How Does Medical Marijuana Help Diabetes?

Cannabis research has come an incredible way in the past few years. As we continue analyzing the plant for its full benefits, we’re learning more and more about the health complications it appears MMJ may be able to help. Now, people are becoming increasingly more interested in the relationship between medical marijuana and diabetes; specifically, how does medical marijuana help diabetes? Does it?

Here, Elevate Holistics takes a look at cannabis and diabetes, its effects, risks, and more. 

marijuana and diabetes

Understanding Diabetes

Before we get into the relationship between medical marijuana and diabetes, let’s talk a bit about what diabetes is in the first place. 

In general, diabetes refers to a chronic condition where the body cannot process or break down sugars the way it’s supposed to. When your body breaks down sugar and goes into the bloodstream (hence “blood sugar”), then your body produces insulin to help the body transform the sugar into energy. However, this doesn’t happen for those with diabetes.

Instead, when you have diabetes, the body will not produce the amount of insulin it needs to regulate itself. Thus, it’s common to have too high of or too low of blood sugar levels. High or low blood sugar can lead to worsened health conditions such as blindness, heart disease, and kidney disease.

Types of Diabetes

There are three primary types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. 

Type 1 diabetes is much less common than Type 2, affecting about 5-10% of all people with diabetes. With Type 1, the complication develops because of an autoimmune reaction where the body decides to attack itself. This leads it to be unable to produce the insulin it should. Symptoms for Type 1 develop exceptionally quickly, and doctors do not know how to prevent it. If you have Type 1, you’ll have to give yourself insulin every day for the rest of your life. 

Type 2 diabetes affects about 90-95% of those with diabetes, and it develops over a long period of time. Typically, Type 2 occurs when you cannot regulate your blood sugar levels due to lifestyle choices or genetics. If you know it runs in the family, you can take preventative health and wellness measures that may prevent (or at least delay) the onset. 

Finally, gestational diabetes occurs within pregnant women who didn’t have diabetes previously. Thankfully, this type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, but it does increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on. 

Three Signs of Diabetes 

There are a lot of symptoms that you may display if you have diabetes. However, there are three significant signs to look out for above them all:

Polydipsia is an excessive thirst or dry mouth. (And, we’re not talking about what happens after a few hits, either.) For those with diabetes, increased blood glucose levels cause your kidneys to produce more urine to flush out the sugar. As you’re losing this fluid, your body is in panic mode, searching for more hydration. Thus, you’re left feeling thirsty constantly. 

Polyuria refers to when you’re urinating more frequently than you should be. As we mentioned, when having diabetes, your kidneys are trying to overcompensate for the sugar levels you’re experiencing. Thus, you’ll constantly be using the restroom or feeling like you have to urinate. 

Polyphagia is the last major sign to look out for. This refers to excessive hunger that just doesn’t seem to get satisfied. While it’s normal for us to feel hungry, polyphagia creates excessive hunger that can sometimes worsen with eating. That’s because the body is not getting any energy from the sugar it’s breaking down; so, it will stay feeling empty and thinking it needs more. 

Other common signs you might have diabetes include the following: 

  • Weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Tiredness, fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Slow-healing infections, wounds

Does Diabetes Qualify for Medical Marijuana?

Now that we’ve talked a bit about diabetes as a whole, let’s bring marijuana back into the picture. Does diabetes qualify for medical marijuana? Can you use weed for diabetes? Let’s get into it. 

Currently, diabetes itself doesn’t qualify for medical marijuana in any legalized state. However, many of the side effects that it brings do. Many states across the country accept medical marijuana cards for debilitating medical conditions if you can prove they affect your everyday life. For those with diabetes, this absolutely qualifies. 

You also may be able to get your medical card for the chronic pain, weight loss, or even vision loss that diabetes brings. The best way to get your medical marijuana card for diabetes is by meeting with a board-certified physician who understands your needs for the plant. And that’s precisely what Elevate Holistics is here to do. But, we’ll talk more about that later. 

So, while you cannot directly get your medical card, that doesn’t mean that marijuana can’t bring benefits or relief. So, how does marijuana help diabetes?

How Does Marijuana Help Diabetes?

Marijuana and diabetes have a complex, impressive relationship. Out of all the effects of medical cannabis on diabetes, the most impressive is easily the plant’s ability to help stabilize blood sugar levels. 

Studies show that those with diabetes who consume cannabis have increased insulin sensitivity. Those with Type 2 diabetes often suffer from heightened insulin resistance, making it nearly impossible for the body to produce what it needs. However, with the help of cannabis, studies show these resistance levels lowered. 

Along with this, other studies have demonstrated THC’s ability to boost adiponectin levels, a protein that works to regulate blood sugar levels in the body.

Still more, cannabis has been shown to protect against visual impairment. Diabetic retinopathy is prevalent for those with diabetes, and it causes significant vision loss or blindness over time. However, the cannabinoids within medical marijuana work to fight against this deterioration and provide support, protection, and relief.

Finally, it isn’t uncommon for diabetes to bring about neuropathic pain, as well. We’ve established here before, but medical marijuana proves profoundly helpful for neuropathic pain, providing comfort and pain relief to those who need it. Typically, high-THC strains are best for this kind of result.

medical marijuana and diabetes

LEARN MORE: Medical Marijuana for Cachexia | Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

Risks Associated With Marijuana and Diabetes

Just like all other medications or substances, there are a few risks you should be aware of with marijuana and diabetes. The most significant risk when it comes to cannabis and diabetes is the munchies.

Many people experience increased appetite when enjoying cannabis, causing them to eat more than they would if they were sober. Unfortunately, for those with diabetes, having this kind of hunger can only exacerbate complications, especially if you’re consuming foods that aren’t diabetes-friendly. If you’re enjoying marijuana for diabetes support, make sure you only have access to healthy foods, and try staying away from appetite-stimulating strains. 

Other potential risks include the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Dry mouth

If you experience any of these side effects with marijuana, stop consumption. If these problems continue to worsen, seek medical attention. 

How Elevate Holistics Can Help You Get an MMJ Card for Diabetes

So, can diabetes smoke weed? Absolutely they can! Though complicated, the connection between marijuana and diabetes is an incredibly positive one, and it’s something we’re learning more about each and every day. Elevate Holistics recognizes these potential benefits firsthand, understanding just how remarkable medical cannabis for diabetes can be.

If you’re hoping to get your MMJ card for your diabetes symptoms, you’ve come to the perfect place. Here at Elevate Holistics, our team includes board-certified physicians that work tirelessly to ensure you get the medical cannabis you need for your qualifying medical condition. Even though diabetes isn’t an explicit qualifying condition, our professionals recognize the debilitating side effects that it can bring; this is valid enough for us to help you get your MMJ card in no time.

Whether you’re interested in marijuana for diabetes — or a different qualifying medical condition — click the button below to book an appointment with Elevate Holistics and get started on your health and wellness journey.