Two types of diabetes exist (type 1 and type 2). People with diabetes have affected blood sugar (glucose) levels compared to healthy individuals.

  • What is Diabetes type 1 & 2?
  • Diabetes & cannabinoids
  • Text references, literature discussion
    & clinical trials

What is Diabetes?

Two types of diabetes exist (type 1 and type 2). People with diabetes have affected blood sugar (glucose) levels compared to healthy individuals. Glucose plays an important role in the body as it provides energy for cells.1


  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Unexplained and unintended weight loss
  • An intense feeling of hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Presence of ketones in the urine
  • Difficulty healing sores
  • Irritability
  • frequent infections


What is insulin and how does insulin work?
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas which is a gland located behind and below the stomach. Insulin is secreted into the bloodstream by the pancreas. The insulin circulates in the bloodstream and allows sugar to enter the cells. Insulin is responsible for reducing the amount of sugar in the bloodstream and as sugar levels decrease, the secretion of insulin from the pancreas decreases.2

What is glucose and how does glucose work?
Glucose is a sugar that plays an important role in providing energy for cells. Major sources of glucose for people are from food and the liver. Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream and insulin plays a role in enabling sugar to enter the cells. Glucose is produced and stored in the liver and when a person has not had food for some time, the liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose in order to maintain normal glucose levels.2

Diabetes type 1
Up to this date, the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known. However, it was found that the immune system mistakenly attacks and annihilates the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, meaning that it is very little or no insulin produced. This leads to a sugar build-up in the bloodstream. A combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors may be involved in the development of type 1 diabetes.2

Diabetes type 2
Similar to type 1 diabetes, sugar levels in the bloodstream become higher. However, in type 2 diabetes, this is due to the cells becoming resistant to insulin. This leads to increased production of insulin in the pancreas, which eventually can lead to the death of the insulin-producing cells. Genetics and environmental factors may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, but there is also a strong connection between type 2 diabetes and obesity.2

  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Endocannabinoids

  • CBD
  • THC

  • CB1
  • CB2
  • GPR55

  • Anandamide
  • 2AG
  • Terpenes
  • Strains
  • Enzymes
  • Metabolites

  • Caryophyllene
  • Eugenol

  • DAGL

The connection between Diabetes
& cannabinoids

Diabetes Insulin Measure Graphic

Preclinical and clinical evidence proposes that the cannabinoids THC and CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, as the endocannabinoid system may play a role in maintaining energy homeostasis/ balance and controlling the immune system.3

Note: If you have any further information relevant to the connection between Diabetes and cannabinoids, or find any of the information inaccurate, outdated or incomplete please contact us here.

Text references, literature discussion
& clinical trials

  • Text references
  • Literature discussion
  • Clinical trials

Diacylglycerol lipases (DAGLs) inhibitors have been suggested to be involved in metabolic disorders due to their effect on CB1 via 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) (Janssen & van der Stelt, 2016).

Anandamide and CB1, CB2 and GPR55 receptors were found to be connected to the pathophysiology of diabetes type 2 (Jenkin et al., 2014; Jourdan et al., 2014; Troy-Fioramonti et al., 2014). This proposes that the endocannabinoid system may play a role in the treatment of diabetes type 2.

Furthermore, CBD and THC were shown to help keep blood-glucose levels within healthy limits and counteract diabetic oxidative stress (Coskun and Bolkent, 2014; Wheal et al., 2014).
In mice, CBD was shown to suppress and delay destructive insulitis and inflammatory Th1-associated cytokine production, leading to a reduced incidence of diabetes (Weiss et al., 2006, 2008). Similar results were found with THC (Li et al., 2001).

Clinical trials

Several clinical trials have demonstrated that cannabinoids may be involved in the treatment of diabetes. Cannabinoids not only contribute to weight loss, but they also help keep blood glucose levels within healthy limits (Hollander, 2007; Hollander et al., 2010; Scheen et al., 2006).

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