Can A Diabetic Patient Use Medical Marijuana?

There has been an ongoing debate about legalizing medical marijuana in many states. Is it as harmful as we think? Can people with diabetes use medical marijuana?

Can A Diabetic Patient Use Medical Marijuana

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), last year, recognized a new epilepsy (seizure) drug made from marijuana, which contains cannabidiol. This means marijuana has been considered for medical purpose.

So, can patients with diabetes use medical marijuana to help their condition? Can they use it for pleasure safely?

As more and more states legalize medical marijuana, people suffering from different types of conditions are wondering whether they can use medical marijuana.

However, patients with diabetes are left to conclude whether they can use it due to the insufficient clinical studies. So, the answer is experts are not sure whether people with diabetes can use medical marijuana.

Diabetics, however, can discuss how to use medical marijuana with their physicians. However, there is not enough evidence whether medical marijuana would be actually beneficial for diabetic patients, while some researchers advise diabetics to stay away from marijuana.

One study published in The American Journal of Medicine points out the positive benefits of medical marijuana in patients with diabetes.

The study was conducted on more than 4,500 participants with the help of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) survey. Among all the participants, about 580 used medical marijuana on a regular basis, while more than 1,900 had used it already in the past.

Surprisingly, experts found that diabetics who used medical marijuana had a lower fasting insulin level as well as a smaller waist size.

A report published in the Natural Medicine Journal has also highlighted some positive outcomes. The report mentioned the NHANES study along with several mice models, which suggest marijuana prevented mice from getting diabetes or reduced its complexity.

The report also pointed out one of the studies in Israel that revealed that a lower dose of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could prevent the body from organ damage.

However, on the flipside, there are a few studies finding negative effects of marijuana. A study published by the American Diabetes Association found that people who consume marijuana often tend to eat more, eat a poor quality diet that includes simple carbohydrates, have high blood pressure, and have more visceral fat.

These markers could exacerbate the risk of diabetes.

The same study also found that marijuana users had a lower BMI and overall fat content. Other plausible, though not proven, advantages of medical marijuana include:

  • Reducing pain and inflammation
  • Reducing muscle pain in people with multiple sclerosis
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Slowing down cancer growth
  • Controlling the adverse effects of chemotherapy (nausea and vomiting)

The officials of the National Institute say that there is not enough evidence to provide conclusive answers about the use of medical marijuana in patients with diabetes or any other chronic medical condition. More studies are required to understand the positive effects of medical marijuana on patients, irrespective of the medical conditions they suffer from. It is difficult to conduct studies under available laws that prohibit the use of cannabis by the federal government. Health experts will need to take utmost care when it comes to conducting studies using medical marijuana in patients.