Thursday, December 9, 2010

Diabetes, Gout, and Medical Marijuana

Recently we received a question about smoking pot and diabetes. Today we have a question about diabetes, gout, and medical marijuana. "I have been on a high-protein diet to get my blood sugars under control. The problem is, I have developed gout. Really painful gout that seems to come every night. Should I ask my doctor for an Rx for medical marijuana?"

There is some scientific evidence that marijuana contains compounds that settle the stomach and prevent inflammation. Beta-caryophyllene, for example, relieves tooth and bone pain, and apigenin stops inflammatory processes. You can get these compounds, however, in other herbs, oil of cloves for the beta-caryophyllene, and parsley for the apigenin. There is a compound unique to marijuana called canniflavin A that is supposed to be 30 times more effective than aspirin for stopping certain inflammatory processes, but it's never been researched since it was discovered in 1988.

Strictly on health considerations, medical marijuana might not hurt you, but there are much better ways to go about controlling gout pain. Find some room in your diet for cherries. The salicylates in cherries (Montmorency cherries in particular) stop the formation of the crystals that cause gout pain.

And consider eating less meat, eggs, fish, and legumes, and more leafy vegetables. Don't go overboard on leafy veggies, either, but eating protein foods will probably help. You may notice results from eating cherries in as little as a day or two, from reducing protein in your diet, in a week or two.

You may also be interested in What is Gout and What Are Its Symptoms?

Selected Reference:

Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 Feb;4(1):245-59.

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