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Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, CBD can support healthy bodily function and may promote more optimal blood sugar levels.
According to the World Health Organization, 422 million people worldwide have diabetes. This chronic, metabolic disease can sometimes develop early in life, but more and more adults are developing type 2 diabetes as they age. A healthy lifestyle can help diabetics keep their blood sugar in control, and one tool that may support healthy blood sugar levels is CBD (cannabidiol).
Let us start by saying that CBD can’t cure diabetes and this article isn’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease . However, it does have various benefits that have therapeutic potential for diabetes. We don’t know about you, but that’s still pretty exciting! Especially when you consider that CBD has been legal for such a short amount of time.
It’s an exciting time for CBD lovers because so much research is still being done. However, it also means there’s a lot of confusing and sometimes conflicting information out there. So today we’re here to provide some clarity on how CBD may and may not help those with diabetes.
What is CBD?
CBD is derived from the hemp plant and is NOT psychoactive–meaning it doesn’t get you high. More importantly though, it works with your body to help restore balance. It does that through a naturally occurring communication system called the ECS (Endocannabinoid System). Your ECS does its best to restore homeostasis (balance) to several other systems throughout your body. That could mean balancing your sleep/wake cycle, your hormones, your adrenal system, and more.
Your ECS uses naturally occurring endocannabinoids, but sometimes there aren’t enough of those compounds. However, when you supplement with another cannabinoid, like CBD, it can boost your ECS and make it a little more effective. Plus, because your ECS has receptors throughout your body, CBD can potentially provide relief in several different ways.
The Endocannabinoid System and Diabetes
Let’s just start by stating the ECS is quite amazing, but what’s even more impressive is that we’re still finding out more and more about it. For those with diabetes, the ECS is particularly interesting because of its role in regulating energy metabolism.
An article from the Obesity Research Journal suggests that the ECS “sets the sensitivity of the insulin response in adipocytes.” This means that the ECS could have a much larger impact than we thought on how our bodies respond to insulin; specifically, the ECS could potentially determine how sensitive we are to insulin.
We can’t emphasize enough, however, that it’s important to understand exactly what CBD can and cannot do…
CBD and Diabetes
First, there is no proof that CBD can cure diabetes. We’d love to tell you otherwise, but with so much information flying around out there, it’s best to stick with the facts.
There are, however, several studies that support the idea that CBD can help manage and treat symptoms from diabetes. In one experiment with two groups of non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, the group that was given CBD showed a reduction in diabetes by 85%. The group that wasn’t given CBD ended up developing diabetes by the time the study ended. While the majority of these studies are done on animals, studies like this one still indicate that CBD may inhibit or delay the onset of diabetes.
While we’re still waiting for concrete evidence to support CBD as a treatment for diabetes in humans, here are a few ways that it MAY help.
CBD May Help Diabetics by Decreasing Inflammation
Inflammation may sound scary, but it’s actually a natural immune response that’s meant to protect your body. Too much inflammation can be damaging though, and too much inflammation in the pancreas can actually damage insulin producing cells.
This is particularly useful information for those worrying about developing type 2 diabetes. If CBD can lower damaging pancreatic inflammation, then it could potentially inhibit the development of diabetes. One study in particular, published in Neurotoxicity Research, found that middle-aged rats treated with CBD oil showed reduced inflammation markers.
Inflammation plays several roles when it comes to diabetes, and high blood glucose levels can actually cause even MORE inflammation. Another study from the American Journal of Physiology showed CBD having positive effects on several inflammation markers, suggesting that it might help offset blood vessel damage from inflammation.
CBD May Offer Pain Relief for Diabetics with Neuropathy
Because of the powerful anti-inflammatory potential of CBD, it also means it may offer relief for those suffering from inflammatory induced pain. The Journal of Experimental Medicine published a study indicating that CBD may effectively suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents.
For diabetics experiencing neuropathic pain in their hands and feet this is great news! Even if a diabetic doesn’t have neuropathy, it’s very possible that they’ll experience aches and pains as a result of other symptoms. So, knowing that CBD may provide pain relief can give people peace of mind and improve their overall quality of life.
CBD May Help Diabetics by Helping with Weight Loss
One of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes is obesity, and for those with a family history of the disease they can often be prone to obesity just because of their genetics. It’s a pretty brutal chicken-or-the-egg scenario, but basically keeping your weight within a healthy range is always a good thing.
So, will you instantly lose that gut when you take CBD? No. However, CBD does have the potential to turn bad fat into good fat, burn fat, and reduce hunger.
There’s brown fat that creates heat by burning calories, and then there’s white fat that stores fat while insulating your organs. Too much white fat though, can lead to weight related illnesses. Through exercise and with enough sleep, white fat can turn into brown fat. But CBD has the potential to help that process along! One 2016 study indicated that CBD can help turn white fat into brown fat by affecting the way our bodies USE it. This process leads to more calories being burned.
When we accumulate more brown fat, our bodies naturally start to burn more which means more calories are being used up as energy. There are also certain ECS receptors that, when activated, increase appetite. Luckily, CBD can act as a receptor antagonist to deactivate those receptors to decrease appetite!
No, you won’t shed excess weight overnight. But CBD may provide the tools you need to work towards a healthy weight.
CBD May Help Diabetics by Easing Anxiety
Maybe this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but stress and anxiety can have a major impact on your health. Whether you have chronic anxiety, are stressed out from work, or if you’re developing more stress from just trying to manage your diabetes, this can cause a series of physiological processes that can negatively impact your health and wellness.
The stress response causes our bodies to release cortisol and blood sugar. Now normally, this is a good thing. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is meant to help your body cope with stressful situations. It increases blood sugar so that your body has more energy to fight, flee, or repair itself as necessary in a stressful situation. Once the event has passed, cortisol levels should normalize and blood sugar should decrease.
But if you’re chronically anxious or stressed, your cortisol levels may not decrease like they’re supposed to. This can lead to a wide variety of issues such as:
- Weight Gain
- Digestive problems
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Memory and concentration impairment
On top of a healthy lifestyle, managing stress and anxiety is one way to avoid developing type 2 diabetes. But for those who already have diabetes, managing stress is even more important because of the many other health issues the disease can make them prone to.
Don’t Wait For a Diagnosis to Start Using CBD!
While CBD can’t cure diabetes, it can be used as a tool to help people avoid developing the disease or to help people manage the effects of the disease. A tool, however, is only as helpful as the person wielding it. That’s why education is so important!
Pairing CBD with a healthy diet and exercise regimen may help those suffering from diabetes and it may help prevent people from developing it. In the end though, it all comes down to YOU and how much effort you’re willing to put into your healthy lifestyle.
Whether you want to use a CBD Topical to combat specific neuropathic pain, or if you want to bump up the benefits with CBD Oil, we hope reading this helped you understand how CBD may help manage diabetes.
We’d all love to imagine that we won’t develop diabetes, and some of us won’t. But if you’re not proactive about your health, then the risk of developing diabetes increases. No, CBD won’t cure diabetes and it’s no guarantee that you won’t develop it. However, CBD has the potential to provide therapeutic benefits for those who want to be proactive about their health.
If you have questions or concerns then we encourage you to contact us so we can answer your questions. CBD has so much potential and we can’t wait to help you find the right product for your needs. No matter what though, we can’t wait for you to have all the tools you need to Feel Better and Live More.