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Cannabis and How It Helps People with Diabetes

When it comes to debilitating diseases, diabetes comes close to being one of the top killers in the country. According to statistics, about 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes – that's at least one out of ten people. This deadly disease has caused or contributed to the death of at least 250,000 people in 2015 alone.

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus in the medical world, is a group of different kinds of metabolic problems that involve the person having high amounts of glucose and a shortage of insulin, an enzyme used to break down glucose for metabolic purposes. Common symptoms include frequent urination, a constant need for hydration, and increased hunger. There are three types of diabetes: type 1 (body is unable to produce insulin), type 2 (body produces insufficient amounts of insulin), and gestational diabetes (happens exclusively to pregnant women).

Most people don't understand the impact of diabetes. You've probably heard about people with diabetes having to take insulin shots and switching to sugar-free products, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Diabetes has such a significant effect on the entire human body that it can completely change a person's daily routine. Increased tension, abdominal pains, lethargy, and other symptoms are a constant problem for people suffering from this disease.

Because of the daily struggle experienced by people with diabetes, many of them are always looking for ways to make their life a bit easier. One of the most interesting options is cannabis or marijuana. How can such a plant be a viable option for people with diabetes?

Cannabis oil is a form of extract from the cannabis plant or hemp. It contains high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These two compounds are very similar to the cannabinoids found in the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for controlling certain factors in the body such as metabolism, sleep patterns, pain sensation, and even muscle tension.

Using Cannabis Oil for Diabetes Type 1

There are plenty of ways to consume cannabis oil to treat diabetes type 1, but the most recommended method is by infusing it into food, usually some type of bread or tea. Cannabis oil can also be mixed with creams to create a topical ointment. Another popular method is by smoking it, as a joint, blunt, or using a water pipe or bong.

Most scientists agree that application methods that involve cannabis oil are safer than smoking dried weed. This is mainly because the smoke can cause respiratory allergies when it enters the lungs. Suffice to say, smoking using water pipes should only be done by more experienced cannabis users.

For those who want everything but the psychoactive effects of cannabis, there are also efforts on producing medications that contain only CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. But until then, using cannabis oil is still the most recommended option.

Research And Studies Show That Cannabis May Be Able To Help With Diabetes

Making Life Easier for Persons with Diabetes

Cannabis has many properties that make it one of the best substances that a person suffering from diabetes can take. Here are just a few examples of how cannabis oil for diabetes benefits regular users.

  1. Cramp prevention - Some of the most common symptoms of diabetes are muscle cramping and spasms, usually in the extremities. The THC and CBD in cannabis work together to "trick" the body's neurotransmitters and cause the problematic muscles to relax. THC and CBD also prevent the pain receptors from firing up, making the pain manageable.
  2. Eye protection - People suffering from diabetes can experience a complication known as diabetic retinopathy in which the excess sugar found in the blood get deposited in the retinal cells. This causes oxidative stress, gradually damaging and affecting the person's vision. The anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis help reduce the rate of retinal cell death.
  3. Reduces neuropathy - Type 1 diabetes is often accompanied by numbness, pain, and even tingling sensations caused by nerve damage. This complication, known as diabetes-induced neuropathy, can be difficult to treat with analgesics. The THC and CBD found in cannabis oil for diabetes type 1 affect neurotransmitters and reduce the effects of neuropathy. Furthermore, the anti-oxidative stress properties of cannabis also help protect the liver, which is crucial in restoring nerve cell growth to normal levels.
  4. Relieve high blood pressure by improving blood circulation - Most people suffering from diabetes also happen to suffer from high blood pressure, which in itself can lead to circulatory and respiratory problems. Fortunately, cannabis oil is also perfect for preventing hypertension. Cannabis has been known to cause blood vessels to dilate, relieving the pressure and making it easier for blood to travel freely in the body.
  5. Pain relief - Muscle pain is also commonplace for diabetes sufferers. This complication is often a combination of cramping and nerve pain.  THC- and CBD-rich topical creams infused with cannabis oil are easily absorbed through the skin, which can quickly reach the pain receptors in the general area. This, then, relieves the painful sensation.

Perhaps one of the best parts about consuming cannabis is that a person without diabetes can still benefit from the plant’s anti-diabetic effects. This makes cannabis an effective preventive measure for avoiding diabetes, and as we all know: prevention is better than cure.

The Future of Cannabis in Diabetic Treatment

Although there have already been scientific tests that indicate cannabis as an effective substance for treating diabetes, the US Food and Drug Administration has yet to recognize cannabis as a "safe and effective drug" for any condition. However, as more and more states become open to the use of marijuana and as scientific research reveals more of the effects of cannabis on treating certain diseases, it may be just a matter of time before cannabis becomes a mainstream option for diabetes patients.

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