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There has been growing debate over the use of marijuana. Some believe the drug has no medical purpose and still others use it every day to relieve symptoms of their chronic conditions. The federal government considers it a Schedule I which implies it has no medicinal properties. Punishment can range from fines to several years in prison for a simple carrying charge. So why are so many states going against the FDA’s recommendations? Is medical marijuana helpful for people with diabetes?
As it turns out, cannabis is good for diabetics. No, this is not a joke. Pot is beneficial for people with diabetes. The growing research in the medical marijuana field has confirmed multiple benefits for many conditions, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, NOT gestational diabetes or children.
There are 30 million people with diabetes, and the number is expected to increase. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, and for most diabetics, their medication is just not enough to give them the control they need. The longer a person has diabetes, the more risk they have of developing complications from the disease. The younger you’re diagnosed the sooner you will have to deal with these health issues. Marijuana can help reduce or prevent some of these complications.
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What effects could you expect from using marijuana for managing diabetes?
Patients with diabetes can expect lower blood sugar with regular use. They will have a reduction in A1c over time. This may be hard for you to believe because most people get the munchies after ingesting marijuana, but it’s true. The signal to eat (munchies in this case) comes from a reduction in blood sugar. Marijuana can improve insulin sensitivity which reduces overall blood sugar causing a lower A1c.
Lower Blood Pressure
Over time people with diabetes can expect lower blood pressure. Hypertension is a real problem for many diabetics who are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Marijuana can help lower blood pressure with regular use, ultimately reducing the person’s risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) keeps many diabetics awake at night. The overwhelming feeling that you need to change position or move your legs is more than annoying. When people with diabetes don’t get enough sleep, they have a much harder time managing their health. Marijuana just before bed can relax the body and mind enough to fall asleep faster.
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Research in the field of medical marijuana is an ongoing process. More and more people are looking into ways to treat their chronic conditions in natural ways. Prescriptions can cause harsh side effects. Obviously, we don’t recommend stopping any medication, but we are for adding alternative treatments with the approval of your healthcare team.
There are a few considerations that you need to think about before you go out and buy a bong. The first is that children and pregnant woman should never take any drug, supplement or prescription without the approval of their doctor. If you and your physician have differing opinions, you can get a second opinion, but do not just give marijuana to a child or ingest while pregnant. It can be dangerous to a child and infants' growing brains.
It is important to note that while under the influence of Marijuana your judgment will be impaired. The usual symptoms of low and high blood sugar that you are used to will change. Hypoglycemia is a real possibility. You will still need to test your blood sugar to ensure it is not too low, especially if you have type 1 diabetes.
If you have asthma or any breathing issues smoking marijuana is a bad idea. The smoke can cause problems to worsen. Dispensaries offer many different cannabis products. They can help you chose one that works for your specific needs. It may be better to look into edibles if smoking is not an option.
Speaking of impaired judgment, do not drive while under the influence of cannabis or any other substance. It is not worth it under any circumstances. You live in a time where rides are as easy as opening an app. Uber and Lyft are great options. You can call a friend or a cab. Please don’t put yourself and others at risk by driving under the influence.
If medical marijuana is illegal in your state, try writing to your members of Congress and senators. Pot is a schedule I drug, and the penalties can be down right ridiculous. Make sure you know what laws are in effect where you live.
There are supplements you can try that are legal and don't get you high. That way you get the medical benefits without without any fear of punishment.
Let me know in the comments if you agree or if you think medical marijuana is a step backward.