Using cannabis linked to lower diabetes risk

Marijuana for diabetes prevention?

The concept might seem strange, but a new study suggests that cannabis use is actually linked to a lower risk of developing the disease.

The study

At the University of California, Los Angeles, researchers studied 10,896 adults between the ages of 20 and 59. Four groups were tested: heavy marijuana users, which meant they smoked more than five times per month; light users, which meant they smoked one to four times per month; past users, which included people who had experimented with the drug at least once; and non-marijuana users, which meant they had never used.

The hypothesis was that past and current marijuana users would have a lower prevalence of diabetes because cannabis has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory (an agent that diminishes immune response) properties.

The findings

Their hypothesis was right: past and present marijuana users had lower rates of adult-onset diabetes. Even more interesting was that the participants who used the most marijuana had the lowest glucose levels.

Researchers did account for "social variables," such as ethnicity, and they also found that cannabis users tended to be more physically active than non-users.

So should diabetes patients rush off to get a medical marijuana card? Not just yet.

“Prospective studies in rodents and humans are needed to determine a potential causal relationship between cannabinoid receptor activation and [diabetes],” the study authors wrote. “Until those studies are performed, we do not advocate the use of marijuana in patients at risk for [diabetes].”

Source: ENews Park Forest

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