How Cannabis Can Help with Insulin Resistance
With the lifestyles and eating habits of today, obesity is one of the biggest problems we have. It involves literally everyone. Years before, our lives were more active and kids would rather play outside. Today many work sitting-down, and children are almost glued to their electronic devices.
We hear words like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and diabetes 1 and 2. If lifestyles are not changed drastically, the problem will only grow bigger. But what does Insulin resistance even mean? Is it the same as Diabetes? And most importantly, can it be reversed with cannabis?
Is Insulin Resistance and Diabetes the same?
It can be very confusing because the definition is very close. When you have diabetes 1, you can not produce any insulin at all, but with insulin resistance and diabetes type 2. You do produce insulin. It is just not quite enough. If insulin resistance is not taken care of, it develops into diabetes type 2. If that is looked after, it could develop into diabetes type 1. Most often, doctors prescribe insulin and other medications. But studies have found that cannabis could help fight insulin resistance.
How does Insulin Resistance occur?
The hormone insulin is produced in the pancreas. The purpose of insulin is to control glucose in the blood. No living organism can live without glucose. The main function of glucose is to produce energy. When the body starts resisting the insulin hormone, blood sugar increases and can finally develop into Diabetes Type 2. Many things can lead to insulin resistance. The main causes of this condition are:
- Overweight issues
- Metabolic syndrome – including excessive stomach weight and cholesterol
- Some medications
In the beginning, when the patients start to be insulin resistant, the blood sugar levels can still be normal enough, but as the pancreas starts battling to keep up, the blood sugar levels will rise out of control.
What are the signs?
Genes play a huge role, but adults round 60 are also more prone to the disease. Here are some of the symptoms:
- Waist too big – If you stand in front of the mirror and look at your waist, it should not be bulgy and fat. If the waist measure more than 35 inches ( 89 cm) and 40 inches (101.6 cm) for men, you are at risk.
- Signs of metabolic syndrome – high triglycerides, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high fasting blood sugar
- Dark skin patches
How can Medicinal Cannabis help Insulin Resistance?
Already in 2013, an interesting study found that cannabis can effectively control blood sugar. The fasting insulin and blood sugar of 5000 people were measured over a time period of 5 years. 500 of the people were regular cannabis users. 2000 used cannabis sometime in their lives, and the remainder were cannabis free. The analyzed data provided very interesting data:
- Cannabis has an impact on insulin resistance
- Cannabis consumers have smaller waists and a lower risk for insulin resistance
- Cannabis users have a lower fasting insulin level and HOMA-IR ( Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin resistance)
The study concluded that cannabinoids have an impact on the peripheral metabolic processes. So far, studies present promising results to treat people suffering from insulin resistance as well as diabetes 1 and 2. The ability of the cannabinoids to reduce inflammation might very well be the reason why cannabis is so effective. Cannabis helps to stabilize the blood sugars that prevent nerve inflammation. At the same time, blood pressure also lowers which results in better blood circulation. The research found that the cannabinoids in the plant might have better results than the current medication for insulin resistance and diabetes.
Cannabis can prevent the disease
When cannabis is used as a health benefit, CBD could prevent Diabetes 1 from happening. It can also delay the onset or reoccurrence if a person was already diagnosed with the disease. THC also plays a role by suppressing the autoimmune response of the disease. It is often an endocannabinoid imbalance that leads to insulin resistance or diabetes type 2. One of the main purposes of cannabis is to balance the endocannabinoid system. If there is a proper balance, losing weight will also be easier. Obesity is usually something a person diagnosed with Insulin resistance and diabetes always is struggling with.
Secondary symptoms are also treatable with cannabis. As a neuroprotector, cannabis reduces nerve pain. It also improves circulation and helps with restless leg syndrome that promotes better sleeping patterns. Marijuana is most definitely not a cure-all, but it is a safe way to treat insulin resistance or diabetes.
When in doubt, seek professional advice. If you are not sure if you fall into the category of insulin resistance or if there is a risk for diabetes, go to your medical doctor. Meanwhile, as prevention, you could start with CBD oil or some form of cannabis to strengthen your system. The sooner your endocannabinoid system is balanced, the lower at risk you will be.