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CBD and Bone Growth

It has been known for a number of years that CBD helps promote bone growth and prevent bone loss.  CBD is safe, essential harmless and can be of significant use for the prevention of bone loss and restoring stronger bone after a fracture.  (Some side effects of feeling tired may occur when exceeding suggested dosage when combined with the RX or OTC medications for pain management, sleep and relaxation).   Allan Frankel, MD; Green Bridge Medical and Am. Society for Bone and Mineral Growth.  Additionally, after years of research on compounds in the cannabis plant, it was shown that саnnаbіnоіdѕ (CBD extract) can protect the body against arthritis, joint damage, bone injuries, degeneration and disease.  Further research concludes that the еndосаnnаbіnоіd ѕуѕtеm aids in bone growth, strengthens the bone matrix and helps to preserve the bone.  U.S. Library of National Medicine, National Institute of Health.

Background on Bone Cell Formation

Most cells share a multiphase life cycle. They are created (through cell division), specialize, hopefully thrive, and then either divide again or get recycled. From the time between a cell’s creation and its functional life, the cell begins to take on specialized qualities (such as being classified as a bone cell).   Bone tissue, osseous tissue, is a hard a type of dense connective tissue.  It initially has an internal, honeycomb-like matrix to help to give the bone rigidity.  The mineralization matrix of bone tissue has an organic component (mainly collagen) and in-organic component made up of various salts and minerals.  In the initial life cycle of a bone formation, bone tissue has a mixture of “bone-forming” cells called osteoblasts which combine to form a special type of collagen. This mixture then solidifies, creating groups of osteocytes, or finished bone cells. The third type of cell, osteoclasts, help maintain structure of the matrix once it’s been established. It’s a dynamic process that goes on constantly within every bone.  Main point:  Osteoblasts create new bone and Osteoclasts resorb and help to remodel bone as stresses change.  New bone is always being formed and bone destruction or resorption is always taking place.

Maintaining Balance for Prevention of Bone Degeneration

It is the balance of these two processes that determine if we produce more bone or lose more bone.  Depending on diet, level of activity, hormonal and other changes, bone density generally declines with age.  Many elderly people with hip or other fractures had minimal stress directly on the bone, rather suffered a fracture from degeneration of the bone.  In fact, most hip fractures occur BEFORE a person falls and hits the ground.  A “torque” pressure initially causes the fracture and then the fall takes place.  Thus, their bone strength had decreased and bones became extremely brittle.  CBD offer a preventative alternative.

CBD, Osteoporosis and Bone Formation

CBD has an effect on the body by working upon our internal endocannabinoid system. There are two receptors in the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2.  CBD (Hemp Extract) works on both of these.  A recent breakthrough revealed that CB2 receptors are present in bone tissue, predominantly in the bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) and the cells which reabsorb bone (osteoclasts).  These receptors play a role in regulating bone metabolism by helping to maintain balance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts to ensure optimal bone health.  With osteoporosis, this balance is impaired and bone density decreased.  With CBD working primarily upon CB2 receptors, osteoblast count and activity increase while inhibiting osteoclasts (bone reabsorbing cells).  This function stimulates bone formation and prevents bone loss by helping the body maintain normal bone mass.  As such, CBD has shown to be a positive and effective alternative for osteoporosis and bone growth.

CB2 Receptor Relevance and Conclusions

This cycle is relevant for one main reason: as mentioned above, type-2 endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the bone. They’re especially active on osteoblasts—the undifferentiated, future bone cells that eventually comprise the final product. When collagen networks are forming to create new bone, CB2 activity swells up in tandem to continue the process.  All this means that CB2 receptor agonists like CBD or 2-AG may help modulate—and speed up the process of new osteoblast growth. By being present at the initial stages of bone growth, endocannabinoids help ensure that everything is differentiated correctly. And when everything is differentiated correctly, bones become strong and thoroughly woven.

Research on CBD in “Bone Remodeling” / Formation

The scientific research carried out into the effectiveness of CBD as an osteoporosis prescription so far has had extremely good results:

One study used targeted inactivation of either the CB1 or CB2 receptors upon mice. With both groups, they found the mice had normal peak bone mass but suffered from age-related osteoporosis. These results show the cannabinoid receptors play an important role in bone remodeling.

Another study followed up the findings that cannabinoid receptors are involved with bone mass regulation by looking at the effects of THC and CBD on rat femurs. They found CBD increased the maximal loads and work-to-failure rate of the rat femurs. THC did not have the same positive effect. From this, they concluded CBD enhances the healing of femurs and strengthens them.

In a preclinical trial, scientists created a synthetic CB2-specific agonist which affected the body in a very similar way to how CBD works. They found it rescues bone loss. From these results, they concluded that cannabinoid-based treatments should be used to combat osteoporosis.

* Numerous clinical trials and scientific research have been and continue to be conducted on the health benefits of CBD.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration; World Health Organization; Harvard Health; Research WSU and more.  Please contact Susan Iverson for additional questions.