Marijuana Decreases Diabetes Risk, More Studies Indicate

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Marijuana Users Have Better Blood Sugar Control

Just a few days after news broke that marijuana appears to treat symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, now it appears weed smokers may enjoy a decreased risk of diabetes, according to the latestresearch showing “current marijuana use was associated with 16% lower fasting insulin levels” and 17 percent lower levels of insulin resistance. High insulin and insulin resistance can lead to type II diabetes.

The study by Elizabeth A. Penner, Hannah Buettner, Murray A. Mittleman – from University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, respectively – also found “significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences”. Obesity is a predictor of diabetes.

Marijuana stimulates appetite while lowering insulin levels and insulin resistance — pretty charming. (Pictured: Kush Nuts)


Over at The Atlantic, writer Lindsay Abramscollects the data showing that even though tokers eat an extra 600 calories a day on average, they have a reduced prevalence of obesity, and lower incidence of diabetes.

The implications are profound, considering each American carries around the equivalent of a spare car tire – leading to trillions of dollars in medical costs over the coming decades. The United States government considers marijuana a dangerous drug with no medical use. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag aims to close every medical cannabis dispensary in the Bay Area, claiming all are illegal regardless of the will of California’s voters.

In the latest report, Penner, Buettner and Mittleman looked at 4657 adult men and women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005 to 2010. “Marijuana use was assessed by self-report in a private room. Fasting insulin and glucose were measured via blood samples after a 9-hour fast, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated to evaluate insulin resistance.”

“579 were current marijuana users and 1975 were past users. In multivariable adjusted models, current marijuana use was associated with 16% lower fasting insulin levels (95% confidence interval [CI], −26, −6) and 17% lower HOMA-IR (95% CI, −27, −6). We found significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences.”

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