Add to the list of ailments and conditions effectively treated by cannabis the healing of bones. While the efficacy of marijuana for diseases like cancer, Crohn’s, HIV/AIDS, and even muscular dystrophy is widely understood among many doctors and patients, a recent study from Israel has revealed that CBD, the cannabinoid known to be a powerful treatment for epilepsy, also helps bones mend.
The study, conducted at Tel Aviv University and published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, treated rats with both THC and CBD and also CBD only. It found that CBD only was sufficient to foster the healing of femoral fractures in the bones of laboratory rats. Said Dr. Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv’s Bone Research Laboratory and the lead researcher for the study:
“We found CBD alone to be sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing.”
Safe and Effective
Like other research conducted over the course of the past 30 years, the study concluded that CBD is both safe and effective in the treatment of fractured bones. It also noted that clinical trials on humans are necessary to make definitive statements regarding the efficacy of cannabis for such use.
In a reference to the endocannabinoid system of the human body, the researchers reported:
“We only respond to cannabis because we are built with intrinsic compounds and receptors that can also be activated by compounds in the cannabis plant.”
The Tel Aviv University study also found that cannabis — and the CBD cannabinoid specifically — is an effective preventative treatment because it provides bone tissue with mineralization. Consumption of a CBD extract or cannabis containing a sufficient amount of CBD strengthens bones to better prevent future injuries.
“After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future.”
The study also lends credence to the theory of cannabinoid deficiency, the idea that a lack of internally-produced cannabinoids (called endocannabinoids) may lead to a variety of ailments — in this case, softer or more brittle bones that are more easily fractured or broken.
Medical marijuana activists — once marginalized for their belief that regular consumption of cannabis is a way to prevent, not just treat, a variety of ailments — are beginning to see research that supports their beliefs.
Possibly Effective for Osteoporosis
This research illustrated the ability of cannabis to be used in the treatment of a variety of bone-related “skeletal diseases” and ailments, including osteoporosis. While cannabis has already proven effective in treating many age-related ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis, this was the first study to show a definitive link between the CBD cannabinoid in marijuana and the body’s ability to heal bones.
“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point.”
The only downside of this research is that it didn’t occur in the United States. The Schedule I status of cannabis, which deems is completely void of medicinal benefits and, thus, unworthy of further study, prevents such research in the U.S. As pointed out in this study, the need for human trials is greater than ever.
However, given the fact that the U.S. Congress recently moved to continue the Schedule I status of the plant, such research will be impossible in the States until cannabis is rescheduled and the federal government officially recognizes the medical potential of the plant.