Diabetes mellitus (DM), often shortened to diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders in which there are high blood-sugar levels over prolonged periods due to the pancreas either not producing enough insulin or the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, sugar found in the urine due to malabsorption of glucose, skin rashes called “diabetic dermadromes”, increased thirst and increased hunger, and may include many complications if left untreated. Those with diabetes have an increased chance of stroke, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, foot ulcers and damage to the eyes.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes or Type 1 DM – Results from the pancreas’ inability to produce enough insulin. Those with type 1 DM may also experience diabetic ketoacidosis, which causes nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. There is no known cause of type 1 DM.
- Type 2 Diabetes or Type 2 DM – Insulin resistance. This is when cells fail to respond to insulin properly. A lack of insulin may also develop as the condition progresses. Insufficient exercise and excessive body weight are the most common causes of type 2 DM.
- Gestational Diabetes – a type of diabetes that develops in pregnant women with no history of diabetes.
This means that diabetics can have persistently low blood-sugar (hypoglycemic), high blood-sugar (hyperglycemic) and/or rapidly cycle between the two, although hyperglycemia is more common in type 2 DM. Effects of can include sweating, feelings of unease, trembling and increased appetite. In more severe cases, confusion, seizures, unconsciousness and behavioral changes such as aggressiveness are experienced. Mild-to-moderate cases of hypoglycemia can be abated by eating or drinking something sugary. Unconsciousness must be treated by glucagon injections.
As of 2015, an estimated 415 million people worldwide have diabetes of some form of diabetes, with 90% of cases being Type 2 Diabetes. In 2012, diabetes cost the US $245 billion. Diabetes doubles the risk of an early death, and can either be the cause or result of another potentially life-threatening condition.
Simply put, some researchers believe that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could benefit sugar metabolism, the immune system, cell growth, heart function. Studies taken place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem suggest that, as chronic inflammation plays a key role in the development of insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, CBD could help treat this inflammation and suppress diabetes. CBD could possibly even reverse and cure diabetes, though more research is needed.
Another issue that often arises from diabetes, especially those who have been suffering from diabetes for a long time, is neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is a complex and chronic form of pain, often caused by tissue injuries. Diabetes often causes damage to the nerve fibers, which sends incorrect signals to other pain centers.
Cannabis may therefore be potentially useful for a range of issues associated with diabetes. Not only is CBD a potential neuroprotective, but may also could potentially help lower the incidence of diabetes and prevent insulin resistance, as well as help treat the pain of nerve damage.