Diabetes is one of the most common diseases amongst men, women and children around the world. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that almost one third of the population are currently living with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The side effects of the disease can be difficult to manage, and so the link between CBD oil and diabetes is something that many sufferers are interested to know more about.
Whether you are diabetic yourself or have a loved one with the disease, we’ve put together this useful guide on all known links between the two. Read on to discover if and how CBD oil can be used to help with the side effects of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
In short, diabetes is the condition caused by the body’s inability to produce or control the hormone insulin. This causes the blood glucose level to become too high, as any glucose ingested can’t get into the cells and so instead stays in the blood. For those with Type 1 diabetes, the disease is caused by the pancreas not being able to produce insulin. There is therefore nothing that patients can do to reduce their risk of Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is more commonly linked to lifestyle factors. This means that it is actually quite common to develop the disease – and in fact, along with the estimated 415 million people reportedly living with the condition worldwide, there is thought to be an additional 84.1 million who are at risk of developing Type 2 within the next five years.
Side Effects of Diabetes
In the short term, having too much glucose in the blood can lead to a number of side effects, including:
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Delayed healing of minor cuts
- Skin sensitivity and irritation
It is often these symptoms that first cause a sufferer to become aware that they have the condition, but unfortunately the negative side effects do not stop there. Over time, diabetes can also have a degenerative effect on eyesight and nerve endings, and also cause long-term problems with the feet. In the most extreme cases, too much glucose in the bloodstream can cause the patient to fall into a coma, which could be fatal.
CBD Oil and Diabetes
With so many people around the world affected by diabetes, and the potential side effects being so serious, researchers are understandably working incredibly hard to help treat – and hopefully cure – the condition. One area that is being explored by doctors and scientists is how CBD can be used to combat the side effects of diabetes. While the research is still in its infancy, there are thousands of anecdotal cases around the world of the oil being used to treat patients.
So, how exactly can it help with diabetes? A number of positive links have been found between the two, including the following:
CBD Oil Treats Insulin Resistance
As discussed, insulin resistance is one of the main causes of diabetes. When the cells reject insulin, they cannot absorb glucose (which is needed for energy), which in turn leads to high blood sugar levels. Fortunately, there is some evidence to suggest that CBD can help minimise the body’s resistance to insulin. It has a balancing effect on hormones, which helps to regulate insulin production in the body. The cannabinoid receptors control the blood sugar level, which directly soaks up the glucose and converts it into energy.
In 2016, a study conducted at the University of Nottingham showed that when used alongside another cannabis compound known as THCV, CBD was able to reduce insulin resistance in people with Type 2 diabetes. Their blood sugar levels were lowered as a result, which could make managing the condition much easier in the long term.
This method could also be used to help people who are part of the 84 million at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, meaning it could be used preventatively as well as by those already living with the disease.
CBD Oil Can Help Prevent Obesity
Obesity – and specifically a large waist circumference – are well-known risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Research shows that cannabis and hemp use has been linked to a lower BMI and decreased obesity levels. There are two main ways that CBD can help with weight management.
Firstly, its benefits as an anti-inflammatory can help users to get rid of extra weight. Secondly, CBD oils has been found by many to be an effective appetite suppressant. Many cases of Type 2 diabetes are caused by the weight gain that comes with overeating, so a substance that can help users to control their cravings and resist taking in additional food, could help to drastically cut their likelihood of developing the condition.
For many Type 2 sufferers, losing or maintaining a healthy weight can also help them to manage their symptoms. Introducing the appetite-suppressing CBD oil could therefore also help prevent their condition from getting any worse, and they could see a reduction in side effects over time.
CBD Treats Neuropathy
For people who currently struggle with diabetes, neuropathy or nerve damage is a common occurrence. Neuropathy affects diabetics with both Type 1 and Type 2, and is characterized by pain, numbness or tingling. This nerve damage usually begins in the hands and feet and limbs, however if left untreated it can also spread to internal organs.
One study found that that CBD oil could be effective both in relieving the pain caused by neuropathy, and also in preventing further damage from spreading. Researchers believe this is the case because CBD may increase the body’s levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that helps nerve cells.
Furthermore, CBD may also protect the liver from oxidative stress. This is an imbalance between free radicals (which are unbalanced, reactive molecules) and antioxidants, which are used to fight and detoxify the potentially harmful molecules. There is evidence to suggest that oxidative stress can be a contributing cause of neuropathy, and so the protection that CBD oil could give the liver would further help ease this in diabetics.
CBD Could Speed Up Skin Healing
In addition to neuropathy, many diabetics also struggle with skin sensitivity and irritation. Common issues include sores on the feet, as well as rashes on various parts of the body. Thanks to its pain relieving properties, CBD oil could help relieve the discomfort, itching and burning that the skin conditions can cause.
In addition, CBD oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and moisturising benefits, which could also help soothe irritation and generally speed up the healing process.
Using CBD Oil for Diabetes
As discussed, there are many different side effects of diabetes that CBD oil can be used to treat. From treating irritated skin to controlling appetite, there are a number of ways that the day-to-day life of diabetics could be made somewhat more comfortable – simply through introducing a new product. While the medical advice of your doctor should always be consulted and followed, the organic ingredients of CBD could be used to compliment existing medications and lifestyle choices.
If you are a diabetic interested in trying CBD oil for any of the various health benefits discussed here, we have a number of products available via our Shop. From ingestible forms of CBD such as capsules, teas and coffees, to solutions that can be applied directly to the skin in the form of balms and bathing products, there are solutions that should suit you regardless of your lifestyle.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.