There is a lot of inaccurate information regarding CBD, diabetes, and related symptoms. For instance, while CBD may boast many potential benefits, it cannot cure or treat any disease – including diabetes.
To date, there have been no advanced clinical trials on the effects of CBD on diabetes. Results from several animal studies have shown it could decrease the disease’s symptoms through an immunomodulatory mechanism.
Research also suggests that CBD’s various properties may help with secondary symptoms of diabetes. It could even help decrease the overall prevalence of the condition.
This article will delve into CBD, diabetes, and low blood sugar symptoms. It will also explore how various types of cannabis extract may play a crucial role by offering a safe, inexpensive way of mitigating disease symptoms.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease wherein the body cannot correctly transfer the glucose from food into energy sources for cells. This is due to how the body makes or responds to the hormone insulin. The result is high blood sugar levels. People with diabetes have either the type 1 or type 2 form of the disease.
People with type 1 diabetes make up about 5–10% of the diabetic population. Those with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. Insulin is a critical hormone that transfers glucose (sugar) molecules from the bloodstream into cells. This is generally due to an autoimmune attack on the pancreas – the organ responsible for producing insulin.
Research suggests that type 2 diabetes affects over 400 million people worldwide.
Type 1 diabetes usually arises in children or young adults but can occur in older adults as well. It is hypothesized that a viral infection triggers the autoimmune condition in genetically susceptible people.
People with type 2 diabetes can still produce insulin, but the body does not adequately respond. This leads to an inability to control blood glucose.
Also, type 2 diabetes is a far more prevalent form of the disease; research suggests it affects over 400 million people worldwide. This number is between 90 and 95% of the total diabetic population.
Additionally, far more risk factors are associated with type 2 diabetes than there are with type 1.
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors
- Weight (obesity increases the risk significantly)
- Family history and genetics
- Ethnicity (African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are especially susceptible, though the reason is unclear)
- Age (people over 45 are far more likely to develop diabetes)
In both forms of diabetes, the body’s cells do not properly absorb the glucose the patient consumes. This results in it building up to dangerously high levels in the bloodstream. Both forms of diabetes cause severe, potentially life-threatening symptoms that we most often associate with the disease. Some of these symptoms include:
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Nerve damage
- Kidney disease
- Vision problems
In short, there aren’t many areas of the body that the physiological effects of diabetes do not impact. Both types of diabetes are associated with a decreased life expectancy.
Fortunately, people with diabetes can mitigate damage with conventional medications and other lifestyle changes.
Diabetes Treatment Options
Since they can’t produce it on their own, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin. It comes either in the form of self-administered shots or in the form of a pump. The pump automatically monitors blood glucose and injects the hormone as needed.
While these forms of treatment are state of the art, they are not 100% effective. People with diabetes, even when they are careful, may find it difficult to avoid the dangerous consequences of varying glucose levels.
Even state-of-the-art diabetes treatments are not 100% effective in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Not to mention, without a top-of-the-line health insurance plan, treatments like insulin pumps are far too expensive to consider. Therefore, most have to take blood from their finger to monitor sugar levels and self-administer insulin shots through hypodermic needles.
In type 2 diabetes, some individuals will most likely need a pharmaceutical drug like Metformin or Avandia. These drugs aid in properly regulating glucose. There are many different types of drugs that patients with type 2 diabetes can use. Some people with type 2 diabetes may also need to use insulin.
However, prescription meds may produce a range of side effects. They also incur a potentially significant monthly medical bill.
This is why many people with diabetes have been more than willing to try compounds like CBD oil in recent years. Many CBD users with diabetes claim that it has led to a significant improvement in their quality of life.
In discussing CBD oil for diabetes, there are two significant considerations. These considerations determine the degree of viability that the drug may have on the increasingly prevalent disease.
Primary Considerations When Using CBD Oil for Diabetes
When considering the potential impact of cannabidiol on diabetes and diabetes symptom management, the two main questions that arise are:
- In what ways (if any) does CBD work to improve insulin production or its function?
- In what ways might CBD work to alleviate the spectrum of side effects caused by irregular blood sugar levels?
Recent research publications have sought to address both of these questions directly. However, investigative studies have not made any concrete conclusions regarding CBD’s efficacy. That being said, they are shedding some light on how individuals may potentially use CBD oil for diabetes.
CBD Oil for Diabetes: What the Research Has Shown
In the world of medicine, anecdotal evidence can only go so far. Most physicians do not recommend CBD because they cannot concretely address the physiological reasons why it’s beneficial. This article does not endorse the use of CBD products in place of any medications prescribed by a healthcare professional.
That said, along with its potential to help with nervous disorder symptoms, researchers have begun studying CBD for diabetes. The results are promising.
CBD for Diabetes Research
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam is a famous research scientist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He points out that naturally occurring CBD receptors occur throughout the human body – from the brain and nervous tissues to organs, endocrine glands, and immune cells.
One of the organs where he’s found the receptors to be highly prevalent is in the pancreas.
CBD receptors occur throughout the human body, including the islet cells of the pancreas – the site of insulin production.
Despite these studies, researchers cannot state that endocannabinoid receptors are directly responsible for insulin production. They also cannot report that CBD is a cure for diabetes. While the receptors may play a role in the pancreas, experts need to do more research.
However, preliminary studies on CBD for diabetes in mice have been promising. So much so that they have led to calls for increased funding and collaboration on continued research.
One of the most recent studies was published in Neurotoxicity Research in 2019. It found that CBD’s neuroprotective effects helped prevent inflammation and boost memory function in the brains of middle-aged rats with diabetes.
A study on human subjects published in Diabetes Care in 2016 had less promising results, though. It found that CBD did not affect glycemic control when compared to a placebo. Glycemic control is extremely important in the management of diabetes and its symptoms.
Best CBD Oil for Diabetes
First of all, we would like to reiterate that CBD is not designed to cure, treat, or diagnose any medical condition. We advise you to steer clear of any brands claiming otherwise. For instance, no responsible CBD company will suggest its product helps keep your insulin level under control.
- Products come from hemp and contain a maximum of 0.3% THC.
- The company uses CO2 extraction.
- Full third-party lab reports from a reputable source.
The CBD industry remains poorly regulated, so a failure to stick rigidly to the above means you’re at risk of purchasing a low-grade and potentially harmful product.
There are various CBD products, including oils, edibles, vape products, and topicals. At present, sublingual consumption via CBD oil is preferred by most users. Place the requisite number of drops beneath your tongue, and hold for 60-90 seconds before swallowing. This process allows for absorption through your blood vessels.
Can CBD Help Treat Underlying Symptoms of Diabetes?
Nerve damage is another condition commonly caused by diabetes. In many instances, people with diabetes will have limited sensation in their lower extremities. This is due to nerve damage, so people with diabetes are potentially unaware of injuries due to lack of feeling. This process also results in an increased risk of infection.
Researchers looking into CBD and how it may mitigate symptoms of diabetes have made a few important discoveries. First, CBD might function as a neuroprotectant. Whether this plays any role in the nerve damage caused by diabetes is unknown.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of CBD could also play a role in the management of diabetes and diabetic complications. However, much more research needs to be done.
Finally, it is important to point out that CBD oil has no intoxicating effects. Unlike whole-plant marijuana, it contains hardly any THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the plant’s mind-altering effects.
What Should You Know Before Trying CBD for Diabetes?
Your first step should involve talking to your doctor. There is evidence that CBD, despite being a natural product, can interact with certain medications. The latest research into this issue appeared in the Karger journal in 2020. The researchers identified almost 140 medications potentially affected by cannabinoids. Furthermore, the altered concentration was potentially dangerous in 57 medications.
Here are a few other things to consider:
Side Effects: Don’t assume that CBD won’t cause any adverse effects. The list of side effects is relatively small, and they are generally minor. However, you could experience fatigue, irritability, diarrhea, and nausea.
THC: As we pointed out earlier, it is essential to buy from a trustworthy source. The unregulated nature of the industry means there are many cases where CBD products contain above the legal THC limit. Although some people may try medical marijuana for diabetes, the last thing you want is to experience an unexpected intoxicating high.
Full-Spectrum: In general, it is best if you opt for a full-spectrum product. It contains dozens of cannabinoids and compounds, and you may get the benefit of the entourage effect. However, you might want to try broad-spectrum if it is important to have 0% THC in everything you consume. CBD isolates contain no other compounds other than cannabidiol.
Dosage: There are no specific guidelines on how much CBD to take for diabetes or any other condition. However, most sellers recommend using 2.5-20mg a day. It is best to err on the side of caution and begin with a smaller amount.
Final Thoughts on CBD, Diabetes, and Future Treatment Options
CBD oil does not guarantee relief for all people with diabetes. Some patients claim it has therapeutic benefits, while others haven’t noticed a positive change in their condition.
As is always the case, it’s essential to do plenty of research. Also, if possible, speak with a doctor or health professional about the use of CBD products for you and your specific condition. CBD potentially boasts a range of safe, reliable therapeutic benefits. A quality CBD oil may have the power to make a tremendous positive impact on your well-being and general quality of life.
Does CBD Oil Lower Blood Sugar?
At present, there isn’t enough information available to provide a definitive answer. However, research on rats with reduced blood flow to the brain, a common symptom of diabetes, revealed something interesting. It suggests that CBD could cut down hyperglycemia, which is high blood sugar.
How Much CBD Oil Should You Take for Diabetes?
The lack of FDA approval means there are no medical guidelines for the use of CBD for any condition. In general, it is best to begin with as little as 5mg a day. From there, monitor how it affects you before considering an increase in dose. As CBD affects everyone differently, the daily amount that provides a positive benefit for one person might not have the same effect on you.
Does CBD Oil Cure Diabetes?
Clinical research into CBD’s effects on humans with diabetes is lacking at present. As CBD isn’t FDA approved, it is illegal for any brand to claim it can cure, treat, prevent, or diagnose any condition. The limited research on animals to date has yielded promising results, but far more data is required.
Are CBD Gummies Containing Sugar a Good Idea if You Have Diabetes?
The American Diabetes Association asserts that people with diabetes can eat sugary foods, as long as they do so in moderation as part of a healthy diet and exercise regimen. That said, it is generally best to avoid CBD gummies with sugar and artificial flavorings if you’re using CBD for preventative wellness.