CBD For Osteoporosis Uses, Benefits And Does It Work?
Osteoporosis is a crippling disease that slowly eats away at bones, making them more porous. Long term, the verdict for those with osteoporosis isn’t pretty: usually fractures and falls lead to a slow but relentlessly progressive decline in health. Other potential symptoms include:
- Poor posture, stooping, and scoliosis
- Fractured or cracked vertebrates
- Frequent bone fractures
- Loss of height
- Back pain
Unfortunately, osteoporosis isn’t rare, either. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, the disease impacts a total of 75 million people in the US, European Union, and Japan. It’s responsible for 8.9 million fractures each year — that’s one every 3 seconds.
Factors like smoking, undereating, and low nutrient intake seem to increase the risk of osteoporosis, yet the disease seems to be an inevitable part of aging for many people.
Thankfully, CBD may offer hope. It’s only natural that a plant molecule replete with anti-aging properties might help with an age-related disease, after all. But how?
That’s exactly what we’ll be covering in this Guide to CBD for Osteoporosis. So if you’ve been looking for information on CBD and osteoporosis, you’re in the right place!
CBD, Cellular Cycles, and the Roots of Osteoporosis
Yes! That’s what early studies seem to show, at least. We know for sure that the endocannabinoid system is implicated in normal bone function.
For example, endocannabinoids help control the differentiation states of new bone cells — they basically help ensure that the flow of bone cells into their final state stays healthy and balanced.
This effect is explained by the presence of type-2 endocannabinoid receptors found throughout bone. They’re especially active on osteoblasts, which are newly formed bone cells. When collagen networks are forming to create new bone, CB2 activity swells up in tandem.
All this means that CBD and its internal equivalents may help the speeding up of the process of new osteoblast growth. By being present at the initial stages of bone growth, endocannabinoids help ensure that new bone growth goes smoothly. When it does, bones become strong and thoroughly woven.
According to a 2010 study in the Current Neuropharmacology, CBD helps “suppress bone resorption, increase bone mass and protect against bone loss.” These qualities are virtually the opposite of what happens in osteoporosis, making CBD the perfect antidote.
We also know that CBD, via its activation of the endocannabinoid system, may fight against the normal symptoms of aging. Molecular biologist Dr. Bob Melamede goes so far as to call cannabinoids the “oil of life”.
Indeed, CBD powerfully combats free radicals that would otherwise contribute to the aging process. These oxidative molecules have been tied to everything from heart disease to neuroinflammation to — you guessed it — bone loss.
CBD and Bone Density
CBD also appears to bolster weak, porous bones. How? There’s one way that’s especially obvious, though it’s also indirect: through maintaining calcium. We all know that calcium is important for healthy bones, but did you know that it’s also important for regulating stress?
It’s true…and conversely, chronic stress is linked to lower calcium levels, higher bone loss, and increased risk of fracture. CBD tends to lower stress by responding to calcium-mediated signals, so it wouldn’t be surprising if in the long run it also helped maintain bone density.
Broken Bones? Try CBD
Even bones that have already been damaged may be candidates for some help from CBD. Post-break, something very interesting happens: a massive influx of free radicals comes into the fracture area.
While initially helpful in sending signals, eventually free radicals hinder the very recovery process they came to announce!
CBD suppresses oxidation and promotes crosslinking of new bones — those are both things that a 2015 Study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found helpful for fractures.
CBD vs. Painkillers
“It is my impression that ‘pain-killing’ drugs improve the patient’s mood rather than take away the pain.”
– John Sarno, Mind Over Back Pain
Approximately 85% of those with osteoporosis also suffer from chronic pain. To combat this doctors often prescribe pharmaceutical painkillers, many of which come with side effects of their own.
Even worse, these drugs are addictive and can leave patients in desperate need of a detox.
Thankfully, CBD presents us with a better choice. When the plant compound boosts our Endocannabinoid System, a whole cascade of positive things begins to happen!
Extra help from endocannabinoids like 2-AG gets sent to inflamed areas, where they’re able to reduce inflammation back down to appropriate levels. The body might even begin making more anti-inflammatory endocannabinoids and less inflammatory prostaglandins.
Taken consistently over time, CBD may have an amazing effect on inflammation levels in every part of the body and brain. One study put it this way: “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and subsequently attenuate disease symptoms. This property of cannabinoids is mediated through multiple pathways…”
Left unchecked, chronic inflammation will eventually impact the nerves and nervous system. Inflamed tissues usually swell up, which puts pressure on the delicate myelin sheath that insulates and surrounds nerves. And this pressure will eventually cause chronic pain in one way or another.
CBD May Help You Detox
But while CBD might really hold the key to chronic pain relief, it still feels like too little too late for many Americans who’ve already suffered at the hands of opioid addiction.
A CBD-inspired detox might be the only choice left for desperate osteoporosis patients who’ve been let down by painkillers and opioids. Slowly but surely, pain management doctors are catching on.
CBD & Osteoporosis: A Surprisingly Bright Future
All in all, CBD appears to address many of the root causes of osteoporosis. We’ve talked about how it may normalize bone growth and development; we’ve talked about how it can speed fracture healing.
While these are probably the compound’s biggest benefits, as far as those with osteoporosis are concerned, they’re by no means the only ones.
On a broader scale, CBD may be able to help those with osteoporosis live a lifestyle conducive to staying strong and pain-free. Its use has even been tied to things that reduce wear and tear on vulnerable bones and joints like less inflammation and lower bodyweight.
One final benefit: CBD may even instill in those who take it a deeper sense of hope. Though hard to quantify, that’s exactly what the CBD-supporting Doctor we linked to earlier found in a survey of his own pain clinic patients. And hope is something that anyone can benefit from — especially anyone that’s dealt with osteoporosis and chronic pain.