A recent study has found the use of cannabis could potentially offer some protection against metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome may be diagnosed when at least three of five of the following medical conditions are noted: abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
Metabolic syndrome may be a precursory condition to the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Metabolic syndrome is a significant problem, with between 20 and 25 percent of the adult population globally demonstrating the cluster of risk factors for the condition.
Researchers set out to explore the relationship between marijuana use and metabolic syndrome across various stages of adulthood.
The results of 20-to-59-year olds who completed the US 2005-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys were examined for the study – with some interesting results.
13.8% of current marijuana users and 17.5% of past marijuana users presented with metabolic syndrome compared to 19.5% of ” never” users of cannabis. With regard to emerging adults, current marijuana users were 54% less likely than never users to present with metabolic syndrome. “Emerging adults” is the age group between 18 and 25 years.
It’s a significant difference and one that merits further exploration.
“Current marijuana use is associated with lower odds of metabolic syndrome across emerging and middle-aged US adults,” say the study’s authors. ” Future studies should examine the biological pathways of this relationship.”
Pending further research, perhaps refined cannabis medicines could be developed to target this particular condition – without needing to smoke the plant and possibly perhaps without any of the psychoactive element (THC) if it’s found that does not play a role in protecting against metabolic syndrome.
Literally dozens of chemical compounds called cannabinoids have been isolated from the cannabis plant – and many of those may have medicinal properties. Some have already been shown to provide relief for conditions such as multiple sclerosis and alleviating nausea plus promoting hunger in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Humanity has been using cannabis as a medicine for thousands of years – and it’s encouraging that it is now experiencing a resurgence; slowly shaking off the vilification it has endured over the past 50 years or so in Western society.