04 October 2012
Marijuana and Diabetes: Smoking Out The Truth
There is a reason why smoking marijuana has such a holistic effect on people. Scientists have discovered that humans and animals produce compounds called endocannabinoids that are very similar to those found in cannabis. The cells in our brains, nervous system, liver, kidneys and lungs all have cannabinoid receptors called CB1. Furthermore, our blood cells and immune system have additional receptors called CB2. These receptors are activated naturally by endocannabinoids, as well as through consumption of cannabis or manufactured derivatives. The exciting news is that over 100 cannabinoid compounds in marijuana activate the CB receptors, in a not so surprisingly therapeutic way.
Scientists have gathered anecdotal material and conducted research on the effects of marijuana and the body. What their discovering is that pot may help treat a plethora of conditions, such as depression, diabetes, heart disease and various forms of cancer. The two main compounds, in concentration and metabolic interactivity is Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound that produces the “high” experienced by users who smoke marijuana for recreational purposes. However, researchers have become very interested in CBD.
Cannabidiol counteracts the infamously adverse effects of heavy marijuana usage. Strains that are high in THC are consequently low in CBD and other curative compounds. Although getting high can be emotionally therapeutic, the other cannabinoid compounds can inadvertently provide balance to your body. As reported a few months ago on marijuana.com, an Israeli company has recently developed a strain of marijuana that is absolutely devoid of THC and extremely high in CBD cannabinoids. However, scientists have not been able to establish the exact nature of the chemical interaction between THC and CBD. Additional research is necessary to determine if a properly balanced fusion of cannabinoids with THC actually strengthens the healing process.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. According to the national Institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases, “most of what we eat is broken down into the main source of fuel for our body: glucose. Insulin is required for glucose to get into ourselves. When we eat, the pancreas automatically produces the required insulin. With diabetes, the pancreas produces insufficient amounts of insulin, or the cells do not respond appropriately.” This illness can cause a multitude of disorders, including depression, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and can even require amputation of extremities due to improper circulation.
“CBD is non-psychoactive and has anti-inflammatory and anti-autoimmune properties. The results (of the present study)… Suggests that CBD – treatment inhibits diabetes by induction of regulatory TH2 (cell) responses” (Weiss, et al., 2006). Ingestion of marijuana strains that are higher in CBD concentrations may help to lower blood sugar levels. Studies in diabetic mice indicate that CB receptor interactions with marijuana compounds such as CBD and Cannabichromene (CBC) can also neutralize the body’s overreaction to blood sugar imbalances, the results of which cause nerve cell distraction and retinopathy (blindness).
Synthesized CBD and THC are currently available for specific ailments. Marinol is used to treat chemotherapy related nausea, vomiting and weight loss. In the United Kingdom, Sativex spray is used to relieve pain. According to Dr. William Courtney, a northern California physician, “pharmaceutical giants are salivating. They want to isolate all the active ingredients of marijuana and turn them into 100 separate medicines”.
There are drawbacks to allowing drug companies to synthesize marijuana compounds. As with all mass-produced medicines, users run a very high risk of dangerous side effects. Marijuana is a natural herb that interacts with our bodies holistically on a cellular level. So many are left scratching their heads asking the obvious question… Why spend money for overpriced medicine that can be potentially harmful? Especially since the alternative medicine in question is derived from a readily available, naturally occurring plant…MARIJUANA.