CBD Treatment for Diabetes - Can it Help?
Now that CBD is readily available, people have been using it to find relief from various medical conditions, including pain, anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, and, more recently, diabetes. Researchers are discovering more and more potential for CBD oil to help prevent diabetes or manage some of its symptoms.
So far, trials have associated CBD with diabetes prevention, reducing inflammation, and controlling pain.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is a recently discovered chemical communication system that may have a significant influence over inflammation and tissue injury.
Learning the endocannabinoid system's secrets holds tremendous medical value for devising new treatments for cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and complications created by diabetes.
What Are Endocannabinoids?
To understand the potential for CBD in treating diabetes, it helps to know something about the endocannabinoid's role in the body, how it functions, and how it reacts with CBD (cannabidiol).
The endocannabinoid system is the body's largest neurotransmitter and plays a crucial role in maintaining health and homeostasis - a self-regulating process organisms use to maintain stability.
The endocannabinoid system releases natural cannabinoids as part of the body's immune response to a health threat. However, in some cases, it becomes overwhelmed and needs some help.
There are 113 active cannabinoids in CBD, and these can interact with the body's natural cannabinoid receptors and restore the endocannabinoid's ability to communicate with other body systems.
CBD's interactions with the body's own endocannabinoids and how they affect inflammation are where CBD shows the most promise as an effective treatment for diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body experiences periods of excessively high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Two main biological mechanisms can cause this condition: not enough insulin to convert glucose into energy, or the body cannot use its insulin stores efficiently.
Diabetes is split into two types: diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2. type 1 diabetes is the less prevalent of the two and the more severe condition. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys vital beta-cells in the pancreas. Beta cells produce the body's insulin stores, which means people with type 1 diabetes have precious little insulin to start with.
Type 2 diabetes is less severe but much more common. In a person with type 2 diabetes, the body has built up insulin resistance.
Both types of diabetes create a complication where there is too much glucose in the system. Uncontrolled glucose levels can lead to diabetic neuropathy, a kind of nerve damage that can cause loss of sensation, pain, and even paralysis in the limbs.
Inflammation and diabetes are closely entwined, with the first often leading to the other. Research into CBD shows that it can be an effective anti-inflammatory.
The endocannabinoid system also plays a role in metabolizing energy, which can significantly affect how efficiently the body can use insulin to process glucose.
THC is the most well-known cannabinoid of the marijuana plant, but its psychotropic effects make it a less desirable solution for treating inflammatory conditions. However, CBD research has shown a similar ability to reduce inflammation in clinical trials without the psychotropic effects.
CBD has shown promise in treating many of the health complications common with diabetes, including:
- Diabetes renal failure (nephropathy)
- Cardiovascular complications (blood pressure and glucose levels)
- Diabetes induced blindness (retinopathy)
- Diabetic nervous system damage (neuropathy)
The endocannabinoid system is a relatively recent discovery (early 1990's), so there is still a lot of controversy in understanding how it works, its roles in diabetes, and how you can use CBD to treat diabetes complications. However, clinical trials with CBD are ongoing and are already approved for human use.
For all your CBD needs, take a look at our range of CBD foods, drinks, and capsules here.