Updated: Apr 2, 2020
A review in the March 4, 2020 journal Frontiers of Endocrinology by Polish researchers affiliated with the Medical University of Bialystok considers the existing knowledge and research on cannabidiol’s (CBD) pharmacological properties and impacts on obesity and diabetes. They conclude:
Currently, the non-psychotropic component of Cannabis sativa—CBD is in the center of interest, due to its well-established anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-convulsant, anti-psychotic and potential anti-obesity properties. Many studies indicated that CBD affects both lipid and glucose metabolism through the action on various receptors as well as several metabolites. From the existing data, we can conclude that CBD has the promising potential as a therapeutic agent and might be effective in alleviating the symptoms of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The CDC’s 2017-2018 data indicates the prevalence of obesity was about 42%, costing Americans an estimated $147 billion. Additionally, according tothe CDC’s 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 34.5 million Americans currently have diabetes, 89% of whom are obese. These conditions are major risk factors for multiple other chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
These statistics may underlie the expansion of CBD use by consumers. In a 2019 survey of 1000 American and 1000 Canadian consumers, market research firm AT Kearney found that 80% of respondents believed that cannabis offers significant wellness benefits, with 55% indicating that they would try infused food products and 53% indicating they would use a supplement or vitamin product. Another market research company, Pulsar Platform, reported in 2018 that online searches for “CBD” was the second highest increase that year in wellness related topics.
This review of CBD’s impact on obesity and diabetes comes as the US Food & Drug Administration looks at allowing CBD in dietary supplements, ending the regulatory gray space that CBD products currently exist in:
“We recognize the high level of interest in dietary supplements as a potential pathway for products containing CBD, and we are actively evaluating potential rulemaking to allow CBD in dietary supplements.”
Furthermore, such action would ensure consumer safety by bringing into play regulatory standards like cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Standards) that are designed to assure quality and safety in human consumables.