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What is Diabetes?
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects how the body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells, and it comes from the food we eat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps the body’s cells absorb glucose from the blood and use it for energy. In people with diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it can’t effectively use the insulin it produces, which leads to high levels of glucose in the blood.
Types of Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes: This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections to manage their blood sugar levels.
- Type 2 diabetes: This type of diabetes is more common and occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, or when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs. Type 2 diabetes can often be managed with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, and medications.
Signs and Symptoms of diabetes
- Increased thirst and frequent urination: Excess glucose in the blood can cause the kidneys to work harder to filter and absorb the sugar. This can lead to more frequent urination, which can then cause dehydration and increased thirst.
- Increased hunger: The body’s cells may not be getting enough glucose for energy, so the body may crave more food to try to compensate.
- Fatigue: The body’s cells may not be getting enough glucose for energy, which can cause feelings of fatigue and weakness.
- Blurred vision: High blood sugar levels can cause fluid to be pulled from the tissues, including the lenses of the eyes, which can cause blurred vision.
- Slow-healing wounds: High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels, which can lead to poor circulation and slow healing of wounds.
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet: High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, which can cause numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
- Unexplained weight loss: The body may be breaking down fat and muscle tissue for energy because it’s not getting enough glucose.
How does cannabis medicine work for Diabetes?
Cannabis medicine directly works by regulating the Endocannabinoid system in the body. ECS regulates a range of processes in the body, mainly mood, appetite, sleep, pain sensation, insulin regulation and immune function. ECS comprises three main parts, endocannabinoids( naturally occurring in the body), enzymes ( used to break down endocannabinoids) and receptors( attachment sites). When our endocannabinoids default in function or are unregulated, discomfort in the form of diseases, pain, and inflammation occurs. Cannabis medicine works by bringing this system back into regulation.
Potential Benefits of cannabis medicine for Diabetes
- Glucose regulation: Some studies suggest that certain cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), may help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which could be beneficial for people with diabetes.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Cannabis may have anti-inflammatory effects, which could be beneficial for managing the inflammation associated with diabetes and its complications.
- Pain management: Cannabis may also have pain-relieving properties, which could be beneficial for people with diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that can cause pain and tingling in the feet and hands.