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Harvard Medical School
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General Medical Questions
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Question : What are the repercussions of marijuana use in people with type 1 diabetes? Can it provoke major changes in sugar levels? Also, can it provoke mood swings in conjunction with low blood sugars?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Mary Pickett, M.D. is an Associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University where she is a primary care doctor for adults. She supervises and educates residents in the field of Internal Medicine, for outpatient and hospital care. She is a Lecturer for Harvard Medical School and a Senior Medical Editor for Harvard Health Publications.

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December 03, 2004
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A:

Marijuana does not have a direct affect on glucose levels. However, marijuana use can create snacking urges, and high-carbohydrate snacks or overall increased calorie intake can significantly worsen diabetes control.

Low blood sugars are not known to be associated with marijuana use, although mood swings probably do result from the drug itself. In fact, regular marijuana use appears to have effects on brain function and mental health even long after the drug is discontinued. Researchers within drug treatment centers who have measured memory and attention skills have shown that long-term users of marijuana (averaging 10 years of use) have poorer brain function than do short-term users, even after they have discontinued the drug. Research also suggests that marijuana use may be associated with higher rates of depression and schizophrenia in later adult years.

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