The Cannabinoids Effect on Bone Formation and Bone Healing
Purpose of review: Here, we overview the latest findings from studies investigating the skeletal endocannabinoid (EC) system and its involvement in bone formation and resorption.
Recent findings: The endocannabinoid system consists of endogenous ligands, receptors, and enzymes. The main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are expressed in bone and regulate bone homeostasis in rodents and humans. CBD treatment was shown to enhance fracture healing in rats. Recent studies in mice indicate that strain, age, and sex differences dictate the skeletal outcome of the EC activation. CBD treatment was shown to enhance bone healing, but needs validation in clinical trials. While research shows that EC activity protects against bone loss, studies on CB1 and CB2 agonists in bone regeneration models are lacking. Whether modulating the EC system would affect bone repair remains therefore an open question worth investigating.
Keywords: Bone; CB1 receptor; CB2 receptor; CBD; Cannabinoid; Cannabis; Endocannabinoid; Fracture; Osteoporosis; Skeleton.
CBD for Bones: Pain, Healing and Growth!
Studies dating back to the early 2000s have sought to answer the question ‘is it safe to use CBD for bones?’ The preliminary clinical trials indicate that the natural elements within CBD oil have the potential to vastly improve the strength and duration of human bone structures. However, more studies are necessary for the results to prove conclusive.
That being said, there is promising evidence that CBD can strengthen bone integrity. CBD has become well-known in the health and wellness industry as a natural remedy that improves one’s overall quality of life. Doctors have recommended CBD doses to treat autism, anxiety, depression, muscle soreness, gout, and even to reduce blood pressure. Treatments are available in small doses in the form of oils, lotions, skin creams, and other CBD products.
So how does CBD help treat bone strength? Let’s look into it.
CBD and Bone Growth
In an article published to the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, researchers determined that CBD enhances the biomechanical properties of healing mid-femoral bone fractures in rats. Human trials are still necessary to analyze if similar results will occur. But the doctors behind the trial were confident in proclaiming CBD as a net benefit for bone growth and healing of bone fractures.
The lab rat results mirror similar studies conducted on both humans and animals in using CBD to treat symptoms of arthritis and muscle pain. In fact, these studies concluded that CBD could alleviate the pain suffered by arthritis patients by relieving chronic pain within the bones.
CBD and Broken Bones
Similar to the bone growth study, a broken bone study was conducted in Israel. The test subject was also a rat, which received controlled doses of CBD oil to treat a broken bone.
The bones did show signs of healing, but the scientists were unable to definitely prove if the pain associated with the broken bones had diminished due to the treatment. However, there is room to suspect the overall levels of pain did improve.
CBD has the ability to substitute for the body’s natural endocannabinoids, which empower the endocannabinoid system. These endocannabinoids attach to receptors in the body that help minimize the effects of pain through anti-inflammatory activity. The brain receives a signal from these receptors to minimize the feelings of pain and, therefore, improve the overall quality of life in the patient.
Studies are still necessary to determine if CBD also minimizes the pain of broken bones.
CBD Oil and Bone Cancer
Pain resulting from cancer is caused by excessive inflammation treatments, nerve injuries, or invasion of bone and other pain-sensitive structures. CBD has the ability to treat cancerous pain with anti-inflammatory properties contained within the remedy.
CBD is particularly effective as an anti-inflammatory treatment. The receptors in the body responsible for mediating pain and sensory perception are triggered by anti-inflammatory treatments, like CBD. The cannabinoids within CBD oil latch onto these receptors and prevent the body from succumbing to excessive inflammation, which actually increases levels of pain.
Doctors have recommended CBD oil as a natural way to alleviate pain in the body. CBD has helped minimize cancer-induced pain, particularly for conditions like pancreatic cancer. It’s also been used to reduce the pain associated with arthritis, menstrual cramps, and even common headaches.
Research still needs to enter the clinical trial stage to determine if there’s possible therapy in using CBD oil for bone cancer treatments. But there is potential that it could provide relief.
CBD Dosage for Bone Cancer
While official clinical trials are still pending for CBD dosages for bone cancer, doses used to treat other underlying conditions help paint a picture on the recommended dosage for bone cancer-related pain.
Many people using CBD to treat their conditions will use a minimum of 5mg of CBD oil per day. In some cases, the treatment can rise as high as 100mg per day, or even higher. The overall size and mass of the body in question plays a role in defining the optimal dosage.
Medical history is also important. It helps to consult with your primary doctor if you plan on taking CBD for bones or any other conditions. Your doctor can prescribe the ideal dosage based on the history in your medical file to ensure there will be no notable side effects to the treatment.
Can CBD Oil Help Osteoporosis
Like bone cancer, osteoporosis is a condition caused by the deterioration of the body’s bone structure. It occurs when the integrity of the bones weakens as a result of the body producing too much bone, too little bone, or both.
An early test determined if CBD oil can be used to treat symptoms of osteoporosis. Scientists prescribed 5mg of CBD oil to a lab rat that was suffering from alveolar bone loss. The trial lasted for 30 days and results were measured at the end of the testing timeline. The tests showed decreased alveolar bone loss in the rat and the doctors also confirmed decreased neutrophil migration in the gingival tissues.
Similar to the treatments for bone growth and bone cancer, more studies are required to draw medically approved conclusions. In particular, studies must proceed to human trials to gain greater insight into how CBD will improve the lives of patients with osteoporosis.
It remains to be seen how effective CBD for bones will be in treating bone-related injuries and conditions. More research is necessary to draw enough conclusions from the treatments to definitively rule CBD as a viable treatment for bones.
That being said, if you feel intense, lingering pain in your bones, speak with your doctor about CBD for bones as a possible solution for the pain. While no medical positions are officially on the record, doctors will likely have some knowledge as to whether CBD can help remedy the pain associated with your specific condition. This is your best way to test a natural remedy without inadvertently causing additional pain.
A study has found that an ingredient in marijuana helps mend broken bones in rats
Marijuana has increasingly been used for its medicinal properties, but until now, the drug has mostly been associated with alleviating symptoms—such as nausea and decreased appetite. A recent study shows that there may be a use that actually enhances healing—of broken bones.
The study, published in May in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (paywall), found that cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the non-psychoactive components of marijuana—sped up the healing of bone fractures in rats.
The study, which was conducted by a team of researchers from Israel, Switzerland, and Sweden, was testing for the effects of both CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychotrophic effects—on the healing process in rats. The team ultimately found that only CBD had the effect of both speeding up the healing process and enhancing bone growth, making them stronger and less likely to break in the future.
To test which component of marijuana affected the process of fracture healing, the team individually tested the effects of THC and CBD. The researchers performed standardized fractures on a population of male Sprague-Dawley rats’ femurs, then injected the ingredients into the abdomens of the rats.
These findings may also be used for treatment of skeletal diseases in humans, like osteoporosis, but that doesn’t mean those with broken or deteriorating bones will have to get high. There is no need for the psychoactive component of marijuana to get the benefit of its bone-healing effects, according to the researchers.
“While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis,” said one of the study’s authors, Dr. Yankel Gabet, in an interview with the Times of Israel.
Other ingredients in marijuana have been found to treat medical conditions, including epilepsy.