The Role of CBD in Managing Type 2 Diabetes

CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, has shown potential benefits for treating type 2 diabetes, a prevalent disease that affects the body’s ability to process blood sugar efficiently.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Previously known as “adult diabetes” or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM), Diabetes mellitus type 2 is the predominant form, accounting for approximately 90% of all diabetes diagnoses. This metabolic disorder is marked by elevated blood sugar levels, insufficient insulin, and a state known as insulin resistance, which manifests as decreased cellular sensitivity to insulin despite its overproduction. 

Typical signs of this condition include excessive thirst, frequent urination, increased appetite, unaccounted weight reduction, and blurry vision. Potential complications due to elevated blood sugar levels encompass heart disease, stroke, and diabetic retinopathy, potentially causing blindness, severe kidney failure, and poor circulation in the limbs, possibly resulting in amputation. The primary factors contributing to the onset of type 2 diabetes are obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Specific individuals are more likely to contract the disease due to genetic predisposition.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 with CBD

Managing Type 2 Diabetes with CBD

Research indicates that CBD could reduce the prevalence of diabetes in diabetic rodents from 86% to 30%, thanks to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent diabetes onset. The Endocannabinoid System, including CB1 receptors, internal ligands, anandamide, and 2-AG, plays a crucial role in maintaining energy balance in mammals. 

Previously, the Endo-cannabinoid System was believed to aid energy consumption in the body primarily. However, current estimates suggest this system has several additional significant functions, such as enhancing energy storage in adipose tissue and decreasing energy expenditure by influencing fat and glucose compound metabolism. 

While hormones and neuropeptides typically activate the Endo-cannabinoid System, both centrally and peripherally, some aspects of the system could become deregulated, contributing to obesity, diabetic dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions. 

This leads to the hypothesis that augmenting the system with Phyto-cannabinoids and external cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, like CBD, could substantially assist in managing these metabolic disorders.

A scientific study looked at the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on a specific species known as Psammomys obesus. This species is known to develop type 2 diabetes when they eat a diet high in energy.

The researchers found that CBD could significantly lower the blood sugar levels in these animals and increase the levels of insulin, all without causing them to become obese. One of the most important findings was that CBD significantly reduced the destruction of specific cells in the pancreas (known as pancreatic islets and beta cells), which are crucial for insulin production.

The study suggests that CBD could potentially be used as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. This is because CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can stop the release of certain substances in the body that cause inflammation.

The research provides several examples and facts to support its findings:


  1. Experimental Procedure: The study was conducted on Psammomys obesus, a species that develops type 2 diabetes, when fed a high-energy diet. The animals were divided into two groups: one treated with CBD and the other as a control group. The CBD was administered at 5 mg/kg weekly for four weeks. The animals were monitored for 70 days from the beginning of CBD treatment.
  2. Weight and Glucose Levels: The weights of the CBD-treated Psammomys were not significantly different between the treated and control animals. It was observed that Psammomys treated with CBD had significantly reduced blood glucose levels.
  3. Insulin Levels: The mean insulin levels in the CBD-treated group were higher than in the control group. For instance, in one experiment, the mean insulin in the CBD-treated group was 209.8 μU/ml, while in the control group, it was 142 μU/ml.
  4. Animal Survival: CBD treatment increased the survival rate of the Psammomys, although not significantly. In the two experiments, 52% of the controls survived, whereas 72% of the CBD-treated animals survived at the end of the two experiments.
  5. Protection of β-Cells: The morphological evaluation of the pancreata histological sections showed that CBD treatment protected the pancreatic β-cells from destruction. About 20% of the islets in the control group were destroyed, and 75% had many vacuoles. In contrast, in the CBD-treated animals, no damaged islets were observed, and most were normal.

These examples and facts demonstrate the potential of CBD as a therapeutic agent in type 2 diabetes, as it was able to reduce blood glucose levels, increase insulin levels, and protect pancreatic β-cells from destruction.

The study contributes to understanding the potential therapeutic effects of CBD, a cannabinoid, on type 2 diabetes. It provides evidence that CBD can significantly reduce blood glucose levels, increase insulin levels, and protect pancreatic β-cells from destruction in this animal model. This could have implications for treating diabetes in humans, although further research would be needed to confirm this.


Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Here are some recent research papers on the subject of cannabidiol (CBD) and its effects on diabetes and related conditions:

  1. Cannabinoids as pharmacotherapies for neuropathic pain: From the bench to the bedside by Elizabeth J. Rahn and Andrea G. Hohmann, published in 2009. This study reviews the potential of cannabinoids to address neuropathic pain, which is often associated with diabetes. PDF Link
  2. Cannabinoid-Mediated Modulation of Neuropathic Pain and Microglial Accumulation in a Model of Murine Type I Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain by Cory Toth, Nicole M Jedrzejewski, Connie L Ellis, and William H. Frey, published in 2010. This study explores the impact of cannabinoid receptor agonism/antagonism on neuropathic pain in a diabetic mouse model. PDF Link
  3. Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress by George W. Booz, published in 2011. This review discusses the potential of CBD as a therapeutic strategy for diseases involving immune-related oxidative stress, including diabetes. PDF Link
  4. Neuroprotective and Blood-Retinal Barrier-Preserving Effects of Cannabidiol in Experimental Diabetes by Azza B. El-Remessy, Mohamed Al-Shabrawey, Yousuf M. Khalifa, N.-T. Tsai, Ruth B. Caldwell, and Gregory I. Liou published in 2006. This study investigates the protective effects of CBD on retinal cell death and blood-retinal barrier breakdown in diabetic rats. PDF Link
  5. Cannabidiol attenuates high glucose-induced endothelial cell inflammatory response and barrier disruption by Mohanraj Rajesh, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Sandor Batkai, György Haskó, Lucas Liaudet, Viktor R. Drel, Irina G. Obrosova, and Pal Pacher, published in 2007. This study shows CBD can reduce the inflammatory response and barrier disruption in endothelial cells induced by high glucose, which is relevant to diabetes. PDF Link
  6. The endocannabinoid system in obesity and type 2 diabetes
  7. Cannabinoids alter endothelial function in the Zucker rat model of type 2 diabetes.
  8. Islet protection and amelioration of diabetes type 2  in Psammomys obesus by treatment with  cannabidiol* 

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