The idea of using any part of the cannabis plant to help heal from illness used to be an incredibly taboo subject.
Now, thanks to the legalization of medical marijuana, cannabis as a whole and CBD specifically are slowly but surely becoming more accepted throughout the country.
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is probably best known for its ability to assist seizure disorders and chronic pain. It’s good for a lot more than just these two conditions, though.
Recent studies have shown that CBD can also be incredibly beneficial to people who suffer from diabetes.
Read on to learn more about how CBD and diabetes are connected and see if you can benefit from consuming it on a regular basis.
What is CBD?
Before diving into the relationship between CBD and diabetes treatment, it’s important to define some terms and get up to speed on what CBD actually is.
Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It can also be found in the leaves and stems of the hemp plant.
CBD is not like THC, another cannabinoid that contains psychoactive properties.
How Does CBD Work in the Body?
CBD and THC work differently in the body to help a variety of health conditions.
THC stimulates the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors — the CB1 receptors, which are found mainly in the brain and spinal cord, and the CB2 receptors, which are part of the immune system.
By stimulating these receptors, THC can influence a number of processes throughout the body, including mood, memory, sleep, inflammation, and pain responses.
CBD, on the other hand, does not stimulate either cannabinoid receptor. Instead, it stimulates other receptors throughout the body. The primary receptors that CBD stimulates include:
- Vanilloid receptors, which influence pain perception, inflammation, and temperature
- Adenosine receptors, which are involved in the release of neurotransmitters like glutamate and dopamine
- Serotonin receptors, which are involved in mood, pain perception, appetite, and sleep
CBD also inhibits certain enzymes that can activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors.
Common Misconceptions About CBD and THC
Because CBD has so many great benefits but does not get the user high, many people believe that CBD is the “good” cannabinoid and THC is the “bad” one.
In reality, both CBD and THC offer powerful benefits and one is not better than the other. They can work together to help users feel their best. CBD also dampens the psychoactive effects of THC, so users get the benefits without the high.
Of course, in many places throughout the United States, marijuana is not legal, so not all people are able to reap the benefits of THC due to a lack of safe access. For these people, CBD products are a great option because they allow them to experience relief without having to worry about breaking the law.
What is Diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes, which are appropriately identified as Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that typically strikes in childhood or early adulthood.
People with type 1 diabetes are not able to produce insulin (a hormone that is necessary for shuttling sugar out of the blood and into the cells) on their own. As a result, they end up with chronically elevated blood sugar, which can cause a number of issues throughout the body.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is most often brought on by lifestyle factors (eating an unhealthy, high-sugar diet, for example).
People with type 2 diabetes become resistant to insulin, usually because their body has produced so much of it to try and compensate for the large amounts of sugar they are consuming.
Connection Between CBD and Diabetes
Because CBD helps reduce inflammation, it is a viable treatment option for people with either type of diabetes. By minimizing inflammation, people with diabetes can experience relief from many of the symptoms that accompany the disease, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Slow metabolism and excess fat storage
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Retinopathy (eye disease)
- Poor circulation
- Slow wound healing
Researchers also believe that CBD may be able to be used as a preventative measure to reduce inflammation and stop people from developing diabetes (specifically type 2 diabetes) in the first place.
How to Use CBD for Diabetes
Of course, it’s important to note that the research CBD and diabetes is still preliminary. Because of the lack of long-term studies, it’s important to make sure you’re still working with a doctor to help with your condition and prevent it from getting worse. Don’t just give up your current medications in favor of CBD.
That being said, assuming your doctor gives you the all-clear to do so, CBD can be a great supplement to consume along with your other diabetes medications.
CBD can be consumed in many different forms. Some of the most popular options include:
CBD oils and capsules are both popular options, but many people enjoy the ease of applying a topical balm to experience its benefits.
Which Option Should You Try?
If you’re taking CBD as a preventative or supportive treatment, any of these options will work well for you.
That being said, you may want to stay away from edibles if you’re trying to lose weight, as many contain sugar. It’s true that CBD won’t give you the “munchies” the way THC will. But, many CBD edibles are very palatable and high in calories, meaning they could cause you to gain weight if consumed in excess. Check the ingredients list to ensure it will fit into your current goals.
If you’re looking for relief from neuropathy or joint pain, vaping or consuming a CBD tincture is a good option. These treatments allow your body to absorb the CBD faster, which means you’ll experience more rapid relief.
Want to Try CBD?
Now that you’re up to speed on the connection between CBD and diabetes treatment, are you interested in trying it for yourself?
Whether you’re interested in minimizing symptoms or want to use it as a preventative measure, there’s a CBD product that’s perfect for you.
If so, head to our online CBD store today to find the perfect product for your needs.