Is marijuana the key to blood sugar control?

A recent study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that people who use marijuana had significantly lower fasting insulin levels compared to non-marijuana users.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) between 2005 and 2010, a research team analyzed 4,657 patients based on their responses to a drug questionnaire. The number of current marijuana users totaled 579, while 1,975 people had used marijuana in the past and 2,103 people had never used the drug.

The researchers also measured fasting insulin and glucose levels from blood samples that were taken after a nine-hour fast.

Marijuana use impacts insulin during periods of recent use

Study participants who had reported using marijuana in the past month had lower levels of fasting insulin - and the association was stronger in patients who had used marijuana in the past 30 days. Current users showed fasting insulin levels that were 16 percent lower than participants who had never used marijuana.

Effects on obesity

The study also found that marijuana users had smaller waist circumferences than non-users - which is a factor that has been linked to lower diabetes risk.

And while marijuana users tend to eat more calories than non-users, the study reports, they tend to have lower BMIs.

"The mechanisms underlying this paradox have not been determined and the impact of regular marijuana use on insulin resistance and cardiometabolic risk factors remains unknown," coauthor Hannah Buettner concluded in a press release.

Source: Science Daily

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