Most people are aware of medical marijuana’s most commonly reported benefits, such as its use for relieving pain, reducing nausea and acting as a sleep aid. However, as more patients are approved for cannabis medications, additional reports show it has uses beyond what we knew. One symptom that could be treated by marijuana is insulin resistance (IR), a complication that precedes type 2 diabetes.
Cannabis has many benefits for patients looking for relief from some of diabetes’ debilitating symptoms. It treats neuropathic pain and helps patients who suffer from nausea and vomiting. However, recent studies suggest marijuana could actually address one of the root causes of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance.
Which Cannabinoids Are Best for Insulin?
When picking a strain, you should be aware of their chemical makeup. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds present in marijuana, which give it its healthful properties. But not all strains are the same. Each is a little different based on the types of cannabinoids a strain contains and how much of them.
One of the most prevalent cannabinoids in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This psychoactive compound is used primarily to treat pain and nausea. The other major component in cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD). This and another lesser known cannabinoid THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) have been proven to have anti-diabetic properties.
Although cannabis is not a cure for diabetes or insulin resistance, it has been shown to help patients find significant improvements. Some of the beneficial properties patients have experienced from these compounds, especially THCV and CBD, include:
- Improved insulin resistance
- Reduced blood glucose
- Improved fasting insulin levels
- Significantly reduced cholesterol
When working together, these cannabinoids seem to help patients fight insulin resistance. It may be difficult for patients to find strains with a significant THCV content. But, those high in CBD are in high demand, and thus many dispensaries carry them.
Strains to Fight Insulin Resistance
There is no one cause for insulin resistance. Genetics and unhealthy eating or exercise habits seem to be the most influential factors for its development. When a patient receives a diagnosis of IR, doctors will most likely recommend lifestyle changes and medication to help normalize blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Medical marijuana can be used in conjunction with any course of treatment prescribed by your physician. It’s not only safe to use on its own, but there are no serious side effects that arise when used with other types of medication.
Here are some strains patients can try to fight insulin resistance:
- Harlequin: This sativa has a high CBD content and a 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC. Because of this, it’s been shown to provide benefits to diabetic patients. It also delivers pain relief and relaxation without the psychoactive side effects of THC.
- Doug’s Varin: Although this strain is difficult to find, the high THCV content makes it desirable to patients with IR or diabetes. This sativa was used in a diabetes research study which concluded that patients using it had improved fasting insulin levels and reduced blood sugar.
- Sour Tsunami: This hybrid has a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD. This even ratio allows diabetic patients to experience the benefits of CBD with the pain-relieving properties of THC.
- Cannatonic: This hybrid is desirable because of its extremely high CBD content, sometimes as much as 17 percent. It’s free from the psychoactive high, making it a good strain for daytime medicating.
- Black Beauty: Another rare strain, this hybrid has a 2:1 THC to THCV ratio. Producers are even trying to make a variety of this strain that includes a larger CBD content, which would make it highly desirable to diabetic and IR patients.
Work Out a Treatment Plan With a Marijuana Professional
Although we’ve recommended strains that are reported to have benefits to patients with insulin resistance, some of these varieties may be difficult to find. That’s why you should work with a budtender at a local medical marijuana dispensary to find the perfect strain for you. You should also make an appointment with a marijuana doctor, as they will want to monitor your condition to ensure you’re receiving the best possible treatment.