Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The term “diabetes mellitus” refers to what we simply call “diabetes.” It’s a general name that describes both type 1 and type 2 of the disease. Even though both kinds develop for different reasons and work in different ways, they have similar results. A lack of insulin activity causes high blood sugar levels, damaging the body and organs. When diabetes becomes severe, it can cause death.
Typical diabetes treatments include insulin, lifestyle changes and medication. Medical approaches can have dangerous side effects like organ damage and low blood sugar. While medical marijuana can’t completely replace standard treatment, it has the potential to reduce your reliance on drugs.
When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t produce or use insulin correctly. The pancreas creates insulin to transport glucose to your cells. When something goes wrong with that process, your cells don’t get the glucose they need to function. Instead, the glucose goes into your blood, making your blood sugar rise.
Each type of diabetes causes different insulin problems. Type 1 diabetes involves low or nonexistent insulin production. Due to genetics or other factors, the pancreas doesn’t create enough insulin for proper glucose transportation. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes happens when your cells build a resistance to insulin. Insulin-resistant cells don’t let glucose travel properly.
Regardless of the type of diabetes the patient has, the extra glucose that can’t enter the cells goes into the bloodstream instead. The excess glucose causes high blood sugar, which can cause damage over a long time. Issues caused by high glucose include:
Minor symptoms include dry mouth, increased hunger, weight loss and fatigue. Diabetes-related health issues usually start out mild, then become serious.
By addressing insulin levels and insulin resistance, cannabis medicine could tackle the causes of diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients can benefit from its impact. Research on diabetes and medicinal marijuana usually involve the cannabinoids THCV and CBD. Data shows that these compounds can:
Medical cannabis excels as a medicine that makes symptoms more comfortable to deal with. It relieves symptoms that occur throughout all stages of diabetes. Diabetes-related issues that marijuana medicine reduces includes:
To prevent the complications that come with advanced diabetes, you must protect yourself against symptom progression. Medicinal cannabis helps you minimize or eliminate major symptoms by:
At the time of writing, only Florida explicitly mentions diabetes as a condition qualified for medical marijuana treatment. But even if you don’t live in Florida, you may still have options. Some states will accept patients whose doctors make the proper case for them. If you live in a state with recreational marijuana sales, you can obtain marijuana medicine without approval. But, we still recommend getting medical advice beforehand.
To learn if you can qualify for medical marijuana, visit a cannabis-certified doctor. Approved patients can then visit a local dispensary to get their medicine.