How CBD Helps Regulate Insulin Levels
The pancreas is an organ in our bodies responsible for regulating sugar levels through a group of cells called the Islets of Langerhans which secrete the very important hormones insulin, glucagon and somatostatin. These three hormones regulate blood glucose levels. Insulin lowers it by encouraging sugar uptake from the blood into the cells while glucagon raises it through stimulation of the liver converting glycogen stores into glucose and promoting gluconeogenesis. Somatostatin decreases activity from both of these hormones.
Diabetes is, simply put, a group of diseases that directly results in an excess amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. High blood sugar caused by our pancreas not creating enough insulin or our cells not responding to the insulin. Diabetes can cause symptoms such as excessive thirst, sweet taste, frequent urination, fatigue, weight loss or gain, blurred vision or dizziness.
There are two types of Diabetes. Type 1- Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, a chronic condition where the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Insulin, a hormone, allows your body to use glucose from carbohydrates in food and stores energy for later use from those carbohydrates. In other words, insulin helps keep your blood sugar level, neither dipping or rising, by regulating glucose resourcing. People who have this type of diabetes have to be very careful about their sugar stores, how many carbohydrates they’re consuming, how much activity they’re getting, etc. Insulin treatment is required with Type 1 diabetes as well as frequent monitoring of blood sugar and regular doctor visits to monitor your A1C levels. Treatment usually includes hormone replacement such as insulin injections or an insulin pump, nutrition counseling and carb counting, exercise regime and a diabetic friendly diet of foods low in sugars. Scientists that have done studies believe Type 1 diabetes to be caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses. Type 1 diabetes can occur when your immune system attacks insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, resulting in little to no insulin produced.
Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body resists the insulin. Symptoms can include increased thirst, sweet taste, urinating more frequently, ravenous appetite, fatigue, blurred vision, or even dizziness. There is no known cause as to why or what causes this condition, however once again scientists that have done studies believe Type 2 diabetes can be caused by genes, environmental factors such as being overweight and sedative, or a poor diet can be contributing factors. Treatment for Type 2 diabetes typically consists of self-care such as diet, exercise and healthy habits, medications like Metformin.
While the problems of diabetes may seem short term, like hypoglycemia, or hyperglycemia, but there are complications more long-term that are very severe that many diabetics suffer through such as retinopathy, cardiovascular disease, skin conditions, nephropathy, neuropathy and macrovascular problems. This is all due to damage to the large and small blood vessels and excessive high blood sugar over periods of time.
So how does CBD help Diabetics? How exactly can CBD help reduce blood sugar?
The endocannabinoid system is involved in metabolic processes which lead to the development of diabetes, and it may even be involved in the numerous complications associated with this disease, include damage to the nervous system, kidney tissues, cardiovascular disease and issues arising within the eyes.
Cannabidiol is a very relevant cannabinoid for regulating the pancreas and reducing insulin resistance. While no trials have been conducted testing humans for the potential for CBD to lower blood pressure, a study in the journal Autoimmunity found nonobese diabetic mice had a significantly lower chance of developing diabetes when treated with CBD. It is also impossible to ignore that insulin levels and insulin resistance in cannabis users is lower. Users of CBD oil have reported having their blood sugar levels more stable after regularly taking the product for a couple of months.
CBD is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. More powerful than Aspirin. Autoimmune disorders have been linked to chronic inflammation. Diabetes has an autoimmunity link in type 1 and chronic inflammation in both types 1 and 2. CBD, being the very powerful anti-inflammatory that it is, helps to reduce that inflammation. High glucose levels can cause severe inflammation and studies have shown CBD to tackle that destructive inflammation, relieving severe pain associated with it.
Once again, we’ve studied on rats and found CBD helped reduce inflammation and nerve pain associated with osteoarthritis. Rats were studied on again and found CBD effective in suppressing chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents.
CBD also has been shown to reduce cardiovascular issues, opening the vessels allowing more blood to flow through. CBD also has immune modulating actions which are significant given that diabetes is considered an autoimmune disorder.
While CBD has not been proven to be effective in treating diabetes or even lowering blood sugar in humans, it is worth studying more how cannabidiol and even other cannabinoids and terpenes can aid in regulating insulin, regulating glucose levels. We know a healthy cannabinoid system promotes homeostasis through mood regulation, appetite, hormone regulation, and temperature regulation. Through regulating our hormones, it would seem insulin levels would also be regulated. However, CBD certainly is beneficial to treating the symptoms associated with diabetes. That’s nothing to scoff about.