Study: Marijuana Use Associated With Lower Diabetes Risk

CANADA: The past use of cannabis is significantly associated with lower odds of diabetes in adults, according to data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

Investigators with the University of Toronto assessed the association between cannabis use and diabetes in a nationally representative sample, while accounting for a range of potential confounders – including lifestyle behaviors, socio-demographics, and mental health disorders.

Compared to non-users, subjects with a history of cannabis use possessed an approximately 20 percent decreased likelihood of diabetes. Those subjects with past-year marijuana use possessed an approximately 50 percent decreased risk.

“In sum, a decreased likelihood of diabetes for both lifetime and 12-month cannabis users versus non-users was found after accounting for a range of potential confounders, including mental health disorders,” authors concluded.

Although authors cautioned that “additional epidemiological studies … are needed before protective effects of cannabis can be suggested,” the study is one of several population studies identifying a positive association between lifetime cannabis consumption and a reduced risk for diabetes.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “The relationship between cannabis use and diabetes: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Review. Additional information on the association between cannabis and diabetes is available online from NORML.


Clinical Trial: THCV Lowers Blood Sugar Levels In Type 2 Diabetics

UNITED KINGDOM: The administration of THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is positively associated with glycemic control in type 2 diabetics, according to the randomized, placebo-controlled data published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Investigators from the University of Nottingham, School of Medicine assessed the twice daily administration of various cannabinoids (CBD or THCV or CBD and THCV in combination) versus placebo over a period of 13 weeks in 62 non-insulin dependent subjects with type 2 diabetes.

Authors reported that the administration of THCV alone “significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose” levels and improved pancreatic cell function. By contrast, other treatment therapies failed to show detectable metabolic effects.

Investigators concluded, “THCV could represent a new therapeutic agent in glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes.”

Population-based observational studies have previously reported that cannabis consumers typically possess lower BMI and other favorable indices related to diabetic control compared to those without a history of marijuana use.

Study From Arctic Canada Finds Cannabis Users Less Obese And Less At Risk For Diabetes

CANADA:  Forget the Funyuns and drop the Doritos. New research out of Arctic Canada suggests that marijuana users, for some yet-to-be-understood reason, are slimmer and less at risk for diabetes than non-users.

A study by Quebec researchers found that among Inuit residents of Nunavik, the province’s northernmost region, use of cannabis was correlated with lower body-mass-index measurements, lower body-fat percentages and less insulin resistance.

Body-mass index, or BMI, and body-fat percentages are used to determine obesity or overweight conditions; insulin resistance, a condition in which the body fails to respond properly to the hormone insulin, is a precursor of Type 2 diabetes and is associated with other poor health conditions.

The study was published in the journal Obesity; results were presented last month at a circumpolar health conference in Finland. The study analyzed health data for 786 adults collected in the Nunavik Inuit Health Survey of 2004, making it one of the rare examinations of the subject in a North American aboriginal population. It included statistical controls for age, gender and other factors. In all, 57.4 percent of the survey subjects identified themselves as cannabis users. Those saying they use cannabis had an average BMI of 26.8, compared to an index of 28.6 for non-users; cannabis users had an average 25 percent body-fat reading, compared to an average 28 percent for non-users, according to the study.