Osteoporosis is a very insidious disease; it is not felt or noticed until a bone fracture occurs, and not at all as a result of some severe trauma, but a simple, mundane fall. And it is already a myth that it only affects the elderly. Osteoporosis is increasingly being talked about as a disease of civilisation. So if we don't get tested for it, we just break down one day and find out that we have osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis - what it is, how it manifests itself and standard treatment
Osteoporosis and the endocannabinoid system
It is the most recently discovered system in the human body and is extremely important for the human body. This is because it controls all of the body's functions. For example, it is responsible for the biochemical balance of the human brain and internal organs. It is the guardian of homeostasis, i.e. keeping the organism in balance. The endocannabinoid system is a kind of information network, sending out signals that something is missing in the body, that something is not working properly. And this is thanks to the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), which are located throughout the body. Deficiencies in bone tissue are no different. Thanks to this entire network of receptors, the body is told how many of these defects there are and how much new bone tissue needs to be produced to make up for them.
Cannabidiol and osteoporosis
Hemp seeds contain more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Among them is cannabidiol (CBD). And although extracted from hemp, it is not a psychoactive substance. That is why it is fully legal in Poland and allowed to be sold without a prescription. It has many health-promoting properties, one of which is its ability to support bone metabolism.
The human body produces endocannabinoids, while their counterparts are those found in cannabis, i.e. plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids).
Studies in mice have shown that CB2 receptors balance bone metabolism, which slows down natural age-related bone breakdown. And these receptors are found on the surface of all cells associated with bone-forming processes, causing an increase in bone strength and aiding bone regeneration processes.
And the bone-forming cells in question are osteoclasts (which dissolve bone), osteoblasts (which form bone) and osteocytes (their role is to exchange nutrients and metabolites in bone).
It is important to be aware that cannabidiol is not a cure for osteoporosis, while it has the ability to help treat the disease, but very importantly, it should be used in the prevention of osteoporosis.
When taken regularly, CBD can improve bone density, alleviate inflammation, improve sleep quality and is also able to alleviate pain, even that associated with fractures.
- 'Role of cannabinoids in the regulation of bone remodelling', by Aymen I. Idris, Stuart H. Ralston; 2012; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499879/
- "Cannabinoids and bone: endocannabinoids modulate human osteoclast function in vitro", authors L.S. Whyte, L. Ford, S.A. Ridge, G.A. Cameron, M.J. Rogers, R.A. Ross; 2012; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3423262/
- "Cannabinoid Receptors as Target for Treatment of Osteoporosis: A Tale of Two Therapies", by Aymen I Idris; 2010; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3001217/
- "Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts", authors Natalya M Kogan,Eitan Melamed,Elad Wasserman et al, 2015; https://asbmr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbmr.2513