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Copyright 2013 Natural Standard (
July 2007

Cannabis for Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes

A study suggests that cannabis may prevent the incidence of diabetes and may also be a treatment for the condition.

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants. Industrial hemp products are made from Cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber and minimal levels of THC, a psychoactive molecule that produces the "high" associated with marijuana.

The Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cancer Immunotherapy at the Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel conducted a study to show that administration of CBD to 11-14 week old female NOD mice, which were either in a latent diabetes stage or with initial symptoms of diabetes, ameliorates the manifestations of the disease.

The researchers have previously reported that cannabidiol (CBD) lowers the incidence of diabetes in young non-obese diabetes-prone (NOD) female mice.

In the study, diabetes was diagnosed in only 32 percent of the mice in the CBD-treated group, compared to 86 percent and 100 percent in the emulsifier-treated and untreated groups, respectively.

In addition, the level of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-12 produced by splenocytes was significantly reduced, whereas the level of the anti-inflammatory IL-10 was significantly elevated following CBD-treatment.

Histological examination of the pancreata of CBD-treated mice revealed more intact islets than in the controls.

The study concluded that the data strengthen the previous assumption that CBD, known to be safe in man, can possibly be used as a therapeutic agent for treatment of type 1 diabetes.


  1. Natural Standard Research Collaboration: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Copyright 2007.
  2. Weiss L, Zeira M, Reich S, et al. Cannabidiol arrests onset of autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice. Neuropharmacology. 2007 Jul 17. View Abstract.
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