Researchers have discovered that substances found in marijuana can help manage metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Scientists with GW Pharmaceuticals have discovered that marijuana leaves contain two substances, cannabidiol and THCV, which can increase the number of calories the body burns.
Not only do these substances increase the number of calories burned, they also have been shown to contribute to the treatment of type 2 diabetes in test animals.
Scientists are hoping that these two substances can be manipulated into pharmaceutical drugs which could be taken to combat obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, which in turn could help to limit the chances of heart attack and stroke among patients.
Clinical trials are currently being run on 200 patients. According to Dr. Steph Wright, “We are interested in how these drugs effect the fat distribution and utilization in the body as a treatment for metabolic diseases.”
Cannabidiol and THCV have been observed to suppress the appetite for short periods of time. They also increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and protect the cells that make insulin.
Additionally, these substances have been found to increase animals’ metabolisms, which led to a lower cholesterol level and a reduction of fat in the liver.
Significant research still needs to take place, but the researchers at GW Pharmaceuticals are hopeful that their findings will lead to a new drug to combat obesity and type 2 diabetes, two of the fastest growing health epidemics in the United States.