CBD for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes

UPDATED ON MARCH 1ST, 2019

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases, and many doctors and researchers consider it an epidemic.  Diabetes causes high blood glucose levels which can lead to serious health complications. The most severe include damage to the kidneys and the eyes. It also increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and in some serious cases, can lead to loss of limbs.

This biggest factor for developing diabetes is our lifestyle. Our diet and amount of exercise we get have been proven to have a correlation to the risk of developing diabetes. Not eating a well-balanced diet and not being active puts one at a higher risk of developing diabetes.  In many cases, diabetes can be managed by simply changing one’s diet and level of exercise. There are also medications that can be given to regulate blood glucose levels.

Can CBD be used to treat diabetes?

The Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University in Israel conducted a study in 2015 which focused on the use of CBD and diabetes. This study showed that CBD reduced inflammation and helped regulate the patient’s blood sugar levels. This reaction that CBD had on the blood sugar levels could prove for it to be a useful treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is when a person produces no insulin, whereas type 2 is when a person produces too much. Currently, the treatment for these two types of diabetes is different due to the different impact they have on the pancreas. CBD offers a possible solution to both types. The Autoimmunity Journal also published a study back in 2006 which confirmed that CBD reduced the severity of diabetes in rats. Being able to use one substance to regulate blood sugar shows that CBD may be able to offer hope to all diabetic patients.

As mentioned above, another serious health consequence of diabetes is the risk of losing limbs due to the damage of the nerves and blood vessels. Nerve damage is also known as peripheral neuropathy. It often starts with the loss of sensation in the fingers, toes, foot or hand. This loss of sensation often times prevents the patient from being warned that the skin is being injured which can result in skin loss, blisters, and ulcers.

Ischemia is the lack of sufficient blood supply to an organ. The most common causes of death in adults with diabetes is heart disease and stroke, which is caused by damage to the nerves and blood vessels that control your heart and blood vessels. A study from the UK showed that CBD reduced both the total number of ischemia-induced arrhythmias (problem with the heart rate). This is due to the anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and neuroprotective qualities of CBD.

Another study from Japan details the therapeutic potential of CBD for ischemic stroke. The researchers conclude that CBD has cerebro-protective effects after an ischemic stroke, patients don’t develop a tolerance, and CBD has almost no side effects.

Gestational Diabetes

Unlike with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is triggered by pregnancy. This condition occurs in about 2%-10% of pregnancies. In most cases, the mother will have the baby and the signs and symptoms clear up leaving the mother diabetes free. For some mothers, about 10%, they develop type 2 diabetes after they give birth. Gestational diabetes is more serious for the unborn baby than it is for the mother, but there are still some risks for the mother to be aware of. Really watching their diet and exercise level is very important.

More and more women are beginning to turn to CBD as a form of treatment during pregnancy to alleviate the more common symptoms. During pregnancy, many women deal with inflammation and pain, as well as digestive issues. CBD is becoming very popular among women to use even before and after pregnancy.  CBD has been proven to help with mood swings, balancing hormones, help the health of their skin, nails, and hair, as well as, ease nausea, morning sickness, and postpartum depression. Since there is now research that provides evidence that CBD can also help with treating diabetes, some women are turning to this instead of insulin alone or lifestyle changes in order to treat it and help lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Further research continues to be done to shed light on the use of CBD as an everyday preventive supplement.