Written by the team at CBD Education Online

Despite much uncertainty in the scientific world, new evidence has surfaced in recent years regarding CBD’s ability to encourage bone health and growth. In light of the studies, CBD (cannabidiol) as an all-natural plant compound derived from cannabis, poses significant benefits to bone health that far surpass those of pharmaceutical medications. CBD may not only carry this amazing ability, but may also heal bones faster and stronger as well.

Though the brunt of studies have been conducted to determine CBD’s ability to treat chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, and epilepsy, there is still a lot to be learned regarding its full spectrum of uses and its reactions within the human body. Bone healing is therefore one of the most recent benefits linked to CBD use.

Groundbreaking Studies on CBD and Bone Growth

CBD’s ability to strengthen bones and regenerate skeletal structures has been indicated in some studies over the past decade, though they are limited in number. In particular, many of the studies that do exist emphasize the healing of bone fractures and CBD’s promising effects on the symptoms of osteoporosis.

One of the most notable studies on the subject was conducted at Tel Aviv University in Israel, by professional researchers from all over the globe. In the study, it was observed that a combination of both THC and CBD actually accelerated the rate of bone healing in rodent test subjects. Even further, the test also concluded the CBD, as a solo treatment, exhibited the ability to strengthen collagen tissues (which are essential to skeletal healing). 

The Specifics of the Evidence

By the conclusion of the test, CBD was found to enhance bone growth by stimulating what’s known as Lysyl Hydroxylase, also called “osteoblasts”. Osteoblasts are enzymes that are present in all bone-building cells and are essential to bone growth and regeneration. Through this stimulation, the osteoblast cells were “jump started” so to speak in the healing process, enhancing healing functions and causing collagen cells to form stronger and healthier bones throughout the entire healing process.

Researchers delved deeper into this observation by utilizing 3-D X-Ray imaging techniques to measure bone density and calluses, following the administration of THC and CBD. Bone callus density is yet another essential piece to the healing process, forming bridge-like structures over the injury, thus healing the fracture. When these calluses were measured 1-2 months after the administration of THC and CBD, it was found that bone calluses were both denser and healthier than those of the controlled group that did not receive the THC/CBD dosages.

What’s more, CBD alone had been administered to rodent test subjects to observe its effects. Surprisingly, rodents that had received the solo dose of CBD exhibited a significant increase in both the strength and even the mechanical properties of the affected bones after just 2 months.

THC vs. CBD for Bone Health

Researchers in this study may have included both THC and CBD due to the fact that a multitude of previous studies suggested benefits to bone healing through the use of THC, though research on CBD for the same purpose was incredibly limited. Therefore, the need for research on CBD’s benefits to bone health were needed, especially in light of CBD’s many other proven health benefits.

CBD, as an all-natural and non-psychoactive plant compound, exhibits no known side effects with recommended dosage. For this reason, researchers are especially interested in its therapeutic effects, even in regard to bone health. Though THC carries a greater reputation for assistance in bone healing, if CBD is found to carry the same benefits, it may be a strong alternative to THC as it causes no mind-altering effects.

What’s more, it has also been proven that when working in unison, both THC and CBD promote what’s known as the “Entourage Effect” – in which both cannabinoids work together to balance each other’s effects and facilitate stronger results in the treatment of health issues.

Other Significant Studies

Study published by the General Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army of Beijing, China (2017):

  • In this recent study, it was found that rodents with spinal cord injuries experienced enhanced bone volume and increased bone thickness throughout the healing process, following the administration of CBD. Bone durability and an increased ability to handle pressure was also observed. These results were observed after treating the rodents with CBD for only 14 days.

Study published by International Immunopharmacology (2009):

  • Geared towards measuring CBD’s effectiveness in treating periodontitis in rats, this study proved that CBD could also be beneficial to oral bone health. After 30 days, it was observed that alveolar bone loss (the bone sockets that hold the teeth) was significantly decreased compared to the rodents that did not receive CBD treatment.

Study published by the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA), (2009):

  • This study indicated that GPR55 receptors (biological receptors within the endocannabinoid system) activate what’s known as GTPyS proteins and their binding mechanisms. These proteins are responsible for messages being sent from rector to receptor, mainly from the brain to the rest of the body.

This study concluded that CB1 and CB2 receptors, the most common receptors within the endocannabinoid system that are affected by CBD and THC, can and do affect bone metabolism. This test also concluded once again that CBD carried the ability to stimulate osteoblast cells – which highly facilitated bone growth.

What Do These Mean for CBD?

Clearly, there is much evidence to support that CBD encourages bone growth. Through studies similar to those mentioned above, CBD may provide greater insight into the treatment of many bone disorders  that are difficult to treat. In particular, osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is believed to be nearly incurable, and causes bones to become severely weak and brittle. Through the research of CBD’s possible benefits in managing such disorders, medical professionals may grow closer to finding new and more effective treatments.

As CBD carries many other benefits separate from that of bone growth and healing, CBD could prove to be a multi-use treatment for better management of osteoporosis symptoms as well. CBD is proven to be effective in treating sleeplessness, pain, anxiety, inflammation, and even general stress – all symptoms related to bone degeneration. 

Conclusion

Despite common assumptions that CBD couldn’t possibly encourage bone growth along with so many other benefits, there are a handful of studies over the last decade that indicate otherwise. Though CBD should never be considered a “cure-all” treatment, it poses undeniable benefits in the management of severe symptoms, even those that are a result of bone deterioration and bone fractures.

Bone growth and tissue repair only hint at the greater benefits of CBD, those that have not yet been discovered or understood. It is only with continued research that we may better treat (or help to cure) illnesses and disorders that have eluded effective treatments to date.

Resources

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jbmr.2513

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25801536

https://eternalplants.com.au/medical-conditions/cbd-helps-bone-fracture-healing/

https://en-med.tau.ac.il/news/cannabis_healing

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19070683

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16511.short

https://www.labroots.com/trending/cannabis-sciences/8584/cannabidiol-enhances-fracture-healing

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28479140/