Cannabis and Diabetes

"Our analyses of adults aged 20-59 years in the NHANES [National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey] III database showed that participants who used marijuana had lower prevalence of DM [Diabetes Mellitus] and had lower odds of DM relative to non-marijuana users. We did not find an association between the use of marijuana and other chronic diseases, such as hypertension, stroke, myocardial infarction and heart failure. This could be due to the smaller prevalence of stroke, myocardial infarction and heart failure in the examined age group.
"We noted the lowest prevalence of DM in current light marijuana users, with current heavy marijuana users and past users also having a lower prevalence of DM than non-marijuana users. The finding that past marijuana users had lower odds of prevalent DM than non-users suggests that early exposure to marijuana may affect the development of DM and a window of time of marijuana exposure earlier in life could be a factor to study. Similarly, our findings of a significant association between marijuana use and DM was only found in those aged $40 years suggest that the possibility of some protection from marijuana use may require many years before they become manifested. By contrast, it could reflect the increased prevalence of DM with age and the ability to detect an association with a lesser sample size when there is a greater cohort at risk for DM. The possible association of light marijuana use with decreased DM is similar to that of alcohol on DM and the metabolic syndrome, in which mild alcohol use was associated with lower prevalence of DM and the metabolic syndrome,14 15 and higher alcohol use associated with higher prevalence of DM and the metabolic syndrome.14 16"


Shaheen M, Norris KC, et al., "Decreased prevalence of diabetes in marijuana users: cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III." BMJ Open 2012;2:e000494. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000494.