The use of marijuana in diabetics has received plenty of attention in the recent times. In fact, marijuana seems to be proving useful for a whole host of chronic ailments, mental health conditions and in fighting post traumatic stress. These medical benefits have been one of the major rallying points for people seeking to legalize it all over the world.
Specifically related to diabetes, however, there is one study by the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis that is quoted most often. According to this study, marijuana helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation in the arteries, decreases the incidence of muscle cramps, protects the small nerve endings most susceptible in diabetes, improves blood circulation and helps patients sleep better.
They basically claim that marijuana fights all of the worst effects of diabetes. While these findings may hold true, it is important that they are understood clearly. A lot of the findings in the study have been reached through anecdotal evidence and not through a methodology that holds up in scientific circles. The clinical benefits of these findings are still to be tested.
There are other studies that have found that the most important effect of marijuana in diabetics seems to be the reduction of insulin resistance in the body. This is a very important effect and means that type 2 diabetics will be much more benefited than those with type 1. Since the basic problem in type 1 diabetics is the production of insulin in the body, they will not see an improvement with marijuana use.
Another study published in the Natural Medicine Journal claims that marijuana is very useful for preventing glaucoma. This condition is very common in diabetics. It basically results from an increased pressure of the fluid in the eyes, something which happens less in people using Marijuana, according to the journal at least.
Apart from the fact that marijuana is still not legal in most states and countries around the world, users should be careful with marijuana use. It can lead to what is popularly called as "the munchies" and lead to an episode of binge eating, something that is very dangerous for diabetics. The recreational use of marijuana can also impair judgment and cause the user to take improper doses of insulin.
Illegally procuring marijuana also means that it may be laced with impurities that can cause a lot of harm to the body, especially in a diabetic user with a compromised immune system.
The acceptability of marijuana use is rising all over the world and there seems to be momentum towards legalizing its recreation and medicinal use. Unfortunately though, a lot more medical research is required to be undertaken before its use in the treatment of diabetics can be advised or even condoned. Stick to the tried and tested for the time being. As medical knowledge and understanding of its effects increase, this may change, and people may someday be using marijuana as a supplement to their diabetic medication. That day, however, is quite still some time away.
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