Can cannabis be effective in reversing diabetes?
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the world, and the United States is no different. According to the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29.1 million people – accounting for nearly 9.3 percent of the U.S. population – suffer from this metabolic condition. Of these, nearly 8.1 million people, which corresponds to 27.8 percent of diabetic Americans, remain undiagnosed.
Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a long-term medical condition wherein an individual has high blood sugar levels due to the lack of sufficient quantities of insulin in the pancreas. All types of diabetes can be treated or managed through medications, coupled with proper diet, exercise and body weight control.
Some prior studies have demonstrated the medical properties of marijuana or cocaine in the treatment of diabetes. Unlike most recreational drugs, which are extremely harmful, marijuana has been found to assist in controlling blood sugar by reducing catecholamines or stress-related hormones (glucocorticoids). As cannabis is a vasodilator, its action on improving blood flow is considerable. Another antidiabetic property of marijuana is seen in the way it reduces blood pressure. A comorbid condition of hypertension can aggravate diabetes. By keeping the blood pressure in control, cannabis is believed to check the progression of the disease.
Conflicting role of marijuana in controlling critical symptoms
While cannabis has been used to treat certain medical conditions, most of these studies were conducted on animals, so they lacked relevance. According to certified diabetes educator (CDE) and author Gary Scheiner, patients should refrain from using marijuana to treat diabetes since it can cause significant cognitive impairments, apart from negatively affecting diabetes control. The drug could result in incorrect insulin dosing, resulting in emergency situations. This can be attributed to the negative impact of the drug on the brain’s processing capacity.
While marijuana reportedly has certain chemical properties that could help a user stay slim, many users resort to binge eating to quell their hunger pangs. Diabetes is associated with a high risk for kidney diseases. Kidney damage from diabetes, called diabetes nephropathy, can be a result of contaminated food. Unless one decides to grow his or her own weed, the probabilities of contamination in marijuana could increase the risk of an early-onset diabetes nephropathy.
Side effects of using marijuana to treat diabetes
Though there are a slew of studies on the benefits of marijuana use in controlling insulin levels, assisting in weight management and lowering blood pressure, most health care providers are still wary of prescribing marijuana due to its serious side effects. Studies have shown that synthetic cannaboids can induce hypertension, tachycardia, myocardial infarction, agitation, vomiting, hallucinations, seizures, convulsions and panic attacks. Also, in case a person has a preexisting cardiac condition, marijuana use can be highly dangerous. According to Professor John W. Huffman, responsible for synthesizing cannabinoids used in synthetic cannabis, “People who use it are idiots. You don’t know what it’s going to do to you”.
Road to recovery
It might be easy for some people to stay away from drugs like marijuana, but some might have uncontrolled indulging behavior and can get trapped into its addiction. If left untreated, drug addiction can lead to serious repercussions pushing someone to life-threatening situations. It is imperative to seek expert medical advice to control further deterioration of health and improve overall well-being.
Recovery from an addiction is a lifelong process, which can be successful only with timely treatment coupled with support from family and friends. At the 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline, we can help you find a comprehensive solution to your drug addiction problem. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5607 or chat online with our experts to know about the top inpatient drug abuse treatment centers as well as outpatient drug abuse treatment centers in the U.S.