According to a new study published by the journal BioMed Research International, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be “a potential new target for the treatment of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease.”
“The aim of this study was to determine if chronic, low-dose administration of a nonspecific cannabinoid receptor agonist could provide cardioprotective effects in a model of type I diabetes mellitus”, states the study’s abstract. “Diabetes was induced in eight-week-old male Wistar-Kyoto rats.. Following the induction of diabetes, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol was administered via intraperitoneal injection (0.15 mg kg-1 day-1) for an eight-week period until the animals reached sixteen weeks of age.”
Upon completion of the treatment regime, “assessments of vascular reactivity and left ventricular function and electrophysiology were made, as were serum markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation.” According to researchers, “Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol administration to diabetic animals significantly reduced blood glucose concentrations and attenuated pathological changes in serum markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. Positive changes to biochemical indices in diabetic animals conferred improvements in myocardial and vascular function. This study demonstrates that chronic, low-dose administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol can elicit antihyperglycaemic and antioxidant effects in diabetic animals, leading to improvements in end organ function of the cardiovascular system.”
The abstract concludes by stating that; “Implications from this study suggest that cannabinoid receptors may be a potential new target for the treatment of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease.”
The full study, conducted by researchers at Central Queensland University in Australia, can be found on the U.S. National Institute of Health’s website by clicking here.