Heavy cannabis use may decrease incidence of diabetes, shows study

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In a new study from Texas A&M University, researchers found that women who heavily used cannabis had a lower incidence of diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that prevents the body from either making enough insulin (type 1) or being able to use insulin efficiently (type 2).

In the United States, about one in 10 Americans have diabetes, and the condition accounted for 87,647 deaths in 2019, making it the seventh leading cause of death for that year.

Previous studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system, a series of neurotransmitters and receptors in the nervous system involved in numerous biological processes, has different effects depending on sex.

Cannabidol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabidol, two key compounds in cannabis, stimulate receptors in the endocannabinoid system that result in improved glucose disposal.

In the current study, the team examined the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2013-2018), and about 15,000 participants joined the survey.

Most participants were female, white (non-Hispanic), over 40, and had at least a college-level education.

Cannabis use was estimated on the basis of exposure and frequency of use with smoking cannabis fewer than four times per month deemed “light use,” and “heavy use” defined as four or more times per month.

Diabetes status was determined by physician diagnosis or meeting criteria for plasma glucose, fasting blood glucose or hemoglobin A1C levels.

They found that female participants who used cannabis heavily were less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than female participants who did not use cannabis.

Light cannabis use by female participants had no association with a diabetes diagnosis. Researchers found no association in male participants between diabetes and any level of cannabis use.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about common food that could improve your blood pressure, blood sugar, and two drugs that could lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about wearable air sampler that could detect personal exposure to coronavirus, and results showing two paths toward ‘super immunity’ to COVID-19.

The study was conducted by Ayobami S. Ogunsolaet al. and published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

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