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Impact of Marijuana on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance

This study investigates the limited data regarding the relationship between cannabinoids and metabolic processes….

Epidemiologic studies have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes in marijuana users compared with people who have never used marijuana, suggesting a relationship between cannabinoids and peripheral metabolic processes.

However, no study has investigated the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance. The study included 4,657 adult men and women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the years 2005 to 2010. In the study marijuana use was assessed and recorded only by self-report in a private room.

Fasting insulin and glucose were measured via blood samples after a 9-hour fast and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance was calculated to evaluate insulin resistance for the subjects. Associations for marijuana and metabolic affects were estimated using multiple linear regression, accounting for survey design and adjusting for potential confounders.

Results from the study came from 579 participants who were marijuana users and 1975 who were past users. In multivariable adjusted models, current marijuana use was associated with 16% lower fasting insulin levels and 17% lower homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. The authors found a significant association between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences. However, among current users no significant dose-response was found.

In conclusion, the authors found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance as well as a smaller waist circumference. These results suggest a new use for marijuana as a medical agent and diabetic treatment; however, further trials and experiments are warranted before drawing any final conclusions.

Penner , Elizabeth . "The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults." American Journal of Medicine . (May 16, 2013): n. page. Web. 8 Jul. 2013.