CBD for Diabetes Worth Looking Into
Diabetes is the fifth most common health condition affecting Americans today. About 34 million people ― 1 in 10 ―have diabetes. An additional 88 million adults ― 1 in 3 ― have prediabetes, a condition characterized by higher-than-normal blood sugar readings but not high enough to be diagnosed with full-blown diabetes.
The good news is that about 9 in 10 cases, diabetes can be avoided by making certain lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Diabetes is typically managed with a combination of diet, exercise, medication and insulin therapy; however, new research is showing promising results using cannabidiol (CBD) to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance as well as moderate blood sugar levels in certain cases.
What is Diabetes
People with diabetes have problems processing the sugar (glucose) from foods we eat for our bodies to use as energy. The pancreas is an organ that lies near the stomach. It secretes a hormone called insulin that helps get glucose into the cells of our bodies.
When the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or has trouble using the insulin as well as it should, too much glucose builds up in the bloodstream. This is known as diabetes or having the “sugar” as it is referred to by some people.
There are Two Types of Diabetes ― Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), or juvenile onset diabetes. It only accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. It is thought that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in the development of type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, adult-onset diabetes accounts for about 90 percent to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. However, unlike type 1 diabetes, risk factors for type 2 diabetes include both genetic and lifestyle factors:
- Older age
- Family history of diabetes
- Prior history of gestational diabetes
- Impaired glucose tolerance
- Physical inactivity
Of the latter factor, race, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
CBD Oil and Diabetes
What Current Research is Finding?
Research is ongoing to see whether hemp-derived CBD oil can help control blood sugar, reduce inflammation and ease diabetic nerve pain. Most studies today have been conducted on animals and have found CBD to:
- Reduce hyperglycemia-high blood sugar
- Lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels
- Increase insulin production
In human studies, results are different. CBD didn’t improve blood sugar and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes but did for those given a combination of CBD and THC. However, CBD did lower insulin resistance and boost hormone levels in the digestive tract. Hemp-derived CBD oil does contain THC but in a low percentage, below 0.3% by dry mass. By law, hemp extract must contain zero or less than 0.30 percent THC.
One may experience better results with a full-spectrum CBD product, which are typically high in CBD and contain trace amounts of minor cannabinoids and low amounts of THC. Despite having relatively low amounts of THC, the overall composition is considered full spectrum and capable of producing the “entourage effect” ― increased effectiveness of full spectrum CBD products due to the different cannabinoids working synergistically.
Concerns About Using CBD Oil if You Have Diabetes
CBD can be introduced into the body in many forms, from oils and tinctures to edible gummies and supplements. But the FDA doesn’t regulate most CBD products. In fact, it has only approved Epidiolex, a prescription drug for treating two rare types of epilepsy.
It’s up to consumers to research the companies that they buy CBD oil products from because the labels can sometimes be misleading, making it difficult to know how much CBD oil is actually present in the product being sold. Some CBD products may contain THC, which may result in a failed drug test for employment or other reasons. CBD can also have side effects, such as:
- Dry mouth
Will CBD Itself Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
The question of whether CBD alone, or in combination with other cannabinoids, can directly affect blood glucose levels is still being researched.
People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to see benefits when they include CBD oil in their daily regimens to control diabetic neuropathy pain, reduce stress or help them sleep better.
What’s the Best CBD Oil to Choose if You have Diabetes?
Managing diabetes is not just about controlling blood glucose levels but also about keeping ancillary symptoms, such as neuropathy, stress and inflammation in check.
Blood Sugar Support supplements by Oliver’s Harvest contain a trio of active ingredients that work synergistically to provide relief from certain symptoms brought on by diabetes. Ingredients include:
- Cinnamon powder 350 mg
- Alpha-lipoic acid 150 mg
- Cannabidiol (CBD) 5 mg
Cinnamon powder contains many antioxidants that may help to reduce oxidative stress due to high blood glucose, improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, and prevent complications. Meanwhile, alpha-lipoic acid works as an antioxidant and may help with glucose uptake in muscles and enhance insulin sensitivity. Finally, cannabidiol (CBD) may help maintain a normal inflammatory response, reduces oxidative stress, prevents neurodegeneration, and decreases retinal complications.
Oliver’s Harvest CBD With Capsaicin Pain Cream may help provide relief from diabetic neuropathy at the feet and other areas due to two active ingredients ― capsaicin and cannabidiol (CBD). Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers that put the “hot” in hot sauce and is known to help reduce pain intensity. Capsaicin is also known to be a neuroprotectant, as it may protect nerves from being damaged or degenerated.
CBD interacts with endocannabinoid (ECS) receptors in joints and muscles to promote a healthy inflammatory response and relieve occasional stiffness and soreness. CBD oil also provides benefit as an anti-anxiety agent, helping with the overall management of stressful medical conditions.
Recent government statistics reported over 16 million emergency room visits for diabetes-related complications among adults 18 years or older. According to recent estimates, the annual economic cost of diabetes in the United States is a staggering $327 billion of which $237 billion is in direct medical costs and $90 billion is in reduced productivity.
Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be avoided by making certain healthy lifestyle changes as part of a daily regimen of healthy eating and periodic exercise. The use of CBD oil for mitigating diabetes symptoms is still in early stages of research, which is why a medical professional should be consulted before using CBD oil products alone or in tandem with current prescribed medications.
When considering which CBD products to use, it’s important to choose a manufacturer that is transparent and fully compliant about the ingredients they use, and the independent labs they contract with, to ensure that their products contain pure CBD oil, free of contaminants or harmful ingredients. Look for manufacturers who post recent lab results for the products they sell and for products made with organic ingredients and clear labeling for best results in managing symptoms of diabetes using CBD products.