According to the CDC, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, and an additional 88 million American adults have prediabetes.
An equally shocking statistic is that the CDC reports two out of five Americans will develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their life. Considering the vast reach of this condition, it is no surprise that people are beginning to ask if CBD can help with diabetes.
Diabetes is classified as type 1 or type 2 and is a result of the body producing too much or too little insulin. Our bodies use insulin to store and transport glucose to our cells.
When our body is unable to regulate insulin levels, its use of glucose becomes inefficient, resulting in many of the problematic and sometimes debilitating symptoms that diabetics face.
With the resounding prominence of diabetes, researchers are working tirelessly to better understand this disease. Around 90-95% of diabetic cases are preventable, according to the CDC. Preventative measures include keeping your weight in check, regular exercise, refraining from smoking cigarettes, and consuming a balanced diet.
For the millions of Americans who already suffer from diabetes, these actions can still aid in reversing the progression of type 2 diabetes and, in some cases, even result in remission of the disease.
Much like the etiology of diabetes, researchers are studying the potential benefits of CBD at lightning pace. We’ve already seen some of the promising effects that CBD can have in other conditions, so it doesn’t seem farfetched to explore CBD’s potential benefit for diabetics.
Before the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, many regulatory hurdles prevented researchers from conducting studies on CBD due to its classification as a controlled substance. Not only did the 2018 Farm Bill grant Americans the ability to more easily access CBD products, but it also opened the floodgates for public funding of future CBD research.
The Journal of Autoimmunity published a study exploring CBD’s ability to lower the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Researchers reported that CBD (emphasis added) “significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice.”
Although these results may sound great at first thought, we need to dig further to understand their clinical significance. The impact that CBD had on the mice appears to be the result of CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects. This means that these findings are likely more relevant to those suffering from type 1 diabetes (5-10% of diabetics), which is believed to be an autoimmune condition.
A more recent study (2019) published by the Springer Journal of Neurotoxicity Research also explored CBD’s impact on diabetic mice. This study specifically looked into CBD’s neuroprotective attributes in middle-aged diabetic mice.
The results (emphasis added) “suggest that the neuroprotective effects of CBD in middle-aged diabetic mice are related to a reduction in neuroinflammation.” Although generally positive in terms of CBD’s potential benefits, the results of this study seem to provide no correlation to CBD’s impact on the majority of diabetics (type 2).
Not all studies concerning CBD’s impact on diabetes have rendered promising results. A 2016 study funded by GW Pharmaceuticals and published in the Journal of Diabetes Care reported that CBD had no effect on participants’ ability to regulate glucose.
Although the sample size for this study was relatively small (n=62) and did not address any potential confounding variables, it was structured as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, which is generally considered the strongest type of interventional study. Most notably, participants in this study were type 2 diabetics, unlike the aforementioned studies where subjects were Type 1.
Additionally, it is important to note that this study was conducted on humans, unlike the other studies we discussed, which were conducted on mice. Although lab mice are an excellent way to extrapolate data, we must remember humans react differently to stimuli.
Just because scientists remain undecided regarding CBD’s impact on cases of diabetes doesn’t mean that we should overlook its other potential benefits. Although more research needs to be conducted to determine CBD’s role in diabetes, there is a growing collection of evidence regarding other conditions CBD may be beneficial for.
There are currently hundreds of CBD-based clinical trials underway around the world. These trials cover a wide gamut of conditions and CBD’s potential use for them. With so many people incorporating CBD into their lives, we conducted our own survey to determine why people use CBD.
Our 2019 US CBD Consumer Report surveyed over 1,000 CBD users and found the following:
Although technically considered anecdotal reports, we’re enthusiastic that future clinical trials will fall closely in line with our own findings.
As with any type of product that has undergone the rapid rise in popularity that CBD has experienced, it should be expected that you have to watch out for shady CBD brands trying to make a quick buck with questionable products.
We recognized this area of concern early-on. This is what influenced us to create two tools to help guide both new and seasoned CBD users in sourcing the highest-quality CBD products from reputable brands.
Our free CBD Knowledge Center is a great source for information regarding not only CBD news and best practices, but also for guides and answers to most of your CBD questions.
If you already have your CBD use down to a science and simply need guidance to find a reputable brand, our Trusted Brands tool is exactly what you need. This free resource takes an in-depth and unbiased look into the pros and cons of numerous CBD brands. Each brand has been vetted by the CBD Insider team to determine which ones we deem trustworthy and worthy of our recommendation.
If you’ve already purchased your CBD and are trying to determine the quality, we have a couple of tips as well. First and foremost, we recommend checking for your product’s certificate of analysis (COA). COAs should be available for any and all CBD products.
COAs are documents provided by third-party labs. Labs provide information to brands regarding the concentration of CBD in your product. This allows you to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you expect. Additionally, COAs offer a detailed analysis of the presence of potential toxins in your product. Without a COA, it is impossible to truly know what your product contains.
If you are not able to locate your product’s COA, we recommend reaching out to the brand for guidance. If the brand is not willing to provide a COA for their products, you should take this as a major red flag and find a new CBD brand.
Proper labeling is another thing to check for on your CBD products. If your product doesn’t provide easy to understand directions regarding contents, dosage, and/or directions, you should certainly reach out to the brand for clarification.
If you find that the customer support department of your CBD product’s brand is unwilling to answer your questions or clear up concerns, this is a sign to move to a new brand.
Research on CBD’s ability to help those diagnosed with diabetes presents a mixed bag of results. We’re confident that future clinical trials and a better understanding of the mechanisms behind diabetes will shed additional light on how this naturally occurring cannabinoid may provide benefit to diabetics.
The CBD Insider will continue to inform readers of new data and research results as they become available.
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