Diabetes & Cannabis – 4 Ways Marijuana May Help Diabetes Patients

As medical marijuana use increases, its applications grow broader.


The debate for the legalization of marijuana has long raged and shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Despite the still-vehement protests from some against the legalization of marijuana, 29 states have legalized either medicinal or recreational use of marijuana, making it available for individuals with a host of health problems.

Although diabetes differs quite drastically from many of the conditions usually prescribed marijuana, increasing bodies of research have demonstrated that diabetes patients can benefit from medical marijuana use, in addition to numerous anecdotal suggestions that cannabis is helpful in treating and managing diabetes.

#1. Limiting the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Marijuana has been linked to a decrease in the onset or proliferation of heart disease and can be used as both a means of preventing heart disease and treating existing disease. Marijuana acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body, which can prevent swelling and disfiguring of the arterial walls, which can limit the effects and dangerous of heart disease.

#2. Lower Blood Pressure

Some diabetes patients have experienced lower blood pressure with consistent cannabis use, whether that comes in the form of oil or is distilled into food. This could be due in part to its anti-inflammatory properties, but may also be due to cannabis’ relaxant nature, which can relieve stress and anxiety.

#3. Preventing Nerve Damage

Marijuana causes receptors in both the brain and body to fire, which can prevent the onset of nerve damage. Again, this requires consistent use but may be an exciting new treatment in preventing serious diabetes complications. Although marijuana is known as a relaxant, it has been shown to stimulate brain and body receptors, improving body-brain communication and keeping nerve centers active.

#4. Providing Pain Relief

Many men and women living with diabetes suffer pain, whether it is from nerve damage, joint pressure or poor blood flow. Marijuana is an alternative to traditional pain relief medications and may prove to be far less addictive than many prescription painkillers, making it an excellent addition to the arsenal of diabetes patients.

Although medical marijuana is not legal in all 50 states, talk to your doctor about the possibility of introducing marijuana into your medicinal routine. Marijuana used for medicinal purposes should be used under the care of a physician, as there is a risk for brain fog and increased anxiety if doses are not applied correctly. While you cannot overdose fatally on cannabis, overuse can bring about unpleasant side effects. There is still more research to be done, but preliminary findings suggest that cannabis may be an excellent addition to the fight against diabetes.


Diabetes UK. Accessed 4/19/17.
The Diabetes Council. Accessed 4/19/17.


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Corrina Horne-Castro is a freelance writer, as well as a yoga instructor, wife, and mother, with a passion for helping others achieve optimal health and wellness.