Osteoporosis Research and CBD (Cannabidiol)

Cannabidiol: Osteoporosis Bone Health

Normal bone is composed of protein, collagen, and calcium, all of which give bone its strength. But for people who suffer from osteoporosis, their bones become weak and fragile and are more prone to fracture.

Osteoporosis affected bones can break with relatively minor impact. Fractures can happen by cracking (as in a hip fracture) or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine). The spine, hips, ribs, and wrists are common areas of bone fractures from osteoporosis although osteoporosis-related fractures can occur in almost any skeletal bone.

Although studies have not been conducted to test the theory yet, researchers believe that CBD could be a promising treatment. Here’s what they know so far:

  • Because bone cells contain the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and the orphan receptor GPR55, studies have shown that endocannabinoids and their receptors are involved in the development of osteoporosis.
  • By blocking CB1, CB2 and GPR55 in adult mice, researchers have been able to suppress bone resorption, increase bone mass and protect against bone loss. This suggests that inverse agonists/antagonists (such as CBD) of these receptors may help combat osteoporosis.
  • In a different study with mice and CBD, the effect of knocking out GPR55 showed an increase in the amount of both cortical (outer surface) and trabecular (spongy) bone. The knockout mice were fatter and were protected against age related bone loss. These results suggest that blocking GPR55 with small molecules such as CBD may be beneficial in treating osteoporosis.

From these early studies, clearly CBD shows great potential for playing a future role in the treatment of osteoporosis. As the global population continues to age and healthcare costs rise, future studies into CBD for osteoporosis treatment will be crucial in reducing the heavy burden on society.

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