Bone problems, including traditional fractures as well as osteoporosis, pose a significant threat to one’s health. When your bones aren’t healthy, it typically means you can become weak, can’t get exercise, or experience other issues. Bone degeneration is thought by many to be a side effect of old age, and therefore unavoidable. However, there is a potential new support which has been shown to aid in many different bone issues: cannabidiol.
Osteoporosis affects over 53 million American men and women aged 50 and older, which means that more than half of the people in this age group are suffering from it. This condition dramatically increases the risk of fractures, which often consist of vertebrae or hip fractures. Osteoporosis can prevent you from leading a normal, healthy life and it can render you immobile or even on bedrest.
Osteoclasts, which are the cells that degrade bone, have recently been identified as having a receptor called the GRP55 receptor. According to recent research, cannabidiol has been shown to block the activation of this receptor, resulting in significantly reduced degradation of bone. Other researchers have also shown that when exposed to CBD, the healing of bones after a fracture is much quicker. Although this research would require further human trials, the results are promising.
The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research also published a study which showed that CBD enhances bone strength and accelerates healing from fractures. They found that, when administering CBD on rats with femoral fractures, the size of the fracture decreased significantly after four weeks, shorter than the traditional six to eight weeks. Again, although the human application to this study is lacking, it shows very promising results for the possibility of using CBD in this context on humans in the future.
In addition to physically strengthening bones, CBD may act as an aid to those suffering from pain as a result of bone diseases. One of the significant examples of this kind of treatment is for arthritis, which affects joints and results in pain, stiffness, swelling, or loss of mobility. CBD is widely used by people who have arthritis and chronic pain, and may be an effective alternative to traditional painkillers like opiates, which can cause harmful side effects or addiction. In a 2016 study done by the University of Kentucky, rats with arthritis were given a topical CBD gel. It was found that the gel significantly reduced joint swelling, as well as pain surrounding the joints.
British company GW Pharmaceuticals also did testing on their medication Sativex; a cannabis-based compound used to treat arthritis. In their clinical trials, they found that significant pain-relief was observed in patients, as well as a decrease in the disease markers. It is clear that more human trials are needed to make a definitive conclusion surrounding CBD and bone degeneration, but the studies thus far are promising. If CBD can be proven to be an effective treatment to support bone health, the implications would be far-reaching.