But does it work for treating diabetes? Some healthcare professionals say CBD may have a role to play, but it's important to understand that the only health condition CBD has proved effective for is epilepsy in kids. The jury is unfortunately still out, owing to the lack of comprehensive research on CBD and type 2 diabetes.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first CBD medication in 2018, for treating childhood epilepsy. Currently, there is no other FDA-approved CBD medication for diabetes or any other condition, according to the FDA. In December 2018, the FDA said it was unlawful under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to sell food or dietary supplements containing CBD. In April 2019, the FDA stated that it would be taking new steps to evaluate cannabis products, and it held a public hearing about cannabis products in May 2019.
How People With Type 2 Diabetes Are Using CBD
Yet, as evidenced by the July 2020 study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, people with type 2 diabetes aren’t waiting for further study to hop on the trend. Brady says her patients have been open about using CBD, particularly the younger patients. She says one of her older patients was initially uncomfortable about buying CBD in the same shop that sold marijuana but eventually gave in. Brady adds that many people associate CBD with smoking marijuana, despite their distinctly different effects on the body.
Ultimately, though, Brady says that her patients reported that CBD reduced their nerve pain and improved their blood sugar. She adds that those people who used CBD oils for nerve pain also reported sleeping better.
You’ve probably also heard that CBD can help lessen stress, anxiety, and pain. “When people are in pain, they have a stress response, which causes an increase in cortisol and an increase in blood sugar,” says Veronica J. Brady, PhD, CDCES, a registered nurse and an assistant professor at the Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas in Houston. Relieving pain can help alleviate the stress response and improve blood sugar levels, as well as aid sleep, she says.
CBD oil can be used in a number of ways. Most often, instructions will recommend putting a few drops under the tongue 2-3 times a day. Alternatively, some CBD oils can be mixed into different foods or drinks, taken from a pipette or used as a thick paste to be massaged into the skin.
Additionally, CBD may interact with existing medication. It is therefore important to discuss using CBD oil with your doctor beforehand, to help ensure it is used safely and any harmful effects are avoided.
The benefits of CBD for treating diabetes-related health problems may include reduced inflammation and improved blood glucose control.
How to use CBD oil
By activating receptors such as adenosine, serotonin and vanilloid, CBD can affect your body temperature, inflammation and perception of pain.
The human body has two receptors for cannabinoids: CB1 and CB2. Most CB1 receptors are found in the brain, which deal with coordination, movement and appetite. CB2 receptors are more commonly found in the immune system and affect pain and inflammation.
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant. It is then diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed. The concentration and uses of CBD oils can vary.
Studies have also shown that CBD oil has benefits for people with epilepsy, mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, and helping people quit smoking. 
The American Journal of Pathology: “The endocannabinoid system and plant-derived cannabinoids in diabetes and diabetic complications.”
Autoimmunity: “Cannabidiol lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice.”
It can also interact with other medications like blood thinners. So it’s important to talk with your doctor before trying CBD.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry: “Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.”
Journal of Experimental Medicine: “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors.”
The effects of CBD and THC (the chemical in cannabis that causes a high) are different. In one study, CBD didn’t improve blood sugar and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes, but a variation of THC did. CBD did lower insulin resistance and boost gut hormone levels.
Diabetes Care: “Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabivarin on glycemic and lipid parameters in patients with Type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study.”