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WIRE: Study indicates marijuana use associated with lower diabetes risk

Toronto, Canada: The past use of cannabis is significantly associated with lower odds of diabetes in adults, according to data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

Investigators with the University of Toronto assessed the association between cannabis use and diabetes in a nationally representative sample, while accounting for a range of potential confounders – including lifestyle behaviors, socio-demographics, and mental health disorders.

Compared to non-users, subjects with a history of cannabis use possessed an approximately 20 percent decreased likelihood of diabetes. Those subjects with past-year marijuana use possessed an approximately 50 percent decreased risk.

“In sum, a decreased likelihood of diabetes for both lifetime and 12-month cannabis users versus non-users was found after accounting for a range of potential confounders, including mental health disorders,” authors concluded.

Although authors cautioned that “additional epidemiological studies … are needed before protective effects of cannabis can be suggested,” the study is one of several population studies identifying a positive association between lifetime cannabis consumption and a reduced risk for diabetes.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “The relationship between cannabis use and diabetes: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Review. Additional information on the association between cannabis and diabetes is available online from NORML.

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