The skeletal system is made up of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and other connective tissues. It provides our body’s structural support, and when damaged, we lose some of that support. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), about 54 million people suffer from osteoporosis and low bone mass in the US alone. Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that causes bones to become porous.This makes the bones prone to damage and breaking more easily. However, research is suggesting that CBD could help with some of the symptoms of osteoporosis and other bone damage.
First, let's talk about osteoporosis and what it is exactly. Bone is living tissue in a constant state of breaking down and regrowth. This helps keep our bones healthy and strong. This process is called bone resorption. Cells called osteoclasts dissolve bone on a microscopic scale and enzymes break down the collagen network. This is followed by the formation of new bone by cells called osteoblasts. This process happens throughout your life and about every 10 years you "grow a new skeleton." Unfortunately, some people’s bones can't keep up with the breaking down and rebuilding due to a lack of minerals in the bone causing the bones to lose density and weaken them. This makes the bones prone to fractures and breaks. Fracturing or breaking a bone with osteoporosis is even worse. Since the bone is already weak a fracture or break is very hard to heal and most likely won't heal correctly. However, there could be some hope for those with Osteoporosis with the help of CBD.
Like most research done with cannabinoids and cannabis it's still in its infancy. However, the small amount of research that has been done shows positive results. According to a study done by Kogan et. al. in 2015, when CBD was administered to rats the maximal load on the bones increased and they found that CBD sped up the healing process of broken or fractured bones.
Another study in 2009 performed by Zimmer, Bib, and Melamed showed that CB2 agonists could not only help with bone loss, but also prevented it. One thing to keep in mind with this study is that they used a synthetic cannabinoid instead of the naturally occurring CBD. So it is possible that those results could differ with the natural cannabinoid, cannabidiol.
While these studies are fairly new and there isn't much research on the topic just yet, the results show staggering results. With osteoporosis affecting so many people we certainly hope that there is a solution soon and CBD just may be the answer.