Nowadays we hear about people using CBD products for so many different reasons – the possibilities seem endless! If you have arrived on this page, then you have probably heard about people using CBD to treat diabetes. But does it really work? 

At Honest Hemp, we truly believe in the power of CBD. However, we also understand that it does have limitations and we shouldn’t think of it as a miracle cure for everything. This is why we aim to provide our audience with the facts and research behind the applications of CBD so that you can make your own decisions. 

In this article, we will discuss how CBD may affect people with diabetes. If you suffer from diabetes yourself or you know someone who does, we should be able to help you figure out whether CBD is the right choice. 

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is short for cannabidiol which is a compound that comes from the hemp plant. This is a special type of compound called a cannabinoid – they are named this because they come from Cannabis. Hemp is the name given to certain types of Cannabis plant that contain less than 0.3% THC. THC is just 1 of thousands of cannabinoids, and it is the only one that produces psychoactive effects, or a ‘high’ in people who ingest it. Whereas CBD – of course – does not! 

We use CBD to make products such as oils, edibles, e-liquids, and topicals. CBD oils usually consist of a carrier oil mixed with a CBD extract. This carrier oil will usually either be hemp seed oil – which comes from hemp seeds – or MCT oil, which is derived from certain fats found in foods like coconut oil. Sometimes other ingredients will be added too, like flavourings. 

 Image of Honest Hemp Tincture with foliage background

Different types of CBD extract

It’s also good to know that there are 3 different types of CBD extract that may be used in a CBD oil – or any product for that matter. These are full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum CBD extract contains a large and diverse combination of different cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant – although the primary component is CBD. Terpenes are a special type of plant oil that provides plants with unique scents and flavours. In the case of some plants, especially hemp, these terpenes can also provide powerful therapeutic effects. 

Broad-spectrum CBD extract is essentially identical to full-spectrum, except all of the THC has been removed. This is appealing for those who don’t want any trace of THC in their system. For example, those who need to take drug tests for work/ sports purposes, or simply those who don’t like the nature of this cannabinoid. At Honest Hemp, we use broad-spectrum CBD extract in our CBD oils. 

Both of these extracts are thought to produce something called the entourage effect. Simply put, this means that when we have a diverse combination of cannabinoids and terpenes, they will work together synergistically. This is thought to enhance the overall therapeutic benefits of the CBD product. 

The last of these extracts is CBD isolate. You can probably guess what this is from the name – it’s simply pure CBD, isolated, on its own! All other cannabinoids and terpenes are removed. This means that it won’t produce the entourage effect, however, this type of extract is great for certain types of product, like topicals or e-liquids. 

 Info graphic of different types of CBD Full Spectrum Broad Spectrum and CBD Isolate

How does CBD oil work?

Research suggests that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This is a system inside the body that is responsible for loads of bodily functions and essentially achieving homeostasis. These functions include our mood, sleep patterns, immune system functioning, pain response, inflammation, movement and coordination, and so much more! 

It’s thought that cannabinoids like CBD interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in this system. These receptors are responsible for firing signals around the body that control and trigger responses related to the things listed above (and more). 

 Info graphic of the endocannabinoid system

We already produce cannabinoids naturally within the body, which is how the endocannabinoid system works. However, using CBD products may help the system function more effectively and deal with cannabinoid deficiencies. Cannabinoid deficiencies are thought to potentially cause lots of health problems, which is why using CBD to restore cannabinoid balance could be so powerful. 

So, in conclusion, CBD may provide therapeutic effects in a natural way. Research has suggested it can be beneficial for anxiety, depression, chronic pain, arthritis, epilepsy, and more… But what about diabetes?  

What is diabetes? 

In short, diabetes is an inflammatory condition that affects blood sugar levels. It is caused by problems with insulin production – this is a hormone produced by the pancreas that controls our blood sugar levels. When you develop diabetes, it basically means the body can’t produce sufficient insulin or can’t use insulin properly. This is why some people with diabetes take insulin shots. 

Imbalances in our blood sugar levels can cause lots of unpleasant effects or symptoms. This includes extreme fatigue, weight loss, muscle loss, increased hunger, blurred vision, and slower recovery from wounds. 

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Only 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1. It usually develops when an individual is younger, it is unpreventable, can be life-long, and there is currently no cure. In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, type 1 diabetes can cause mood swings and irritability. 

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react properly to it. This type of diabetes is far more common than type 1. It usually develops in adulthood as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, but it can be reversed if the individual adopts a more healthy lifestyle and makes significant changes. In addition to the symptoms listed previously, type 2 diabetes can cause numbness and tingling in the limbs, and can even result in losing the limbs. 

 Infographic Symptoms Of Diabetes

Can CBD oil help with diabetes?

Since diabetes is an inflammatory condition and CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, the idea that CBD may help seems promising. Research has shown that CBD may help to treat diabetes-related problems such as pain, regulating the appetite, and reducing fatigue. This could help to improve wellbeing and quality of life for individuals living with diabetes.

Furthermore, CBD may be able to help the body produce and use insulin more effectively. The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in regulating how the body responds to insulin – it can essentially increase or decrease our insulin sensitivity. Therefore, using CBD to help balance the endocannabinoid system could help to improve the way the body uses insulin. 

Research concluded that CBD can reduce the concentration of a hormone called resistin in the body. This hormone is responsible for causing insulin resistance – so reducing the amount of this hormone could increase the amount of insulin. However, the research is lacking unfortunately, so we can’t determine whether this is definitely an effective treatment. 

 Info graphic how CBD may help with Diabetes

The effectiveness of this may depend on your individual endocannabinoid system and your cannabinoid tone. If you do suffer from cannabinoid deficiencies that are causing a problem, then using CBD may help. 

GW Pharmaceuticals – a UK based company – created a CBD and THC drug called Sativex which is used to treat patients with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) muscle spasticities. They are currently developing a new CBD-based drug that could aid blood sugar level control in patients with type 2 diabetes. This will only be available on prescription once it has been thoroughly tested and released – in the meantime, you may want to try a strong CBD oil. 

How do I use CBD oil?

Using CBD oil is super easy. You simply drop your dose of oil under the tongue and hold it there for at least 1 minute before swallowing. 

The recommended dose varies depending on the strength of the CBD oil – you should find dosage instructions listed on the bottle or box. You should start by taking the lowest recommended dose and gradually increasing this (if you feel you need to) by about 5mg per week until you reach a dose that gives you the desired effects. Image of Hench Herbivore Using Honest Hemp Tinctures

The Honest Hemp CBD in hemp seed oil comes in 6 different CBD strengths ranging from 5% up to 30%. In addition, we also have 3 CBD in MCT oils – one is an unflavoured MCT, the next is a fresh Peppermint flavour, and the last is a sweet natural Orange flavour. 

There are other CBD products available that you may prefer to use over a CBD oil. The best recommendation if you’re suffering from diabetes is CBD capsules. These are simply CBD oil suspended into a gel capsule. This capsule form makes it much easier to dose the product and take it. The only downside is that CBD edibles tend to have a much lower bioavailability than CBD oils – this basically means they may be less effective or you may need a higher dose. However, we designed the Honest Hemp CBD capsules for maximum bioavailability, unlike most other CBD edibles on the market. Our capsules come in 2 CBD strengths – 10mg or 25mg per capsule. 

CBD gummies are another type of edible, however they will contain sugars and carbohydrates. Therefore, this may not be the best choice for those suffering from diabetes. 

Are there any side effects or dangers?

CBD in itself does not have any dangerous side effects. In fact, the WHO (World Health Organisation) says that CBD is well-tolerated by all individuals and has no risk of dependency or abuse. 

However, if you are currently taking prescription medications, you should talk to your doctor before trying CBD. When you take more than one substance, you risk those substances interacting with one another. This has the potential to cause adverse effects, or inhibit the prescription medications from working properly. 

So no, there are not any dangers to taking CBD unless you are taking other medications. In this case, speak with your doctor and clarify whether or not CBD interferes with your specific medications.