June 24, 2022

CBD & Sugar: Sweet Match Or Sour Couple?

When you reach for a CBD treat, the sugar contents might be the farthest thing from your mind. But is there more than meets the taste buds with sweet cannabinoid concoctions? That’s what we’re here to find out!

In this article, we’re getting granular on:

  • Why sugar plus CBD warrants some consideration
  • How CBD and sugar interact
  • When you might want to consider low- or no-sugar CBD products
  • The best way to enjoy your saccharine CBD goodies

But first, there’s something we need to get clear on to understand the “why” and “how” behind all of the above: how sugar affects the body and mind.

What Are The Effects Of Sugar?

Research has shown that when you eat sugar, your body releases dopamine and opioids — the same chemicals triggered from drugs like cocaine. This is why it’s so easy to get hooked on sugar, and so hard to cut it out. Some scientists have even argued that sugar should be categorized as an addictive substance.(1)

Sugar also causes inflammation and increases blood pressure. And, it contributes to obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes — among other diseases.

As you can see, there’s good reason to pause on the implications of mixing CBD with sugar, just as it’s worth considering the effects of combining CBD with drugs like alcohol and caffeine.

So, let’s dissolve into the deets on this duo.

What Happens When You Mix CBD & Sugar?

Many people use CBD as part of a wellness routine. Considering the health risks associated with sugar, going for sugary CBD products or mixing CBD drops into your soda pop is, for the most part, counterintuitive.

But there is some (potentially) good news for anyone who likes to satisfy his or her sweet tooth.

CBD Vs Sugar

Based on early research, it appears that CBD’s natural properties could counteract some of the negative ramifications of sugar.

  • Sugar consumption triggers the release of cytokines, a type of protein that causes inflammation. CBD lowers cytokine levels. One ongoing study suggests that terpenes naturally present in broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD may double-down on those anti-inflammatory effects.(2,3)
  • Nitric oxide helps blood vessels expand to keep blood pressure in a healthy range. Eating too much sugar suppresses nitric oxide, causing blood pressure to increase. Meanwhile, CBD stimulates nitric oxide and has been found to reduce blood pressure.(4)
  • Another study found that CBD lowered blood sugar levels and increased insulin production in rats.(5)

So, the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD might cancel out sugar’s pro-inflammatory properties. This means that CBD could, in theory, negate sugar’s blood pressure boosting properties. And with more research, we’ll know for certain if CBD can help reduce blood sugar levels.

CBD is being considered as a natural diabetes treatment for all of the above reasons, plus its ability to ease nerve pain.(5)

For now, these possible benefits should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, if CBD could cancel out the effects of sugar, could sugar cancel out the effects of CBD?

Simply put, we just don’t know yet. Which begs the question…

Should You Cut Sugar Out Of Your CBD?

Many people feel the best effects from CBD gummies and other sweetened edibles. However, we do know that a low-sugar diet is best for health.

Thankfully, you won’t have any trouble finding low-sugar or sugar-free CBD products. In fact, the entire Pure Craft product line falls into this category.

  • Our CBD softgels are sugar-free.
  • Pure Craft water-soluble CBD tinctures are sweetened with stevia, a vegan sugar substitute.
  • Our CBD oil drops are sugar-free, including our CBD for pets.
  • Even our broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD gummies contain just two grams of sugar per serving.

Of course, you’ll wanna check the ingredients list when you shop elsewhere. But this gives you an idea of just how easy it is to nix or reduce sugar in your CBD routine.

Just to be clear, eating less sugar doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and then. So if your favorite CBD products or recipes just so happen to have some sugar in them, there’s no need to quit them entirely just yet.

And when the occasion calls for some sugar, we’ve got some diet hacks for you!

How You Can Have Your CBD & Eat Your Sugar, Too

When your bod is handling glucose and fructose like a champ, your CBD can continue to help you level-up your wellness instead of doing damage control on inflammation and other sugar-induced situations.

Here’s how you can help your body process your CBD goodies better.

  • Eat sugar along with some protein, fat, and fiber. The combination will quell the spike in blood glucose levels. And fat helps improve the bioavailability of CBD.(6,7) Win-win!
  • Consider using raw honey, maple syrup, or date syrup when baking or cooking with CBD. These natural sweeteners have a lower glycemic index than white sugar, so they don’t raise blood sugar as harshly.
  • Stay hydrated. Yep! Believe it or not, dehydration causes the sugar in your blood to become more concentrated, making it easier for your blood sugar to tip into the high range. Tropical CBD-infused water, anyone?
  • For the best chance of maximum results from your CBD, use nano CBD, which has been optimized for absorption so your body can put it to work.

Looking for some sweet CBD recipes? Head to theCBD Cooking tab here on our blog to inspire your inner confectioner or pastry chef!

CBD & Sugar: It’s All About Balance

A diet high in sugar can disrupt your health, and might even backpedal on some of the health gains you get from your CBD.

Finding sugarless and low-sugar CBD oil products is easy. And with some simple dietary changes, you can ease the consequences of CBD candies and desserts. So feel free to go for that fruity CBD cocktail with a sugar rim and keep whipping up those CBD-infused desserts every now and then.

Ultimately, it’s best to have the same approach with CBD desserts and treats as you do regular desserts and treats: Enjoy them in moderation.

[INSERT SHOP LOW & NO-SUGAR CBD PRODUCTS BUTTON?]

References

  1. Davis, N. (2017). Is sugar really as addictive as cocaine? Scientists row over effect on body and brain. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/25/is-sugar-really-as-addictive-as-cocaine-scientists-row-over-effect-on-body-and-brain
  2. Henshaw, FR, et al. (2021). The Effects of Cannabinoids on Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines: A Systematic Review of In Vivo Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2020.0105
  3. Earlenbaugh, E. (2020). New Research Suggests Terpenes And CBD Work 2X’s Better For Covid-19 Inflammation Than Corticosteroid. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilyearlenbaugh/2020/07/21/new-research-suggests-terpenes-and-cbd-work-3xs-better-for-covid-19-inflammation-than-corticosteroid
  4. Sultan, SR, et al. (2020). The effects of acute and sustained cannabidiol dosing for seven days on the haemodynamics in healthy men: A randomised controlled trial. British journal of clinical pharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1111/bcp.14225
  5. McQueen, J. (2021). CBD and Diabetes. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/cbd-and-diabetes
  6. Baum, I. (2021). 6 Ways You Can Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes After Meals. AllRecipes. https://www.allrecipes.com/article/manage-blood-sugar-spikes-after-meals
  7. Mozaffari, K, et al. (2021). The Effects of Food on Cannabidiol Bioaccessibility. Molecules. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26123573


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