Can marijuana help people with diabetes?

Cannabis is much more than recreational vs. medical.

Marijuana has been used medicinally for thousands of years, although many people use it as a recreational drug too. Research now indicates marijuana may have medicinal properties that can provide benefits for diabetes, as well as other health conditions.

After alcohol, marijuana (also known as cannabis) is the most commonly used drug in the world. The United Nations World Drug Report 2016 estimate there are 182.5 million users globally.

This article explores the medicinal properties of marijuana and how its use might benefit people with diabetes. It also examines the potential downsides of using marijuana for people who have diabetes and what the legal status of the drug is.


Medicinal properties

Cannabinoids found in marijuana may affect memory, mood, pain, and coordination.

Compounds in marijuana are believed to be responsible for the health benefits associated with the plant. These are called cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids interact with receptors found in the central nervous system of the body. This can affect a number of processes such as:

  • mood
  • pain
  • memory
  • coordination
  • appetite

Of all the cannabinoids in marijuana, THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most commonly studied.

THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis, producing the "high" associated with the drug. CBD is not considered psychoactive, but has a number of medicinal uses. As such, it is of interest to those considering marijuana for medical use.


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