US researchers have discovered a potential link between heavy cannabis use in women and lower rates of diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic condition which prevents the body from either making enough insulin (type 1) or being able to use insulin efficiently (type 2).
For the study, published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a team from Texas A&M University School of Public Health analysed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2013-2018).
Of 7,845 female participants, those who smoked cannabis fewer than four times per month were deemed light users, while those who did so more often were considered heavy users.
Diabetes status was determined by physician diagnosis or meeting the criteria for plasma glucose, fasting blood glucose or hemoglobin A1C levels.
Female participants who used cannabis heavily were less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those who didn’t use cannabis at all, while light use had no association with diabetes diagnosis.
Researchers found no association in male participants between diabetes and any level of cannabis use.
Previous research has shown that CBD and THC stimulate receptors in the endocannabinoid system that result in improved glucose disposal.
However, study results have tended to vary when testing whether the sexes differ in their response to acute cannabis use.