What’s the Deal with Medical Marijuana and Diabetes?
Updated: Jul 6
Misconceptions and fallacies are rampant in the medical cannabis industry. So, when people hear cannabis can provide benefits for those with diabetes, they sometimes shut it down. However, medical marijuana has been demonstrated to have positive impacts blood sugar control and metabolism in diabetes studies.
Understanding the benefits of medical marijuana and diabetes will help you, or your loved one, have a conversation with a healthcare professional for more information.
And we’re here to help!
But first, a timeline of medical marijuana and diabetes research.
For at least ten years, researchers have been investigating the many benefits and potential side effects of medical marijuana use in diabetes patients.
In 2005, one of the first major articles written on cannabis and diabetes came from The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis. They found that cannabis did help to stabilize blood sugar and reduce stress-related hormones. Later, a study in 2012 found that adults between the ages of 20-59 who used cannabis had a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and lower odds of diabetes than non-marijuana users.
Another major milestone was reached in 2013 when a study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that people who use marijuana lower their risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes, despite the fact that they seem to intake more calories. The study also found that marijuana users have higher levels of good cholesterol.
Research in 2015 investigated at the anti-inflammatory properties in CBD and the findings suggest how this chemical component can treat the inflammation that plays a role in the development of types 1 and 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Even more recently, research from 2020 finds that marijuana use is associated with lower fasting insulin and lower levels of insulin resistance in obese adults.
All that to say, the research is out there and is still being conducted, and it’s worth looking into.
How can medical marijuana help diabetes and are there side effects?
Let’s cut to the chase. What are the benefits from marijuana use as it relates to diabetes?
Cannabis can help:
· Stabilize blood sugars
· Suppress inflammation which can also lead to cardiovascular disease
· Reduce the pain of neuropath and prevent nerve inflammation by activating receptors in the body and brain
· Improve circulation
· Lower blood pressure
· Relieve muscle cramps and improve restless leg syndrome
· Reduce the pain of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
However, it’s important to note that with all of the added benefits, there can be side effects, just like there are with most medical treatments. For example, there are concerns that marijuana use will cause hypoglycemia if a patient is unaware that his or her glucose levels drop. That’s why it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional prior to beginning medical cannabis treatment.
How do I talk to a doctor about medical marijuana and diabetes?
Medical marijuana treatment for diabetes is still being heavily explored and researched. Although the benefits and research are promising, and researchers say that things are looking up, it is important for patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes to speak with a healthcare professional about using medical cannabis to manage their condition. That’s where we come in!
If you are a patient suffering from a condition you believe would benefit from medical marijuana treatment, schedule an online telemedicine evaluation today or call us at
(888) 633-5808 to book an appointment with one of our recommending physicians.
If you are a Virginia resident suffering from a medical condition you think may benefit cannabis, you're likely eligible for medical marijuana treatment.
Click here to learn more about what Virginia Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (888) 633-5808 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process and schedule you for an evaluation appointment.