Recent studies have highlighted a number of potential health benefits of cannabis as a diabetes treatment and suggest that cannabis compounds can produce the following physiological effects:
Phytocannabinoid have been shown to reduce intraocular pressure considerably in people with glaucoma. Epidemiological data suggests that patients with diabetes are at increased risk of developing glaucoma/retinopathy, caused by the blood flow restriction to the eye. Active Cannabis Compounds can suppress arterial inflammation and treat cardiovascular diseases. Cannabinoids and Terpenes aid in vasodilation and improve circulation, while lowering blood pressure and helping reduce the risk of heart disease or other diabetes complications. Specifically, CBD is known to enhance the vasorelaxant responses to avoid cardiomyopathy which is common amongst diabetics. Small monoterpenes exhibit vasorelaxant effects as they increase the cannabinoids affinity to the receptor.
The Endocannabinoid System can prevent nerve inflammation neuropathic pain. Cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents and signal apoptosis. They stimulate cannabinoid receptors within the nervous system, triggering suppression of cytokine production and induction of T-regulatory cells. Use of topical creams to relieve neuropathic pain and tingling sensations.
Cannabis can help relieve muscle cramps pain. Cannabinoids also interact within the endocannabinoid system in the gastrointestinal tract. Direct activation of CB1 receptors by plant-derived/endogenous compounds reduce both gastric acid secretion and decrease the formation of gastric mucosal lesions.
Cannabinoids play a role in regulating metabolic processes.
THC activates the CB1R receptor in the brain, which triggers an increased desire to eat. Pro-opiomelanocortin nerve cells, which normally produce feelings of fullness, become activated and promote hunger under the influence of THC. CB1 binding results in the release of hunger-stimulating chemicals (insulin) rather than appetite-suppressing chemicals (cholecystokinin). THC binds to mitochondria inside of cells and acts to switch to feelings of hunger. increased insulin lowers glucose and stabilises blood sugar levels in diabetics. Specific cannabis strains can decrease blood glucose levels and increase insulin production in people with type 2 diabetes. THC and CBD have been shown to regulate metabolism and blood glucose indicating possible therapeutic glycemic control agents.
Further research and testing is mandatory to fully explain the mechanisms and produce viable diabetes treatment.