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Cannabidiol and Magnesium Help Treats Diabetes

Published on August 22, 2011


There is nothing more needed in medicine today than a way of treating diabetes and metabolic syndrome because these syndromes lead directly to cancer, heart disease and stroke. I wrote New Paradigms in Diabetic Care to address what doctors and medical officials are loath to face—the real causes of diabetes. Diabetes is not the hopeless disease that most doctors would have us believe. There are safe treatments and lifestyle changes that will prevent diabetes from destroying your life.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta declares that 33% of the babies born this year will be diabetic by the year 2050. – Dr. Alan Cantwell

When we find out that diabetes and metabolic syndrome are caused by toxic insults from heavy metals, radiation exposure and chemicals running smack into major nutritional deficiencies, we begin to stumble upon treatment pathways that actually work. Diabetes is actually an extremely serious warning to civilization; it is an announcement that the rising tide of radiation, mercury, other deadly chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs are poisoning humanity. The cost of not treating diabetes in a truly effective way is steep. Diabetes can contribute to, among other things, eye disorders and blindness, kidney failure, amputation, nerve damage, heart disease and stroke.  Diabetes makes pregnancy more difficult and can cause birth defects.

Populations are being simultaneously poisoned and starved by the food they eat.

Dangerous or Safe Approaches to Diabetes

What we are introducing in this chapter is a pair of medicinals that will positively impact diabetic treatment. Magnesium chloride and cannabinoid medicine together shame contemporary medicine’s shockingly dangerous approach, which cures no one. “Conventional drug treatment for diabetes does not have a good track record. Prescription drugs have various side effects and are associated with severe health complications. Several researchers have revealed that long-term use of some common diabetes drugs can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. An analysis of five-year data collected from an ongoing 10-year study, conducted by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, showed a link between the common anti-diabetes drug Actos and increased risk of bladder cancer”, writes Dr. Marc Ott.

80% of patients use 2 or more diabetes drugs every day.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires oral diabetes medicines to carry a warning regarding increased risk of heart attack. Medications for type-2 diabetes actually do more harm than good. In February 2008, researchers heading a large, government-funded trial made a sobering announcement. The Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) study, designed to evaluate the effectiveness of various medication regimens, found that the most intensive drug regimens aimed at driving blood sugar way down resulted in a much higher cardiovascular death rate. Intensive blood-sugar-lowering treatment proved to be so harmful that the researchers halted the study 18 months early to prevent this aggressive drug use from killing even more people.[1]

Avandia raises the risk of heart attacks and possibly deaths. Yet more than 6 million people worldwide have taken the drug to control blood sugar since it came on the market 12 years ago.

Medical science has known about the fatal complications of diabetes drugs since 1969 when results of a similar study called the University Group Diabetes Program were made public. That study also had to be stopped two years early because participants who were taking the drugs had a 250-300 percent higher death rate than those taking the placebo.[2]

Dr Julian Whitaker says that, “The majority of patients with type-2 diabetes who come to the Whitaker Wellness Institute are taking at least one oral medication. We stop these drugs on sight. If they’re on insulin and they’re overweight, we stop the insulin as well. Giving insulin to heavy type-2 diabetics is a recipe for further weight gain and does more harm than good. As you might imagine, this is a new concept. Patients are conditioned to trust their doctors, who have convinced them of the absolute necessity of taking drugs to lower blood sugar. However, once they hear the truth about diabetes drugs, most of our patients opt to stop their medications and adopt a much healthier treatment approach targeted at lowering blood sugar and reducing risk of heart disease and other complications.”

Most pain and anti-inflammatory medications are not safe; even the overthe-counter pain medications hold unforeseen dangers. Despite more than a decade’s worth of research showing that taking too much acetaminophen can ruin the liver, the number of severe, unintentional poisonings from the drug is on the rise, a 2005 study reports.[3] The drug, acetaminophen, is best known under the brand name Tylenol. Compounds containing Tylenol include Excedrin, Midol Teen Formula, Theraflu, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine, NyQuil Cold and Flu and Paracetamol as well as other over-the-counter drugs and many prescription narcotics, like Vicodin and Percocet.

Inflammation, Magnesium and Diabetes

Inflammation plays a key role in a set of disorders that include type-2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease—collectively called the metabolic syndrome (or Syndrome X). Dr. Steve Shoelson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School has focused squarely on inflammation. Epidemiologists have found that patients with type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease have slightly elevated levels of inflammatory markers in their bloodstream.

Magnesium deficiency is pro-inflammatory. Magnesium deficiency induces insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia, endothelial activation and prothrombic changes in combination with the upregulation of markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.[4] Though it is magnesium that modulates cellular events involved in inflammation, we can find another powerful and exceptionally safe medicine that can head inflammation off at the pass.   When we understand the process of inflammation, and treat it with magnesium chloride, and other of my protocol items (Cannabinoids[5]) we can put an end to a large amount of suffering.

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Inflammatory reactions in the body are a valuable predictor of impending heart attack. Magnesium deficiency causes and underpins chronic inflammatory buildups. Magnesium deficiencies feed the fires of inflammation and pain. Increases in extracellular magnesium concentration cause a decrease in the inflammatory response. Magnesium literally puts the chill on inflammation especially when used transdermally.

Dr. Andrzej Mazur [6] said, “Magnesium deficiency induces a systemic stress response by activation of neuro endocrinological pathways. Magnesium deficiency contributes to an exaggerated response to immune stress and oxidative stress is the consequence of the inflammatory response.” Magnesium improves and helps correct insulin sensitivity, which is the fundamental defect that characterizes pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and even full blown diabetes and heart disease. An intracellular enzyme called tyrosine kinase requires magnesium to allow insulin to exert its blood-sugar-lowering effects. In several studies, daily oral magnesium supplementation substantially improved insulin sensitivity by 10% and reduced blood sugar by 37%.[7],[8]

Let’s Not Forget the Sun. Researchers from Tuffs and Harvard are telling us that daily supplements of vitamin D boosts the function of the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.[9]

Medical Marijuana and Diabetes

Dr. Gregory T. Carter, Clinical Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine says, “Marijuana is a complex substance containing over 60 different forms of cannabinoids, the active ingredients. Cannabinoids are now known to have the capacity for neuromodulation via direct, receptor-based mechanisms at numerous levels within the nervous system. These have therapeutic properties that may be applicable to the treatment of neurological disorders including anti-oxidative, neuroprotective, analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions, immunomodulation, modulation of glial cells and tumor growth regulation.[10] Intracellular changes and altered signaling of the neurons seems to be the principle effects of the cannabinoids in marijuana.


Cannabinoids reduced inflammation in the brain and prevented cognitive decline. Cannabinoids have also been shown to alleviate neuropathic pain.[11]

Marijuana has strong anti-inflammatory effects. “This is why I believe that people who used marijuana a few decades ago are much less likely to develop any disease, such as Alzheimer’s, that relies upon the slow development of brain inflammation,” said Dr. Gary Wenk. The recent discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid system with specific receptors and ligands (compounds that activate receptors and trigger their characteristic responses) has increased our understanding of the actions of marijuana. Excessive inflammatory responses can emerge as a potential danger for organisms’ health. Physiological balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory processes constitutes an important feature of responses against harmful events.

There is mounting evidence pointing to dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system having an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity.[12] Insulin-induced glucose uptake increases with increasing THC concentration.

Professor Mike Cawthorne and the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline believe that plant-based medicines might be the way to approach the treatment of diabetes. The particular plant they are studying is marijuana. Cannabis is an excellent anti-inflammatory that lacks the side effects of steroids, the NSAIDS, and the COX-2 inhibitors like Vioxx. This anti-inflammatory action may help quell the arterial inflammation common in diabetes.

Cannabidiol (CBD)[13] arrested the onset of autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice in a 2007 study. Researchers at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem [14] in 2006 reported that injections of 5 mg per day of CBD (10-20 injections) significantly reduced the prevalence of diabetes in mice from an incidence of 86 percent in non-treated controls to an incidence of only 30 percent. In a separate experiment, investigators reported that control mice all developed diabetes at a median of 17 weeks (range 15-20 weeks) while a majority (60 percent) of CBD-treated mice remained diabetes-free at 26 weeks. Investigators also reported that CBD significantly lowered plasma levels of the pro-inflammatory cykotines (proteins), INF-gamma and TNF-alpha, and significantly reduced the severity of insulitis compared to non-treated controls.

Cannabidiol – CBD – CBD also occurs in almost all strains and is the second most interesting cannabinoid in regards to medical cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD lacks noticeable psychoactive effects. Nevertheless, CBD has valuable medical properties. CBD appears to work synergistically with THC, bolstering its medical effects while moderating its psycho-activity. It is also thought to improve wakefulness and to enhance THC’s activity against pain. Taken by itself CBD has anti-inflammatory, antianxiety, anti-epileptic, sedative and neuro-protective actions. It is also a potent anti-oxidant, protecting against chemical damage due to oxidation. Studies have suggested that CBD could protect against the development of diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, brain and nerve damage due to stroke, alcoholism, nausea, inflammatory bowel disease and Huntington’s disease.

Researchers concluded that confirmation of the observed immunomodulatory effects of CBD “may lead to the clinical application of this agent in the prevention of type-1 diabetes” and possibly other autoimmune diseases. They note that many patients diagnosed with type-1 diabetes have sufficient residual cells that produce insulin at the time of diagnosis, and may be candidates for immunomodulation therapy.

Bioactive cannabinoids have an anti-inflammatory effect. Marijuana can also be used to make topical creams to relieve neuropathic pain and tingling in hands and feet. Cannabis helps still diabetic “restless leg syndrome” (RLS), so the patient can sleep better: “It is recommended that patients use a vaporizer or smoke cannabis to aid in falling asleep.”

In studies THC essentially countered the effects of insulin resistance. These results support previous findings that smoking cannabis can reduce blood glucose in diabetics (Gallant, Odei-Addo, Frost, & Levendal, 2009).

Cannabidiol protects retinal neurons by preserving glutamine synthetase activity in diabetes. In current research on how to modulate cannabinoid receptors in the human body, Dr. Gregory I. Liou, a molecular biologist at the Medical College of Georgia, has found that cannabidiol (a cannabis compound) could prevent the overabundance of leaky eye blood vessels associated with diabetic retinopathy. As the leading cause of blindness in the United States, diabetic retinopathy is a major health concern for more than 16 million American adults.

Dr. Liou’s work, published in the January issue of the American Journal of Pathology indicates that cannabidiol can interrupt the destructive points of action in diabetic animals. “What we believe cannabidiol does is go in here as an antioxidant to neutralize the toxic superoxides. Number two, it inhibits the self-destructive system and allows the self-produced endogenous cannabinoids to stay there longer by inhibiting the enzyme that destroys them.” Dr. Liou believes that cannabinoids act as a type of negotiator, trying to keep peace, harmony and balance between a host of potentially volatile and dangerous factions of cells. “Cannabinoids are trying to ease the situation on both sides.”

Cannabis is neuroprotective.[15] It is believed that much of neuropathy comes from the inflammation of nerves caused by glycoproteins in the blood that deposit in peripheral tissues and trigger an immune response. Cannabis helps protect the nerve covering (myelin sheath) from inflammatory attack. Cannabis also lessens the pain of neuropathy by activating receptors in the body and brain. Some components of cannabis (perhaps cannibidiol) act as anti-spasmodic agents similar to the far more toxic anti-convulsants like Neurontin. This action of cannabis helps relieve diabetic muscle cramps and GI upset.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated, “Collectively, our results strongly suggest that cannabidiol may have tremendous therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic cardiovascular and other complications.”[16]

[4] Potential mechanisms include the priming of phagocytic cells, the opening of calcium channels, activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, the activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NFkB) and activation of the renin-angiotensin system. Magnes Res. 2006 Dec;19(4):237-4

[6] Mazur A, Maier JA, Rock E, Gueux E, Nowacki W, Rayssiguier Y. Magnesium and the inflammatory response: Potential physiopathological implications. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2006 Apr 19; PMID: 16712775Equipe Stress Metabolique et Micronutriments, Unite de Nutrition Humaine UMR 1019, Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine d’Auvergne, INRA, Theix, St. Genes Champanelle, France.Arch Biochem Biophys. 2006 Apr 19

[7] Guerrero-Romero F, Tamez-Perez HE, Gonzalez-Gonzalez G et al. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance. A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes Metab. 2004 Jun;30(3):253-8.

[8] Rodriguez-Moran M and Guerrero-Romero F. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1147-52.

[10] Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2002 Mar;3(3):437-40.

[11] A pair of studies published in the journal Neuroscience Letters in 2004 reported that mice administered a cannabis receptor agonist experienced a reduction in diabetic related tactile allodynia (pain resulting from non-injurious stimulus to the skin) compared to non-treated controls. The findings suggest that “cannabinoids have a potential beneficial effect on experimental diabetic neuropathic pain.” Dogrul et al. 2004. Cannabinoids block tactile allodynia in diabetic mice without attenuation of its antinociceptive effect. Neuroscience Letters 368: 82-86.

[13] a major constituent of the  cannabis plant, representing up to 40% in its extracts. It may decrease the rate of clearance of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the body, perhaps by interfering with the metabolism of THC in the liver.  Medically, it has been shown to relieve convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea, as well as inhibit cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown cannabidiol to be as effective as atypical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia. Studies have also shown that it may relieve symptoms of dystonia. In November 2007, it was reported that CBD reduces growth of aggressive human breast cancer cells in vitro and reduces their invasiveness.

[14] Autoimmunity; 2006, Vol. 39, No.2 , Pages 143-151

[15] The research with the cannabis-source cannabinoids, conducted in mice, rats, and in vitro, has shown remarkable effectiveness in reducing brain damage from injected toxins, hypoxia, and head trauma.1 Other research has found that anandamide levels in the brains of rats naturally rise after brain injury or death and the cannabinoid system may play a primary role in limiting brain damage.

[16] Lab Notes: Pot Has Benefits for Diabetic Hearts (news – 2010)

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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