Does cannabis use affect glucose metabolism?

  • Ngueta G & al.
  • J Diabetes
  • 1 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Chronic cannabis use is associated with lower fasting insulin and lower homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in adults with obesity, but not in adults without it, even at
  • Lower insulin levels persist even after stopping heavy use.

Why this matters

  • Data conflict regarding link between long-term cannabis use and glucose metabolic dysfunction.

Study design

  • Data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2009-2016) for 129,509 adults ages 18-59 years without diabetes and not taking glucose-lowering medications.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Median plasma fasting insulin levels:
    • 9.83 µU/mL in never-users of cannabis vs 7.70 µU/mL in current users.
  • No association with BMI 2, except among former users of
  • Mean fasting insulin with BMI 25-30 kg/m2 among current users with
  • With BMI ≥30 kg/m2, mean fasting insulin for those using
  • Former frequent users had significantly lower insulin levels compared with never-users, independent of duration since last use.

Limitations

  • Cross-sectional design.
  • Self-reported cannabis use.