Hemp (CBD) as a Means to Address Diabetes
Diabetes is a fairly common condition that causes the blood sugar levels in the blood to rise higher than normal, this can occur in two different types. According to the American Diabetes Association, type 1 diabetes is the incapacity to produce insulin, a hormone essential to allowing sugar to be absorbed by the cells. Roughly 5% to 10 % of diabetics have type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes Type II occurs when the body loses the capacity to use insulin produced, this type of diabetes affects between 90% -95% of those with diabetes. When addressing conditions of type II diabetes medicines are used to control blood sugar levels and the further resistance to insulin.
As the disease become more serious the insulin-producing cells found in the pancreas are completely destroyed and it is necessary to inject insulin regularly. This also occurs in people with type 1 diabetes. The condition is much worse when high levels of blood sugars cause saturation of body tissues by glucose, a condition called glycation. This causes direct damage but then continues a much more serious cycle of destruction caused by inflammation and oxidation. The eyes, cardiovascular system, nervous system and kidneys are the most susceptible to this type of damages.
How does Hemp Address this Condition?
Cannabidiol (CBD), which is the primary phytochemical in hemp, has been studied for its possible advantages to controlling antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This could protect against the worst effects of diabetes.
One lab study found this to be especially true when addressing inflammation caused by high levels of glucose. CBD interrupted the production of inflammatory substances, called off the active immune system and even improved the cell lining that protects the blood vessels. Furthermore, CBD has been especially effective when used to treat animals with diabetes.
In one such study, the proper application of CBD in lab mice reduced diabetes incidence in 85% of all lab mice in the control group and 30% of incidents in a treated group. CBD was also found to reduce levels of immune chemicals that produce inflammatory reactions as well as areas of insulin production in the pancreas. The researchers concluded that by modulating immune function, CBD was working to prevent immune system.
But what about in humans with diabetes?
A trial that worked with 62 random patients who all presented non-insulin dependant diabetes observed the the effects of CBD, THCV and a combination of the two based on the advanced stages of the disease. They found that when compared to before the treatment, CBD has effectively reduced resistin while increasing glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP).
What are glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) and resistin? Resistin is a naturally occurring chemical that has been linked to the body’s way of resisting insulin. GIP has been found to preserve cells that produce insulin. So, the theory goes like this, CBD can be used to treat certain aspects of Type II diabetes.
The end was a sad story, CBD was not found to be effective in addressing diabetes, even though the dosage used was much lower than the dosage in other trials and conditions. On the other hand, THCV was found to significantly optimize the functions of cells which produce insulin and this can reduce the amounts of sugar in the blood. This is a derivative of THC, the psychoactive drug and is not found in non-psychoactive hemp.
Research continues on the benefits of hemp in addressing diabetes. The progress is fascinating and has made plenty of headway, yet the more research will need to be done on human patients to determine how effective it really is for human benefit. We have conducted years of testing and international research, it will be easier to determine how effective CBD is in affecting diabetes in humans from the information we have collected.
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