Diabetes has become incredibly common over the years. Almost ten percent of Americans have diabetes.
Lifestyle changes and medications can help with this.
But many Americans are exploring all their options.
One alternative option for diabetes is CBD oil.
There’s a lot we don’t know about CBD oil. This is because it has only been legal for scientists to conduct human trials using CBD since 2015.
Research is still in its early stages. There is still a lot to learn.
But here’s what we do know about CBD oil for diabetes.
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What is CBD oil?
CBD is a short form that stands for “cannabidiol.”
It is a type of cannabinoid called terpenophenol.
It comes from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD does not have the intoxicating or psychoactive effects that marijuana provides.
This is because this chemical compound does not have any psychotropic actions.
Forms of cannabidiol
Most forms of CBD are consumed orally or topically on the skin.
The form of CBD you use will affect how quickly the compound enters your bloodstream.
For example, if you smoke CBD, then this enters the bloodstream the fastest. If you consume CBD orally, however, it takes longer to enter your body’s system. When it comes to topical CBD use, scientists aren’t fully aware of how much gets into your bloodstream.
CBD oil is the most popular form of CBD. To prepare CBD oil, CBD extract is mixed into a carrier oil. This can then be taken orally or placed topically onto the skin.
You can also infuse CBD into food items like chocolate, CBD gummies, candies, and baked goods. Do keep in mind that most of these edible items may not be the best option for a diabetes patient!
CBD is also available in capsule pill form.
CBD is also made into a spray form. This is administered under the tongue, which we call sublingual administration.
Is CBD oil good for diabetes?
There is some research to show that CBD oil may help control blood sugar. It can also reduce stress and anxiety and improve cardiovascular health. These are all important for a diabetic patient.
A 2020 medical review showed that CBD could impact several factors that can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and can help in the metabolism of glucose. All this can help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.
A 2016 study looked at people with type 2 diabetes who took CBD. They found that when combined with a THC-based compound, these patients could control their blood sugar better.
This study also found that CBD lowers resistin levels. Resistin is a hormone that can lead to insulin resistance.
CBD also increases glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptides. This is a hormone that triggers insulin production and increases insulin levels.
This study showed that CBD could help balance some of the hormones that are a factor in type 2 diabetes development.
Symptoms include pain and a burning feeling in the hands and feet.
One study on diabetic rats found that CBD increases nerve cells that provide pain relief. This hasn’t been proven in humans yet but it is promising.
A similar mechanism leads to damage in the blood vessels of the eye in diabetes. This is called diabetic retinopathy.
Stress and anxiety
Managing a severe and chronic condition such as diabetes can lead to stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, this can make the symptoms of diabetes worse.
When stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released, this prompts the body to release glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that can cause a high blood sugar level.
Proper stress and anxiety management can help with the physical symptoms of diabetes. Research shows that CBD can be helpful with anxiety. This means that it can also be beneficial in balancing blood glucose levels indirectly.
CBD has the potential to play a role in this through its ability to help with anxiety.
Almost half of the patients with type 2 diabetes experience insomnia. CBD can help improve sleep.
Improving your sleep can also help control blood sugar levels. This can then help to reduce your risk of complications from type 2 diabetes.
CBD can help to reduce inflammation, which can then help to reduce chronic pain. Once inflammation and chronic pain have been managed, the quality of life goes up for those with diabetes.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be reduced with a CBD oil product. This then lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease.
People with diabetes are already at a heightened risk of poor blood flow and developing heart disease, so this is important.
How to use it
You can take CBD-rich hemp oil drops sublingually (under the tongue). It is also available in CBD tincture form. This is where dried cannabis plant flowers are extracted with alcohol. CBD is also present in hemp seeds and hemp seed oil. CBD has a low bioavailability when consumed orally.
However, if you consume CBD with a high fat, high-calorie meal, then its bioavailability quadruples!
For nerve pain in the hands and feet (called peripheral neuropathy), topical CBD cream appears to be the best way to use it.
There are two primary cannabinoid receptors in the body.
They are cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). When the CB1 receptor is activated, unwanted central effects can occur.
This is why we don’t use medications that activate or inactivate CB1 receptors. CBD oils target the CB2 receptor, which is safe and effective.
One of the best things about CBD is that it can have a therapeutic effect without causing psychoactivity or hallucinations that cannabis does.
CBD impacts the endocannabinoid system. This system is often overactive in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.
Anxiety and Depression
One study looked at 400 patients who took CBD oil. The subjects had an average increase of 13.6 points on the EQ-VAS scale, which rates overall quality of health.
These patients reported improved pain, anxiety, and depression. They also had a better sleep and a healthier appetite. They found that CBD oil had both analgesic and anxiolytic benefits.
Peripheral neuropathy is a potential side effect of diabetes. It is neuropathic pain in the hands and feet and can significantly impact the quality of life.
One study looked at 29 patients with peripheral neuropathy. Fifteen patients took CBD, and the rest took a placebo.
There was a statistically significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, and cold and itchy sensations in the CBD group compared to placebo.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is also called IBD for short. The most common effects of CBD on IBD were improvements in sleep quality, nausea, and appetite.
Patients with IBD who use CBD oil report medical benefits from it. Part of this could be due to CBD oil’s ability to reduce oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
One study looked at patients with fibromyalgia. Half the patients took cannabis oil, while the other half took a placebo.
The cannabis oil group had a significant decrease in their FIQ score (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire) compared to placebo.
Patients taking the cannabis oil reported improved pain and fatigue. They also said that they felt better and were better able to do work.
Researchers in this study concluded that cannabis oil reduces symptoms and increases the quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia.
Did you know that approximately one quarter of outpatient palliative care patients use either THC or CBD? And these patients report improvements in pain and quality of life.
There is limited research on CBD. Because of this, scientists don’t know of all side effects. But research has found that, in general, people tend to tolerate CBD well.
However, CBD can interact with prescription medication and over-the-counter medications.
The potential side effects of CBD include the following:
- Diarrhea (many people with diabetes mellitus already struggle with diarrhea too)
- Abnormal liver function test results
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Brain fog
- Lower appetite
- Behavioural changes
- Skin rashes
- Sleep disturbances
It’s essential to be careful when taking CBD supplements. Be sure you take the following precautions and keep them in mind when taking a CBD product.
It’s crucial that you take a safe dose of CBD. Recommendations vary widely. The proper dose for you will also depend on which condition you are hoping to treat.
Since the FDA does not regulate CBD products, they often have inaccurate labeling of their CBD and THC quantities.
There is no uniform standard of strength and purity of CBD. The composition and quality of CBD are not always well monitored.
Yes, CBD is a natural product. However, this does not mean that it can’t interact with other drugs and supplements.
Research shows that CBD can interact with 139 different medications.
CBD oil can even be dangerous for people on any of 57 different medications. These include drugs such as metformin, coumadin/warfarin, Benadryl, and Tylenol.
Taking CBD with metformin can increase your risk of getting diarrhea. Many patients with diabetes do take metformin since this is a drug meant to help control blood sugar levels.
Taking CBD with Coumadin or warfarin can boost the amount of the drug in your bloodstream. This can change the safe and effective dose your body needs of coumadin or warfarin.
Benadryl can cause drowsiness, and so can CBD. If you take the two together, their synergistic effects can cause extreme tiredness, so be careful if you have allergies that you manage with Benadryl.
The liver processes Tylenol. Since taking CBD can increase liver enzymes, it’s important not to take CBD with other medications that stress the liver.
Specific drug reactions can be severe.
One example is what we call Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. In one case, a 56-year-old woman took CBD oil sublingually for chronic pain. She then developed a diffuse, blistering, maculopapular rash covering one-third of her body. Biopsy confirmed that this patient developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Unfortunately, she passed away from septic shock.
This highlights how important it is to check with your health care professional to ensure there won’t be any interactions between your medications and CBD.
CBD oil can be therapeutic and may be a good option for diabetes treatment.
It doesn’t have the psychoactive compounds that THC does. There are several different forms you can take.
It can help to improve insulin sensitivity, hormone balancing, and inflammation. It can also help with some of the complications of diabetes, such as diabetic neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, insomnia, poor immune system, and stress and anxiety.
Although CBD oil for diabetes is generally well-tolerated, there are a few side effects to watch out for and cautions to take.
This is especially true if you are already taking any prescription medications.
Always speak to a health care provider before including anything new in your supplement regimen, including CBD oil.
Keep in mind that just because a product is natural does not mean that it is necessarily safe or the best choice for everyone.
Talk to your health care provider today and see if CBD oil for diabetes is a good choice for you.