Diabetes is a major cause for concern in our modern era. The number of diabetes patients in the world has quadrupled since the ‘80s, largely thanks to an ever-increasingly poor diet and rising obesity rates.
While dietary interventions and physical exercise are the two most important factors when it comes to managing diabetes and its symptoms, there are some complementary medicines which can assist. And cannabis-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is one that has recently been shown to offer a lot of promise.
CBD Benefits for Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious condition that affects over 422 million people across the world. It’s also one of the leading causes of death, killing millions each year. It’s characterized by problems involving your body converting sugar (or glucose) into energy.
You see, when you’re healthy and you eat, your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps to transport glucose molecules across cell membranes and into your cells to be used as energy. Insulin also helps your body store energy as glucose in your muscles, fat cells, and liver to be used at a later date, as and when you need it.
Diabetics have trouble either producing insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or utilizing insulin (Type 2 diabetes). Type 2 diabetes is a lot more common, making up between 90 and 95% of all diabetics. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include weight, age, activity-levels, sugar intake, and genetics.
CBD works through various pathways within the body to affect your physiology in a number of ways. Some of these are useful in treating and preventing diabetes:
Along with numerous other health benefits, CBD has been found to be a potent anti-inflammatory. And chronic inflammation is known to play a vital role in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, therefore, could offer a safe and natural way to reduce the inflammation that leads to diabetes. This means CBD could help reverse or prevent Diabetes.
- Improved circulation
Nerve damage is a major problem for sufferers of diabetes. It is caused by poor blood circulation and in extreme cases can result in amputations, most commonly of the leg(s). CBD has been shown to improve blood supply to dead body tissue by up to 30%.
- Improved immune function and metabolism
The benefits of CBD for diabetes does not end there, however. The non-intoxicating compound has also been shown to positively affect the immune system and sugar metabolism, as well cell growth and heart function – all with minimal side effects.
There are quite a few more studies pointing to the value of CBD in treating diabetes and its related conditions. And while most treatments for diabetes can only manage the symptoms (like insulin injections), thanks to its benefits on numerous bodily functions, CBD may actually suppress, reverse and perhaps even cure the disease.
This is not just conjecture. There is also research to back up these claims. A lot of which has been conducted by preeminent cannabis researcher Dr Raphael Mechoulam from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who actually discovered CBD. This 2006 study by Mechoulam, for example, found that administration of CBD lowered the overall incidence of diabetes in lab rats.
Another way that CBD may help treat and prevent diabetes, Dr Mechoulam theorizes, is through cannabinoid receptors (known as CB1 and CB2) located in the pancreas. Stimulation of the CB1 receptor has been shown to enhance insulin and glucagon secretion, while CB2 activation lowers glucose-dependent insulin secretion – both advantageous effects in diabetics or pre-diabetics.
5 Best CBD For Diabetes
If you want to try CBD oil for yourself to see how it can help with diabetes, these five products are the best on the market…
Made from only two ingredients – full-spectrum hemp extract and MCT oil from coconuts – CBD FX keep things simple and focus on keeping standards high. This high-strength CBD oil is ideal for experienced tincture users who favor a strong hemp flavor. But, if you are not one of dose, they have a wide variety of products that you can check in our CBDFx review.
CBDmd’s tincture is a full-spectrum CBD Oil available in 4 flavors (natural, mint, berry and orange), two sizes (30mL or 60mL) and different potencies that start from 300 to 5000mg of CBD per bottle. It’s a powerful product, made with natural ingredients and an innovative method of extraction that maintains all the best hemp compounds (you can learn more about this process reading our cbdMD review).
Ecodrops Relief from CBD Drip is a full-spectrum blend made with organic hemp and coconut oil. By utilizing a CO2 supercritical extraction method, Ecodrops Relief contains all the beneficial parts of the plant without any pesticides or by using harsh chemical solvents.
Pure Kana’s Natural CBD Oil is unflavored, making it suitable for those with sensitivity issues. A full-spectrum blend made from organically-grown, high-concentrate CBD oil ensured you are getting the real deal with this oil. Available in three strengths: 300 mg/600 mg/1000 mg.
Green Roads are one of the most well-known and respected CBD oil producers around. And their 1500mg oil is one of the best. Consisting of a vegetable glycerin based, and infused with pharmaceutical-grade CBD, this product is American made and by a licensed pharmacist with 20+ years experience.
How To Use CBD For Diabetes
CBD is not currently regulated as a medicine by the FDA. This means there are no official guidelines as to how it should be used for specific conditions. Thousands of people around the world are using CBD and CBD oil to treat and manage various conditions (including diabetes), however. Their accounts give us some idea of how best they can be utilized.
The most important thing to be aware of when using CBD for any health condition is that there are many variables which can affect how you respond to CBD. While side-effects are incredibly rare, CBD is known to not be effective on a small percentage of people who use it. Others find that they need a much bigger dose than most, while some will benefit greatly from only a very small dose.
This suggests that personal experimentation is key when using CBD for diabetes. Additionally, you should only consume CBD after you have consulted with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Once given the all-clear, you have a variety of different application methods and products to try. Again, what works for others might not work for you. It’s worth testing what a few in order to get a feel for what helps you most.
- CBD oils
Putting a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue in order to be absorbed into your bloodstream is the most popular way of consuming CBD. It is also the favored method for many diabetics. This method is fast-acting (because you sublingual tissue is highly absorbent), efficient, and convenient. Effects also seem to last for about 2-5 hours.
- CBD edibles
Eating CBD, either by consuming specially-prepared CBD edible products or by adding CBD oil to your food or drink, is also a popular method. However, it is not an efficient or fast-acting as sublingual applications as the CBD has to bypass your digestive system before being absorbed into your blood.
- CBD vape juice
Vaporizing CBD is becoming very popular, particulary among sufferers on pain. This is because it offers almost immediate effects. You will require a vaporizer and specially-made CBD vape juice for this method, however.
- CBD topicals
CBD can also be applied topically, in the form of balms and salves. This is a method usually used for localized injuries although it may be beneficial in improving blood flow to certain areas of the body, which could be useful to those with diabetes.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that products may differ in quality and ingredients. For example, some are full-spectrum – meaning they contain a complete profile of cannabinoids (sometimes even small amounts of CBD), terpenes, flavonoids and other plant compounds – while others just contain CBD.
Most people in the know consider full-spectrum products to be superior. This is because all the compounds in cannabis seem to work better when used together (the entourage effect). Again, however, everyone is unique and this might not be the case for everyone.
CBD Dosage For Diabetes
As mentioned above, there are no official guidelines when it comes to using CBD for diabetes. Having said that, when it comes to dosing, we can give offer some advice based on the accounts of the many people who are already using CBD to combat the condition.
When using CBD for the first time, it is advisable to start with a small dose. Somewhere between 1-5mg is a good starting range. After your first dose, relax and wait. Notice how you feel. If all goes well, you can slowly increase your dose.
While there is little scientific data on how much CBD you should take to treat diabetes, a dose of 10-50mg once or twice per day seems to be effective for the majority of people who use CBD to improve their health. This is probably the range to be aiming for. However, huge doses of up to 100+mg per day have been shown to be non-toxic and well-tolerated by humans.
As a therapeutic agent, CBD is showing huge promise. And one condition that research suggests CBD may be most effective for is diabetes – one of the world’s biggest killers.
Thanks to its remarkable ability to reduce inflammation, enhance the immune system, and to affect various physiological processes, scientist and patients are alike are excited about its potential for treating – perhaps even curing – diabetes. While research is its infancy, there is enough reason to believe that CBD will one day offer a safe, natural and effective option to all those suffering or at risk of this debilitating condition.