What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is defined as “a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevate levels of glucose in the blood and urine.” Diabetes is a rampant disease in the United States according to statistics from the CDC. There are 23.1 million people diagnosed, with an estimated 7.2 million people who have the disease and remain undiagnosed. Based on these combined number, the CDC reports 30.3 million people are diabetic and that is 9.4% of the population. With prediabetes, 84.1 million adults over the age of 18 have the disease and adults 65 years or older have a whopping 23.1 million.
Type 1 is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces too little or no insulin. The overwhelming majority are Type 2 diabetics. Type 2 is also a chronic condition that effects the way the body processes glucose (blood sugar). People with diabetes are at a higher risk for conditions like heart disease, blindness, amputations and kidney failure.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): A Less Familiar Cannabinoid
There are differences in the type of hemp products that are available on the market. Most people are familiar with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which has a host of medical benefits but some people worry about its psychoactive effects. CBD (cannabidiol) is an isolated compound that works with the endocannabinoid system without any of the potential side effects of THC. There is another cannabinoid, which is an active compound found in the cannabis plant, that is drawing attention.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a cannabinoid that promotes energizing and “clear headed” effects. THCV is currently being studied for its ability to manage diabetes. Here’s what the research is seeing so far: A study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that males who reported using marijuana in within the past month had lower fasting insulin, less insulin resistance, a smaller waist and better “good” cholesterol levels. Other studies specifically monitored THCV and saw the correlation that this cannabinoid also helped achieve similar effects alone or with other treatments.
Another interesting finding on THCV is that it works as an appetite suppressant. THCV works to block the reward sensations of eating unhealthy food, which is critical to maintaining a healthy weight. Obesity is a factor associated with diabetes, so this could help with eating less and making better food choices.
Cannabidiol (CBD): Another Added Benefit
CBD is a much more familiar cannabinoid already recognized for a myriad of health benefits and it now gaining interest in the management of diabetes. CBD is showing stabilization of blood sugar, reducing the inflammation of nerves and the pain of neuropathy and lowering blood pressure. Additionally, it helps with other conditions associated with diabetes. CBD can help treat Restless Leg Syndrome and improves circulation by keeping blood vessels open.
While CBD is highly effective in many ways on its own, it is important to consider that products combining multiple cannabinoids can bring more benefits. This would be an example of how whole plant products bring additional relief and healing to an individual.