Now that more and more states are approving marijuana for medical use, the substance’s medicinal benefits are slowly being brought out into the open. For instance, did you know that weed might help strengthen your bones?
Bone researcher Yankel Gabet from Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the rest of his team recently studied the effects of cannabis on bone healing. They found out that the compound cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana can help stimulate bone formation and heal bone fractures.
In the experiment, the team injected rats with broken thigh bones with either CBD alone or a combination of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the hallucinogenic component of weed. Rats treated with CBD alone developed stronger collagen tissue, which enhances bone healing because collagen is used for the creation of a fracture callus, This gradually mineralizes and hardens to form new bone. On the other hand, they also found out that THC was not necessary to achieve the same effects.
“There is no need to be exposed to the euphoric effects of cannabis/THC to get the beneficial functions of CBD on bone,” Gabet said. “While there is no certainty, these findings hold promise for the potential clinical applicability of using CBD for fracture healing in humans.”
Dr. Deborah Kado, a bone health specialist from the UC San Diego School of Medicine, thinks that Gabet’s research published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research holds a lot of potential, especially in the treatment of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative condition that results in weak and brittle bones. More than 54 million Americans suffer from low bone density or osteoporosis, causing two million bone fractures per year, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. With CBD, the treated bone is even 35 to 50 percent stronger than normal, making it less likely to break in the future.
“As we currently have no FDA-approved medications on the market to help with fracture healing, the study concept is exciting,” Kado said.
Would you ever use weed for the treatment of osteoporosis and other bone diseases? Voice your opinions in the comments section below—your opinion matters to the nation.