Marijuana And Diabetes Mellitus

  • Diabetes mellitus is a group of autoimmune diseases characterized by defects in insulin secretion that results in an abnormally high concentration of glucose in the blood, hyperglycemia. There are two types of diabetes.

    Type 1 diabetes: People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes) are incapable to produce pancreatic insulin and must rely on insulin medication to survive.

    Type 2 diabetes: People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (also known as adult onset diabetes) produce inadequate insulin amounts.

    Over a period of time, diabetes could result in blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, hardening of the arteries, and even death.

    A search of the scientific literature identified a small number of preclinical studies that indicated cannabinoids may modify the disease’s progression and provide symptomatic relief to those suffering from it.

    Injections of 5 mg per day of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD significantly minimized the incidence of diabetes in mice, according to a 2006 study published in the journal Autoimmunity. It was reported by investigators that 86% of untreated control mice in the study developed diabetes and only 30% of CBD-treated mice developed the disease, by contrast.

    Researchers at the Medical College of Virginia while writing in the March 2006 issue of the American Journal of Pathology reported that rats treated with CBD for periods of one to four weeks experienced significant protection from diabetic retinopathy.
    A pair of studies published in the journal Neuroscience Letters in 2004 suggested that “cannabinoids have a potential beneficial effect on experimental diabetic neuropathic pain.”

    [1] Croxford and Yamamura. 2005. Cannabinoids and the immune system: Potential for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Journal of Neuroimmunology 166: 3-18.
    [2] Lu et al. 2006. The cannabinergic system as a target for anti-inflammatory therapies. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 13: 1401-1426.
    [3] Weiss et al. 2006. Cannabidiol lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Autoimmunity 39: 143-151.
    [4] Ibid
    [5] El-Remessy et al. 2006. Neuroprotective and blood-retinal barrier preserving effects of cannabidiol in experimental diabetes. American Journal of Pathology 168: 235-244.
    [6] Dogrul et al. 2004. Cannabinoids block tactile allodynia in diabetic mice without attenuation of its antinociceptive effect. Neuroscience Letters 368: 82-86.
    [7] Ulugol et al. 2004. The effect of WIN 55,212-2, a cannabinoid agonist, on tactile allodynia in diabetic rats. Neuroscience Letters 71: 167-170.
    [8] Li et al. 2001. Examination of the immunosuppressive effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in streptozotocin-induced autoimmune diabetes. International Immunopharmacology (Italy) 4: 699-712.
    [9] Rajesh et al. 2010. Cannabidiol attenuates cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammatory and cell death signaling pathways in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 56: 2115-2125.

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