CBD for Type 2 Diabetes: What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The trendy complementary treatment is rising in popularity. Here’s what you need to know before you use CBD to manage type 2 diabetes.
CBD may help relieve symptoms that can contribute to high blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Everyday Health
You probably don’t have to look farther than your local drugstore or beauty product supplier to know CBD has taken a starring role in everything from sparkling water and gummies to tincture oils and lotions. Some may even say that cannabidiol (CBD) — which, like THC, is a component of the cannabis plant, but doesn’t contain its psychoactive effects — is the “it” ingredient of our age.
You’ve probably also heard that CBD can help lessen stress, anxiety, and pain. “When people are in pain, they have a stress response, which causes an increase in cortisol and an increase in blood sugar,” says Veronica J. Brady, PhD, CDCES, a registered nurse and an assistant professor at the Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas in Houston. Relieving pain can help alleviate the stress response and improve blood sugar levels, as well as aid sleep, she says.
If you’re managing type 2 diabetes, it’s natural to be curious about whether CBD might help you manage those symptoms, too, to help stabilize your blood sugar. In fact, the prevalence of cannabis use increased by 340 percent among people with diabetes from 2005 to 2018, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence in July 2020, which surveyed people on their use of cannabis (CBD or THC, in any form) in the previous 30 days.
But does it work for treating diabetes? Some healthcare professionals say CBD may have a role to play, but it’s important to understand that the only health condition CBD has proved effective for is epilepsy in kids. The jury is unfortunately still out, owing to the lack of comprehensive research on CBD and type 2 diabetes.
Still, in the aforementioned survey, 78 percent of people used cannabis that was not prescribed by a doctor. “Diabetes patients might still use cannabis for medical reasons, but not have a prescription,” says Omayma Alshaarawy, MBBS, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of family medicine at Michigan State University in East Lansing, who led the study. Recreational use is another factor. She points to a separate study, published September 2019 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that found that more than 50 percent of people with medical conditions such as diabetes or cancer use cannabis recreationally.
How People With Type 2 Diabetes Are Using CBD
In Nevada, where Dr. Brady used to work as a certified diabetes educator, her patients with type 2 diabetes used CBD for nerve pain. She says patients would use CBD in a tincture or in oils that they rubbed on painful areas, including their feet. Patients could buy CBD at medical marijuana dispensaries, which would offer dosing instructions. “They worried about the impact on their blood sugars,” says Brady.
Ultimately, though, Brady says that her patients reported that CBD reduced their nerve pain and improved their blood sugar. She adds that those people who used CBD oils for nerve pain also reported sleeping better.
Heather Jackson, the founder and board president of Realm of Caring in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a nonprofit that focuses on cannabis research and education, senses an interest in CBD within the diabetes community. “In general, especially if they’re not well controlled, people are looking at cannabinoid therapy as an alternative, and usually as an adjunct option,” says Jackson. Callers have questions about CBD for neuropathy pain, joint pain, gastrointestinal issues, and occasionally blood glucose control, according to a spokesperson for Realm of Caring.
The organization receives thousands of inquiries about cannabis therapies a month. It keeps a registry of these callers, where they live, and their health conditions. Jackson says that people with type 2 diabetes are not a large percentage of the callers, but they currently have 540 people with diabetes in their database.
Jackson says that Realm of Caring does not offer medical advice, and it does not grow or sell cannabis. Instead, it offers education for clients and doctors about cannabis, based on its ever-growing registry of CBD users, their conditions, side effects, and administration regimen. “We are basically educating,” says Jackson. “We want you to talk to your doctor about the information you receive.”
Scientific Studies on CBD and Type 2 Diabetes, and Barriers to Research
Despite interest among people with type 2 diabetes, large, rigorous studies showing how CBD may affect type 2 diabetes are lacking, says Y. Tony Yang, MPH, a doctor of science in health policy and management and a professor at George Washington University School of Nursing in Washington, DC. Specifically absent are randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard of medical research.
Early research suggests CBD and diabetes are indeed worth further study. For example, a small study published in October 2016 in Diabetes Care in the United Kingdom looked at 62 people with type 2 diabetes and found that CBD did not lower blood glucose. Participants were not on insulin, but some took other diabetes drugs. They were randomly assigned to five different treatment groups for 13 weeks: 100 milligrams (mg) of CBD twice daily; 5 mg of THCV (another chemical in cannabis) twice daily; 5 mg CBD and 5 mg THCV together twice daily; 100 mg CBD and 5 mg of THCV together twice daily; or placebo. In their paper, the authors reported that THCV (but not CBD) significantly improved blood glucose control.
Other CBD research is still evolving. Some CBD and diabetes studies have been done in rats, which leads to findings that don’t always apply to human health. Other studies have looked more generally at the body’s endocannabinoid system, which sends signals about pain, stress, sleep, and other important functions. Still other studies, including one published in the American Journal of Medicine, have looked at marijuana and diabetes, but not CBD specifically.
That there are so few studies of CBD in people with type 2 diabetes has to do with a lack of focus on CBD as an individual component. Historically, cannabinoids (a group of chemicals in the cannabis plant) have been lumped together, including CBD, THC, and more than 100 others. The 1970 U.S. Controlled Substances Act classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug with the highest restrictions. Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow cannabis for medical use and 11 states allow cannabis for recreational use.
The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the controlled substances list, clearing the way for more production and research of CBD. Meanwhile, growers and manufacturers are better able to isolate CBD, mainly by cultivating industrial hemp that is high in CBD and very low in THC, says Jackson. So, perhaps in the coming years, more research on CBD and diabetes will emerge.
How the FDA Views and Regulates CBD for Disease Treatment
Yet, as evidenced by the July 2020 study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, people with type 2 diabetes aren’t waiting for further study to hop on the trend. Brady says her patients have been open about using CBD, particularly the younger patients. She says one of her older patients was initially uncomfortable about buying CBD in the same shop that sold marijuana but eventually gave in. Brady adds that many people associate CBD with smoking marijuana, despite their distinctly different effects on the body.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first CBD medication in 2018, for treating childhood epilepsy. Currently, there is no other FDA-approved CBD medication for diabetes or any other condition, according to the FDA. In December 2018, the FDA said it was unlawful under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to sell food or dietary supplements containing CBD. In April 2019, the FDA stated that it would be taking new steps to evaluate cannabis products, and it held a public hearing about cannabis products in May 2019.
“The FDA, for the time being, has focused its limited enforcement resources on removing CBD products that make claims of curing or treating disease, leaving many CBD products for sale,” wrote Pieter Cohen, MD, and Joshua Sharfstein, MD, in a July 2019 perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Cohen is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and Dr. Sharfstein oversees the office of public health practice and training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
Precautions for People With Diabetes Looking to Try CBD
For the CBD products already on the market, Jackson says it’s often difficult to know what’s inside. A study published November 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that only 30 percent of CBD products were accurately labeled, with under- and over-labeling of CBD content, and some products containing unlisted chemicals such as THC.
Vaping liquids were the most commonly mislabeled CBD products in the study. The International Research Center on Cannabis and Health in New York City warns that consumers should not purchase vape products from unregulated and illicit markets. A small investigation by the Associated Press in 2019 showed that some CBD vapes had synthetic marijuana.
Jackson points out that CBD may affect certain cholesterol and blood pressure drugs, and a study published in June 2017 in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research detailed these interactions. Other side effects of CBD include tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in weight or appetite, the researchers write.
“What you put in your body is really important,” says Jackson, adding that’s especially true for people with major health conditions like diabetes. Jackson speaks from personal experience as a mom finding CBD treatments for her son’s epilepsy. She says consumers should ask manufacturers whether CBD products are free of mold, pesticides, and other toxins.
Realm of Caring, Jackson’s nonprofit, created a reference sheet for evaluating products and manufacturers. It also endorses products that adhere to standards such as those from the American Herbal Products Association and the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.
“There is little known about cannabis health effects, especially among patients with chronic conditions. Research is growing, but still solid evidence evolves,” says Dr. Alshaarawy. For these reasons, she recommends that patients talk to their doctors so they can discuss the benefits and potential harms of cannabis and monitor their health accordingly.
How to Talk to Your Healthcare Provider About Using CBD for Type 2 Diabetes
Jackson and Brady advise people who are considering CBD for diabetes to ask their providers about the complementary therapy before adding it to their treatment plan. Brady says it’s difficult to find research about CBD and type 2 diabetes, even in her capacity as a diabetes educator. Still, in her experience, if people are looking for a natural way to manage pain, it’s worth a conversation with their healthcare provider. “It’s something that should be talked about, especially if they’re having significant amounts of pain, or really any pain at all associated with their diabetes,” says Brady.
“It’s a reasonable alternative,” says Brady. “As it gains in popularity, there needs to be some information out there about it.
17 Best CBD Gummies for Type 2 Diabetes
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Living your best life can be a monumental challenge when living with a chronic illness. Especially one as annoying, and potentially catastrophic, as type 2 diabetes. There are hundreds of guides available online that claim to help you conquer the disease, to relegate it to an afterthought that will never darken your dreams again.
This isn’t one of those guides. Instead, we offer truth. CBD can be a powerful tool when helping you develop good habits to properly manage your type 2 diabetes, but you will still have to work on developing the right habits and mindset. These gummies work by helping you overcome the insecurities and anxiety that come with making big changes in your life. You will feel calmer and more ready to seriously tackle the challenges that lie in front of you.
Several members of our team used CBD in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle changes in order to drop their A1C, their weight, and in some cases their need for insulin. (Of course, you should never change your diabetes treatments without consulting your doctor first.) It wasn’t an easy process. There were times when they wanted to give up. But the best things in life only come after fighting for them.
As such, we strongly encourage you to consider fighting to make your life better. You do not have to let diabetes define you. Instead, grab a couple of CBD gummies and see how bright a future you can make for yourself.
The following are 17 CBD gummies that we have found to be potent, affordable, and delectable. They contain minimal amounts of sugar and carbs per serving. All of them can help you obtain the clarity of mind needed to start living your best life.
Beyond them, we found three companies that have set themselves apart for playing a vital role in developing the CBD marketplace:
Start enjoying life by grabbing a couple of CBD gummies from one of the best producers of CBD products in the United States. These gummies are perfect for helping you relax, soothe away pain, and banish anxiety. These gummies are made with the purest CBD isolate available, sourced from non-GMO hemp grown from seed at the best farms in Oregon.
These gummies are guaranteed to be filled to the rim with the CBD goodness you want and crave, without any unwanted additives that can lead to an inferior product. One such problematic ingredient you can rest assured is not in these gummies is THC. You will not have to worry about experiencing an unwanted high, something that can’t be said for other brands’ gummies.
Are you looking for a delicious CBD gummy that is truly full-spectrum? Everest is proud to offer you the opportunity to embrace the powers of CBD compounds in order to help you start living your best possible life. Everest is one of the leaders in the American CBD market, starting shortly after industrial hemp farming was legalized back in 2004. Since then, they have worked tirelessly to craft amazing products designed to bring the power of the hemp plant to as many people as possible.
The production process starts with sourcing only the highest quality non-GMO seed stock, growing it in carefully tended fields located here in the United States, and then harvesting it using the latest technology. The end result is a CBD product that can help you deal with pain, anxiety, and depression without missing a beat. All you have to do is grab a gummy and see what it can do for you.
Having trouble settling on a CBD gummy to try? Verma Farms gummies have been carefully designed from the ground up to provide you with the best experience possible. All you need to do is pick out the flavor that speaks to you and start living your best life.
Verma Farms has a long and storied history of producing quality CBD products, perfect for tackling everything from smoking cessation and weight loss to depression and anxiety. It is used by thousands of people every day, enabling them to quickly and easily tackle even the greatest challenge that lies before them. Our team of happy product reviewers always keeps a bottle on hand, ready for those precious moments when we can fully relax and stop having to worry about the world for a few minutes.
R+R Medicinals is the brand that finally makes the CBD gummy right – with their 25mg Full-Spectrum Gummies , you can really feel the difference. Vegan, sugar coated, no artificial flavors or colors, and simple ingredients make this gummy option a clear winner compared to other gummies on the market. Each gummy is packed with 25mg of Full-Spectrum CBD and other minor cannabinoids from their CO2 extracted, USDA Certified Organic, proprietary Cherry strain of hemp. R+R partnered with a local candy manufacturer to create these one-of-a-kind gummies. Unlike most other ‘sprayed’ gummies, they truly infuse their CBD into the formula and ensure the hemp flavor doesn’t overpower the deliciousness of each piece. Each jar has 30 gummies at 25mg each – 750mg total for the jar, with a mix of peach, strawberry, and green apple flavors. This is an outstanding bang for your buck for a Full-Spectrum product at only $44.99. Full-battery certificates of analysis are available for each batch on their website along with a 30-Day Risk Free Trial.
5. Just CBD Gummies
Are you looking to dive into the world of CBD but don’t want to have to worry about the often-bitter taste of hemp? Just CBD has your back with a CBD gummy that is made with 100% natural and refined CBD isolate, a process that strips out everything but the CBD compounds from the all-natural industrial hemp plant.
Produced by a titan in the CBD world, this CBD gummy has been carefully designed to meet the highest quality standards possible. Each bottle is GMP-certified and lab tested – meaning you are guaranteed to have the best possible experience when using this product.
Our team of reviewers was delighted to try these out for a couple of weeks. We had a variety of goals in mind, ranging from the standard relaxation to help us lose weight or stop smoking. It helped all of us meet our goals, without breaking a sweat.
6. CBDfx Gummies
CBDfx is one of the leading companies in the CBD world, among the first to offer CBD products to consumers nationwide. They have taken their early successes and built their practice to offer a wide range of CBD products ranging from simple oils to complex gummies designed to replace multivitamins and diet aids. Our team has had plenty of experience with this brand, often holding it up as a standard-bearer when evaluating newcomers to the CBD marketplace.
During our many encounters, we have found that this company has taken the time and energy needed to produce a high-quality product that is guaranteed to help you deal with the challenges in your life, whether it be stopping smoking, losing weight, or simply relaxing after a long day at the office.
7. Five Full Spectrum CBD+THC Gummies
Looking for a CBD+THC gummy from a company dedicated to providing you with the best possible CBD and THC experience? Five is proud to offer customers around the nation (except for those that can’t legally purchase THC-inclusive products) with the opportunity to embrace the health benefits of CBD without having to sacrifice the calm and good feelings that come with using THC.
This product line has been carefully developed to provide those seeing the benefits of the full cannabis plant without dealing with the social stigma/potential legal headaches of using marijuana. Designed from the ground up to make finding the right dose easy, all you have to do is follow the directions and within minutes you will be feeling the bliss that can only come from THC. Our team of expert reviewers was amazed with the taste, affordability, and ease of use that came with this product. As such, we strongly recommend it if you happen to be in a state where such a purchase is legal.
8. Charlotte’s Web Gummies
Charlotte’s Web has been in the CBD field since its inception, providing clients from around the United States with access to high-quality CBD products at affordable prices. Their main selling point, and one we at the office fully appreciated while evaluating their products, is the sheer volume of dosage sizes available. You are able to find the right dosage for you without having to spend countless hours carefully measuring. All you need to do is follow the directions on the jar.
This CBD gummy is guaranteed to help you start living your best life by tackling issues ranging from depression and anxiety to pain, stiffness in your joints, and more. It is truly a marvelous dietary aid that can help you tackle nearly every goal you set for yourself. Are you looking to stop smoking or lose weight? Beat back the anxiety that comes with changing your life by taking a dose today.
Tired of not knowing which CBD gummy to buy to help you tackle your personal goals? cbdMD is delighted to offer you the opportunity to experience the many health benefits of hemp without any of the unwanted highs and side effects that come from using marijuana. Each easily affordable bottle comes packed to the gills with the finest full-spectrum CBD oils available, making this a surefire hit for anyone looking to soothe pain, calm anxieties, and relax after a long day.
Our team of reviewers took a couple of bottles of this brand home and tried it out for our regular two-week review. During that time, we noticed many positive health benefits, beyond lowering our anxiety and soothing away the occasional bit of pain. It helped us achieve a variety of health goals, from losing weight to stopping smoking. We were quite pleased with the results and gladly recommend this brand to anyone looking for a dependable CBD product.
10. Green Roads CBD Gummies
One review of this brand of CBD gummy was quite apt: “The sense of calm just settles over you. It’s like a switch…” And this has played out in our review of this brand. It is among the fastest working CBD oil products available on the market, regardless of the dose. It must be because of the company’s dedication to providing a holistic product that brings to you every good bit of the hemp plant.
Our team was quite pleased with the variety of products available, both in regards to the dosage and the flavors. It was a joy selecting different varieties to test out during our customary two-week period. During that time we found that this brand of CBD, like the rest we have tested, was able to help us embrace life and tackle the challenges in front of us. As the reviewer said, it was like a switch.
11. Royal CBD Gummies
Are you looking for a delicious, refreshing way to get your daily dose of CBD goodness? Royal CBD has worked tirelessly to provide you with the best possible CBD gummy. All you need to do is read the jar to find out the right dose for you and off you go to a world of bliss. Our review of this brand showed that it did everything it promised and more.
During our review, we were glad to notice that the office became a friendlier, more relaxed place as everyone collectively chilled out thanks to the calming power of CBD. Many members of our team that has been putting off life goals found themselves more capable of achieving them. From throwing out that pack of cigarettes to shedding five pounds, we were able to focus on doing good things for our lives and health. It was a truly marvelous fortnight, and we recommend that you give this brand a try.
12. Cornbread Full Spectrum CBD Gummies
Are you having trouble finding the perfect all-natural full-spectrum CBD product that you can use to tackle your nearly insurmountable list of life goals that you dutifully write up every New Year’s Eve? Cornbread proudly offers you a wide range of CBD products, including gummies and full-spectrum CBD oil that has one unique advantage that most manufacturers cannot match: it produces its oil using only the flowers from the hemp plant. This results in a product that includes up to 2 mg of THC per serving in addition to all of the goodness that comes from using all-natural CBD.
Sadly, this means that this product is not available nationwide. It is only available in states that legalize the sale of products containing THC. As such, we strongly recommend that you look up your local laws before making a purchase. If it is available to you, we wholeheartedly recommend this brand and guarantee that you will be amazed by how it can help you achieve your life goals.
13. Gold Bee CBD Gummies
Gold Bee has worked tirelessly to produce quality CBD products for use by people throughout the United States. Its goal was to produce a line of products perfect for nearly any event – be it relaxing after a long day at work or fighting off that cigarette craving. Our team of dedicated reviewers, by now CBD product specialists, was pleased to have the opportunity to put both its oil and gummies through a series of rigorous tests during a two-week period.
During that time, we did a bit of everything ranging from trying to break bad habits, instill new good ones, and do our best to start living our best life. In particular, several members of our team were trying to stop smoking and lose some weight. While using Gold Bee’s products didn’t make it completely effortless to achieve these goals, they did help in keeping us calm and focused on our goal.
14. MedTerra CBD Gummies
MedTerra has earned a reputation for excellence in the CBD community due to its dedication to providing the best possible CBD products to users throughout the United States. We were particularly impressed with the varieties MedTerra offered, focusing on everything from sleeping to keeping calm in the face of even the most stressful of situations.
Our team of crack shot reviewers was pleased with how the CBD products made us feel. We were better able to relax and focus on the task at hand, making it easier to achieve our goals with ease. The CBD gummies really did help us narrow in on the truly important things in life by taking away the doubts, pain, and anxiety that tend to fill our minds on a daily basis. We were pleased with the result and full-heartedly recommend this brand to anyone looking for quality CBD products from a developer with a long history in the market.
15. Pure Kana CBD Gummies
Are you looking for a brand that reminds you of the Japanese Samurai? Pure Kana may be the right choice for you. Joking aside, this is a solid brand of CBD products put out by a company that has put in the capital needed to achieve high-quality results. Our team of exceptional product reviewers was titillated by the opportunity to review an up-and-comer that places great emphasis on providing a high-quality CBD product that stands out from the pack.
Our review period, which is standardized at a short two weeks, is quite comprehensive when it comes to determining the effectiveness of the product. During that time, we did everything possible to see if it was as effective in helping us deal with anxiety, depression, and the occasional aches and pains that come from daily life. The results were promising – the CBD was pure enough to ensure that we obtained the relaxation and focus needed to achieve all of our goals. From stopping smoking to fighting the urge to get a midday snack, it helped us better ourselves.
16. BudPop CBD Gummies
Finding the perfect CBD gummy can be a monumental challenge. There are hundreds of companies online offering thousands of products, making it nearly impossible to figure out which one is best for you. BudPop is here to offer an amazing solution to you – turn to a brand that places quality alongside flavor to create a combination that is impossible to beat. Each dose of CBD from BudPop is filled to the rim with full-spectrum CBD, alongside a dash of flavor that completely hides the often-bitter taste of industrial hemp.
Our team of reviewers was amazed at how good both the CBD oil and gummies tasted. They both melted on the tongue, quickly followed by the relief we have come to know and expect from high-quality CBD products. Every member of our team that tested the product would gladly recommend it to anyone looking for something to help them feel better, achieve their personal goals, and start living their best life.
17. Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies
Are you looking for a frighteningly good time? Sunday Scaries may have the solution for you. Each jar is filled to the rim with full-spectrum CBD, making it easy to get the support you need to live life to its fullest. These gummies are perfect for anyone looking to tackle the challenges that come with daily life.
These gummies have been carefully developed to help you achieve your life goals. Do you want to lose weight? The calming attributes of CBD can help you better plan out your day so that you can squeeze in that trip to the gym. How about stopping smoking? The anxiety caused by withdrawal can be banished with just a single gummy.
Our team of exceptional product reviewers took home a jar for two weeks, taking each dose as prescribed. During that time we found ourselves doing more to better our lives. We exercised more, ate better, and paid more attention to the things that matter most.