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Diabetes & CBD Oil: Benefits & Research for Type 1 & Type 2

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is gaining ground as an effective treatment for a number of common ailments, and diabetes is no exception. Diabetes has become an increasingly prevalent condition amongst Americans, affecting an estimated 30 million people who must deal with often painful symptoms of this incurable disease on a daily basis.

Luckily, CBD oil is showing promise as a way to effectively manage a number of diabetes-related issues and symptoms.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Diabetes

It is estimated that 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes every year, and many more are considered to be “prediabetic.” People who are prediabetic, or have “prediabetes,” don’t experience the same symptoms of diabetes, but are at a much higher risk of contracting full-on diabetes if they don’t make drastic lifestyle changes.

While adjusting one’s diet and exercising more frequently can be very effective at staving off prediabetes and controlling type 2 diabetes, making these lifestyle changes can be challenging at first. Many people don’t have the time or energy to prepare healthy meals on a daily basis, and exercise can be difficult for those who may have underlying issues with weight or mobility. Because of this, many doctors prescribe medications to control the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, but they aren’t without side effects.

Because CBD oil is known to increase motivation and reduce aches and pains, it could make it easier to undertake the lifestyle changes necessary to combating diabetes. If you’re currently taking medication for type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and are curious about adding CBD oil to your health regimen, use this table as a starting point of reference. But, before taking any action, it’s crucial to speak with your doctor about the potential risks of combining CBD with your diabetes medication.

Common Diabetes Medication Medical Uses Potential Side Effects Potential Side Effects Potential Benefits of Using CBD Oil
Metformin Used to lower blood sugar in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes Nausea; heartburn; headache; anemia; hypoglycemia; lactic acidosis There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Metformin but that does not mean they do not exist;  always consult your doctor before use CBD oil has been shown to reduce nausea and pain.
Insulin Helps the body break down glucose; Type 1 diabetics do not produce their own insulin and some type 2 diabetics do not use the insulin they produce properly; This requires them to take it externally Hypoglycemia; rash; headache; weight gain; anxiety; and depression There are no known interactions between CBD oil and insulin but that does not mean they do not exist; Always consult your doctor before use CBD oil has been shown to reduce pain and help manage anxiety and depression.
Sulfonylureas (DiaBeta; Glynase; Glucotrol; Amaryl) Used to help type 2 diabetics secrete more insulin Hunger; weight gain; signs of low blood sugar; sweating; dizziness; confusion; upset stomach; dark colored urine There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Sulfonylureas but that does not mean they do not exist;Always consult your doctor before use CBD oil has been shown to reduce nausea.
Meglitinides (Prandin; Starlix) Works like sulfonylureas to help the pancreas secrete more insulin in type 2 diabetes Low blood sugar; weight gain; joint pain There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Meglitinides but that does not mean they do not exist; Always consult your doctor before use CBD oil has been shown to reduce joint pain.
DPP-4 inhibitors (Januvia; Onglyza; Tradjenta) DPP-4 inhibitors (Januvia; Onglyza; Tradjenta) Joint pain; increased risk of pancreatitis There are no known interactions between CBD oil and DPP-4 inhibitors but that does not mean they do not exist; Always consult your doctor before use CBD oil has been shown to reduce joint pain.
GLP-1 receptor agonists (Bydureon; Byetta; Victoza; Ozempic) Slows digestion to promote weight loss and lower blood sugar levels Nausea; increased risk of pancreatitis There are no known interactions between CBD oil and GLP-1 receptor agonists but that does not mean they do not exist; Always consult your doctor before use CBD oil has been shown to reduce nausea.
SGLT2 inhibitors (Invokana; Farxiga; Jardiance) Prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar into the blood so it can be excreted in the urine Vaginal yeast infections; urinary tract infections; low blood pressure; higher risk of diabetic ketoacidosis; increased risk of lower limb amputation There are no known interactions between CBD oil and SGLT2 inhibitors but CBD has been shown to lower blood pressure; Always consult your doctor before use To avoid a dangerous drop in blood pressure – it’s likely best not to combine CBD oil and SGLT2 inhibitors.

Effectiveness of Taking CBD Oil for Diabetes

Two of the issues CBD oil can help address in diabetic patients is insulin resistance and diabetic neuropathy.

CBD Oil for Insulin Resistance

One of the most common problems faced by individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. It occurs when the body rejects insulin, a substance needed to keep blood sugar levels stable. Insulin resistance causes blood glucose levels to increase, which damages nerves, blood vessels, and vital organs.

The exact way in which CBD oil combats insulin resistance is unknown, but studies have shown a correlation between insulin resistance and inflammation. Because CBD is known to regulate inflammation through its impact on both the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and immune system, it may be able to improve the health of diabetes sufferers.

CBD oil also increases the level of the neurotransmitter adenosine in the brain. This impacts the A1 and A2 adenosine receptors, which play a significant role in reducing inflammation. By increasing the amount of adenosine available, CBD increases signaling through the A1 and A2 receptors, which researchers believe is linked to its anti-inflammatory effects.

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Could CBD’s multiple mechanisms for reducing inflammation be the key to combating insulin resistance? Only time and additional research will tell.

CBD Oil for Diabetic Neuropathy

CBD oil is believed to reduce the neuropathic (nerve) pain experienced by diabetes sufferers by working both directly and indirectly on cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. CBD acts on the CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which are found throughout the central nervous system. These receptors are thought to regulate pain and inflammation, and studies have found that nearly all human diseases involve some sort of dysfunction at the CB2 receptors.

A study conducted at the University of Liverpool involved a trial with 64 patients with multiple sclerosis, a condition which, like diabetes, results in significant neuropathic pain. The group was split into two, with one half receiving a placebo and the other receiving a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):CBD oromucosal spray. In just four weeks, the test group showed reductions in pain and sleep disturbance when compared to the control group.

Studies have also found that cannabinoids such as CBD can increase the function of inhibitory receptors operating in the central nervous system. Glycine receptors, for example, play a major role in how the body perceives pain. Research on these receptors has found that glycinergic cannabinoids like CBD are “ideal therapeutic agents in the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.”

A further study by the University of California looked at how vaporized cannabis could be used for the treatment of neuropathic pain. The research found that cannabis ranked similarly for its analgesic properties to two of the most commonly prescribed prescription pain medications.

With promising results seen in a number of different studies on using CBD for neuropathic pain, and with the potential benefits outweighing the reported side effects, CBD oil may be a powerful tool for you to try if you’re experiencing diabetes-associated nerve pain.

How to Use CBD Oil for Diabetes

Before you consider using CBD oil to treat your diabetes symptoms, it is best to speak with your doctor. While typically safe, CBD can interact with some pharmaceutical medications, including certain antibiotics and antidepressants. By talking to your doctor, you can avoid unpleasant medication interactions and work out a safe plan for your treatment.

CBD oil comes in a wide range of delivery formats. For many people, CBD oil capsules and inhalants, like CBD vape oils and CBD flower, make the most sense as they tend to be the most familiar and comfortable formats.

CBD oil capsules can be worked into a daily supplement routine and will work behind the scenes to help create optimal balances in the body. Because the capsules need to be broken down by the digestive system, the CBD can take up to an hour to be processed through the liver and absorbed into the bloodstream, meaning they’re not ideal for relief of sudden pain. However, the effects will typically last 4-6 hours, making capsules well-suited for keeping chronic pain or inflammation at bay throughout the day.

CBD vapes and CBD flower provide the fastest-acting relief. The CBD is absorbed instantly by the lungs, delivering full benefits in just a few minutes. Unfortunately, the effects of CBD vapes and flower can be short-lived, typically lasting 30 minutes to an hour.

For options that will provide long lasting benefits and relatively quick relief, CBD oil tinctures or drops can be useful. Drops or tinctures can be easily worked into a daily routine, and are discreet enough for on-the-spot relief. CBD tinctures and drops can go to work within a half hour, as the CBD bypasses the digestive system and is absorbed through the thin skin under the tongue. The effects usually last about 2-4 hours.

Finally, you may also want to consider using a CBD oil topical (e.g. CBD lotion, salve, or gel). CBD topicals can be slow to work, taking an hour or so to be absorbed by the skin, but they provide long-lasting, targeted relief. Typically, you’ll only need to apply a CBD topical once per day. If you have frequent diabetic neuropathy, this targeted solution can be a blessing.

At the end of the day, a combination of the above CBD products may be the best course of action for treating the symptoms of diabetes. For example, you could take a CBD capsule with your morning coffee and apply a CBD lotion to specific problem areas; and take your CBD vape and/or CBD oil drops on the go for quick relief from sudden nerve pain while you’re at work or out and about.

But, before you consider any of these options, learn the laws in your state. Some CBD oil products may contain THC, and while most CBD oil products will contain 0.3% or less THC (the federal limit), you may find a full-spectrum product that contains more. In addition, there are certain states that don’t allow residents to purchase products with any amount of THC, meaning you can only legally purchase CBD isolate or broad-spectrum products.

CBD Oil Dosage for Diabetes

Because no two people are the same, it is impossible to create a universal dosage of CBD oil for diabetes. It is best to begin by following the recommended dosage in the information sheet included with your CBD oil product.

At CBD Oil Review we have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with the following:

The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25 mg of CBD, taken twice daily.

If you are not getting results from this amount, we recommend increasing the serving size by 25 mg every 3-4 weeks until you obtain relief.

For more information on dosages and some useful tips for getting it right, check out our guide here. You can also get more personalized dosage recommendations from a naturopathic doctor who specializes in using CBD oil to treat a variety of medical conditions.

The Best CBD Oils for Diabetes

The best CBD oil for diabetes will be one that suits your personal needs and is produced by a trusted brand. Because the CBD oil industry is unregulated at the moment, you need to be diligent about doing your research to ensure you’re only buying from companies with good intentions and high-quality products. Here’s what to look for:

  • Transparency. A reputable brand will test its CBD extracts and post the Certificates of Analysis online for you to read. Reading the Certificates of Analysis will allow you to verify the listed CBD and THC content, while also ensuring your product does not contain any unexpected and harmful additives or chemicals.
  • Choose organic. Look for brands that source their CBD oil products from certified organic hemp, which guarantees the finished product will be free from pesticides and herbicides.
  • Read ingredients. Always read the ingredients list; CBD oil products should not contain much more than CBD and a carrier liquid like hemp seed oil or MCT (coconut) oil. Some products will contain other cannabinoids and terpenes from the whole hemp plant and may be flavored with natural agents like cinnamon or orange oil. These natural additions are perfectly fine and may actually provide more amplified benefits. Avoid products that contain unnecessary additives, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients.

Research into the potential uses of CBD oil for conditions like diabetes is ongoing and in the months and years ahead, we’re likely to better understand exactly how CBD can help. But until then, if you are interested in trying CBD oil to manage your diabetes symptoms, be sure to do your research and talk to your doctor before proceeding.

+ 12 sources


  1. (2020) National Diabetes Statistics Report - Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf
  2. Statistics About Diabetes - American Diabetes Association® https://www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/statistics-about-diabetes
  3. Natalie E. Zlebnik et al. (2016) Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation? - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818147/
  4. Gisela Wilcox Insulin and Insulin Resistance - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1204764/
  5. Carl de Luca et al. (2007) Inflammation and Insulin Resistance - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2246086/
  6. Huaizhu Wu et al. (2020) Metabolic Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Obesity - American Heart Association, Inc. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.315896
  7. Clementino Ibeas Bih et al. (2015) Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Neurological Disorders - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604182/
  8. AlisonRibeiro et al. (2012) Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: Role for the adenosine A2A receptor - Elsevier B.V. http://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299912000052#bb0075
  9. Sreemanti Basu et al. (2011) Unraveling the Complexities of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2) Immune Regulation in Health and Disease - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4624216/
  10. David J Rog et al. Randomized, controlled trial of cannabis-based medicine in central pain in multiple sclerosis - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16186518/
  11. Wei Xiong et al. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371734/
  12. Barth Wilsey et al. (2016) An Exploratory Human Laboratory Experiment Evaluating Vaporized Cannabis in the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain from Spinal Cord Injury and Disease - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5007175/

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