Are Cannabinoids the Solution for Diabetic Maintenance?
Living with diabetes is like having multiple Achilles heels. It’s a disease with many threats and complications and managing them can be challenging at best. Unfortunately, Diabetes Burnout is a real condition that causes individuals to call it quits on managing their disease.
Diabetes affects multiple systems of the body, multiple systems upon which cannabinoids have been proven to have benefits. If at best, diabetics are struggling to maintain under the constant threat of their disease and at worst they are giving up, why are we not more vigorously promoting the use and further research of cannabinoids?
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds derived from cannabis that work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is through this system that they exert their effects on the human body. The ECS is present in all mammals and is involved in the regulation of a number of body functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, production of hormones, and regulation of immune and nervous system responses. By regulating these functions, it helps to maintain the body’s homeostasis.
Cannabis and its derivatives have been found to be quite instrumental in tackling many diseases at once. Research shows that people with diabetes have a potential to reap many benefits from cannabinoids.
Diabetics have to fight their disease on many fronts. They have to maintain their blood sugar, manage their pain and discomfort, and stave off complications that arise from diabetes. Concerning these three core areas, cannabinoids offer three major benefits. They regulate, alleviate and accumulate.
It’s as if cannabinoids were created to answer the threats of diabetes. Here’s how:
Regulate: Glucose Control
The biggest problem with diabetes is sugar. Either it is too high or too low. The body has an issue with regulating the blood sugar in diabetics. When they take conventional drugs to help control the blood sugars, sometimes the drugs overdo their work and cause low blood glucose. While low blood sugar may seem to be the ideal state for a diabetic, the truth is that it is extremely dangerous. This is where the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), comes into play. CBD makes glucose metabolism optimal. This is achieved by reducing excessive fatty tissues in the body. When CBD binds to its receptors, the results are a decrease in food intake and hence reduced weight. The fatty cells are the cells most responsible for storing fat, which causes weight gain. Obesity always makes diabetes and other health conditions worse.
There are myriad animal studies about the positive effects of marijuana and cannabinoids on diabetes. A 2013 study linked marijuana use in people with lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, and smaller waist size. A 2016 study conducted by the American Diabetes Association on humans found specifically that the cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), could act as a therapeutic agent in glycemic control for type 2 diabetes.
Alleviate: Anti-Inflammation and Pain Relief
Oxidative stress is increased in a disease such as diabetes. The body has more toxins to clean and clear from the body. CBD works well in diabetics by relieving the stress caused by inflammation. The cascade of inflammation causes cells to eventually die. This demands another process of healing which puts high demands on the already weak body.
Most patients only visit the doctor when their condition causes them pain or other discomforts. Pain relief for diabetics increases the quality of life. Use of CBD offers excellent anti-spasm to the muscles of the gut. The spasms would otherwise lead to cramping and pain. The analgesic properties of CBD are due to their ability to activate the body’s own painkillers. Pain from nerve damage is obliterated by the anti-inflammatory action of CBD.
Accumulate: Increase Lifespan
Diabetes is not as bad as its complications. In fact, it’s diabetic complications that lead to hospitalization for many patients. Controlling diabetes helps to reduce the complications and therefore increase the lifespan of an individual. Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces the chances of individuals developing vascular diseases such as hardening or narrowing of vessels. CBD oil reduces vessel damage and conditions that may lead to hardening or fat deposition in the lumen of the arteries and veins.
Also, the brain and the nervous system have CBD receptors, and CBD has neuroprotective properties. When CBD binds to its natural receptors, it protects an individual with diabetes from diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy.
Help Prevent Diabetic Burnout
Studies on animals and humans have already shown the benefits of the cannabinoids, CBD, and THC, on individuals with diabetes. But the possibilities have not even begun to be discovered. Cannabis has an untapped wealth of benefits to offer humanity, one area of which is the various cannabinoids that might be able to act as viable therapeutic agents for countless diseases and disorders. The presence of the endocannabinoid system proves that we are naturally designed to receive and benefit from these naturally occurring chemicals.
The above information is just a mere outline of how cannabinoids can improve the lives of diabetics. The 2014 Farm Bill now makes it possible to safely farm, research, and market industrial hemp, from which cannabinoids are derived. It would not only be irresponsible but cruel not to further research and develop the benefits of cannabinoids on diabetes as well as the many other diseases and disorders that afflict humanity.
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Project CBD. Web. 20 June 2018. https://www.projectcbd.org/diabetes
Khalid A. Jadoon et. al. “Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study.” Diabetes Care. Aug 2016. Web. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2016/08/26/dc16-0650