Can Medical Cannabis Reduce the Risk of Type II Diabetes?

The more we learn about cannabis as a medicine, the more those of us in the industry are impressed with its potential. For example, we have been hearing rumors in recent years that cannabis could help reduce the risk of type II diabetes. A recently released study out of Iran suggests there could be some truth to those rumors.

It is important to note that the study by no means constitutes conclusive evidence that cannabis prevents type II diabetes. But it does provide enough evidence to warrant further research. Any such research should concentrate on how cannabis affects glucose regulation and insulin secretion.

A Meta-Analysis of 15 Studies

Like so many other medical cannabis studies, the Iranian study was not clinical in nature. Researchers did not enroll study participants and track them over a period of time. Rather, they conducted a meta-analysis of 11 previous surveys and 4 epidemiological studies.

To make a long story short, their analysis of the data seems to indicate that people who regularly use cannabis have a 48% lower risk of developing type II diabetes than those never exposed to cannabis. It should also be noted that the data is not exclusive to medical consumption.

Previous studies have also indicated a causal link between cannabis exposure and lower type II diabetes rates. It is believed that THC somehow affects insulin production. However, the exact mechanism remains a mystery.

Why It Matters

All this matters due to the very nature of type II diabetes. As you might already know, there are different forms of disease. Type II is the type characterized by low insulin production and hormone resistance. Whether the body doesn’t make enough insulin or does not use it properly, the end result is too much glucose in the blood. It can lead to a variety of bigger problems ranging from kidney disease to cardiovascular disease and blindness.

If future research proves that medical cannabis can increase glucose production, reduce insulin intolerance, or both, the next step would be to try to develop drugs that could reverse disease progression. That would be fantastic given the fact that there is no cure for type II diabetes at this time. Patients can only manage the disease.

Cannabis Holds A Lot of Promise

Medical cannabis offers a lot of promise as an alternative treatment for a variety of conditions. We really don’t know its full potential because research has been so lacking since the 1970s. But now that attitudes toward cannabis are changing, more research is being conducted. We are learning a lot more as a result.

As far as type II diabetes is concerned, it may someday make it to Utah’s qualifying conditions list. Should future research prove that cannabis can reduce the risk or slow down disease progression, we think it is reasonable that lawmakers could eventually be convinced to add it to the list.

For the time being though, type II diabetes does not qualify for medical cannabis treatment in and of itself. There may be an exception when the disease causes some sort of chronic pain. But that would be for a patient and his medical provider to discuss.

We Have the Medical Cannabis You Need

While we wait for additional research, we encourage you to pay us a visit to either our Salt Lake City or Brigham City locations. We have all the medical cannabis products you need along with a supportive staff and knowledgeable pharmacy medical providers. Just be sure that you have a valid medical cannabis card when you stop by. We are looking forward to seeing you.