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effects of smoking marijuana and being diabetic
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effects of smoking marijuana and being diabetic

Hi
I am new here and i hope i am not breaking any rules but my question ia about what effects smoking pot (marijuana) will have on my son (20yrs old) who is diabetic. I am not 100% sure that he is doing this but am sure he has tried it at least once and i want to be able to give him all the correct information about the dangers he is putting himself in before i speak with him about this.
Of course there is the effects which will happen whether he had diabeties or not but i would be grateful for any advice which anyone may have on this subject.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey Cheechee!  
I want to give you my perspective as the Mom of a 16 year old girl who has had diabetes since the age of 21 months, and also the Mom of a 20 year old boy(non-diabetic).  Hopefully, I can add to the insightful response from JDRF-Team-LRS.  There are also quite a few terrific and interesting responses in the Diabetes Forum's archives that you may want to read before approaching your son.

At the age of 20, it is going to be very difficult for you to get through with anything new that he should not already know about drugs.  After years of being educated in school as to the ill effects that drugs can have on their lives, it seems amazing that kids are still willing to try them.  So much for the tax dollars spent on the War on Drugs!  Anyway, I feel that the importance of your discussion should be your sons' diabetes and taking good care of himself.  You didn't mention how long he has had diabetes, but this may have some bearing on why he may be willing to jeopardise "good health" for a "good time".  My daughter was diagnosed at such an early age that she doesn't remember what it was like to not have diabetes.  We have always taught her that she needs to take good care of herself now, so that she will be healthy and complication-free when she grows up.  Many kids that are diagnosed when they are pre-teen or teenagers, have a much more difficult time accepting this major change in their lives.  Think about it, at a time in your life when you are supposed to be becoming more independent and responsible for yourself, you have to become so reliant on others for your well-being (your parents, your endocrinologist and other members of your healthcare team).  Talk about stress!  Perhaps, talking to him about his feelings regarding having diabetes and about how taking good care of himself is so important to his future welfare, might just be the key to opening the door and talking openly about his possible marijuana use.  Talk...talk...talk and talk some more!  Don't give up the communication because even though they are 20 and they don't think that they need us or our advice anymore, we know that they do and being there for them will always be our job!  You've done a terrific job in coming to us (please make sure you check out the other responses posted in the archives)and I wish you much luck!    

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Avatar_n_tn
Hello CheeChee,
A number of months ago, this topic came up a few times.  Many of us adults here grew up with diabetes and so we faced the opportunities to experiment with drugs including alcohol and marijuana.  I'm among those who experimented during my college years in the 1970s ... to the chagrin of my parents once they found out.  Drugs today are stronger, scarier and the underworld that provides them to "end users" is so very dangerous, too.  

In the 1970s, I had no way to monitor my blood sugar -- no home testing, no a1c.  Despite my experimentation, I thought I was responsible about it ;-).  I maintained good grades, job, and active college life.  I simply ignored the fact that using marijuana was illegal -- that "blind eye" was opened VERY WIDE however, when a college acquaintance was arrested & sent to Dannemora prison.

On an immediate & practical level, one result of using marijuana was that I was less able to/interested to resist temptations.  It's commonly reported that folks experience "munchies" ... our word in the 1970s for wanting to eat junk food and plenty of it.  Now while I doubt that marijuana by itself has any BG impact, certainly MUNCHIES do!  I actually "preferred" marijuana to alcohol for a "high" at that time, BECAUSE marijuana doesn't have calories.

Most marijuana users who are teens/20s are just as deaf to the truths behind warnings & lectures by their parents.  If your communication is open with your son, you might engage him in a conversation about your concerns for him (and any of his siblings) and simply encourage him to strive to take good care of himself now that he's an "adult".  If you can draw parallels to, perhaps, the way you & his dad are responsible drinkers and ask him to think about what a responsible "pot user" looks like, that might well bring some interesting, fruitful exchanges.

Just to put my experimentation into perspective, I completed college, grad school, and earned a PhD.  I'm now a professor, wife, parent, community volunteer, etc. etc.  I've had diabetes for ~35 years and am blessed to have had serious complications yet.  I no longer user marijuana, but honestly -- I think that, given my stage in life, it's largely due to the fact that it's illegal and that the supply chain lacks quality control.  

This is a very interesting topic and I expect you'll hear from plenty of others.  I particularly hope that some of the young adults who post here will contribute, too.

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Avatar_n_tn
Well, ive been a diabetic for a year, ya i know not long, but ive smoked marijuana threwout the whole year.  Not consitntly, but at partys, and whatnot, i smoke cause i cant drink safly. Marijunana isint a bigger risk to diabetics, then non diabetics, i dont think. Because the risk of u going low, is very very low, as you will have the munchies, and most likley go high.  I dont munch of junk food, barly at all. If im at home, id reach for a diet coke, some crackers and cheese maybe, i dono, but even that is reallllly good when your stoned.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your question.
I hope no one will mind my adding some info here as I do know alot about the subject, sensitive as it is.

I have over the past 12 months done a lot of research on this subject and to my surprise there is a surprising amount of literature on this subject out there:
Let me pre-emt this discussion by saying that I do not advocate the use of drugs, however, I have used Marijuana before my Type 1 diagnosis and cocnsistently (thougfh moderatly) since, I have discussed this at length with my doctors who given the results that I have experienced are happy for it to continue.
I have been experimenting on my self with BG test every 30mins or so, eating exactly the same meals at the same times to check the BG curve whist using and not using cannabis.
The result, startling at it was, consistently was the amplitude of the curve was considerably shallower with cannabis, I took it one step further and found that with a combination of cannabis and X-4 units of insulin my BG would simply not get above 11(198)
where as with the X units (4 more than previously) and the same food,(no canmnabis) the BG 15-60 mins after a large meal (identical meal to prior) would surpass 13.5 (243) for brief periods.

the conclusions and this is consistent with previous findings is that cannabis can be used in conjunction with insulin to "smooth out "the BG curve, this is why despite a relatively high sugar diet, my control is exemplary, my HAb1c is always well sub 6.0
but most importantly the curve, ie the extremities of high and low are never beyong the 4.5- 10 region (81-180).

I am a succesful entrepreneur and MD of my own company, the use of marijuana is the UK is legal for personal. (though not for sale). In conclusion, some groups advocate the use of Marajuana for treatment of diabetes exclusively, see medical marajuana .com though  obviously for type 1 insulin should not be used to replace insulin though can be used succesfully to complement it.

Let us not forget that it the high and lows that cause diabetic side effects, if one can keep the range of BG within the aforementioned ranges, the risk of complications tend to zero or at least decrease considerably.

The "munchies" as they are often refered to are just a healty person's way of dealing with a very mild Hypo, Cannabis LOWERS BG level, though an immunity will develop in time, this lowering normally causes the body to crave sugar and sweets in order to correct the low. In diabetics, it is not difficult to beat this feeling with will power, it ceases to be an issue after a short while.

I hope this info has been in some way helpful.

Kind regards,



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Avatar_n_tn
I'm 25 years old and have had type1 diabetes since i was four. I've smoked cannabis regularly for the last few years and, as a result, have indeed developed greater control over my condition. I used to have a problem with alcohol which has led to some retinopathy complicatons as well as depression and often violent moodswings. It amazes that, despite a wealth of evidence I have found for cannabis, as well as a growing amount of use and support around the world, some people still regard cannabis as more dangerous than alcohol. I have read reports which seem to suggest that a lot of people are being fed anti-drug propaganda which lumps cannabis in with other illegal substances. For example, many reports warn of users being 'out of it' and unable or unwilling to test their blood levels. On the contrary, I have found that being 'out of it' is the time I feel more worried about diabetes and more likely to test my sugar. This is the exact opposite of being 'out of it' on alcohol which leads not only to no testing, but no injections and dangerous fluctuations in those same levels. It seems that a lot of govermental action against cannabis( labelling it 'wacky-backy' and reporting made up instances of ' reefer madness') has scared a lot of people into thinking that cannabis users are irresponsible, lazy or just plain crazy! I firmly believe the opposite to be true and that it's alcohol that leads to the irresponsible and crazies on the street( here in Britain, we have an escalating 'yob culture as proof of this) I strongly object to being persecuted for my method of relaxation as I refuse to use alcohol now as it clearly leads to depression and violence( for myself and, I guarantee, many others) I will continue to campaign for the legalisation of this relatively harmless drug.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just wanted to add to this ongoing discussion by first stating that I am grateful to be living in a country where we are free to express our opinions openly and without fear of retribution.  I am also very grateful for the volunteers who give so much of themselves in trying to help others and make a difference in dealing with diabetes in their lives.
     No matter how many discussions we have or how many different points of view are brought out, smoking marijuana is illegal and cannot be condoned.  It's that simple.
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Avatar_f_tn
as an adult on-set diabetic and avid smoker {see the name] ALOT  of your comments have to do with the fact that pot is illeagal{which is a topic for another discussion}.
i've smoked since the age of 16 and been diabetic since 27 as some one mentioned earlier the only bad  of smoking and  being diabetic IS THE MUNCHIES and not having the suitable foods to go with this condition i find that nuts and mountain dew {diet of course} work really well for me or veggie mix and an lite dip. and please don't get me started on the legalities of this issue the goverment makes to much money from drugs to ever legalize it for its citizen even if it's what the majority want.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been smoking reefer since 1969 and have had no ill effects from it.  I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and continue to smoke.  over th e years I've learned to dicipline my self well enough that now that i am diabetic and have to watch what I eat when I get the "munchies" i'm still careful about what and how much I eat.
As to the legality well I just use discretion.  I don't sell it, I don't give it to minors and basically just keep it to my self.  I will continue to smoke it till I  die and advocate the use and legalization of it through annonymous donations to NORML because I see nothing wrong with it.  The biggest arguement I get from anybody (including the medical community) is " It's illegal"
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been diabetic type 1 for over 20 years, diagnosed when I was 7 years old. Due to that, my doctors, parents and others thoroughly implanted that drinking alcohol was one of the worst choices i could make. When I reached my teens, my doctor looked at me and said "Are you drinking with your friends?" I answered on occasion. He looked at me with a tear in is eye from my answer and said, if you have to do something like everyone in this world to reduce stress, the best thing is marijuana, and that this is completely off the record but as a friend.

I didn't not take that as medical advise or approval, i had already experimented with it and other real drugs like cocaine, LSD, mushrooms, xtacy etc. You name it i tried it all other than smoking crack or shooting up heroin. After all my experimentation it was marijuana that actually helped reduce pain in my lower extremities in my legs and pressure behind my eyes. I don't suffer from neuropathy but the potential is always there. When i was younger i did stuff for fun, now it's more for pain and stress relief.

Most people come home after work and have a drink, which is very very bad for diabetics. Sure smoking weed isn't the best thing either but their are upsides to the actual THC, just wikipedia THC. If anything, without munching out, it has lowered my blood sugar after smoking somewhat. Not greatly but enough to know that it did. Also my blood flow in my legs improved and nerval pain was reduced.

Also, being diabetic and having a great set of parents made me grow up a little faster. When i was 14 i took opportunities that came my way in order to be able to support myself while in school. My parents are not rich, more like poor, but they always provided for us (thier children) by them being so adamant about my future health, i was able to get a jump start my career and college life, something i would not have been able to do drinking alcohol all the time. Marijuana is not like alcohol, you can function in society when you are "stoned" but you can not when you are drunk. Don't get me wrong, doing nothing is the healtheir thing, but who does nothing? Everybody has their weakness, wether it be sugar, caffine, carbs, drugs, alcohol, weed. Who made who God and put a value system in place that was given to us by our creator. Everything in moderation is good, it is what is taught by all major religions and philosophies, and abuseing anything can be bad.
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband was recently told that he is "borderline" Type II diabetic. He has been smoking pot (legally here in California) for the past year rather heavily. At about the same time as his diagnosis, he started having tingling sensations in his left leg, as if his leg/foot is asleep. This has been going on for the past two or three weeks.

Since he had been smoking pot prior to his fasting glucose tolerance test, we are concerned that this might have affected the results. Our doctor wasn't sure about the results and gave him metformin, but he hasn't been taking it because he is not fully convinced of the diabetes diagnosis, and we are concerned that if he starts taking the medication that it could create more of a problem.

So my questions here are numerous. How does marijuana affect blood sugar levels? Does it raise or lower it? Does it have any affect on circulation, or nerves in the legs/feet?

Does anyone have any experience with using edibles and their effects on blood sugar?

I am really worried about this, and would like some solid information so we can make appropriate decisions regarding his health.

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
does weed lower the blood sugar has anybody done studies on this my son who has type one smokes and i would like to know what brings on the munchies is it a side effect of thc please some scientific answers not politics or rough opinions
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Avatar_n_tn
As far as the effects of marijuana on diabetes well- it is not going to hurt as cited by http://www.ihop-net.org/UniPub/iHOP/pm/12720881.html?nr=10&pmid=18092149 in short it enables insulin to be produced at least to a small scale.

The effects of marijuana on circulation, well it helps regulate blood, be that in a cancerous tumor (where you REALLY want regulation) or in your eyes which are faultering. It helps keep things at their normal levels

While I am sad to hear Godardess that your boyfriend recently was diagnosed I am sure it was a long time in the making and would be in worse shape if he had not started.
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Avatar_n_tn
As a college student and a type I for almost a year now, I have not noticed any detriment effects of pot on my BG control. Although I don't smoke very often (few times a month), I do go out with friends to bars, etc but my sticking to only the few beers I can drink without worring about my BG swinging up or down, I am able to forget about the disease and have a good time out. Also, as long as you're mentally strong enough to stick with your diet, you'll do fine.
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Avatar_m_tn
i have had diabetes since i was 3
i myself cant rememebr ever not having diabetes
i have a pretty controlled A1c at 7.4
to answer the question straight up
marajuana doesnt effect your blood sugar
although the munchies you may get after can
but to take care of that try to eat meat protein stuff without to much carbs or sugar (which yo hould be doing anyways)
if you do happen to stumble apon a reeses or some kind of candy
take a few units for it
make sure its the right dose!
and dont smoke alone if you get low
your gonna be to out of it to help yourself
i think personally smoking marajuana is better for diabetics than drinking
when drinking there is carbs and sugars that effect your blood sugar
and you have less control if you get drunk than high
i myself have experimented with both
when drinking my sugars went from 375 to 86 to 280
just terrible
smoking nothing just some much that i bolused for with my mini med pump
I also watched a show on marajuana use today on the national geographic channel and they talked briefly about how marajuana use has been studied with diabetes and it can help maintain bloodsugar
i myself play sports and choose not to smoke often for i need good lungs to run and i will probably never test this theory out
i dont recommend smoking marajuana much
one its illegal
and two its not good for your lungs
if ur diabetic you should definently do sum sort of fund raising thing for diabetes there are plenty out there
in your generation hopefully they find a cure, but your helping other generations of diabetics out!
well thats all i have to say
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Avatar_n_tn
i want to know more about inhaling the smoke and its affects on the blood vessels    what about the important things    like this?????
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Avatar_m_tn
To respond to your post, honestly I think that the only danger with marijuana is overeating due to the munchies(that term definitely survived long past the 1970's haha). Honestly though, I don't know if you have ever been high before, but it isn't usually like you can't do anything, in fact people can't always even notice when I am high. I am still able to test my blood sugar and accurately bolus for food that I eat on my insulin pump even when I'm stoned (and I can verify this accuracy later when sober, it has never failed me). Also, when smoked, you can "dose" yourself on how high you want to get, as the effects hit fairly quickly. While many people are scared of the fact that marijuana potency has increased it is actually healthier to smoke very potent marijuana. Like I said, you can "dose" yourself while smoking and think about it, is inhaling less smoke to get the same effect bad for you? No, quite the opposite actually. I would however tell him to steer clear of other drugs that are much more dangerous, but again, if he must he will probably do what hes going to do and should research anything extensively before trying it.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm 19 years old, in my second year of college and have been smoking pot since I was 14. I was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was 16 and personally I haven't found any problems with the marijuana itself raising or dropping my blood sugar levels; as most people say on here, it's the munchies that'll bite you in the butt. my a1c level is at a 7.2, so I can really say I've got things pretty well under control (although still not where I'd like to be). When I have a pretty bad case of the munchies and don't feel like going through giving myself a shot (because of the laziness pot enduces) I simply eat some veggies, peanuts or some sort of meat (I personally LOVE peppered beef jerkey). Although when there is a pizza sitting on the table, taunting me with its delicious smells, I'll just suck it up and have a few units of humalog lol.

I will agree with the folks on here stating that pot is NOT that bad. Diabetics should NOT drink alcohol under any circumstance! I advocate marijuana use for everybody if they choose to be intoxicated (let alone diabetics!!!)... people have been ingesting THC for thousands of years and they're not going to stop any time soon. Just because some politician on a stand in D.C. says that it's illegal doesn't mean that it's "bad". It's just his opinion, which unfortunately has power. Be free thinkers! ... and if you're worried about the smoke that causes lung damage, there's these things called vaporizors you can buy either online or in a head shop. If you have problems inhaling THC even at that point, make yourself a decent batch of sugar-free brownies or something.

Anyhow Cheechee, before I get on a rant, I don't believe there's a diabetic pot-smoker in existance who well say that the marijuana itself has a detrimental affect on their health... It's just the munchies, which is quite easily managed.

Thanks for the post!!! :):)

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Avatar_n_tn
I am 59 yoa.  Been smoking pot over 40 yrs.  I used to smoke cigarettes too. I quit them 36 yrs ago with the help of marijuana.  When I 1st quit cigs i smoked more pot at first but after a few weeks went back smoking same amt as before I quit cigs. I was diagnosed type 2 2yrs ago.  Still smoking pot but it doesn't affect my BG either way.  I just have to watch what I eat for munchies.  No problem.  I practice self dicipline all the time.
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Avatar_m_tn
What a brilliant thread !!

Hi, I'm a 51 yr old male & was diagnosed 2 years ago as a Type 2.  I've smoked dope on & off since University & I can certainly endorse all the comments above that run along the lines of ...pot is NOT that bad, I just have to watch what I eat for munchies, I have not noticed any detriment effects of pot on my BG control etc etc

  I have never actually checked but will now do a personal "calibration check" with the BG over 24 hours.  Great idea guys, Thanks!

I've been lucky so far ... I do suffer night time leg pains & I can honestly say that they are less troublesome when I am gently stoned.

I found this thread after reading    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091114/ts_nm/us_oregon_potcafe    which states that the cafe has been opened to provide for medical Mary Jane-ers.  

As far as the fact that this is illegal?  It is not illegal to smoke but posession & dealing carry increasing penalties.  Anyhow, who of us can honestly say that they have never enjoyed the occasional extra mph on an empty motorway?  That also is illegal.

Another link that might be interesting (This is the Prof Nutt paper that caused sackings & resignations from the advisory panel here in the UK)... http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/estimatingdrugharms.html

At the end of the day it is all a personal choice as to whether you will or will not use the weed.  I am pro-and am very interested to hear whether anyone knows of specific medical evaluations ... both pro & con.

Hope it goes well for you all !!!
Keith
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been a diabetic for 17 years and I was diagnosed when I was 5. You are a fool if you think that being diagnosed early in life will make it any easier being a teenager with diabetes. The problem that, that 20 year old has probably stems from the ignorance of healthcare professionlas like yourself. Do you have any idea what it is like to not eat or drink (oh my gosh, yes I mean alcohol) like any of your friends. My advice to the 20 year old is go for it my man. You smoke that joint and get some relief from the **** that these doctors keep spewing out like their lives depend on it. At least you will have a few hours of happiness before you die of kidney failure or go blind from diabetic retinopathy becuase most of the time it is inevbitable no matter how well you look after yourself!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Cheechee,

                        Hopefully I can give you a bit more insight. As a 20 year old male with diabetes I can relate to your son.

I smoke marijuana. Legally. In Michigan they have allowed people with marijuana to be eligible to smoke legally.

There are countless studies that show marijuana is not bad for diabetes. It helps stabilize sugars and also can induce hunger for if you're low and cannot get it down.

I also have it for anxiety and stress. It alleviates many of emotional problems and makes me happy. This may sound very cliche but the truth of the matter is that it helps me.

I'm not sure where you or your son live but if it available I suggest doing your homework along with your son. This could be a serious possibility for both health issues and legal. If he has this card he can smoke and be immune from legal actions. Just another plus.

Pot isn't a drug to me. I don't do drugs. It isn't manufactured. It is a plant. Be thankful he is only smoking pot. Pot has no additives and is not addictive. He is not out smoking a crack rock or railing a line of cocaine. He's smoking a plant.

There are not any recorded incidents of death by marijuana allergies or side effects. Even household Aspirin causes over 100 deaths a year.

Do some research on it. It may or may not be for your him.

Just keep your mind open to the idea.

P.S. If you have not tried it before, there is not much to be scared of. You can make yourself perform and function almost completely normal under the influence with time. Not all pot-heads are lazy people who sit around giggling.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your intellectual and insightful explanation about the affects of marijuana on diabetics. I came here for information on the subject because my best friend of 34 years was just diagnosed. I promised him i would help him any way i can and i will as we are like brothers. Weve also been responsible users for many years. I just wondered if there were any ill effects from smoking weed. Obviously his drinking has to stop but we arent big drinkers anymore so thats not an issue. Until i came across you all ive read was about the legality of smoking weed and how it will "ruin" your life. Thats not the information i care about. Anything will ruin your life if you allow it. The weak have AA and NA to get them straight. The strong maintain a responsible life. Ive been a professional and a pot smoker for years. I have a house, 4 beautiful children, 3 in college, a loving wife, 2 cars ,the whole nine yards. I do not believe that a drug can take you over unless you allow it. Ive done pretty much everything thats out there. But thats for another forum. Thank you for your helpful information. I will pass this on to my brother
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm a 44-year-old late-onset Type 1.  Diabetes came on suddenly, without any warnings, when I was 37.  Due to my age and that I only dealt with general practitioners, I was initially diagnosed as a Type 2.  I lived with that diagnosis and the associated therapies for 4 years, so I was mainly using diet and exercise to control my glucose levels.  However, since I wasn't really a Type 2, but was gradually losing insulin production as my immune system was steadily destroying my pancreas, I had to keep ramping up the exercise and keep removing carbs from my diet.  I was biking 2+ hours/day and eating nothing but meat, cheese, and peanut butter (and regretting the carbs in those) when I finally approached my doctor.  He suggested that lizard-spit stuff, Byetta, but told me that he couldn't get it past my insurance unless I sat down with a diabetes nurse educator first.  She took one look at me and ordered the correct blood tests.  I was re-diagnosed as a Type 1 and on insulin the very next day, eating bread and potatoes again a few days later.  All hail the mighty diabetes nurse educators.

I didn't start smoking pot until I was in my mid 20s, long after I started drinking and long before my diabetes.   I am very grateful I wasn't trying to get through adolescence at the same time I was learning about drugs, and I can't imagine throwing juvenile T1DM on top of all that.  Anyway, given that my case represents a more-controlled experiment, with all three of these things (adolescence, cannabis, diabetes) occurring at widely-separated times in my life:  I am convinced that cannabis lowers my blood sugar, and more prominently than alcohol does.

It's taken a long time to prove this to myself.  One needs to assess and account for the Munchies, and in my case for the lagged response of insulin.
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I am a 28 year old, type 1, insulin pump user since 1995, and was diagnosed on Dec. 15, 1994 @ 12 years old. I have also battled moderate to severe alcohol/drug addiction at periods since my diagnosis. When I was 12, I had dreams (as well as the grades) of being a US Navy pilot. When I was diagnosed, those dreams were shot down from 60,000'. I gave up on school and pretty much everything in my life. I remember before I was on IPT (Insulin Pump Tech) almost a year after diagnosis, I was taking up to 5 injections per day, as well as checking my sugar 6-8 times in a 24 hour period on a regular basis on the OneTouch machine that took 60 seconds. I got to the point I said "Screw this. If I'm gonna stick myself with needles, I'm going to do it for pleasure and maybe I can die while feeling good, not to prolong this life!" You can thank my knowledge on IV Drug use and abuse to the National Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program! D.A.R.E.! At this stage in my life, I have given up ALL DRUGS (including alcohol, which causes such fluctuation in BG levels it's insane, but ultimately always elevate it to unsafe, uncontrollable levels for what could last up to 72 hours. Mix that with an Opiate use (Oxycodone, Codine, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet) which stimulates the Liver and paralyzes it's function of producing sugar, resulting in severe hypoglycemia, all available by prescription in which our doctors today give out so often, and kiss controlling BG levels at all.. You may find yourself in a severe hypoglycemic, unconscious state with completely relaxed muscles, knocking on deaths' door, as I have, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MARIJUANA!!!!!!

Marijuana has ZERO impact on blood sugar. I am a cigarette smoker, in which I am trying to quit due to it's well known effects on diabetes.
About 5-6 years ago, I was doing well as a Master ASE and GM  Certified Auto Tech. I started ending up in the hospital vomiting for days to a week on end. I couldn't hold down my own saliva. After a bunch of testing, I was diagnosed with diabetic gastroparesis. I appeared to have delayed gastric emptying. Doctors believed that I was developing signs of diabetic neuropathy and my Vagus Nerve, which controls digestive function, was the culprit. After being referred to another specialist involved in a new emerging technology of a gastric stimulator (pacemaker) implant, and after almost 3 years of dealing with this every couple to few weeks, I had come to the realization that cannabis use would help to relax my stomach muscles and allow me to eat again. When I mentioned this to the specialist, he was not surprised at all, and though it is illegal to give me an rx for pot, he was able to prescribe Cannabanol (basically synthetic THC, the active compound found in marijuana). I found I did get some relief, however actually taking a couple bong hits seemed to work much better and faster, especially being it was a mission at times in order to get the pill down and keep it down. I wasted at least 50 or 60 pills by throwing them up completely undigested, and my insurance wouldn't cover it!! The script was costing almost $350 per month!!
After deciding to go through with the pacemaker, and having no positive over a 2 year period, I made the choice to have it removed.
After my reg. GI saw I was upset with the specialist and how I was being treated, he contacted a fellow doctor at the Mayo Clinic. After their talk, they had come to a conclusion that I was really suffering from a condition called CVS or Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. After my GI did a quick evaluation of my maternal medical history, he confirmed that instead of my mother passing down genetic migraines, I suffered from a brain-gut disorder called an abdominal migraine. Due to medical marijuana studies being done in other states, they have found that in some marijuana users, excessive use can cause THC levels to rise to what the body considers toxic, and can be a key "trigger" for such a migraine.

Today, I still enjoy marijuana as my end of the day treat that still allows me to function normally, yet relax my mind from the daily stresses, have no hangover effects, and if anything, allows me to think about things in a somewhat, more concentrated, focused, serene kind of way. I have come to the conclusion that any "drug" can have severely adverse effects, and if one chooses to use, it should be done responsively, and without abuse!!

I hope I have been able to provide you with accurate, personal experience and opinions. I'd love to hear your feedback!
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As many others have said, smoking isn't what gets you. It's the munchies and forgetting to bolus that can kick ya in the butt. I would also like to add that my a1c, done a month ago, was 6.9. and despite periods of time with an a1c of 13.6, I have no tingling, or any other signs of diabetic complications. I have several large tattoos, and have been told I heal better than many non-diabetic people. I do wear prescription glasses, but I have had to wear them since my eye doctor appointment on 12/15/94, in which he picked up on me having diabetes, and sent me to my pediatrician located in the same building, to have my BG tested!
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Avatar_m_tn
im 24 just been diagnoised a type 1 diabetic in april  i dont kno what cause me to juist now get it i been smoking weed since i was 21 and still do it i have not noticed a change of me smoking weed even though i just been recently diagnoised i havent smoked as much as i used to though i used to smoke an 8th in 3 daqyz before i was diabetec n now i jus smoke 2 or 3 bowls a dai  if anyone can tell me more on this subject hit me back cause im still concernd  also!!
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Avatar_m_tn
i am a 41 year old musician... had type 1 diabetes since i was 18... being smoking twice a week for about 10 years now. I have a suggestion: if you have diabetes and you smoke... add the gym into the equation. And if you can reduce tobacco in your spliffs and abstain from alcohol consumption...God Bless
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Avatar_m_tn
*long message!*
I would like to make a few clarifications here if I may. I am a 24 year old male, a school drop-out, and DAFNE graduate, who was diagnosed with IDDM at 9 months of age, although was ill from about 3 months. I have been smoking cannabis for 6 years as of this month and started out recreationally, but now use it to help control my diabetes and balance out my very up-and-down depression (diagnosed at 13 years), as well as for a recreational relaxant. I would say my use has been consistent although I've had many breaks ranging from just a couple of days and up to 6 months. Here, I would like to disregard (at least partially) some of the statements, and yet support others, previously made about cannabis and 'the munchies' affecting blood sugar levels.

Cannabis DOES cause a minor drop in sugar levels, however this drop isn't particularly detrimental. I usually notice a *maximum* drop (emphasis on maximum!!) of 2-3mmol/L (approx. 35-55mg/dl), about the same as 1 unit of fast-acting insulin. If your sugars are measuring 5.0mmol/L (90mg/dl) at the time you light up, then you will likely notice the onset of a hypo soon afterwards. This effect is soon reversed naturally by the body, although I feel more comfortable having a plain biscuit or two just to steady myself if this is the case. The trick is to know what your sugars are doing first; if they're high then you can get high (go for a run first though, you'll feel too lazy after you've smoked!), if they're heading towards low then consider having a snack first. Aside from this it shouldn't cause any complications, and most diabetic cannabis smokers report that it actually helps regulate their blood sugar levels. This is supported in many research papers from various scientists across the world.

Which leads me onto 'the munchies'... This effect is directly caused by this drop in sugar levels and is also recorded in non-diabetic cannabis smokers. However, I would say the effect of the munchies itself is more psychological, and merely triggered by the sugar drop. This can be a problem for diabetics, although it is easily controlled with a little willpower or simply by eating fruit, meat products or other low-carb, non-fatty foods instead of scoffing a whole pack of Hob Nobs or 12 happy meals (why would you want to eat ONE happy meal? Ugh!)

I've never needed to adjust my eating or my insulin to fit around my use of cannabis, with the exception of a snack beforehand or shortly afterward if my blood is low, which would happen regardless anyway. As long as you are sensible, cannabis can be the most effective compliment to insulin you will ever use for diabetes treatment.

A quick scout around on Google or Wikipedia will provide vast amounts of information on the beneficial effects of cannabis on the later complications caused by diabetes. It contributes to lowering blood pressure, preventing glaucoma and retinopathy, and easing the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy as well as calming twitches caused by RLS.

I'd like to add my knowledge of drugs and diabetes here, as nobody on the internet appears to have bothered thus far. I will be concentrating on the warnings and negatives, rather than the positives. Its not my place to 'recommend' a particular drug. My advice may not work for everyone, and others may have completely different experiences to me, so consider this a warning: DO NOT TAKE DRUGS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE. ALWAYS talk to a doctor first, and be sure you are supervised by *TRUSTED* friends and able to reach medical facilities at all times. Beforehand, prepare snacks and sandwiches, sugary and non-sugar drinks, have some honey on stand-by just in case, low-sugar/carb food to just munch out on, take all necessary precautions. So, with that cleared up, here is what little information I can offer:

Alcohol - Contains and bonds with sugar, which is easily absorbed by the body. Especially when combining spirits with mixers, this leads to a well-known bouncing effect where blood sugars shoot up, and then drop down again very quickly. This can be particularly dangerous and contributes to many diabetic complications. Eat a good carby meal before you drink that releases energy across a period of a few hours (pasta, jacket potatoes etc). And snack before sleeping!

Cocaine - I know very little about this as my least-used drug, but it appears to make blood sugars go higher, although I am unsure of the hows and whys. The 'buzz' is short-lived thus I assume the same for its effect on diabetes, however as I said, I know very little here.

Speed - I've never used amphetamine, although from reading various research papers I'm fairly sure of how it works. It is a stimulant that provides an energetic high by releasing the entirety of your liver's reserves of glycogen. Obviously, this will send blood sugars skyrocketing and they'll probably stay this way for a few hours, causing lots of sickness and possible ketoacidosis. However, what will your body support itself on once that glycogen has been burned off? Cue a very severe hypo. Make a wise choice and avoid this drug. Also note that many speed users cannot eat for hours, sometimes even days, after taking it.

Caffeine - A very common drug that almost all people take regularly, including myself. Caffeine has been shown to cause greater insulin efficiency in non-diabetics, however it has the opposite effect on people with diabetes! Caffeine also makes you stressed (jitters, anyone?) which can also push sugar levels up. This is particularly dangerous when combined with lots of sugar in my favourite drink and worst enemy: Coca-Cola.

MDMA (Ecstasy) - Another that I have only used a few times, this tends to send your sugars upward somewhat, although every time I took it I was halfway between paranoia and normal concern that I would drop down at some point, so I had a small portion of chips and a little insulin to balance out, and my concerns diminished every time. For the most part though, this seems more of a 'head' than a 'body' drug, and even though it can last up to 8 hours, I didn't have any problems apart from my blood sugars going up. I'm led to believe that ecstasy is a member of the amphetamine family so I would strongly advise caution even though I personally had no problems.

San Pedro Cactus - This plant has been used for thousands of years to facilitate vision quests and psychedelic experiences, however it could be potentially fatal to a diabetic. A particular chemical contained in these cacti hypersensitises the body to insulin. Due to this I have never taken it, however its effect is obvious, a possibly very severe hypo. In non-diabetic users, this may explain where the 'out-of-body' type vision originates.

Magic Mushrooms - Now this appears to be a totally 'head' high, I've taken them a good few times and never had any trouble. However I advise caution with hallucinogens as you are highly likely to forget that you even need to eat dinner, let alone test your blood, take insulin, have a snack or what-have-you. Sometimes I've gone 14 hours without eating, other times I've grazed constantly, every time I've been okay. I strongly recommend supervision however as although you're still 'there', you're probably going to be more interested in how the wind is changing the shape of the clouds than what your blood sugars are doing!

Ketamine - A drug which I have taken once and utterly abhor. I had a good experience and all but it is incredibly addictive and has ruined many of my friends' lives. It is a tranquiliser and as such you may be unwilling to move, or as I did (however it was fine) completely mistake low blood sugars for the effects of the drug. If you're up and dancing, that's a bad mistake to make! Low blood sugars and the ketamine 'trip' felt almost identical, and after eating a huge sandwich, I had to test my blood continuously to make sure I wasn't going hypo again.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a 30 year old 195lb male i play tennis i exercise way more than most.
I smoked pot off and on from 19 to 27 years old some time very heavey like an all day type of thing. When i was 27 i was playing tennis every day before work, I was working a desk job 50 hours a week and was smoking on break at work, one day in august of 2007 I got very sick and since that day, I had burning in my stomach and a head ach for three years, one year after i got sick my thyroid went out and now i have insulin resistance i know that the reason all of this happened is because i was smoking marijuana, i have never smoked a cigarret in my life, i don't drink at all, and my kidneys are not working very well because i smoked pot so anyone that says smoking pot is okay is nuts, it has ruined my life at a young age i hate the way i feel, and  i here about you people saying that marijuana is not bad, it is just as bad as smoking or drinking in my opinion, i think it gives the best high but i have not smoked for 3 years now and i wish i would have never had, i probley won't live as long as i would like because of marijuana and that is sad, if you smoke anything that person is going to get diabetes because are food is full of sugar, i don't look like a diabetic but i have insulin resistance right now and an a1c of 5.1 right now.
a good  fasting insulin level of 9 but my post meal at one hour is 70, right now my blood sugars are good but my kidney are not working the best my gfr is 45. So all you people who are fooling your self about marijuana thinking it is okay, better stop diabetes is a bad disease and i am going to do every thing now to get it but i have been told i will have it with in 5 years, i just hope my kidney can hold up, so please stop saying marijuana is okay. God bless you all
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm a 50 yr old man. 3yrs with diabetes,out of work(just finshed phlebotomy course) stoped smoking marijuana to pass job pretest. Now my metforman give me the runs five, six times a day and dry heavs. Normal side efficts. BS 300+ all the time. When smoking aways under 200. I think smoking helped with the sideeffits. Even after night of hard munchies was lower than now. Eating less now than then. Feet hurt all the time, more at  night. YES I think marijuana helps MY diabetes.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 58 and have had diabetes since the age of 12. At the age of 19 I smoked my first joint and thousands since then. Without a doubt, marijuana has saved my eyesight after 31 years of glaucoma.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi

Before anything I want to say that this is my personal experience and that all of us are different.

I smoked marijuana for the first time when i was 21 and happily smoked for more than 23 years. not once, not twice but more than four times a day.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 10 years ago and I decided to stop smoking about three years ago because i disagree with all the violence involved in narcotraffic (I live in Mexico City) and because of the danger every time a went buying but most important because i want to experiment my diabetes without weed.

BIG MISTAKE, during those seven years living with no controlled diabetes and marijuana, besides living very happy :) I had little physical symptoms and rare illness, but since I stopped smoking my health problems begun; everything started to go bad, weakness, cramps, visual problems, bad skin, urge to urinate, severe weight loss, fungus problems, digestive problems, chronical flu, etc.

About six months ago I finally got over denial (hard thing to achieve) and started medical treatment, Metformin and Lantus, I experienced relief in many of my symptoms but I´ve developed neuropathic pain, hell of a curse it affects my life in all the ways. I can hardly think or work. I am taking carbamazepin, gabapentin and vitamin B to fight this but the pain is incredible mostly from my abdomen down. Tramadol has been a slightly help for pain, but I can hardly describe how I feel as the sun goes down.

I am aware that I am ill and have been since ten years ago, and that stupidity of not getting treatment before has got me were I am now. In the other hand I´ve been very, very lucky because after all that tome with no treatment and blood levels of over 400 at all times I am alive and with no further damage.

The thing is; I believe that marijuana helped me all this time to relief pain and in some way to retard or prevent damage to my body. My doctor says that all the things that are happening are "normal" ¿? That my body was asleep because of no treatment and it is reacting now ¿?, I don´t know for sure but what i do know is that I am going back to marijuana and try out again this illegal drug besides my legal medical treatment and find out what happens.

Best regards to everybody
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Avatar_n_tn
Why don't all you diabetics try my experiment -> Smoke till you get stoned and once achieving the mood for "having the munchies" go make yourself a nice salad or vegan smoothie and do that for 30 days consistent with this diet! Then email me at ***@**** and tell me if your raised blood sugars have lowered!

P.S: By the way keep your meat eating at a stable moderation. Such as 1-3 times per week. No junk food, no fried foods.. Don't be lazy and cook if you really care about your health =)
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had Type 1 for the last 20 years and at 29 I have done some experimenting.  My first thought on the topic is that smoking and the mary and drinking are similar in that they alter your state of mind and various biochemical reactions in your body.  I recommend not "trying" but experimenting each on an individual basis with some measurement.  The first time you drink, test every 20 minutes for the first 4 hours, then once an hour after that.  Do this a couple of times with different alcohols to see what they will do to your sugars.  I can't imagine going to a party and drinking for the first time, giving into peer pressure, without knowing what it will do to my body.  
The same is true for marijuana.  Test and test often the first time you smoke.  Always try to be aware of what and how much you are eating.  Most people crave CARBS.. not veggies or anything healthy.. just carbs.  So make sure you are taking plenty of insulin to counteract what you are taking in.  
On a personal note, I have learned to abstain from eating and my blood sugar will still spike 150-200 points in the hour to 2 hours after I smoke.  I think this is probably different for everyone, and is related to how your liver releases glycogen under the influence of THC.  
At the end of the day this is an empirical question with easily measurable results. Smoke, test, answer the question for yourself in a safe controlled environment.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son is 29 years old and has had type 1 diabetes nearly his entire life, (since the age of two).  He suffers from hypoglycemia unawareness which has led to many insulin seizures throughout his life time,  some of which nearly killed him. He was averaging 10 to 12 ambulance trips to the ER per year for insulin seizures.  However, 19 months ago,  he became a medical cannabis patient in the state of Montana,  and has had only 2 insulin seizures during these past 19 months,  and his A1c hemoglobin tests have dropped from 7.4 to 5.9.  Since becoming a cannabis patient,  his low blood sugar awareness has improved tremendously,  which has allowed him to run tighter blood sugar control,  which has improved his A1c's.    I am not sure why,  however,  it seems that cannabis has a c-peptide type of reaction in the body.  However it works,...it works,  and he is healthier.  Cannabis is Medicine.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had diabetes for 24 years i was born with it. I smoke all the time for the neuropathy. The way i see it is if you develop neuropathy in the lower extremities it is the worst pain ever. I have been shot and the neuropathy pain is far worse then having an open hole in ur body. If u do develop the neuropathy all the doctors will say is soak your legs in ice water and try to keep your sugars at a normal level. Sometimes it takes long hours to drop a sugar i had a blood sugar of 3731 and it took 6 days to bring it down to 104 luckily i was in a coma. Weed has no ill effect on diabetics and for the diabetics that smoke a crave sweets after it be careful you will lose that battle.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had type 1 diabetes for 12 years now, and Ill be 24 this November. The first time I smoked was on my 16th birthday. I have been smoking ever since, except the year or 2 that I didnt for jobs and such. I have had no ill effects caused my smoking marijuana in my years of doing so,other than the occasional badly timed nap. There are some things to watch out for tho, such as themunchies, and he will have to keep a close eye on his bg and insulin intake. As long as he uses a little common sense and doesn't get arrested for pot, I dont see a problem with his smoking pot.
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Avatar_m_tn
No disrespect but i think your situation is the exception. every other pot smoking diabetic, and everything i have read about this are completely opposite of your situation. Marijuana has definitely helped me.  
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Avatar_m_tn
i am 19year old male and have had type 1 juvinile diabetes sience age 8 and i smoke pot everyday and it seems to make me more concentrated on testing my bloodsugar on time and getting my insulin at the right times and my eye sight is still 20/20 an no major complicatins yet and i have been smoking for a few years not cigeretts but just weed and ive never felt better about my self
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Avatar_m_tn
im a young marijuana user. which seems to scare alot of people,i want to share my experience with pot in hopes that i can get some advice. i have been smoking regularly for about 2 years and i have type 1 diabetes, anyways i have been through alot in the past month, i just got busted by my parents for smoking for the 5th time. and now my mom feels as if i am too much for her to deal with ); now i live with my dad most of the time, which wouldent be so bad if it wasnt for the fact that he has bypolar. he has acasional delusions but theres a bigger problem! he is extremely annoying and pushy and wont let me out of his sight. will keeping me in a cage like a monkey solve anything...i dont know you tell me.anyways my life has gone down the toilet, but not because of pot, but because of how my parents are handeling my "pot problem". so basically i hate my dad and i like my mom alot cus she actually listens to me and trys to see things my way. resently i was craving a buz so much i was about to smoke another bowl in the shower. thats when i dropped my glass pipe on my bathroom floor and of course it shatters. then i start picking up the glass with my hands trying to get rid of all of it, and i cut myself oww! anyways i managed to pick it all up and no one would have ever known.then i realized how pathetic i was and started to cry but not cus i broke my pipe that was just the straw that broke the camels back. then at that moment i came up with a plan to tell my mom about all my paraphanalia (spelling?) and tell her everything else like how i have smoked pot like everyday ect... then life would go back to normal and i could resume my pot smoking knowing that my mom trusted me again. after i told her everything i felt alot better and she took it all very very well. but then she started telling me things that im not sure if they are true or not, she said if i keep smoking pot and ciggarettes i will die at 30 because it is extremely unhealthy to smoke pot with type 1. (i think she was trying to make sure that i quit for good this time by making stuff up). i was unconvinced so i asked her were she got this information. she said "the internet" so i decided to do some research. which is when i stumbled across this blog. i have read alot of the coments people have posted here and i thought i should share my experience with you all. i cant say i know alot about how pot affeccts diabetics, but i do know that it doesent effect my bloodsugar at all and i can resist the erge to eat alot when the munchies come (: so im just wondering how exactly is my body being hurt, am i gonna die at 30 years old?  also i was planning to wait untell i move out to smoke again and when i do start smoking again im not gonna be a lazy pothead. im gonna have a good life and be overall healthy and take care of my diabetes.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have Type1 diabeties since 1983,and when i became a teenager i experience with marijuana.I tell you this one morning i woke and test my blood sugars my blood sugars was 360-380,so i was getting ready to take my insulin and then i thought marijuana causes you to get the munchies i wondered why,so i experimented i had some marijuana and i smoke somein the next hour or two i tested my blood sugars,my blood sugars had drop too about 284-286,after that i took my insulin.What i learned was smoking marijauna lowers your blood sugars that why you get the munchies now i'm no doctor but if marijuana can lower my blood sugars then i think thats good in a way.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey cheech,

No worries, nobody has ever died from smoking pot,  I actually recommend cannabis oil for your son's condition.  If you do the research you may find some truly amazing effects.  And smoking cannabis results in an increased blood flow, not sure what type he is.
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Avatar_f_tn
i need to find out if smoking pot or having a few drinks will give a false reading when you go get tested to see if you have diabetes. thank you!
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