According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), approximately 44 million people aged 50 and over suffer from osteoporosis or low bone mass. This figure represents 55% of the population aged 50 and over, and the number of people at risk is increasing rapidly. Prescription drugs are random, so can CBD help treat osteoporosis and improve bone health?
In this article, we will explore whether or not CBD can be an effective treatment for osteoporosis and bone health.
What causes osteoporosis?
The word “osteoporosis” means “porous bone,” and it is a condition that weakens bones over time, increasing the risk of breaks and fractures. Estimates show that two million fractures occur in the United States each year due to the effects of osteoporosis. At least 8.9 million people have the disease, and tens of millions more are at risk due to low bone mass.
The precise cause of the disease is unknown. Our bones are repeatedly broken down and replaced in a process called “bone remodeling.” It begins at a young age and reaches its peak by the time we reach our late twenties. Loss of bone mass occurs when a bone breakdown occurs at a faster rate than accumulation.
Eventually, bones begin to lose calcium faster than they can replace it, causing bones to become thinner. In women, bone loss occurs rapidly during the first seven years after menopause and then slows down.
Certain medical conditions increase the likelihood of a bone breakdown. These conditions include Cushing’s syndrome, overactive thyroid, or kidney disease.
Conventional treatments for osteoporosis and their side effects (excluding CBD)
Although it is impossible to reverse the process of osteoporosis, there are ways to slow the loss of bone density. A change in lifestyle is probably necessary. You need to increase the amount of calcium and vitamin D in your diet; good food and beverage choices include milk, low-fat yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, tofu, salmon, and leafy green vegetables. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.
There is also a range of prescription medications designed to slow the breakdown of bone mass. The family of bisphosphonates is famous and includes Boniva, Zometa, and Actonel. First of all, bisphosphonates do not have an excellent track record in terms of efficacy. Second, this type of drug can cause serious side effects such as esophageal ulcers, fractures of the femur, skin rashes, low blood calcium levels, and bone, joint, and muscle pain. On the other hand, CBD has few side effects and is more effective than bisphosphonates.
How does CBD help osteoporosis and bone health?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a vital role in maintaining the health of our bones. As the stress of everyday life takes its toll on our bones, the CBD facilitates the process of bone remodeling. According to a 2011 article published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, fatty acid amides (FAA) interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors and enhance the bone remodeling process.
There is an enzyme called FAAH that breaks down bone, but studies have shown that CBD blocks this harmful enzyme and allows the FAA to flourish. Marijuana seems to work because many of its compounds help keep bones healthy.
A good example is cannabigerol (CBG), which is non-psychoactive and could be used to treat osteoporosis. Even THC has potential value in the fight against brittle bones. CB1 receptors in the body exist in various areas, including bone.
CBD & Osteoporosis – Research
One study examined the link between the CB1 receptor and the development of age-related osteoporosis. It found that mice without CB1 receptors developed excessively thick bones but still had osteoporosis. Further examination of bone density in these mice revealed that they had large fat deposits within the bone instead of bone marrow.
A 2015 study examined the impact of CBD on fracture healing. It examined rats, and over eight weeks, the study determined that CBD significantly increased the peak load of the rats when the compound injected into their thighbones.
Why choose CBD for osteoporosis and bone health?
Although there is no “cure” for osteoporosis, a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help slow the rate of bone loss. We advise you to think twice before taking a bisphosphonate treatment because bisphosphonates have a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe.
There is a growing body of research showing that CBD works as a treatment to reduce the damage caused by osteoporosis. The fact is that our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids, and they tend to bind to cellular receptors and regulate their function. While CBD works indirectly with the CB2 receptor, in particular, it mimics the actions of the cannabinoids produced by our body. The result is a solution that gives you strong, healthy bones without side effects.
Unfortunately, there is no way to overcome the bone aging process. We may not be able to reverse osteoporosis, but we can slow its steady progression by consuming CBD. It is available in different forms, including oils, grass, edible, and even balms.
If you remain curious about the use of CBD, it is essential to consult your doctor first.