Phytocannabinoids have been studied more intensely for the past couple of decades for their medicinal potential. One role that phytocannabinoids play is with regards to bone health, fracture, and repair. Apart from speeding up the recovery from bone fractures, scientists have found that CBD makes bones even stronger than they were before the fracture. Quite fascinating, isn’t it?
Multiple studies have shown for a long time that there is a connection between cannabinoids and bone health. What remains is mystery is the exact role that endocannabinoids, the cannabinoids produced by our own body, play a role in bone development.
What is clear is that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in maintaining bone health. It fulfills an important task in its development, preservation, and strengthening by enabling a process known as bone metabolism or bone remodelling. The endocannabinoid system is also expressed throughout the immune system, which is known to have frequent interactions with the skeletal system.
Cannabis contains 200 aromatic molecule varieties called terpenes that may manifest in a particular example of the cannabis, one of them is called delta 3 carene (also called alpha-carene or simply carene), which is apparently awesome for promoting good health and even possibly repairing broken bones.
Delta 3 carene can apparently provide significant qualities to combat systemic inflammation, repair diseased and damaged bones. Strains of cannabis rich in the delta 3 carene have also been found to benefit those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Alzheimer’s disease. This terpene is found most commonly in strains of cannabis, which is good news for cannabis smokers, especially those who grow their own and do their research on which strains are the best.
Research has shown that terpenes such as delta 3 carene can be beneficial. A 1989 study entitled “Comparative Study of Different Essential Oils of Bupleurum Gibraltaricum Lamarck” that was published in the journal Europe PMC investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of delta 3 carene and concluded “the essential oil of the Cázulas Mountains population was most active against acute inflammation owing to its high delta 3-carene content.”
A 2007 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research tested 89 natural compounds for their ability to maintain bone repair, deal with bone disease, and promote overall healthy bones with some promising results.
In 2009, one study from Scotland conducted on mice hypothesized that since endocannabinoids are produced in the bones, administering cannabinoids could help to regulate your bone metabolism. These means that bones would re-generate their tissues by replacing old cells with new ones, a vital function that keeps bones healthy and strong.
Another study, found that THC activates the body’s CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. The CB2 receptor assists in the formation of bones and helps to prevent age-related bone atrophy. So, it makes sense, doesn’t it?
That’s not all, a 2015 study found that using CBD could help heal fractured bones, it was a study conducted by researchers from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University in Israel, and published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
These studies were animal studies, it’s also important to mention the other side of the coin. For example a more recent study from 2017 used human participants and examined the relationship between cannabis use and bone mass density, no association was found there.
With that being said, the research is definitely very promising, and the fact that medical marijuana has been illegal for so long, and is still illegal in many states and places across the world, this has prohibited science from studying it in depth.
There is no doubt at all that the healing potential of this plant is implicated in a wide variety of human ailments, from physical to mental, which is why so many people who use it for medicinal purposes experience so much success with with.
A little more info on Cannnabis and bone health:
Scientific evidence from both lab research and human trials suggests that the whole cannabis compounds have therapeutic action in the treatment of these kinds of chronic pain. This 2014 study continues the research on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the perception of pain in osteoarthritis conditions, while this 2016 research indicates that topical CBD applications actually relief arthritis pains and inflammation without causing evident adverse effects.
We also have studies indicating that our nerves are full with cannabinoid receptors, and that peripheral CB1 receptors may be important targets in controlling osteoarthritis pain. The cannabinoid receptors are today targets for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis pain treatments, as confirmed by this 2008 study. This 2014 study proves the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in modulating osteoarthritis pain. The CBD receptor CB2 also regulates pain responses in osteoarthritis of the knee joint, according to this 2013 research. (source)