CBD oil for diabetes has become increasingly popular as states move to legalize treatments. More than 30.3 million Americans—that’s almost 10% of the country’s population—currently have diabetes. Medical experts advise that an additional 84.1 million people are prediabetic and could develop type 2 diabetes within five years. These statistics make it clear that diabetes is a major health concern that very likely affects you or someone you love. While a wealth of treatment options are currently available, the study of CBD for diabetes has recently revealed new and interesting possibilities for the prevention and treatment of this incredibly common disease.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is the term for a group of related diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar or glucose. Glucose provides energy for the cells that make up your muscles, as well as your brain, so it’s a vital factor in your overall well-being. Diabetes causes excess glucose to accumulate your blood rather than traveling to the muscles and brain tissue where it’s needed; this can have serious health consequences, such as cardiovascular disease, nerve and kidney damage, vision deterioration, skin conditions, and more.
There are two major diabetes diagnoses: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age and is often diagnosed in childhood; doctors aren’t sure exactly what causes type 1 diabetes, but most believe it’s triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that are unrelated to weight and lifestyle. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system malfunctions and destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, which causes sugar to build up in your bloodstream.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1. Usually diagnosed later in life, this condition is strongly linked with being overweight, though other genetic and environmental factors may also play a role. In type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to insulin and your pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to overcome that resistance, ultimately leading to a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes is preceded by a group of symptoms—including elevated blood sugar levels—that indicate prediabetes, which will become important in discussing the relationship between CBD and diabetes treatment.
How is Diabetes Usually Treated?
A healthy diet and exercise routine is central to diabetes management, particularly for type 2 diabetics. Diabetes treatment also commonly includes careful monitoring of blood sugar levels and prescription medications. For those with type 1 diabetes, and some people with type 2 diabetes, ongoing insulin therapy is also required to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
While there’s no cure for diabetes, a health-conscious lifestyle and the right treatment plan can make it possible to live a long and healthy life while managing this condition. New research suggests that CBD could play a part in diabetes prevention and care as well.
Can I Use CBD Oil for Diabetes?
So, how can CBD play a part in diabetes treatment? Current research primarily focuses on CBD oil for diabetes as an option for type 2 diabetes patients and those at risk for type 2 diabetes. Because type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition, continuous insulin therapy is generally required to avoid serious complications. However, CBD has shown promising potential as a preventative measure and a treatment for secondary diabetes symptoms. Here are a few major avenues of study:
The most promising link between the CBD oil for diabetes and diabetes itself comes in the field of prevention. Researchers have explored the connection between CBD compounds and the reduction of chronic inflammation, which is a key factor in the development of insulin resistance. Additional studies highlight the role of cannabinoids in obesity prevention, noting that the “prevalence of obesity is lower in cannabis users than in nonusers.” Because prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are so closely linked with triggers like obesity, elevated insulin resistance, and chronic inflammation, CBD could provide a valuable preventative option for those at risk for the condition.
For patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing insulin resistance is key to preventing the progression of the disease. One long-term study of nearly 5,000 people saw a 16% reduction in fasting insulin levels among cannabis users. This effect could be particularly valuable for patients who identify increased insulin resistance in the prediabetes stage, while it’s still below the threshold for type 2 diabetes. While the effect of CBD on insulin resistance isn’t totally clear, some researchers believe that the link is inflammation. Reduced inflammation leads to a healthier function of the cardiovascular and immune systems, which in turn reduces the likelihood of developing insulin resistance.
The side effects of diabetes often include skin irritation and slower healing time when skin injuries occur. CBD has been used successfully as a topical treatment for a number of skin conditions, ranging from acne to eczema, and may provide relief for diabetes-related skin irritations. CBD can also support the body’s natural healing processes, counterbalancing the slower healing times experienced by many diabetes patients.
Neuropathic Pain Management
Nerve damage is another common side effect of diabetes that can lead to neuropathy—feelings of pain, numbness, and tingling—in the hands and feet as well as other parts of the body. CBD has been studied extensively as a treatment for pain, and scientists have recently focused on the compound as an option for neuropathy relief. Many diabetes patients find topical CBD creams particularly effective for relieving neuropathic pain.
What’s the Right CBD Dosage for Diabetes?
If the information above sounds promising, you’re probably wondering: how much CBD oil should you take for diabetes? The right dosage of CBD for diabetes varies from person to person. Most CBD products include a recommended daily dose on the packaging; this can be a great place to start for those new to using CBD. If you’re not sure where to begin, test out a small dosage (between 5 and 10 mg) for a few days and gradually increase until you begin to see the desired effects.
What Else Should I Know About CBD?
Many people are hesitant to try CBD for the first time because they have reservations about cannabis use—namely, they’re worried that CBD products will get them high. The good news is, CBD-only products don’t have psychoactive effects and they’re not habit-forming, so they’re safe to use as part of your regular routine.
Always consult with your doctor before trying CBD to make sure that there are no interactions with other medications you’re taking. While the side effects of CBD are mild and uncommon, they may include drowsiness and upset stomach; your doctor can also help you monitor these side effects as needed.
Developing research on the connections between CBD and diabetes presents promising possibilities for the treatment of a condition that affects millions of Americans every day. Further study is needed, but CBD could become an impactful option for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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