Can cannabis oil be an alternative to traditional diabetes treatments?

Of Luca Richiardi

The authors of a report on the subject do not invite people with type 2 diabetes to resort to medical cannabis. Least of all in lieu of the cures one follows

My wife has been diabetic for 30 years and takes metformin and pioglitazone (to control blood sugar), simvastatin and ezetimibe (cholesterol lowering drugs). I’ve read that cannabis oil can represent an alternative to traditional therapies in the treatment of diabetes: true?

He answers Luca Richiardidiabetologist, Association of Diabetologists (GO TO THE FORUM)

Drugs such as metformin and pioglitazone have had and still have a central role in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but we have numerous other innovative medicines, which allow us to personalize the therapy based on the needs of each individual patient. The drugs that we have allow a real tailoring therapyi.e. tailor-made for each individual, aimed not only at lowering blood sugar, but above all at avoiding, slowing down and sometimes regressing the complications of diabetes. As for drugs such as ezetimibe and simvastatin (like other lipid-lowering drugs), they also have an essential role, not only in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, but also in reducing the risk of cardiovascular death. And thanks to these drugs that the history of the evolution of the diabetic disease drastically changed in a positive direction; on the other hand, the very fact that his wife has been living with this pathology for 30 years proves it. A lot of emphasis is placed on a report relating to the cannabis oil and its possible effects on diabetes. Let me make some clarifications.

The document represents the opinion of the professor Janice Newell Bissexprogram director Cannabinoid Medical Sciences, and not the result of a series of research aimed at establishing a therapeutic role of cannabis against diabetes (and this makes the difference). In the document, improperly defined as a report, we read that cannabis oil has potential positive effects, as it interacts with a series of receptors for cannabis derivatives which, when stimulated, act on the central nervous system and the immune system. Furthermore, in a recent study, it was seen that people who took cannabis for personal use had a lower rate of fasting insulin and less insulin resistance. However, a lower incidence of diabetes in those subjects has not been demonstrated. While acknowledging that a component of cannabis (the tetrahydrocannabinol) demonstrates positive effects not only on pain but also in the metabolic field, the authors stated that currently not usable for this last purpose: in fact, in medicine the use of cannabis is mainly linked to the symptomatic treatment of chronic pain in association with traditional therapy and never in its replacement.

There are various cannabis formulations on the market, which however do not guarantee a constant concentration of the active ingredientthereby exposing patients to potentially serious adverse effects. Cannabis oil, on the other hand, could overcome these problems by guaranteeing standardization of the active ingredient and thus allowing pharmacists to prepare galenical products safer and compliant with medical prescription. To this end, the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa) has mandated a pharmaceutical laboratory to proceed in this direction. It will thus be possible to have suitable and safe products. But ultimately, the authors of the document described above (coordinated by Prof. Janice Newell Bissex) do not invite people with type 2 diabetes to resort to cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

January 7, 2023 (change January 7, 2023 | 2:11 pm)

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Can cannabis oil be an alternative to traditional diabetes treatments?


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