CBD Insights: Lessons From Research
I bet you’ve heard audacious claims about CBD being the closest thing to a silver bullet in the health supplement space. Whilst I don’t believe in silver bullets, I think CBD (and cannabinoids) come pretty close, and I’ll tell you why.
My review of the evidence in T2D revealed that cannabinoids were able push a lot of buttons that attenuated diabetes progression.
!Disclaimer! Much research is still based in mechanistic sciences and may not necessarily translate into clinical outcomes. I’m waiting in anticipation for more clinical trials until something more concrete emerges.
You’d usually have a patient take a statin to reduce their blood lipids, Metformin to restore insulin sensitivity and Sulfonylureas to support insulin secretion from beta-cells. This is the essence of polyphamacy, one drug for one mechanism.
What astounded me was that certain cannabinoids were able to work on these mechanisms as well. Not only did cannabinoids work on the same mechanisms as some of the traditionally prescribed drugs, they also attenuated other mechanisms of pathophysiology in T2D. In addition to supporting lipid and glucose metabolism, they appeared to also work to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
The critical difference here is that cannabinoids co-exist in full/broad spectrum extracts from Cannabis, potentially reducing the need to take a polyphamacy approach. So there’s more to Cannabis than just CBD.
I’m not slating Polyphamacy; it can be useful, but its often complicated by side effects, drug interactions, increased expenses (for the NHS) and poorer adherence to interventions.
So when I discovered that the constituents of one plant, Cannabis, could potentially attenuate many aspects of diabetes progression, naturally I was intrigued.
What I realised was that specially bred strains of cannabis, fostering various cannabinoids could work on diabetes as a symphony rather than just a soloist. This may all sound too good to be true, but when you actually look at the mechanisms it all makes sense.
The mechanisms of lipid and glucose metabolism, inflammation and oxidative stress were all modulated by the activity at cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are the locks that form the signalling system of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
If you’ve read the practitioners guide to CBD, then you’ll remember that we talked about the ECS being the master regulator of homeostasis in the body. So, it’s no surprise that when cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors, many aspects of human physiology are affected in diabetes; lipid and glucose (metabolic) homeostasis, mitochondrial function and oxidative stress, inflammation and immune function.
Cannabinoids all work on cannabinoid receptors in different ways. They can either activate, block or modify the receptors downstream signalling pathways. Thats why its important to use the whole plant, because it provides a complex means of bringing balance to the ECS.
The way whole plant extracts work on the ECS is not exclusive to diabetes, but is relevant to many diseases and imbalances. As you know many conditions result from multiple imbalances, and something that can potentially act to correct these imbalances would be quite significant.
My research into the evidence has piqued an interest as to which other diseases could be similarly affected by cannabinoids, and I look forward to sharing my insights with you going forward.