An increasing number of people in the United States are using cannabis, not just for recreational purposes, but also for medicinal purposes too. Research has shown that cannabis has the potential to be used as an alternative medicine to treat diabetes. When used medically, the compound has a lot of health benefits.
Before we discuss CBD oil and its effect on diabetes, let us learn more about the disease itself.
What Is Diabetes?
Commonly, we would know only about two types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. And perhaps a third one known as Gestational Diabetes. But did you know that there are actually four types of the disease? They are given below: –
Type 1 – People usually get Type 1 diabetes when they are in their teens or younger. This type of diabetes was earlier known as juvenile diabetes. It is an autoimmune condition where your immune system starts attacking the cells in the pancreas and thus, destroying the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin.
It is irreversible as the body loses its ability to produce insulin. Treating Type 1 of this disease involves controlling blood sugar levels by changing lifestyle that includes change in diet.
Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include increased thirst, extreme hunger, weight loss, frequent urination, weakness, fatigue, blurred vision and mood swings.
The cause of this disease is unknown as yet.
If you are a Type 1 diabetic, there is nothing in CBD oil that can help you. You need to take medication because your body no longer makes insulin. You may be able to reduce the quantity and dosage of medication but cannot do away with it.
Type II Diabetes – This is the most common form of diabetes. Although this type of diabetes occurs only in adults, many children have also been diagnosed with it now. This is probably due to the increase in obesity, their diet and lifestyle.
Many people believe that it is a condition when your pancreas cannot make enough insulin. Well, that can gradually happen but Type II is actually diabetes of insulin resistance. This means that you have put so much sugar into your bloodstream over such a long period of time, the cells no longer respond to sugar the way they used to. The cells have seen so much sugar that you can’t get that sugar into your cells anymore. And all that sugar just floats around in your blood.
You need to change your diet and start exercising to use up all that sugar.
Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, extreme hunger, weight loss, frequent urination, weakness, fatigue, blurred vision and mood swings. In addition, the body becomes susceptible to infections. The skin on the neck and armpits become dark.
Type 1.5 – Type 1.5 is the unofficial terms to describe Type 1 diabetes that is diagnosed in adults. It has features of both Type 1 and Type 2 form of diabetes. Like Type 2 diabetes, it is has slow onset and will require insulin therapy at some point of time.
Type 1.5 is usually misdiagnosed as Type 2 form of diabetes and hence medications prescribed for Type 2 do not work.
Type 3 – Type 3 is a type of diabetes that is known to affect the brain. The brain cells die as they do in Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have proposed a theory that Alzheimer’s disease should be classified as Type 3 diabetes. The reason for this proposal is because of a hypothesis that states that Alzheimer’s disease is set in motion due to the body’s insulin resistance and the improper function of Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF).
So people suffering from Type 2 diabetes and dementia caused due to Alzheimer’s disease are also known as Type 3 diabetics.
Type 3 diabetes is different from Type 3c diabetes, which is pancreatogenic diabetes.
How Can CBD Help Diabetes?
A lot of research has been done on the way CBD oil can help treat diabetes. It would be only right to consider the effect of CBD oil on the four types of diabetes separately as all four forms of the disease have different symptoms.
Effect of CBD Oil of Type 1 Diabetes
Approximately 5% of the US population suffers from Type 1 Diabetes. When you are a Type 1 diabetic, your body can no longer make insulin anymore. Although this type of diabetes is not reversible and the patient can not completely do away with the medications, the use of CBD oil has been known to reduce blood sugar levels. People have reported that when they use CBD products, there has been 16-17% lowering in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Diabetes is not just a condition where the sugar levels increase and taking insulin will bring it down. This is because it is not just sugar that causes damage. It is the high levels of insulin too that causes the damage. It damages the arterial walls, the kidneys and the eyes.
The reason why CBD oil helps reduce blood sugar levels in Type 1 diabetes is because it is caused due to pancreatic inflammation and CBD oil has a good effect on inflammation. It is like gasoline to diabetic fire. The higher the inflammation, the more insulin resistant you get and the more insulin resistant you get, the higher your blood sugar numbers go. It damages your arteries and, therefore, It is important to realise that CBD oil has a significant impact on insulin sensitivity.
At this point, you also should know what autoimmune system is and its role in diabetes.
A diabetic’s immune system is so out of balance that the body thinks it’s okay to attack its own immune system. After all, it has the role of attacking and eliminating weak and diseased cells. CBD oil and CBD products bring balance to the immune system so that the body does not attack itself. CBD can slow down the attack but not stop it. It helps have you an awesome effect in dealing with diabetes.
CBD Oil For Type 2 Diabetes
CBD oil is fast becoming the trendy alternative treatment for diabetes. If you are going to use CBD oil to manage diabetes, then you should know that you cannot stop taking your diabetic medication. CBD oil and CBD products can only assist in the management of the disease.
A study conducted in 2016 and published in Diabetes Care in in UK observed that using CBD helped reduce nerve pain that is associated with Type 2 diabetes. It did not, however, reduce the blood sugar levels. It did improve sleep quality and help in pain management. It was also observed that anxiety levels were low and patients could sleep better.
Harvard medical researchers believe that CBD oil has a positive impact on carbohydrate metabolism. Carbohydrate is one of the foods that spikes levels of blood glucose levels. Everyone needs some quantity of carbohydrates since they are the chief source of energy. But, if carbohydrates are not broken down, the sugars will float around in the blood, causing increased blood sugar levels.
Using CBD products helps in the breaking down of carbohydrates and using the glucose for energy. The sugar won’t linger on in the bloodstream to cause diabetes. The use of CBD products to break down carbohydrates is incredibly good. It is also good in treating insulin resistance since it is this resistance, which is ultimately the driving factor of Type 2 diabetes.
How Much Carbohydrates Should You Eat?
You need some quantity of carbohydrates in your diet. How much you need depends on your age and activity levels. It also depends on your weight goals. So, if you are on a weight loss mission, in addition to managing the levels of blood glucose, you also need to restrict your carbohydrate intake. Know the quantity of carbohydrates that you are consuming.
If you are taking insulin, then you need to consider the quality also when you include carbohydrates in your diet. You need to learn about foods that contain carbohydrates, the quantity of carbs in a portion and its effect on the levels of blood glucose.
Another important factor to consider is the quality of carbohydrates that you are eating. This is assessed using the Glycemic Index (GI). Foods with low GI are better as they help manage blood sugar levels better. Choose carbohydrates that have low GI, are high in fiber. Also, switch to wholegrain foods instead of processed food.
Everything you eat eventually gets converted to sugar. Whether it is protein or carbohydrates, it converts to sugar. If you overeat, even if it is not carbohydrates, it does get converted to sugar and ultimately leads to increased blood sugar levels. This results in a situation called diabesity, which is diabetes caused due to obesity. Obesity and blood sugar go together. There is a high impact of obesity on blood sugar.
CBD oil helps suppress appetite so that it is not just carbohydrates that you are restricting. You are also not overeating. Your food is restricted to what your body needs.
Improved Carbohydrates Metabolism With CBD Oil
- It curbs insulin resistance through anti-inflammatory impact.
- It has an impact on balancing the immune system.
- Calms the body down so that it does not attack the pancreas and the immune system.
- It is an appetite suppressant. If you don’t eat like crazy, you don’t have diabetes.
Benefits of CBD Oil In Controlling Diabetes
- One of the chief benefits of CBD oil in controlling diabetes include improved levels of blood glucose and lowered inflammation. The anti-inflammatory property of CBD helps reduce inflammation. This is very important as excessive inflammation impacts insulin This can be very beneficial in controlling and managing Type 2 diabetes.
- When CBD is combined with tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), it helps lower levels of blood sugar and increase the production of insulin in Type 2 diabetics.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors which are found in the brain. It activates serotonin and adenosine, which affect inflammation, body’s temperature and its pain perception.
CBD can be used by vaping the e-juice or using the tincture sublingually. The bottle of the CBD product will have instruction on the quantity of the product to be used. Usually, if you are using CBD tincture or oil, you should place a few drops beneath your tongue and let it remain for a few seconds. Some manufacturers will also recommend mixing the oil with food or drinks or consume it with a pipette.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
CBD is generally safe to use and is well tolerated. However, it has been observed that it causes stomach ache and diarrhea in some people. It can also interact with medications and should be used in consultation with a doctor.
If you are taking medication for diabetes, please discuss the use of CBD oil with your doctor before you start using it, as it can cause adverse reaction.
Just taking insulin to push down blood sugar levels does not help you from health point in long term. The best way is to work on prevention from the beginning. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Not letting the disease get into the body in the first place by using a CBD supplement daily can lower blood sugar and insulin levels. This can help prevent the advancement of the disease.
CBD oil by itself cannot treat diabetes. Control your diet. Control what you are eating. Do not diagnose or treat diabetes with CBD oil. And, finally, consult your doctor on how you should use CBD oil and other CBD products.
CBD oil is indeed miraculous if used properly and under medical supervision. Since it is not regulated under FDA, there is a need to be cautious. Buy good quality CBD oil and products. Use it regularly. Consult your doctor and make the necessary changes in your lifestyle, including your diet.
While diabetes is mostly irreversible, it can be controlled and managed.