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How CBD works for diabetes




Almost 10% of the US population has diabetes.


That's a crazy number considering the cost, suffering, and effects on health.

Another year, another 1.5 million people get the diagnosis.


That's over 1 million people who are being told their body is no longer correctly processing sugar.


We immediately go to food and exercise.

But at its core, diabetes is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease.


Get in line diabetes...all our modern diseases are autoimmune.


Turn on the TV and the pharma ad that shows will likely be for autoimmune disease.

  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • GERD
  • IBS
  • Diabetes!


It's big business.


Billions of dollars and the side effects are nasty!


What the ads won't tell you...autoimmune is right in CBD's wheelhouse!


It's one of the three major systems that the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate.


Let's dig deeper into this.


If you just want to get started with screened CBD, go here:


find affordable and quality cbd isolate online with zero thc


Otherwise, get ready to learn about the amazing research on CBD and diabetes.


Jump to any topic here:

What Is Diabetes – An Updated Look

Just a refresher course so we can get to how CBD works with diabetes.


There are two types of diabetes (Type 1 and 2) but the second is more prevalent.


That's the one that is acquired over time whereas Type 1 is congenital which means you're born with it.


They both involve the islet cells in the pancreas which release a hormone, insulin (among others).


Insulin is an important hormone that governs how sugar is used in the body.


If there's not enough insulin, sugar builds up in the bloodstream and it's pretty toxic to tissue in the body.


All kinds of very serious issues arise from this sugar overload

  • Pain
  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Organ failure


The issues affect every part of the body since sugar overload is systemic.


What happens to cause this failure in the pancreas and throughout the body?


Let's first answer a few questions, shall we!

Is Diabetes An Autoimmune Disease

For most people, yes.


Add this to the list of most modern diseases where our immune system is going haywire.


Instead of the joints like arthritis, the immune system is attacking the pancreas where islet cells reside.


We've touched base on why the immune system has lost its bearing in our How CBD Works and Beginner's Guide to CBD articles but a quick recap.


Quick refresher...we're swimming in a chemical soup...many of which disrupt or mimic hormones.


There are some important hormones that need to work pretty precisely for our body's usage and maintenance of sugar in the body.


FYI...insulin is a hormone!


In case you're fluent in Klingon, let's throw in some other hormones key for proper sugar management:

  • Glucagon – controls the production of glucose and ketones (other fuel)
  • GLP-1, GIP, and amylin – regulate mealtime insulin
  • Epinephrine, Cortisol, and growth hormone


All hormones.


All intimately involved in diabetes.

The pancreas is the site of activity for all these hormones and their very coordinated balance.


There's that word..again...balance.

  • We know Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune and the suspect is the T cell.
  • Originally, Type 2 was thought to be the result of an excess of insulin not being able to function due to overuse.


It is tied to being overweight so the thought is that too much sugar basically overran the insulin process.


There's research pointing to it also having autoimmune and inflammatory roots as well:


There are those two words which seem to pop up in almost every issue that CBD helps with.


Signs of the inflammation are being directly viewed:

Inflammation-induced inhibition of the insulin signaling pathway can lead to insulin resistance and contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).



And here:



We'll look at this later but let's not jump the shark...


Are there even CBD receptors in the pancreas?

Are There CBD Receptors In The Pancreas



There seems to be CB1 or CB2 receptors almost everywhere we look in the body.


Like we've said...the endocannabinoid is system-wide!

In fact, there's evidence of BOTH CB1 and CB2 receptors in the pancreas have different responsibilities.

  • CB1 in pancreas – mainly in the glucagon secreting Alpha cells
  • CB2 in pancreas – mainly in the somatostatin secreting Delta cells


CB stimulation affected the levels of both insulin and glucagon.


So there's something there.


Furthermore, the main endocannabinoid (naturally in our body) 2-AG was managed by...


Wait for it...





So the endocannabinoid has its signature all over the insulin/glucagon/sugar enterprise.


What might be going on there?

The Endocannabinoid System And Diabetes

Make sure to check out How CBD Works and the Beginners Guide.


The endocannabinoid system runs through your entire body.


Research shows that it helps to balance other key systems in the body:

  • Nervous system
  • Endocrine system
  • Immune system


The receptors are everywhere...brain, skin, blood, and even the pancreas!


Here's a quick look at it in the body:


how does CBD work


If diabetes is a function of an inflammatory response (immune system) run amok which affects the function of hormones (insulin, glucagon, etc) then...

The endocannabinoid system is an interesting place to look for help with diabetes!


CBD is readily available fuel for this system when it gets overwhelmed (which it is in our modern world of chemical soup).


So...what does research find regarding CBD and diabetes directly.


We're ALL about the research.


Everything else is just marketing!

CBD And Diabetes Research

Here we go.


So we determined that CBD receptors (both CB1 and CB2) are functioning in the pancreas and affecting the intended hormones.



That's a good start.


Before diving into specific research on CBD (blood sugar, brown fat, etc), let's look at some summary level research first.


First, here's a fascinating and complete overview of the process of obesity and diabetes with its impact on the endocannabinoid system.



A few important highlights:

This system participates in the control of lipid and glucose metabolism at several levels, with the possible endpoint of the accumulation of energy as fat.


So...the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate energy and fat.


This obviously plays into the process of Type 2 diabetes where 80% of the sufferers are obese.


It goes on to say...

Increasing evidence indicates that the EC system plays an important role in adipogenesis


Adipogenesis is just a fancy word for creating new fat.


What's the fancy word for dropping 10 pounds. Enough about me...


There is a lot of info in this article but when it comes to diabetes:

The possibility that the EC system becomes dysregulated during obesity and diabetes was proposed following the realisation that EC and/or CB1 levels in both nervous and non-nervous tissues involved in energy homeostasis are under the control of hormones, the levels of which are altered during these metabolic disorders.


That basically sums up what we stated originally!


This is all great but what are the results with people.

Good news there.


Across obesity, energy update, lipid profile, and everything else.


Specifically for diabetes...

Participants treated with rimonabant (20 mg/day for 1 year) showed significant decreases in body weight and improvements in glycaemic control and HbA1c levels compared with those who received a placebo [74]. T




There's lots of research that points to a similar cause-effect between a disturbed endocannabinoid system and diabetes.

Increasing evidence suggests that an overactive endocannabinoid system (ECS) may contribute to the development of diabetes by promoting energy intake and storage, impairing both glucose and lipid metabolism, by exerting pro-apoptotic effects in pancreatic beta cells and by facilitating inflammation in pancreatic islets.



Also, there's that whole inflammation pathway popping up again:

Recent studies provided compelling evidence that the newly discovered lipid signaling system (ie, the endocannabinoid system) may significantly influence reactive oxygen species production, inflammation, and subsequent tissue injury, in addition to its well-known metabolic effects and functions.



If we need a silver bullet for this argument...we'll leave you with this...

"We show [in this research] that if you have mice with a type 2 diabetes (T2D)-like condition, and you feed them anandamide, this seems to cure the disease



Anandamide is our naturally created endocannabinoid.


Guess what CBD does in terms of Anandamide...

Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia



Drop mic. And Out!


On a side note, the article is interesting in that it's finally tackling the gut biome and its importance in our health.


More information on CBD and the gut or CBD and gut bacteria.


Take that processed foods and added chemicals, preservatives, colors, and fake sugars.


Let's look at specific aspects of diabetes and CBD.


First, what about all the other obesity and diabetes drugs versus CBD.

CBD Versus Other Diabetes Medications

Some interesting results on the cannabinoids.

included two other anti-obesity drugs already on the market, sibutramine and orlistat. These results indicated that the CB1 antagonist might be more efficacious than these two drugs with regard to improvements in HDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerol, blood pressure, and glycemia.



Without all the nasty side effects.

CBD's safety profile is very strong.


See Is CBD Safe here.


Let's take an example...the "blockbuster"� diabetes drug Trulicity.


First, check out the side effects here and scroll down to some of the nastier ones.

It's taking a sledgehammer to a specific chemical process in the body.


According to their site, Trulicity acts like our natural hormone GLP1.


You know what research is showing that also acts on GLP1 (plus the other hormones that are key to the whole energy/sugar process)...


You guess it.


Cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist treatment induces glucagon release and shows an additive therapeutic effect with GLP-1 agonist in diet-induced obese mice.



This is one example but what a powerful one in terms of where our healthcare system has gone!


CBD is the primary, non-psychoactive cannabinoid we can use to feed our naturally occurring system.

Make sure to speak with your doctor for diabetes or obesity treatment but also make sure to be your own advocate!


Let's dig into individual aspects of CBD and obesity.

CBD And Obesity

We have an entire article on CBD and obesity, weight loss, and healthy weight management.


Just some highlights here as it pertains to diabetes.


There's a great overview of the intersection of these related topics here:

We demonstrated that the CB-1 receptor is expressed in organs relevant to the pathogenesis of obesity in humans, so that results from mechanistic studies in animals may also be applicable to patients. Furthermore, the peripheral endocannabinoid system is activated in human obesity.



Okay...so the endocannabinoid system is intimately involved in the obesity process.


We have a suspect!


There may even be a genetic component of the endocannabinoid system that affects obesity and diabetes:

This review suggests a complex but important role of ECS (endocannabinoid system) SNPs in energy and glucose metabolism.



SNP is short for mutations in single genes that cause different effects (both good and bad).


They're basically saying that mutations in endocannabinoid genes can result in problems with energy and sugar processing in our bodies.


Keep in mind that glucose or sugar is the most common fuel used in the body.


We need it for energy, to power the cell's activities.


There's new research on an important new channel called TRPV1.


You need energy homeostasis (balance) to maintain a healthy weight.


The TRPV1 channel has been shown to affect this balance and guess what manages it?


The endocannabinoid system!


It's pretty detailed but a quick synopsis:

interaction TRPV1 has with other systems involved in energy homeostasis, such as the endocannabinoid system.


CBD And Blood Sugar

Let's first start with insulin sensitivity which is at the heart of Type 2 Diabetes.

Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor antagonists reduce body weight and improve insulin sensitivity



That's good news.


Insulin "insensitivity"� is at the root of diabetes.


Anecdotally, there are many reports on people lowering the A1C results with just CBD.

CBD And Diabetes Cardiovascular Issues Including Blindness, Neuropathy, And Pain

Many people use CBD not just for the core inflammation that lies at the heart of diabetes but also for the complications that result:

  • Blindness
  • Pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Cardiovascular damage


There's good news on that front as well!


In fact, many of these issues are positively and significantly impacted by CBD (learn more here on CBD and PainAnxietyDepression)


CBD has been shown in research to be neuroprotective!


All that sugar in the bloodstream is toxic to our tissue.


Incredibly inflammatory!


Here's an example:

Neuroprotective and Blood-Retinal Barrier-Preserving Effects of Cannabidiol in Experimental Diabetes



Specifically, CBD reduces the oxidative stress:

CBD Reduces Diabetes-Induced Oxidative and Nitrative Stress


There's a (very) comprehensive article on CBD and diabetes complications here:



In this exhaustive paper, they cover cannabinoid's positive effect on:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Kidney failure
  • Blindness
  • Neuropathy


The net net...

CB2 agonists may exert beneficial effects on diabetes and diabetic complications by attenuating inflammatory response and ensuing oxidative stress (Figure 2). Natural cannabinoids, such as CBD and THCV, also have tremendous therapeutic potential

Music to our ears (and pancreas!)

CBD And Brown Fat

Brown fat is the new black.


It's all the rage in obesity and diabetes corners.


Or just healthy weight loss in general!


Babies have it and only recently, it was discovered in adults as well.

It's thought to burn more energy, generate heat, and have a positive impact on weight and metabolic diseases.


There appears to be a tie-in between CBD receptors and brown adipose fat (BAT):

Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptors Are Upregulated During Acute Activation of Brown Adipose Tissue.



In fact, they partially used CBD receptor activity to find brown fat in the body since the two are linked:



We expect more information on this front over time.


Brown fat is good!

CBD And Pancreatic Cancer

We've shown the research on CBD and Cancer here.


For pancreatic cancer, there's specific research.


Apoptosis is a fancy way to say cell death.


If the cell is cancerous, that's good news

Cannabinoids Induce Apoptosis of Pancreatic Tumor Cells via Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Related Genes



Check out the full article on cancer.

Does CBD Cure Diabetes?

We need more research.


No one who is a responsible actor can say that CBD cures diabetes.

So...what ARE researchers (not marketers and advertising types) saying?

"Unlike insulin and other existing medications for diabetes, CBD may actually suppress, reverse and perhaps cure the disease," Rosenfeld added.



Okay...so he said cure. He is a researcher and doctor so we'll let him deal with the FDA.


But how exciting if new research bears this out!


We already mentioned how CBD impacts the same diabetes pathway (GLP1) as the newest blockbuster diabetes drug above.


Animal models are pointing to the prevention of diabetes as a start:

Cannabidiol lowers the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice.



Clearly, something is going on here.


Hurry up researchers...we need you!

Recommended Dosage For Diabetes

Make sure to check out our CBD dosage guide here.


It partially depends on the severity of what we're trying to address.

  • Are we pre-diabetic and wanting to normalize your system?
  • Are we dealing with full-on complications from long term diabetes?


The general rule of thumb is to start small and see how your body responds.

15-25mg is generally a base level dose.


It has been tested between 300-600mg/day with a strong safety profile.


There are even studies with up to 1500mg doses and little side effects


Here's a general guide. 



Best CBD Oil For Diabetes

A CBD isolate might be the best approach to start.

Many people's systems have histamine issues and the full spectrum oils might now work well in that situation.


We hate to see people miss out on the benefits of CBD due to the other plant materials in full spectrum.


More on full-spectrum versus CBD isolate here.


Check out the best CBD comparison page for actual brand and product reviews.


We screen for safety.  Rank by value.


That's our motto!

Shop and Compare CBD Oils here from brands with 3rd party testing