New research is emerging all the time that shows promise that taking CBD oil can be helpful in treating type 2 diabetes. While we will review specific scientific studies in other articles, we want to first provide a general overview of why this research on the effects of cannabinoids on diabetes is so important and where it is headed.
It is important to make clear the magnitude of the diabetes health crisis in the United States. According to data compiled by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CBC), the incidence of type 2 diabetes is rapidly rising. Between 1980 and 2014, the number of individual Americans who were diagnosed with diabetes rose from about five and a half million to about twenty-two million, i.e. the rate of type 2 diabetes quadrupled in a span of only thirty-four years. This is not even a drop in the bucket of human history so the speed at which type 2 diabetes is spreading is quite alarming. Moreover, it is predicted that approximately one-third of the American population will have diabetes by the time we hit the middle of this century.
Here what’s even scarier to think about. The average age of onset of type 2 diabetes has continued to go down every year since 1980. Only a few decades ago, it was almost unheard of for anyone under the age of forty to develop type 2 diabetes. In fact, this is why it used to be called, “adult onset diabetes.” Sadly, it has now become quite common for children who haven’t even reached puberty to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes! Luckily CBD oil is safe for kids. If you need suggestions on how much to give a child, just give us a call.
If you watch cable news channels today, you’ll soon discover that many of the commercials are about prescription diabetes medications and diabetic supplies. This is because diabetes has become so common, companies that profit from it no longer feel the need to put their message only before a “targeted audience.” They know if they put their commercials before a general audience with a wide age range, they are still sure to get their marketing message before a sizable percentage of people who either have diabetes or have a close family member with diabetes. It’s very sad.
Diabetes is a multi-billion dollar industry. The American Diabetes Association estimates that Americans now spend about $322 billion on prescription diabetes medications alone and this does not include all the other diabetic supplies sold. Unfortunately, many of these medications are primarily aimed at triggering the body to release more insulin because the cell membranes in a type 2 diabetic have become so resistant to insulin, it takes a much higher than normal amount of insulin to even begin to manage glucose metabolism. These medicines do nothing to improve the situation. In fact, quite the opposite. The cell membranes almost always become progressively more resistant to insulin, and as this happens, doctors generally just increasing the dosage and or adding more medications to make the body produce even more insulin.
It doesn’t take many years under this scenario for the pancreas to become overworked and unable to keep producing all this extra insulin. This is when type 2 diabetics begin to turn into type 1 diabetes because they can’t generate enough of their own insulin to keep their glucose metabolism under control. Thus, this is where a diabetic who is used to taking pills every day has to start giving himself injections. It’s also usually where the quality of life becomes so miserable, he often becomes depressed, withdrawn, and anxious. Just the knowledge that ten to fifteen years of his lifespan on average has been cut off upon diagnoses is enough to make anyone fall into a deep depression.
With all the money that is paid to pharmaceutical companies, it doesn’t seem to be much progress toward curing diabetes or even managing it to the extend it doesn’t take away significantly from one’s quality of life. If you think about it from a strict business model, it is not in the best interest of the pharmaceutical companies to actually find a cure for diabetes or even provide medications that reduce the likelihood of the condition getting worse. Repeat customers mean more profit. Keeping customers whose condition gets worse mean more profit as well. This may be a cynical view but it is all too obvious that the pharmaceutical companies care much more about increasing profit than about finding a cure or improving the quality of life much beyond a day.
So, we turn back to our original question, “Can CBD oil help diabetics?”
Anecdotally, many diabetics report that their A1C numbers goes down after taking CBD oil. Additionally, many report that they feel much better too. In some cases, their cardiovascular health improves and their neuropathy pain disappears. Some have reported that their kidney issues are ameliorated. It’s reported too that many have much lower anxiety and depression about their condition and this helps them get out and exercise more which helps with their condition.
Regarding the actual mechanisms of how CBD oil can help with diabetes, it was only recently understood that one of the main root causes of type 2 diabetes is related to inflammation and oxidative stress. This just so happens to be an area where CBD oil has been studied extensively, i.e. where hard data actually exists. Cannabinoids have already been shown to improve insulin resistance and lower blood sugar.
The cannabinoids in CBD oil also show great promise in helping alleviate the main complications of diabetes as well. Diabetics often suffer from cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and neuropathy. Many end up having to have their lower limbs amputated. With all that bad news, here’s some good news. CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors have been found in all of these regions and it is thought that the endocannabinoid system is a master controller of these systems. In other words, activating and or blocking these receptors should help control these systems of the body. You can think of the endocannabinoid system as the grand master of most, perhaps all, of the other systems in the body.
Besides CBD, THCV is another cannabinoid that has shown promise in helping diabetics. Unlike most cannabinoids, THCV is able to bind to both the CB1 receptors and the CB2 receptors. Some pharmaceutical companies are attempting to synthesize an artificial version of this cannabinoid but that will lack the other chemicals in the hemp plant that work synergistically. It will almost always work better to take the essential oils of the hemp plant than a synthetic version of only a single cannabinoid.
Stay tuned for more articles on the effect of cannabinoids on diabetes.
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