cbd oil for diabetes in humans

How Do You Use CBD Oil for Diabetes?

CBD oil has long been championed for its wide variety of health and wellbeing benefits, including its calming properties and help with alleviating anxiety, insomnia and muscle pain. There are always studies to determine its uses for specific health conditions and, even in early stages of research, diabetes.

In fact, many people already use CBD to relieve symptoms of diabetes, though studies are still limited for the time being. That’s why we’re taking a closer look at just how CBD oil can offer help for those with this chronic condition.

Is CBD Oil Good for Diabetes?

In simple terms, diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. When we eat and sugar enters the bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin, inviting the glucose (broken down sugar) into the body’s cells and converts it into energy. According to research from The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , when an insufficient amount of insulin is produced in the body – or if the cells do not respond to the insulin as they should – a person can develop diabetes. In turn, this can increase the risk of various health conditions including stroke, glaucoma, heart disease, cataracts and kidney disease.

While there’s currently no cure for diabetes, there are many over-the-counter medications available to help control its symptoms. But can we add CBD oil to that list?

While no clinical trials have specifically tested whether pure CBD oil can prevent type 1 and type 2 diabetes in humans, a handful of preliminary studies conducted on mice have had decidedly positive results. We’ve already established that insulin plays a prominent role in the regulation of glucose homeostasis – or, in less sciencey talk, the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions. In fact, one study has confirmed that the CB1 endocannabinoid system regulates adipocyte (fat cells) insulin sensitivity, which helps to maintain glucose levels in the body. So if you were wondering whether CBD oil can help lower blood sugar levels, it’s looking promising!

There’s also been a lot of research into CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. A 2007 study on inflammation caused by high glucose (HG) levels revealed that CBD exerts potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which lower the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. In fact, all effects of HG during the trial were reduced by CBD pretreatment.

In addition to its inflammatory properties, we know that many people take CBD oil for pain relief – but this time we’re not talking about those aching post-gym muscles. The results of a 2017 animal study revealed that CBD effectively reduces diabetes-related nerve pain such as neuropathy, which causes numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Usually treated with strong prescription painkillers, you can now skip the lengthy chemist queues (and often woozy side effects) for a 100% natural remedy, instead! Thank us later.

How Much CBD Oil Should You Take for Diabetes?

The best CBD dosage for diabetes will depend on your general tolerance and, as with taking CBD for any condition, you should build up a tolerance slowly over time. At Good Hemp, we’ve done our research and can reveal that the average CBD dosage is 20-40mg at a time – and depending on why you’re taking it, that may not be the right amount for you. Whether you drop it in your morning coffee , take it under the tongue, or carry a tincture in your bag for on-the-go use, we recommend that you don’t exceed a maximum daily intake of 70mg, especially if you’re new to it.

Research is still in its early stages with regards to CBD’s effects on people with diabetes. However, the results suggest that, at the very least, it is absolutely safe for people with diabetes to take CBD oil, and the benefits can help alleviate some symptoms – particularly nerve pain, inflammation and insomnia. Want to give it a whirl for yourself? Grab a tincture or two of CBD oil from Good Hemp today and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time!

Please note that we’re not medical experts and although all information is based on scientific research, do speak to your doctor if you’re on any medication.

Diabetes and CBD oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is derived from the CBD compound which is found in cannabis, and has been associated with having a number of potential therapeutic uses, including for diabetes.

Cannabis oil is legal to buy and consume in the UK, with CBD oil first stocked in UK shops in 2018.

Unlike the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) substance which gives marijuana users the “high” feeling, CBD oil contains less than 0.2% THC. Because CBD is not psychoactive, it does not change a user’s state of mind, but it does appear to produce significant changes in the body.

Cannabis pills containing only CBD and not THC were sold legally for the first time in Europe in 2015.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant. It is then diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed. The concentration and uses of CBD oils can vary.

Growing research is demonstrating how CBD oil can provide pain relief for people with certain health complications, without the addition of any mind-altering effects.

CBD oil and diabetes

The benefits of CBD for treating diabetes-related health problems may include reduced inflammation and improved blood glucose control.

Meanwhile, in 2016, University of Nottingham researchers showed that CBD in combination with another cannabis compound called tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), helped lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin production in people with type 2 diabetes. [362]

GW Pharmaceuticals, a UK-based company, has developed a cannabis spray called Sativex which utilises both CBD and THCV to help treat muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis. The company is in the process of developing a similar spray which could aid blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes.

Studies have also shown that CBD oil has benefits for people with epilepsy, mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, and helping people quit smoking. [362]

How does CBD oil work?

CBD oil is believed to activate a number of receptors in the body, influencing the body to produce naturally-occurring cannabinoids.

The human body has two receptors for cannabinoids: CB1 and CB2. Most CB1 receptors are found in the brain, which deal with coordination, movement and appetite. CB2 receptors are more commonly found in the immune system and affect pain and inflammation.

By activating receptors such as adenosine, serotonin and vanilloid, CBD can affect your body temperature, inflammation and perception of pain.

How to use CBD oil

CBD oil can be used in a number of ways. Most often, instructions will recommend putting a few drops under the tongue 2-3 times a day. Alternatively, some CBD oils can be mixed into different foods or drinks, taken from a pipette or used as a thick paste to be massaged into the skin.

Side effects of CBD oil

A 2015 study of CBD oil effects in humans concluded that CBD is generally well-tolerated and considered safe. However, it can cause certain adverse reactions such as diarrhea and stomach ache. [363]

Additionally, CBD may interact with existing medication. It is therefore important to discuss using CBD oil with your doctor beforehand, to help ensure it is used safely and any harmful effects are avoided.

People who use Low Carb Program have achieved weight loss, improved HbA1c, reduced medications and type 2 diabetes remission.

CBD Oil for Diabetes: Can It Actually Help?

CBD is touted as a treatment for everything from cancer to depression. So is CBD for diabetes really about to join them?

There’s no cure for diabetes. This makes the diagnosis particularly vexing, considering the key effect of the condition—elevated blood sugar—has a long and scary list of symptoms and long-term impacts. Prolonged high blood sugar can lead to stroke, nerve damage, heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, tooth loss, and more. Some of these symptoms can be life-threatening, and the cumulative effect of uncontrolled diabetes can be lethal.

In the absence of a cure, the treatment of diabetes revolves around managing the symptoms and taking steps to do what the diabetic body can’t do naturally—keep the blood sugar within healthy parameters.

It’s no wonder people turn to CBD for diabetes. While the health benefits of ingesting CBD oil remain hypothetical, promising early test results to tease at the promise of the THC-free cannabis extract to provide relief for any number of conditions. Could diabetes be one of them?

In this guide, we discuss:

  • The different forms of diabetes.
  • What CBD is.
  • Ways in which CBD might help diabetics.
  • Ways in which CBD might harm diabetics.
  • Different ways of taking CBD and what diabetics should look for.

First thing’s first: What Type of Diabetes are we Dealing With?

When considering the effectiveness of CBD for diabetes, it helps to know which kind of diabetes we’re talking about. Diabetes isn’t one condition, but a collection of related conditions. High blood sugar is a unifying factor, but the cause of the high blood sugar, as well as the conditions of the onset, vary from type to type.

Type I Diabetes

About 1.25 million Americans live with type I diabetes (T1D), with about 40,000 new cases diagnosed per year in the US alone. This chronic condition was once referred to as “juvenile diabetes,” since the disease usually makes its presence known in childhood.

In healthy bodies, a pear-shaped endocrine/exocrine gland called the pancreas produces various hormones from its position next to the stomach. One of those hormones, insulin, enters the bloodstream and promotes the cells’ absorption of carbohydrates, including the simple sugar glucose. It also inhibits the liver from producing and secreting excess glucose.

In cases of type I diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. As a result, glucose is not absorbed from the blood efficiently, and the liver over-produces glucose, pushing blood sugar levels even higher.

The exact cause of this form of diabetes, called “insulin-dependant diabetes,” is not well understood. It may have a genetic component, as well as a possible connection to some viral infections. Whatever the cause, the effect is the destruction of pancreatic beta cells, responsible for producing the insulin, through an autoimmune response in the body. This creates type I diabetes.

Treatment of the condition usually involves insulin therapy, along with diet and lifestyle management to prevent long-term complications of high blood sugar.

Without insulin treatment, patients will face the rapid onset of life-threatening complications like diabetic ketoacidosis or nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Patients must be careful not to overdose on insulin, lest they suffer negative effects from low blood sugar.

Type II Diabetes

Between 27 and 29 million of the 30 million diabetics in the United States have type II diabetes (T2D).

The nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Georgia suffer from the highest rates of type II diabetes, while poor regions of Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa enjoy the lowest rates of type II diabetes. The United States and much of the developed world sit in the middle of the pack in an exploding T2D epidemic.

This condition used to be called “adult-onset diabetes,” due to the fact that almost no children exhibited the condition and it was most commonly diagnosed in adults over the age of 45 .

However, more and more children are presenting with type II diabetes, rendering the traditional moniker a misnomer. This change in the patient profile of T2D is widely attributed to the health crisis of juvenile obesity, T2D being a common consequence of obesity.

Type 2 diabetes may have several underlying causes. Inflammation of the pancreas may diminish its ability to produce insulin. Inflammation may also render the cells resistant to insulin, inhibiting their ability to absorb glucose from the blood.

As mentioned, obesity and lack of exercise are a primary factor in the onset of T2D. Increased obesity rates and increasingly sedentary lifestyles have corresponded with an exponential increase in the diagnosis rates of T2D. In 1985, roughly 30 million people worldwide were living with type II diabetes. By 2015, that number had ballooned to 392 million people.

Symptoms of T2D include frequent urination, thirst and hunger, sores that don’t heal, and fatigue. Most alarmingly, type II diabetes correlates with a ten-year decrease in life expectancy.

Like T1D, no cure exists for T2D, but diet and exercise can help manage the symptoms. The patient may require insulin therapy and require regular monitoring of blood sugar. The medication metformin may help regulate blood sugar, as can bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery).

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is an elevated blood sugar condition that presents in some pregnant mothers. There is a “cure” to this form of diabetes — the birth of the child. After childbirth, the condition usually subsides, and 90% of patients revert to proper blood sugar regulation, although they do face an increased risk of developing type II diabetes after the pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes typically presents in the second or third trimester, but can occur in the first trimester. Despite its tendency to subside after giving birth, gestational diabetes can result in serious complications if undiagnosed or not properly managed.

Pregnant women with gestational diabetes face an increased risk of depression, pre-eclampsia, or the necessity of delivery by Cesarean section. The baby could have high birth weight, jaundice, low birth blood sugar, or in extreme cases be stillborn. The baby will also face an increased risk of childhood obesity and the early onset of T2D.

Overweight women are at greater risk of developing gestational diabetes, as are women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Pregnant women should be screened for the condition via blood test between 24 and 28 weeks. If diagnosed with gestational diabetes, she may require exercise, a diabetic diet, and insulin therapy. Doctors recommend that the mother breastfeed the baby as soon as possible after birth.

Between 6% and 9% of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes , while between 1% and 2% of pregnant women have T1D or 2D. Instances of gestational diabetes increased by 56% between the years 2000 and 2010, while the percentage of pregnant women with T1D or T2D has increased by 37%.

CBD and Type I Diabetes

Before we dig in, the basics— CBD is short for cannabidiol . It is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids , found in the various species of the cannabis plants, including marijuana and hemp.

While marijuana remains illegal on the Federal level in the US, hemp is widely used in the industrial, cosmetic, and dietary industries. Hemp contains very little THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid abundant in marijuana. CBD does not get you high and is legal to be produced and sold in most US states, provided that it is extracted from industrial hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC by volume.

How does this apply to T1D? Type I diabetes is an inflammatory disease. One of the key uses of CBD is to reduce inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are not confirmed or well understood and require further testing. Still, taking CBD for diabetes may make sense in that respect.

Another property of cannabinoids is their interaction with the endocannabinoid system , a system of receptors located on cell membranes that allow various chemicals to bind to them and affect cellular function. The body actually produces its own cannabinoids naturally, which bind to the endocannabinoid receptors.

The endocannabinoid system is believed to play a key (albeit ill-understood) role in maintaining the body’s internal homeostasis (internal balance). Insulin production and uptake, and insulin’s subsequent impact on blood sugar levels, are a key component of body homeostasis. Scientists suspect the endocannabinoid system may play a role in both, meaning stimulation of the endocannabinoid system can change how the body responds to insulin or regulates glucose levels.

THC, which a person may ingest by consuming marijuana, binds directly to endocannabinoid receptors. However, CBD does not bind to endocannabinoid receptors , meaning it does not have a direct effect on how the endocannabinoid system functions.

However, CBD has demonstrated the ability in early testing to help the body regulate the production of its own cannabinoids, indirectly affecting the system.

Patients with T1D typically don’t have a problem with insulin uptake; it’s the production of insulin in the pancreas where their body is deficient.

Type 1 diabetics, therefore, must exercise caution. CBD has an indeterminate effect on insulin uptake. Anecdotally, some patients have exhibited reduced blood glucose; others have seen it spike. If CBD winds up inhibiting the uptake of insulin, a patient’s insulin therapy could be undermined, risking the dangerous complications of acute insulin deficiency, including ketoacidosis and coma.

However, CBD is not proven to have permanent or deleterious side effects, nor has a direct or predictable impact been observed on blood sugar levels. The danger of treating type I diabetes with CBD is considered to be quite low. Patients should monitor their doses and blood sugar levels, and consider taking CBD and insulin doses at separate times. As always, consulting one’s physician is important.

CBD and Type II Diabetes

Initial studies showed that CBD oil helped reduce the occurrence of type II diabetes in mice. Specific beneficial effects on the mice included:

  • A reduction of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
  • Increased insulin production.
  • Lowered HDL cholesterol (aka “bad” cholesterol).
  • Less swelling, pain, and nerve damage.
  • Increased brown fat, also known as “good fat” or “slimming fat.”

However, remember that these were animal trials. CBD as a preventative measure for T2D in humans is not proven.

As mentioned before, however, the endocannabinoid system may play a role in the body’s ability to use insulin. Whereas most T1D patients have no inhibition of insulin uptake, T2D patients do. Patients with type II diabetes may notice changes in their blood sugar levels after starting a regimen of CBD.

Will the blood sugar go up or down? Anecdotal evidence is split, with some patients noticing an uptick of blood glucose levels, others noticing a decline in blood glucose levels. If a patient notices a spike in blood sugar levels, (s)he should discontinue the use of CBD.

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may provide relief for other T2D symptoms. Additionally, CBD has demonstrated analgesic properties anecdotally and in early trials. CBD may be an effective treatment for diabetes-related pain.

CBD has no direct documented effect on blood glucose, nor does it affect other types II diabetes vectors like HDL cholesterol levels.

It should be noted, however, that a variation of THC did improve human patients’ blood glucose and lipid profiles. Again, these are early results that require further testing.

Products containing THC remain illegal at the Federal level, categorized as Schedule I Narcotics in the same category as heroin and cocaine. However, prosecutions at the Federal level remain rare, and many US states have legalized THC for medical and/or recreational use, offering marijuana and other THC-laden products in dispensaries or drug stores.

In “medical marijuana” states (North Dakota, Ohio, Minnesota, and New York, for example) you need a prescription. In “recreational marijuana” states (California, Colorado, Washington, and Vermont, for example), you do not need a prescription.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that lifestyle factors play a key role in a patient’s risk of developing type II diabetes, as well as managing symptoms and preventing complications. Diet and exercise are the obvious arenas where huge differences can be made, to good effect on patients.

Some patients find a regimen of CBD oil helpful in regulating appetite and the sleep cycle. It may also ease the pain and fatigue associated with an active lifestyle. If CBD oil enables a patient to live a healthier lifestyle, it could have an indirect net-positive effect on their risk of developing or ability to manage type II diabetes.

As mentioned before, the interaction between CBD and insulin therapy is unknown. So, too, is the interaction between CBD and metformin, the medication commonly prescribed to type II diabetics to manage the condition. These interactions should be monitored closely. At any sign of issues, the regimen of CBD should be discontinued.