Medical Marijuana for Diabetes — 10 Best Strains and Research Results
Using marijuana for diabetes is growing in popularity, due to recent research which claims that some cannabis compounds can lower blood sugar levels and inflammation.
When I think of smoking with my friends, the first thing that comes to my mind is munchies and, of course, not being able to control myself with junk food.
Pizza, chocolate, chips, and then back to chocolate again…
Prior to writing this, I couldn’t imagine how could marijuana and diabetes could go well together.
I was very wrong.
According to the World Health Organization, in the past 30 years, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has quadrupled.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin (responsible for regulating blood sugar levels).
Type 2 diabetes is when the body makes enough insulin, but is unable to use the produced insulin effectively.
Depending on the type, different factors can cause this condition: genetics play a major role, but obesity, viral or bacterial infection, and bad diet, can all lead to developing diabetes.
With the right therapy and regular medical checks, the condition can be kept under control.
So, how exactly does cannabis help with diabetes?
I know it sounds almost contradictory, but marijuana is closely linked to low body mass index, having good cholesterol and a smaller waistline.
And as I mentioned above, obesity is one of the major causes of diabetes.
It seems paradoxical because cannabis consumers are often known to consume more calories per day than those who don’t use marijuana.
But, here are a few studies that claim otherwise.
Researchers from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey collected the data from subjects who reported using cannabis in the past month. They found that marijuana is associated with blood sugar control in more than just one way.
Diabetes patients who used marijuana at that time had 16% lower fasting insulin levels and
17% lower insulin resistance levels, as well as higher levels of good cholesterol.
And that’s not where the good news ends.
In general, regular cannabis consumers, and by that I mean those who use marijuana at least three times a week, are 30% less likely to become overweight.
In fact, the obesity rate among marijuana users is around 16%, while for non-users the rate is between between 22% and 25%.
Cannabis consumers also tend to have better carbohydrate metabolism than those who don’t use our favorite herb.
Cannabis helps speed up the biochemical processes responsible for the formation and breakdown of carbohydrates (including sugar) and scientists assume this has something to do with the way cannabinoids interact with insulin.
It has been observed that cannabis consumers tend to be less insulin-resistant – insulin resistance is a significant factor in obesity.
So, it’s no wonder why many stoners eat as much as they want when they are high and still have that tiny little waistline.
In another corner of the world, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam (the man who discovered CBD), found that the well known anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could play an important role in treating type 2 diabetes.
It has already been known for quite some time that chronic inflammation is a major player in developing insulin resistance.
Since CBD is very effective in treating inflammation, it can help maintain a normal immune system, sugar metabolism, cell growth and heart function.
However, it’s not all about CBD and THC.
There are more than 80 other cannabinoids in the marijuana plant, each with its own therapeutic values.
But one specific cannabinoid called THCV is proven to lower blood-sugar levels in type 2 diabetes.
With increasing evidence that marijuana could be a important tool for helping to maintain normal insulin levels, let’s round up the best strains for treating diabetes.
10 best cannabis strains for diabetes
When it comes to using marijuana for diabetes, you should stick to high CBD and THCV strains.
However, there are also some strains with higher THC levels that can help you manage your insulin levels.
Also, keep in mind that smoking weed is not the only way to get those substances into your system.
In fact, smoking (cigarettes as well as weed) can be very dangerous if you have diabetes.
Here is a Reddit thread I found that really startled me.
In this case, edibles are always a good choice, as they are a much healthier way to get the best from cannabis as there’s no smoke or carbon dioxide. For example, you could put decarb weed and put it in cannabis butter.
Just be careful when it comes to dosing. At first, it may seem it’s not working, but because of the digestion process which takes a while, you’ll feel the effects after about an hour.
Vaping is another healthier way to use weed. Vapes can be a bit expensive but think of it as an investment. There is no smoke with vaping, you inhale vapor and that’s it.
CBD oils are always a safer choice as well. Oils became very popular recently since they are legal and made from industrial hemp. You can buy CBD oil (online or at your local dispensary) or you can easily make your own if you’re a DIY person.
Whatever your preferred method of consumption is, you still need to start with flowers. Use these 10 strains to get a head start.
This should be your first choice when picking a strain for diabetes.
The reason being is that this strain is known for its high levels of THCV cannabinoid, which is, as I mentioned already, effective in lowering blood-sugar levels and improving fasting insulin levels.
Be careful as this compound is psychoactive (but not as much as THC). Also, the buzz doesn’t last that long.
It feels more like a short-term clear-headed burst. It makes you talkative, gives you an energy boost, while taking away stress and depression.
One of the favorites among diabetes patients, because of its higher CBD levels. In general, low THC strains like Harlequin are always good for daytime use since they don’t make you high, but rather keep you clear headed.
And as I mentioned earlier, anti-inflammatory effects of CBD are very strong, which is crucial for diabetes type 2.
A strain with high CBD content, but still with up to 7% THC.
Cannatonic will not make you super high since CBD diminishes the psychoactive effects of THC. The cerebral effect of this strain is rather described as sharp than high.
Besides inflammation, it’s great for treating pain, stress, and depression.
New users should be very careful with this strain since it contains high levels of both THC and THCV, making it a very psychoactive and potent bud.
However, it’s also rare and very beneficial to diabetes patients. Pineapple Purps keeps the inflammation down and will help you feel relaxed at the same time.
Pennywise is a popular medical strain, with 1:1 THC to CBD ratio, which has been proven as the most therapeutically effective.
It’s perfect for beginners since it’s mild and relaxing but do not be fooled by it — its’ very effective in reducing stress, pain, and inflammation. Also, Pennywise is a good aid for sleepless nights.
Cannabis is packed full of beneficial compounds, a particularly interesting group are terpenes, compounds that give cannabis its unique smell and taste.
Master Kush is high in terpene called humulene, well known to suppress appetite, which is a plus for patients with diabetes.
Also, if you have trouble falling asleep, this could be the right strain for you.
Black Beauty is one of the strongest strains known, with a unique cannabinoid profile. It contains 2:1 THC to THCV ratio and provides clear-headed cerebral high and an uplifting boost of energy.
Since it contains THCV, it has great potential for treating diabetes.
Although it’s a high THC strain, it’s still a good choice for daytime medication since it brings forth focus, energy and an uplifting head buzz.
Green Crack is also great for treating depression and relieving everyday stress, as well as pain related to inflammations.
With its balanced THC to CBD ratio, Zen has been known for its depression smashing properties for quite some time now.
Its CBD content is great for keeping the insulin levels down, but keep in mind that it can boost your appetite as well. When you consume it, be extra responsible and watch what you are eating.
One more strain that’s perfect for daytime use since it does not increase appetite but provides more than enough energy.
There is no sedative effect with Blue Diesel, which makes it a good choice for those who need to reduce insulin resistance.
Remember to avoid smoking and stick to edibles!
As you can see, diabetics can benefit from this one herb on so many levels.
In fact, the research and the experiences of many patients have both shown us just how much marijuana can help in maintaining normal insulin and blood sugar levels.
However, you should remember to avoid smoking and use high CBD and THCV strains in edibles.
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