Researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston assessed the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance in a sample of 4,657 male subjects. Investigators reported: "[S]ubjects who reported using marijuana in the past month had lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR [insulin resistance], as well as smaller waist circumference and higher levels of HDL-C [high-density lipoprotein or 'good' cholesterol]. These associations were attenuated among those who reported using marijuana at least once, but not in the past 30 days, suggesting that the impact of marijuana use on insulin and insulin resistance exists during periods of recent use."
Writing in an accompanying commentary, American Journal of Medicine Editor-in-Chief Joseph S. Alpert, MD stated: "These are indeed remarkable observations that are supported, as the authors note, by basic science experiments that came to similar conclusions. ... I would like to call on the NIH and the DEA to collaborate in developing policies to implement solid scientific investigations that would lead to information assisting physicians in the proper use and prescription of THC in its synthetic or herbal form."
Observational trial data published in 2012 in the British Medical Journal previously reported that adults with a history of marijuana use had a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and possess a lower risk of contracting the disease than did those with no history of cannabis consumption, even after researchers adjusted for social variables such as subjects' ethnicity and levels of physical activity.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full text of the study, "The impact of marijuana use on glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance among US adults," appears in The American Journal of Medicine.