Research suggests cannabis lowers insulin levels in adults at risk of type 2 diabetes

Science & Medical

New research suggests cannabis significantly lowers fasting insulin levels in obese adults at risk of type 2 diabetes.

“Cannabinoid substances have previously been linked with improved blood glucose control as well as a variety of other health benefits, and this new study indicates its potential for people with insulin resistance, which can precede type 2 diabetes,” reports.

“The US study found that smoking cannabis four times a month was associated with lower fasting insulin levels in obese adults. Researchers also discovered that adults who had previously been frequent cannabis users had lower levels of fasting insulin.

“Fasting insulin levels are used as a way of assessing insulin sensitivity, and a high fasting insulin level can indicate insulin resistance.”

Some 129,509 people with with type 2 diabetes aged between 18 and 59 participated in the study. Of those, 32.7% were classed as overweight and 32.6% were obese.

Researchers found that the median fasting insulin was higher in adults who never use cannabis compared with those who used the drug. The use of cannabis did not impact insulin levels among those who were not obese or overweight, except in adults who previously used the drug.

Adults who previously used cannabis less than four times a month, but who had stopped between one and 10 years ago, had 37% lower fasting insulin than those who never used cannabis.