Certain conditions like osteoporosis, brittle bone disease, and bone cancer, can affect the integrity of our bones. When our bones lose their mass, they become brittle and frail. This increases our risks for fractures and makes a “fall” much more extreme because of the increased risk for injury. While osteoporosis does affect middle aged men, women are 4x more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis and 2x more likely to be diagnosed with osteopenia (loss of bone mass) because of postmenopausal osteoporosis (1). This means that we need to look deeper and understand how we can improve bone integrity and preserve bone tissue. In order to do that, we need to communicate with the bone cells directly. The good news is that medical researchers have found out exactly how to do that, check this out.
Medical researchers have found that our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is what regulates bone cell growth, activity, and repair (2). Osteoblasts (cells that build bone) and osteoclasts (cells that break down & reabsorb bone) produce their own endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG), while also presenting with cannabinoid receptors on their surface (2).
Because these bone cells have CB2 receptors on their surface, we can directly communicate with our osteoblasts and osteoclasts through this very complex receptor system by using cannabinoids like CBD and THC to activate our CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The British Journal of Pharmacology, a peer reviewed medical journal, showed that CB2 deficient mice have accelerated bone loss and the CNR2 gene (encoding CB2) in women is associated with low bone mineral density (2).
In mice that had their ovaries removed (which is associated with faster rates of bone loss) they were able to activate their CB2 receptors, which was shown to prevent further bone degradation, enhance bone reabsorption, and enhance bone formation (2).
This means that activating CB2 receptors was shown to stop bone from being broken down, increasing bone reabsorption rates, and encouraging bone remodeling (building up bone).
This discovery will soon change the face of medicine because medical researchers have now figured out how to directly communicate with the bone cells themselves through this amazing complex receptor system (The ECS). Because of this discovery, researchers stated that this is going to provide a new treatment option for anti-osteoporotic therapies. Cannabinoid therapy is giving patients another treatment option that was shown to improve bone mass through bone remodeling and encouraging new bone formation (2).
What I love so much about cannabinoid therapy is being able to do this using natural plant compounds that were shown to have a better side effect profile than conventional medicine (3).
Cheers to this amazing plant, lack of negative side effects, and strong bones!
*This information is for education purposes only. No medical advice or claims are being made, but people deserve to know what’s being published in medical journals around the world. Education is empowering.
- Alswat K. A. (2017). Gender Disparities in Osteoporosis. Journal of clinical medicine research, 9(5), 382–387. https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2970w
- Bab, I., & Zimmer, A. (2008). Cannabinoid receptors and the regulation of bone mass. British journal of pharmacology, 153(2), 182–188. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjp.0707593
- Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0034