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November 30, 1999

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Question from Buenos Aires, Argentina:

My son (17) has had diabetes for 2 years. He is on insulin twice a day and has a 6.7 A1c. We realize he was smoking marijuana for 2 months. We discuss it with him, and is not doing it anymore, but he told us it was not "dangerous" for his diabetes. Can you give us more information about "consequences" of marijuana in diabetics?

Answer:

Marijuana does not seem to have any direct effect on glucose or insulin metabolism. It can however modify appetite and at another extreme it can cause confusion if there is ever a diabetes coma. More importantly though, it may be the doorway to more addictive drugs which can impair the will to maintain adequate control of blood glucose.

DOB