Misinformation regarding CBD is increasing. For instance, while CBD may treat the underlying symptoms of diabetes, it may not be considered a cure.
To date, no human clinical trials focusing on CBD’s effects on diabetes have been conducted.
Existing research is based on animal models, and therefore not translatable to humans.
This slow scientific progress has stopped CBD’s medicinal value from getting well-established.
No conclusive evidence that CBD can cure diabetes exists. However, ongoing research suggests that the cannabinoid may have various therapeutic benefits.
There is no definitive evidence that CBD can cure diabetes. Ongoing research does, however, point to promising potential benefits.
Here’s what we know about CBD for diabetes, and what anecdotal and scientific evidence is suggesting:
CBD and Diabetes: What You Need to Know
In diabetes, patients have difficulty regulating blood sugar levels. In these individuals, insulin production is abnormal. Insulin is a compound which is vital for the transport of glucose molecules across cell membranes and their subsequent conversion into energy packets.
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In type 1, the body’s ability to create insulin is diminished. But, in type 2, the body’s sensitivity to insulin declines. In both cases, glucose molecules build up in the body, resulting in life-threatening symptoms.
What to Keep in Mind When Using CBD for Diabetes
When discussing the effect of cannabidiol on diabetes, two important questions arise:
- Does CBD, in any way of form, improve insulin function or production?
- Does CBD counteract the symptoms of diabetes?
Research has targeted studies to answer these two questions. However, this investigation hasn’t yielded any concrete evidence. That said, there’s some information on how people can use CBD oil to treat their diabetic conditions.
Before discussing this, let’s shed some light on diabetes’s epidemiology.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to break down glucose into energy efficiently. This is because of its ineffectiveness to manage insulin senility and production, both of which contribute to high sugar levels in the bloodstream.
The percentage of people with diabetes type 1 is 5-10%. As mentioned above, type 1 diabetic patients are unable to make insulin. Insulin is a compound that carries out the transport of glucose molecules to assist their conversion into energy for cells. Insulin function in the body is compromised because of a pancreatic autoimmune attack. The pancreas is the organ responsible for releasing insulin.
Researchers generally believe that viral infection causes this autoimmune response in genetically vulnerable individuals. Type 1 diabetes is prevalent in children but can occur in adults as well.
People with type 2 diabetes don’t lose their ability to produce insulin. However, their body becomes unreceptive to the compound, which causes blood glucose levels to rise. This diabetic condition is far more widespread than its counterpart, affecting more than 400 million people worldwide. Moreover, type 2 diabetes has far more risk factors. These include:
Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors:
- Weight (obesity being the leading cause)
- Family history and genetics
- Ethnicity (African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have a higher chance of contracting the disease)
- Age (people over 45 are far more susceptible)
Diabetes can subject individuals to life-threatening symptoms. Some of which include:
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Nerve damage stroke
- Kidney disease
- Vision problems
Fortunately, people who have diabetes can manage their sickness with conventional medications and lifestyle changes.
Cannabidiol for Diabetes: What the Research Says
While anecdotal evidence backs CBD use for diabetes, scientific opinion is tentative at best. Most doctors hesitate to prescribe CBD to diabetic patients because they’re unsure of the physiological effects it has on the human body.
In line with this train of thought, this article doesn’t recommend CBD oil as a replacement for conventional diabetic therapies.
That said, researchers have started to explore CBD’s potential as a diabetic medication. Initial results paint a promising picture.
Studies on CBD and Diabetes
CBD taps into the endocannabinoid system to produce its effects. The endocannabinoid system is present throughout the body, in tissues, organs, endocrine glands, and even immune sites.
All of these regions contain ECS receptors, which CBD can influence and modulate. One such place where the incidence of these receptors is especially high is the pancreas. Researchers have found that CBD may tap into CB1 receptors found in the islet cells — the spot where the body produces insulin.
Despite these findings, scientists can’t say for sure whether endocannabinoid receptors are directly involved in insulin production. This means they also can’t label CBD a cure for diabetes. More extensive research is needed to understand the role of CBD in insulin production further.
Can CBD Help Treat Underlying Symptoms of Diabetes?
CBD may exhibit neuroprotective properties. In many cases, people who have diabetes will have decline in nerve function in their lower limbs due to nerve damage. This can result in people being unaware of injuries due to lack of sensation and heightened risk of infection. Investigative studies have found that CBD can protect the myelin sheath around nerve cells and shield them from diabetic damage.
CBD also has antioxidant antiinflammatory properties that may help manage diabetic symptoms and complications. However, extensive human clinical trials need to be conducted to ascertain whether this is the case or not. Right now, most of the scientific data in this area of research is based on animal models.
It’s noteworthy here that CBD has an excellent safety profile. It doesn’t pose any adverse side effects, even in high doses. Moreover, it’s not psychotropic like THC and will not induce any euphoric effects associated with marijuana highs.
CBD oil is not a surefire cure for diabetes. It might provide some relief to diabetic patients, but not with absolute certainty. This is because its potential as a diabetic therapy has largely been explored and more research is needed to change this.