Marijuana and Diabetes
PART 1 – Information is power. So wake up, put the Oreo down and read.
Diabetes is a modern day epidemic, and according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), it is one of the most prevalent and hard to treat diseases in the world today.
Not to be rude, but you’d have to have been living under a rock of some kind not to have heard the word “diabetes”. Unlike 40 years ago when this condition was a lot rarer, nowadays we know someone, or someone who knows someone that has this disease. But what is it exactly.
In the simplest terms diabetes occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood – known as hyperglycaemia. Long term high glucose levels can cause damage to your body and the failure of various organs and tissues.
How Many Types of Diabetes Are There?
There are 3 types of Diabetes:
Type 1 is normally found in children or adolescents but can develop at any age. Their bodies produce low or no insulin, which requires them to take daily injections to keep their glucose levels under control.
Type 2 is considered the lifestyle version. It is most common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all cases. With this type, your body does not make good use of the insulin it produces – resulting in insulin resistance. Obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet and urbanisation all play a part and more often than not oral medication or injections are needed to help control blood glucose levels.
Type 3 is called Gestational which quite simply is the type of diabetes that once again consists of high glucose levels during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child. This type often disappears after pregnancy, but mother and child are susceptible to Type 2 later on in life.
PART 2 – Stay with me readers as your lifestyle will depend on it…and future Oreos.
So we now know what diabetes is and how many types there are. We also know that it’s a worldwide problem that has been around for a long time but is more common in this day and age than ever before. Is it really that bad though, or is this just hype like 5G nanotech brain chips or Donald Trump actually having real hair? Well hold onto your trucker caps people because I have some statistics to blow you away!
In the land of the free, over 100 million adults are currently living with diabetes. Yes, 100 million. Considering our population is 325 million all up – that is a lot of double cheeseburgers and triple thick chocolate milkshakes consumed to get to that level. Ay caramba – thanks Bart.
The American Diabetes Association has estimated that US$327 billion – yes that’s billion not million – is what this condition cost the healthcare system in 2017 alone.
Of that, US$90 billion was due to reduced productivity, and 1 in 4 health care dollars was spent on people diagnosed with diabetes.
With such figures it is easy to see that this disease not only affects those that have it, but also puts an unbelievable strain on the healthcare system and its ability to help and treat everyone.
Part 3 – Where are the drugs and are they better than Oreos?
Now I hear you asking me the obvious: Why not just use marijuana in one of its forms (THC / CBD / THCV) to help fix this epidemic? Well that’s a very good question, and one that has many convoluted answers – just like climate change.
The biggest problem is each country’s stance on the legalization of marijuana. In Australia, that’s a big ‘No’, but in Canada and 11 US states it’s fine. If weed isn’t rescheduled under law, then it can’t be used for medicinal purposes. But then the UK has had medicinal marijuana since 2018 but pot is still illegal. What? Convoluted and lost in the judicial systems…. Oreo anyone?
Now that you’ve ranted and sworn at the stupidity of politicians, lawyers and archaic rulings, let’s first quickly delve into the three cannabis forms that would have the most impact on our lives.
What Are The Three Main Active Components of Cannabis?
CBD (Cannabidiol) – Is a non-intoxicating marijuana compound that can be made into products which manage stress, anxiety, pain, and many other symptoms. Most commonly made into an oil for easier use.
THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) – Is a compound in cannabis (insert -https://www.healthline.com/health/substance-use/thcv#effects) which is unique and very different from CBD & THC. It can get you high, but you would need to consume a high amount or a potent strain for that to happen. There have been a few studies on THCV, however, the ones that have been conducted show good medicinal value and exhibit profound cognitive effects on its subjects.
One main downside is it can get you high very fast and dissipate even faster. In between that and having to research and find (or grow) the right strains is a lot of hard work.
THCV has a lot of potential, and in the years to come I believe it will fill the medicinal gaps that CBD isn’t able to tackle or act a bridge on more complicated diagnoses.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – Is the primary psychoactive component of weed. Yes this is the version that gets you high, full of the munchies and peeing yourself when your hand is placed in hot water. Only be ashamed if it’s happened more than once my friend.
Part 4 – This is your life (with or without Oreos)
Jokes aside though, one never really should joke about such a horrible disease. My light-heartedness is my way of gently easing you into the hard parts found in this section.
If you were to smoke joints over a number of years and take in all the unknown side effects of THCV and THC into your body, would these in turn affect a future you who is diagnosed with diabetes?
Don’t smoke cannabis – easy right. Almost as easy as me saying eat healthy, exercise and never look at another Oreo again. I don’t want to see 1/3rd of the US stuck on pills and injections for most if not all of our lives – we’re not far off it! Not only for our health, but also our families and doctors and our front-line workers whose orbit is now full of pandemic, Covid-19 and Coronavirus.