TL;DR: Can you get a medical card for diabetes? In some states, yes. While marijuana isn’t a cure for type 2 diabetes, it can help people living with this condition foster a more healthy lifestyle.
If you’re living with Type 2 Diabetes, you might be curious: Can you get a medical card for diabetes?
In some states, patients can pursue a medical marijuana recommendation for quality of life support while living with type 2 Diabetes. While medical cannabis isn’t a replacement for type 2 diabetes medications, it can help patients curb the side effects of some drugs, support exercise recovery, and improve sleep.
In this guide, we’re exploring everything patients need to know about using medical cannabis for type 2 diabetes, including typical treatments and considerations for using marijuana in combination with other therapeutic tools.
A staggering 10% of Americans live with diabetes, and the vast majority of these patients specifically live with type 2 diabetes—somewhere between 90-95%. Patients living with diabetes struggle with insulin and blood sugar regulation:
High blood sugar can cause other health conditions like heart disease, vision challenges, and kidney disease.
While health researchers largely attribute type 2 diabetes development to obesity and lack of physical activity, there’s still much that experts don’t know about the condition.
Not to mention that obesity and lack of physical activity often don’t exist in a vacuum: people recovering from a traumatic experience, working to treat other health conditions, or struggling financially can experience dietary and lifestyle changes that contribute to their body composition and exercise regimens.
Luckily, there are treatment options available for people living with type 2 diabetes.
Generally speaking, there are three major avenues patients and providers typically take when treating type 2 diabetes:
If you’re already working through one of the treatment methods listed above, you might be curious about adding medical cannabis to your regimen. Let’s break down how medical marijuana can support people living with type 2 diabetes.
Many medications prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes feature a laundry list of side effects. For GLP-1 agonist drugs in particular, one of the most common side effects is nausea.
Nausea is also one of the key reasons why patients stop taking GLP-1 drugs or keep their doses as low as possible—as a result, the treatment process (i.e., pharmaceutically-supported weight loss) can be slow.
A wide variety of patients use medical cannabis to prevent or treat nausea (including people undergoing treatment for various types of cancers). By combining GLP-1 drugs with medical cannabis, patients may be able to quell nausea-related side effects and optimize their prescription medication treatment.
While you should talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking in combination with both GLP-1 drugs and medical cannabis, the combination certainly shows promise for people living with type 2 diabetes.
You’ve likely heard a common half-truth about marjuana: it causes “the munchies.” Wouldn’t this appetite-inducing effect be counterproductive for people with type 2 diabetes who are trying to lose weight?
While a penchant for snacking certainly isn’t unheard of for people using medical cannabis, not every strain of cannabis will stimulate your appetite. In fact, people using some prescription treatments for type 2 diabetes (GLP-1 agonist drugs, for instance), can actually use this effect to their advantage:
GLP-1 drugs aren’t the only drugs that impact appetite. A wide variety of prescription medications (from stimulants to antidepressants) can impact feelings of hunger and thirst. So, people living with type 2 diabetes who are trying to balance weight loss with healthy nutrition could discover a happy medium by adding medical cannabis to their treatment regimens.
Exercise is one of the most common recommendations providers offer people living with type 2 diabetes for two reasons:
While media portrayals of cannabis might give you the impression that weed makes you lethargic, many patients use marijuana to support an active lifestyle. How?
In addition to recovery and motivation for exercise, medical marijuana can also support one of the most important lifestyle factors for people trying a new prescription, diet, or exercise regimen for the first time: healthy sleep.
Patients report that medical marijuana helps them achieve:
Patients looking to support their sleep with cannabis will need to time their dosing carefully and experiment to find a strain, dose, and administration method that works best for their sleep schedule. However, quality sleep is critical for people living with any illness—type 2 diabetes included.
While medical cannabis can’t cure or prevent type 2 diabetes, it can help patients tolerate prescription treatments, dietary changes, and exercise recommendations from their healthcare providers. Simply put, medical marijuana can provide ample wellness and quality of life support for people working through type 2 diabetes treatment.
When you’re ready to learn more about medical cannabis or seek a recommendation from a qualified provider, reach out to the TeleLeaf team. Our expert providers can talk through your symptoms and goals to help you establish a realistic treatment plan—all from the comfort of your home.
Ready to schedule an appointment? Get in touch with us to get started.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 Diabetes. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html
Mayo Clinic. Type 2 Diabetes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193
Cleveland Clinic. GLP-1 Agonists. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/13901-glp-1-agonists
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes and Your Heart. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-and-heart.html
UC Davis. Ozempic for Weight Loss: Does It Work and What Experts Recommend. https://health.ucdavis.edu/blog/cultivating-health/ozempic-for-weight-loss-does-it-work-and-what-do-experts-recommend/2023/07
Healthline. What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and What Can You Do About It?. https://www.healthline.com/health/doms