
- Body chemistry
CBD products for diabetes
CBD is available in different forms, which are used as supportive therapy in diabetes treatment.
It can be found in forms of tincture, oils, vapes, creams and ointments form. Picking up a high-quality product is essential if you are seeking relief.
There may be a lot of products out there in the market, and at times it gets very overwhelming to choose the right product, so to help you in picking the right product, we have shortlisted few bestselling CBD products:
This tincture aids in good night’s sleep. Having a proper and sound sleep plays an important role in proper digestion and in anxiety. Both of these things work to eliminate the negative impacts of diabetes on your body.
It is one of the most bioavailable CBD products in the market. It is available in a tincture form; that is why its effects are observed within minutes of its ingestion.
This contains CBD oil tincture and helps in treating against insomnia depression and anxiety. These 3 points are major culprits in developing diabetes because they can have a huge effect on blood glucose levels and pancreas function in insulin production.
These products are not used directly in the treatment of diabetes rather; they mitigate the factors that aggravate the diabetic condition.
Diabetes often causes swelling of ankle and feet. But soaking your feet in water can dry out your skin and causes cracks and may lead to an infection.
As we know, that wound healing is diminished in diabetes so anything that can lead to infection and wound should be avoided. However, these Vertly bath salts are different they are specifically designed to soothe up swelling of ankle and feet and are recommended in diabetic patients even.
It is a pain-relieving product infused with CBD. CBD is broken down into nanoparticles and is absorbed into the body faster than other usual products. It will ease any pain of joint that is experienced in diabetes.
Use of CBD in managing the Diabetes symptoms
How to start with CBD?
So, if you have diabetes and wants to manage some of the symptoms associated with it, then before starting anything, you should have a detailed conversation with your doctor first.
Below mentioned are all the things you need to know to get started with CBD-
Dosage of CBD
You cannot abruptly start taking CBD as much as you want. It involves a lot of homework and depends on a number of factor like your age, weight, height, any allergies and symptoms you want to manage by using CBD. To make things easier for you, you can calculate your CBD dosage using this dosage calculator.
CBD Isolate or Full-Spectrum
A full-spectrum CBD will contain all the other compounds that will be extracted along with CBD. So, because of the entourage effect, it is believed that full-spectrum products may offer more benefits than the isolated products.
Do not compromise on the quality
If you want to attain the maximum benefit of something, then always use the best quality. Same is the case with CBD, always use the best quality CBD. How it is grown, cultivated, dried, it all makes a huge difference.
Reddit Testimonials on CBD Use for diabetes
On a Reddit thread discussing CBD and diabetes, one contributor shared the experience of CBD and wrote that, “I’m a Type II diabetic, controlled by oral meds and diet. I’ve been taking CBD caps twice daily, and my AM sugar has dropped 15-20 points.”
On the other hand, some people are still figuring out if CBD is really making any difference in their sugar levels or not. Another Reddit user posted that, “ I use CBD with Type 2. I am a lower-level T2 (A1C of 7.1 last testing) so I don’t test my blood sugar daily or use insulin, only metformin and diet.
That said, I have no idea if it affects blood sugar. I will say that overall I am underwhelmed with the magical properties of CBD. It might help take the edge off when I feel exceptionally anxious. Does nothing for pain. Undecided if it helps with sleep.”
Another one wrote that “Problem is that a lot of reports with CBD/THC and the interactions with blood sugar are totally anecdotal and there isn’t a ton of hard data to back anything. From my experience, it tends to make me go low-ish if I smoke and end up not caving in to munchies. It also seems like I wake up with better levels, but that could be just due to better quality of sleep, not the THC/CBD itself.”