The prevalence of diabetes in the United States is shocking. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 90 million Americans either have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Overall, more than 30 million Americans (over 9% of the population) have the condition. Meanwhile, pre-diabetes is a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes within five years, if left untreated.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for just 5% of cases – if you have this condition, it means your body’s immune system is destroying cells that release insulin. In effect, it prevents the body from producing insulin – and without this crucial substance, your cells won’t be able to absorb glucose (sugar), which is necessary to produce energy.
When I found out I had diabetes, my response was shock and fear. I tried many different programs. However, I now combine a stable diet with CBD. I’ve lost 50 pounds, my blood sugar is within normal, and I am off my medication.
William T, IL
Is Type 1 or Type 2 more common?
Type 2 diabetes is overwhelmingly the most common form of diabetes in the U.S., and it can develop at any age. If you have this condition, it means your body can produce insulin but it cannot use it properly (we otherwise know this as insulin resistance). When the condition gets worse, your pancreas will create lower amounts of insulin, which is known as insulin deficiency.
Dealing with diabetes as soon as possible is crucial. Otherwise, you could suffer from serious medical conditions such as kidney failure, blindness, stroke, heart disease, or even foot or leg amputations.
There are dozens of diabetes medications on the market, including labels like Prandin, Glucotrol, and Starlix. Of course, these types of medications pose serious side effects for many individuals and could result in high or low blood sugar if not used properly.
In contrast, some studies have shown that CBD can offer results similar to many prescription drugs on the market, with little to no side effects.
Is CBD the Best Diabetes Treatment?
It is certainly too early to tell whether or not CBD is the best therapy for diabetes. However, research has shown a promising picture in terms of how the natural cannabis-based compound may help.
If you have diabetes, you’ll know that it changes your life. Everything revolves around ensuring you manage the condition in advance. For example, if you plan on driving, you should check your blood glucose levels two hours beforehand and every two hours on the road.
Mood changes and depressive illnesses are also more common in individuals who have long-term medical conditions, and people living with diabetes are no different. It is normal to feel a total loss of control, which leads to heightened anxiety (interestingly enough, CBD can help you with anxiety disorders too!).
Before we get to the science, here is a quick overview of the multitude of ways in which CBD may be able to help with diabetes sufferers:
- It has neuroprotective effects may stop inflammation in nerves
- May help reduce neuropathic pain
- May help calm restless leg syndrome (RLS), a common diabetes symptom
- Has been shown to lower blood pressure
- Can act as a vasodilator (a medical term denoting a capacity to improve circulation by keeping blood vessels open)
What Does Science Say About CBD?
Doctor Raphael Mechoulam, one of the greatest cannabis chemists in history, is a pioneer in the research of cannabis’ medicinal properties. Some of his publications discuss the chemistry of CBD. In understanding the compound’s structure and chemistry, other scientists may eventually draw conclusions as to how CBD can offer therapy for diabetes-related symptoms.
The work of Dr. Mechoulam (and many others) shows that CBD receptors occur throughout the body. We know, for example, that these receptors exist in the pancreas – the site of insulin production. Thus, in theory, the consumption of CBD may have an influence on insulin levels. It may even turn out that cannabinoids could prevent diabetes altogether, though this of course would require years of additional research.
CBD receptors exist throughout the human body and have a high prevalence in the pancreas – the site of insulin production.
The importance of reliable academic studies
One important study relating to cannabinoids and diabetes treatment appeared in the American Journal of Medicine in 2013. The study contains five years of data regarding the effects of cannabis on insulin resistance and fasting insulin. It observes over 4,600 patients, almost half of whom were non-cannabis users. Researchers discovered that users of marijuana had 16% lower fasting insulin levels, and 17% lower insulin resistance levels.
The insulin resistance (IR) aspect of the study was especially interesting (as we discuss earlier, IR relates to type 2 diabetes). In the study, it was found that those who still used marijuana had a mean IR of 1.8. In contrast, past users had an IR of 2.2 while non-users had the highest IR of all at 2.5. Current users also had by far the lowest levels of blood glucose on average.
In other words, the study showed that consumption of cannabinoids (such as CBD) can directly decrease insulin resistance – the primary contributing factor to most all diabetes-related symptoms.
Can You Use CBD As a Long-Term Treatment for Diabetes?
Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, which means it shouldn’t make you fail a drug test, and it won’t get you high. Moreover, due to federal legislation under the U.S Farm Bill, many companies are offering high-grade CBD oil online, and offer reliable shipping to all 50 states.
A lot of commercially available marijuana strains (i.e. strains that are for sale in dispensaries) are laden with THC, with the CBD having almost been bred out of the plant. As such, you should focus on CBD-rich strains such as Charlotte’s Web and ACDC if you’re trying to experiment with the effects of CBD on diabetes symptoms.
These strains (which you can find in the form of edibles, pills, and oil tinctures) are filled with CBD, and contain virtually zero THC. Also, the amount you take depends entirely on individual needs. Some people feel positive effects with as little as 10mg of CBD a day, while others need up to 200mg.
We advise you to start low and gradually increase your dosage until you feel the effect you desire. Of course though, keep in mind that if you’re using CBD specifically for diabetes, you should not be under the impression that the compound will offer any sort of a cure for your condition.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Diabetes
In addition to a growing body of scientific research that backs the efficacy of CBD for symptoms stemming from diabetes, there is much anecdotal evidence that already exists from real-world users that have practical, firsthand knowledge of how the compound works for them.
I combine CBD with a low carbohydrate diet. Haven’t felt this good in years. My doctor is even blown away by the results.”
Joyce Grey, PA
Realistically, the only way to determine if CBD is right for you is to try it and see if it helps with your diabetes. With so many options in the marketplace, however, it can take days to do adequate research. Fortunately, our team researches dozens of CBD oils to determine the quality, domestically available brands.
You can view some of our favorites below. Most of these companies ship their CBD products to all 50 states, so feel free to give them a try if you’re wanting to experiment with the effects of CBD for your diabetic condition.
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $139.00)
- Maximum potency and purity
- Compounded by a licensed pharmacist
- Highly concentrated extraction process
- Price Range ($26-$169)
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- 100% Natural and Organic
- Contain no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Prices range ($48-$125)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Certified hemp grown in Colorado
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)
- Over 5 Years Experience
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Price Range ($62.00 – $204.00)