The Spirit Science
According to a recent study, conducted by researchers from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University, and published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, a cannabinoid found in marijuana—cannabidiol (CBD)—can help fractures heal faster and even make the bones stronger than they were before. CBD has no psychotropic effects.
The researcher Yankel Gabet said: “We found that CBD alone makes bones stronger during healing, enhancing the maturation of the collagenous matrix, which provides the basis for new mineralization of bone tissue. After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future.”
Bones contain cannabinoid receptors
The researchers inflicted mild femoral fractures on rats, and then injected some of them with CBD, and the others with CBD plus tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects). Afterwards, the healing process was observed and compared with rats who had not received any marijuana chemicals.
The results showed that the rats injected with CBD had the same effect as the rats that were injected with CBD plus THC.
Gabet said: “We found CBD alone to be sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing. Other studies have also shown CBD to be a safe agent, which leads us to believe we should continue this line of study in clinical trials to assess its usefulness in improving human fracture healing.”
The same team had previously conducted another study, which had the same findings, i.e. the body contains receptors that respond to cannabinoid compounds, and they are not confined to the brain. The previous study found that the skeleton contains cannabinoid receptors that inhibit bone loss and stimulate bone formation. The new study seems to confirm these results.
According to Gabet: “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 benefits of medical marijuana are “undeniable”.
This study is a part of a growing body of research about the medical benefits of marijuana compounds, including CBD. The discoveries may lead to new research regarding marijuana’s ability to treat osteoporosis or other bone diseases.
“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point. While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis. CBD, the principal agent in our study, is primarily anti-inflammatory and has no psych activity,” Gabet said.
The number of benefits to medical marijuana continues to expand. Today, it is primarily used to treat chronic pain, to reduce side effects of chemotherapy and to improve appetite in AIDS patients. It has also shown ability to regulate blood sugar and slow the progression of HIV. There are currently studies that research its capacity to treat multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
According to studies, CBD can suppress seizures, stop the metastasis of many aggressive cancers and even kill leukemia cells.
A 2013 study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found CBD to be just as effective as a popular antipsychotic drug in the treatment of schizophrenia and paranoia, except that CBD has no dangerous side effects. Other studies have confirmed the usefulness of CBD as a harmless antipsychotic.
Although, under U.S. federal law, marijuana remains technically illegal, it is legal to use CBD for research or for limited medical functions in 17 U.S. states. However, the medical use of marijuana is legal in 23 other states.
The federal government continues to classify marijuana as having “no currently accepted medical use.” However, this might change, because the FDA recently approved CBD extracts as an experimental treatment for Dravet syndrome, which is a rare form of childhood epilepsy. Preliminary clinical trials are now going forward.