Marijuana and Diabetes: Benefits and Precautions


The use of medical marijuana has been steadily increasing. Because of this, doctors have been trying to gain a better understanding of its effects on health. This has lead to some interesting research findings of the potential benefits of using medical marijuana in helping to manage symptoms of diabetes.

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Benefits

Some research studies suggest there are benefits of using marijuana to help with diabetes. The effects of cannabis on diabetes are still not fully understood, so you should discuss marijuana use with your doctor.

Managing Blood Sugar

Marijuana may be able to help with managing your blood sugar levels, and it could help to improve insulin resistance with type 2 diabetes.

Studies found that marijuana could help increase insulin sensitivity, and some have associated a lower fasting insulin level compared to those who were not using marijuana recreationally.

Even though some of the research is promising about the benefits of cannabis on blood sugar control, there still isn’t enough research to be clear about its influence.

They have also found a risk for higher hemoglobin A1C test results, a test that measures the average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. It was associated with swings in blood sugar levels causing more frequent highs and lows.

Managing Weight

Marijuana could also help with managing your weight.

A risk factor for developing diabetes is waist circumference, which is used to measure how much extra fat is carried around the abdomen. One research study found recreational marijuana use was associated with smaller waist circumference. This could help to lower the risk of insulin resistance and the chance of developing diabetes.

Marijuana and Weight Gain

Marijuana use may also lead to weight gain in some people because it can increase food cravings. Often these cravings are for foods that are high in carbohydrates and calories.

Managing Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of uncontrolled diabetes when high blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage in the arms and legs.

Cannabis could help with managing nerve pain from diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

One study found that marijuana use was associated with short-term relief from pain in patients who were resistant to other treatment options. Cannabis treatment could also help to protect the nerves from damage through its anti-inflammatory properties and help to prevent peripheral neuropathy.

Other Diabetes-Related Diseases

Other common complications of diabetes are increased risk for heart disease and kidney damage. A study found that recreational cannabis use may increase these risks. They reported increased risks for:

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Kidney…



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