CBD and Diabetes
First, let me say that I am a diabetic. Actually, a super, awesome, fantastic diabetic. I also use CBD oil. So, obviously, most of my posts are in favor of using the hemp plant for the greater good. This trendy natural treatment is rising in popularity. Funny thing though, it’s been around for many years. Some use it to help manage their diabetes. I use it to reduce symptoms of diabetic complications. Now, here’s what you need to know before using it when you have diabetes.
Does CBD help manage diabetes?
Claims that cannabidiol oil, widely known as CBD oil or hemp oil, can help control blood sugar for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes or even reverse diabetes are all over the Internet. I see ads all the time on social media for the exact claims. Unfortunately, these claims are not true. There is no proof.
A quick Google search of “CBD Oil” and “Diabetes” turns up almost three million hits, with promises and testimonials that the compound cannabidiol in this hemp- or marijuana-based oil could “stabilize blood sugar”, “improve insulin resistance”, “decrease the need for insulin” and even “suppress, reverse and perhaps cure the disease.” Trouble is, there’s no proof it can do any of those things. Even worse, is that some people are really putting their health at risk when they attempt to quit taking their medicines.
“I don’t know that I would recommend CBD oil for diabetes,” notes integrative medicine doctor Taz Bhatia, MD, of Atlanta, Georgia. “CBD is showing promise as a pain-reliever, an epilepsy treatment, and for wasting disease associated with cancer. It may help with neuropathic pain in diabetes. I think it is ok to try it, but don’t skip or cut back on diabetes medications.”
That is exactly why I take it. I have not seen any changes in my blood sugar numbers. CBD does not impact the actual disease. What I have noticed is that I have less pain in my feet. My neuropathy is eased. The inflammation that I generally suffer from has lessened. I find it quite helpful with my diabetes. But, it has not changed my A1c or my daily blood sugars levels.
What are the benefits to diabetics?
You probably don’t have to look farther than your local drugstore or nearest convenience store to know CBD has taken a starring role in everything from sparkling water and gummies to tincture oils and lotions. Some say that CBD is the “it” ingredient of this day and age. It literally is popping up everywhere. I am currently seeking the best CBD infused coffee- so, please drop your suggestions below!
It helps with stress management. You’ve probably also heard that CBD — which is an abbreviation for cannabidiol — can help with stress, anxiety, and pain. “When people are in pain, they have a stress response, which causes an increase in cortisol and an increase in blood sugar,” says Veronica J. Brady, PhD, CDE, a registered nurse and an assistant professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Texas in Houston. Relieving pain can help alleviate the stress response and improve blood sugar levels, she adds.
It can help with sleep. If you are suffering from insomnia, restless leg syndrome or just can’t seem to relax enough to sleep, it could help you. I used to wake up three or four times per night. My mind would just keep racing. Now, I take some CBD before bed and I relax. My legs lay still, my mind calms and I am able to get a great night sleep. How does this play with diabetes? Well, if I have a horrible night sleep, my fasting blood sugar (the first one of the day) is usually a lot higher. Sometimes, even by almost thirty points!
It helps with easing pain from neuropathy. In Nevada, where Dr. Brady used to work as a certified diabetes educator, her patients with type 2 diabetes used CBD for nerve pain. She says patients would use CBD in a tincture or in oils that they rubbed on painful areas, including their feet. Patients could buy CBD almost anywhere, even online. Ultimately, though, Brady says that her patients reported that CBD reduced their nerve pain and improved their blood sugar. She adds that those people who used CBD oils for nerve pain also reported sleeping better.
Pain has a lot of neighbors. If you have chronic pain, you typically have sleep issues, raised levels of anxiety, and depression. So, it would make sense that CBD could target some of those important conditions that are associated with diabetic nerve pain.
“We don’t know that THC (makes you high) or CBD exerts an effect on diabetes itself, and that means control of blood sugars,” says Cory Toth, MD, a neurologist at Fraser Health at Burnaby Hospital in British Columbia. He adds that pain relief is the number one reason people with diabetes use CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound found in cannabis, in Canada. It’s worth noting that CBD does not cause psychoactive effects like THC, its chemical cousin. CBD will not make you “high”, but THC will.
Scientific Studies on CBD and Diabetes
One thing is for sure about CBD: People with diabetes are taking an interest in the ingredient as a management tool.
Despite interest among people with diabetes, large studies showing how CBD may affect diabetes are lacking. Specifically, there haven’t been any randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard of medical research. CBD research is still evolving. Some CBD and diabetes studies have been done in rats, which leads to findings that don’t always apply to human health. Other studies have looked more generally at the body’s endocannabinoid system, which sends signals about pain, stress, sleep, and other important functions. Still other studies have looked at marijuana and diabetes, but not CBD specifically.
What’s the hold up on the research?
So why aren’t there more studies of CBD in people with diabetes? “One reason is definitely regulatory barriers,” says Dr. Yang. He points to the 1970 U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug with the highest restrictions. These are restrictions that are still being fought today. While the federal government has ruled that CBD oil without THC is legal in all fifty states, there is still a stigma associated with it.
Cannabis itself is difficult to acquire for research studies, says Yang. “It is only available through the National Institute on Drug Abuse,” he adds, which has limited supplies. “Another issue is funding,” says Yang. “In order to do more research, the National Institutes of Health needs to be more open-minded. And other funders must be willing to spend money.”
Historically, cannabinoids (a group of chemicals in the cannabis plant) have been lumped together, including CBD, THC, and more than 100 others. In the past decade, growers and manufacturers have been able to isolate CBD, mainly by cultivating industrial hemp that is high in CBD and very low in THC, says Jackson. The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the controlled substances list, clearing the way for more production and research of hemp and thus CBD.
There have not been a huge amount of clinical studies of CBD, but most of that is due to how the cannabinoids have been looked at. They’ve been looked down upon. There is a stigma around them. It’s difficult for researchers to get access to the quantity, quality, and type of cannabis product necessary to address specific research questions on cannabis use.
No Studies? No problem?
People with diabetes aren’t waiting for further study. People are very open about using CBD, particularly the younger patients. Typically, most CBD users are of a younger age, but that is changing every day. Almost 36% of the medical marijuana registry is over the age of 55. Those folks are realizing that they can get the same benefits without the “high” and are now trying CBD with great success.
Of the CBD products on the market, it’s often difficult to know what’s inside. Due to the fact that it is a fairly unregulated commodity, you have to be careful with labels and claims of purity. It is really important that you do your own research when selecting which products to use. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that only 30 percent of CBD products were accurately labeled, with under- and over-labeling of CBD, and some products containing unlisted chemicals such as THC. What you put in your body is really important, that’s especially true for people with major health conditions including diabetes. It is imperative to find a reputable company.
So, here is the author recommendation. I personally use this product. I chose it because they do third party testing and their hemp is organic. Those things speak volumes to the character of the company. I believe in them so much that I have partnered with them. Here is my link to the sales page:.
Again, choosing to use CBD needs to be a personal choice for you. Just do your homework to determine if the product is pure and reputable. And look for proof it’s helping—and not change your existing medications. Try it. But don’t cut back on diabetes medications. It’s a tool, not a cure.