A Guide to Treating Osteoporosis with Cannabis
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little, or both. Osteoporosis means “porous bone.”As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps. Cannabis and bone density have a complicated relationship. Here we are going to explore the research that surrounds treating osteoporosis with cannabis.
Although osteoporosis can affect people at almost any age, it’s most common among Canadians 50 years of age or older. 2 million Canadians are affected by osteoporosis, and at least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.
Osteoporosis is called a ‘silent disease’ because there are often no symptoms until a fracture occurs.
Causes of Osteoporosis
There are a number of things that can lead to osteoporosis such as other medical conditions, medical procedures, and medications. Some of these are listed below, but this is not an exhaustive list – read more from the osteoporosis foundation.
|Medical Conditions||Medical Procedures||Medications|
|Autoimmune disorders||Gastrectomy||Cancer chemotherapy drugs|
|Blood disorders||Gastrointestinal bypass||Some anti-seizure medication|
|Bone marrow disorders like Thalassemia||Lithium|
|Hormonal disorders like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, etc.||Some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)|
|Neurological disorders like MS, stroke, Parkinson’s, etc.||Aluminum containing antacids|
Treating Osteoporosis with Cannabis
Some older research indicated that ‘heavy cannabis use’ may result in decreased bone density (approximately 5 per cent decrease – or less). Although these claims may be true to some extent, more recent research paints a different picture – particularly as we learn more about different cannabinoids; such as CBD and CBG.
Osteoporosis and the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body, therefore, performs a number of important functions. In relation to osteoporosis and bone density, osteoblasts, the bone-forming cells, and osteoclasts, the bone-resorbing cells, produce the naturally occurring endocannabinoids and express CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Therefore, cannabinoids that interact with the CB2 have shown therapeutic potential for treating osteoporosis. This had led to an interest in the use of CBD and CBG for treating osteoporosis.
CBD for Treating Osteoporosis: What the Research Says
A 2015 study demonstrated the healing potential of CBD when administered to rats who had experienced bone fractures. CBD showed promise in accelerating bone growth and healing.
A 2017 study looked specifically at bone density loss as a result of spinal cord injury in rats. CBD increased the production of bone-forming agents and enhanced the quantity and quality of bone tissue in the spine.
More research is necessary to fully understand the relationship between cannabis and osteoporosis, particularly as it relates to bone density. However, preliminary evidence suggests CBD could be an effective treatment. In other words, CBD has shown promise in supporting bone growth and an overall increase in bone density in rats.
How to Use CBD to Treat Osteoporosis
There are numerous ways of consuming cannabis that could be beneficial for treating osteoporosis as well as maintaining overall bone density.
- Oral capsules
- Tinctures that are dissolved sublingually (under your tongue)
- Topicals that are absorbed into your skin at the site of pain
- It can even be cooked in your favourite meals or added to your favourite drinks. Check out the edibles section of our store and some of our amazing recipes if you’re interested in trying to make some of your own.
At Envy, we recommend building CBD into your regular health routine in a way that works for you. CBD capsules are predosed and can easily be taken in the morning or before bed. Tinctures provide flexibility in dose as they can be administered under the tongue using a dropper.
For those who love to bake, it’s easy to add CBD into your favourite treat with Miss Eny’s CBD coconut oil.
We suggest experimenting with different routes of administration to find which is best for you.
CBD for Treating Fractures
As we have seen in the research, CBD has the potential to speed up the healing of fractures. Additionally, CBD helps to manage pain. If you’re experiencing pain as a result of the facture you may want to consider adding CBD into your health plan or increasing your dose. That being said, it’s important to note that CBD has the potential to interact with other medications. So, if you’re taking pain medication consult with your doctor.
Click here for more information about CBD Drug Interactions.
CBD Dose for Treating Osteoporosis
Since the research is still in the preliminary stages there is no universally accepted dose of CBD for treating osteoporosis or managing bone density. If you’re concerned about osteoporosis, or have already been diagnosed, we suggest you speak to your doctor about adding CBD into your health routine.
That being said, here is some helpful information about finding the best CBD dose.
Traditional Treatment for Osteoporosis
The goal of treatment for osteoporosis is to slow down the process of bone deterioration and/or speed up the process of bone-building. This is achieved through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
These lifestyle changes are recommended:
- Exercise. Weight-bearing physical activity and exercises that improve balance and posture can strengthen bones and reduce the chance of a fracture. The more active and fit you are as you age, the less likely you are to fall and break a bone.
- Good nutrition. Eat a healthy diet and make certain that you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
- Quit smoking. Smoking cigarettes speed up bone loss.
- Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy women, that means up to one drink a day. For healthy men, it would be up to two drinks a day.
What’s the difference between Osteoporosis and Arthritis?
Osteoporosis is a thinning and weakening of the bones, decreasing the overall bone density. While arthritis impacts the joints as a result of inflammation. Arthritis causes ongoing pain and stiffness that impacts a person’s range of motion. Generally, it’s limited to a person’s knees, hands, hips and possibly their spine. On the other hand, osteoporosis does not generally cause ongoing symptoms, simply a general weakness that often results in fractures.
Though it is important to note that arthritis is a risk factor for osteoporosis.
Interested in more about arthritis and how cannabis can help manage the symptoms, read our article here.
Final Thoughts on Treating Osteoporosis with Cannabis
More research is necessary to understand the whole picture when it comes to treating osteoporosis with cannabis. But preliminary evidence provides support for the use of CBD and other cannabinoids that interact with the CB2 receptors.
Unfortunately, there is no way to beat the ageing process. It may make sense for those who are at high risk for developing osteoporosis to use CBD as part of their daily health routine in order to help prevent osteoporosis.
Are you using CBD as part of your regular health routine with the goal of maintaining bone density? We want to hear from you! Tell us about your experience in the comments, tag us on social media or send us an email at email@example.com