CBD for Osteoporosis

How cannabidiol can boost bone density and promote fracture healing

As we get older, bone injuries and fractures become more common. This is because our bones get weaker and more brittle with age. Although it is a common process, it can also be very dangerous. When bones become “porous,” meaning they have more holes and less density, this condition is known as osteoporosis. Over time, it can lead to pain, injury, and even disability.

CBD for Osteoporosis

Changes in diet and exercise can do a lot to improve bone density and prevent osteoporosis. Recent research also indicates that supplementing with CBD could help. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about taking CBD oil for osteoporosis: how it works, research findings, and dosage recommendations. 

Understanding osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become more porous. Human bones are made up of bone material with small holes throughout. But in people with osteoporosis, the holes are much bigger. This makes them more fragile, increasing the risk of fractures. 

Osteoporosis can happen to anyone, but it’s a condition that’s more common in the elderly. Post-menopausal women are the group that is most at risk for developing that condition. 

The most common cause of osteoporosis is old age. Around the age of 30, our bodies start to slow down in building bones. Progressively, they get more porous and weaker. That being said, not everyone develops osteoporosis with age. This condition can be facilitated by other factors, including:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Use of certain medications such as cortisone
  • Hormonal changes (menopause usually decreases bone density)
  • Dietary deficiencies
  • Lack of physical exercise

 

Most people who develop the condition start showing early signs of osteoporosis around the age of 50. Those signs include things like:

  • Having receding gums
  • Losing in strength
  • Weak fingernails

 

If you suspect that you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, or if you start showing symptoms, your doctor will prescribe a bone density test. This is a form of X-ray that measures bone density at several points in the body. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoporosis. Once your doctor establishes a diagnosis for osteoporosis, they will prescribe treatments to protect your bones and prevent density loss.

Usually, treatment starts with a few lifestyle changes. To strengthen your bones, supplementing calcium and vitamin D can play a big role. Increasing your exercise regime and including some form of weight training may also help. 

A few medications can also be used to prevent bone loss or stimulate bone growth. Most of them belong to a category called “bisphosphonates.” They help people with osteoporosis by slowing down bone loss. 

Natural treatments for osteoporosis are less common, but they can also be very useful. Herbs like red clover or black cohosh help to balance hormones and promote healthier bones. Most recently, scientists are finding that CBD for osteoporosis could also be helpful. In the second part of this article, we will go over the effects of CBD in your system and how it can treat osteoporosis.

cbd and osteoporosis

What is CBD?

CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant known for its many health benefits.

Unlike THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, CBD doesn’t create a high. However, it still has a strong effect on the body and mind. Recent research findings show that it is helpful in:

  • Fighting inflammation
  • Lowering pain
  • Fighting anxiety and depression
  • Preventing seizures

 

Non-prescription CBD products are not currently approved by the FDA. However, research suggests that this molecule is effective in treating a number of conditions. We recommend consulting with a medical professional to see if prescription CBD could help your condition.

Can cbd help osteoporosis?

CBD has well-studied benefits on conditions related to old age. For example, it can help people with arthritis deal with pain and it can lower blood pressure for people with hypertension. Its use for bone-related issues has not been the subject of as much research. However, a couple of studies have shown promising results.

Bone density

Most of the health benefits of CBD for osteoporosis can be attributed to its action on the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system runs through the whole body and regulates many functions, including the management of pain, inflammation, stress, and appetite. When we consume CBD, it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which activates the endocannabinoid system. This can help to boost its activity, resulting in lower levels of pain and inflammation.

Some recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is involved in bone production, which could make CBD a treatment option for osteoporosis. 

For example, this 2012 study showed that endocannabinoids regulate the production of bone mass in the body. Endocannabinoids are molecular compounds which the body creates, and which can also boost the activity of the ECS. Another study showed that phytocannabinoids (compounds like CBD derived from plants) imitate the action of endocannabinoids. In other words, introducing them into our body could affect the way that it produces bone mass. By giving a boost to the endocannabinoid system, CBD could enhance bone production, effectively preventing or slowing down osteoporosis. 

Unfortunately, there haven’t been any clinical studies on the effects of CBD on people with osteoporosis. 

Fracture healing

We also know that CBD can aid fracture healing, which could help the lives of people with osteoporosis. In a 2015 study, scientists examined the effects of CBD on rats with fractures. They found that CBD had a direct impact on bones and collagen production, making it a useful agent in fracture healing. Because fractures are one of the most common consequences of osteoporosis, the fact that CBD oil for osteoporosis can make them heal faster could make it a good supplement for people with this condition.

Pain

Finally, pain is one of the most common complaints of people with osteoporosis. While the condition itself isn’t painful, it often leads to fractures in the wrists, hips or back. These can be incredibly painful and can cause chronic pain in the people who suffer from them.

As a natural painkiller, CBD for osteoporosis could provide relief for people with osteoporosis while they recover from their fractures.

cbd oil for osteoporosis

Products and dosage

Useful in improving bone density, healing fractures, and lowering pain, CBD oil for osteoporosis is a great supplement for those with osteoporosis. But how can you start taking it, and what are the best doses for osteoporosis? Here’s what you need to know about products and dosage.

Products

Nowadays, CBD products come in an incredibly wide variety of forms. You can find CBD tinctures, CBD creams, CBD candy and even CBD suppositories. 

For people with osteoporosis, CBD oils or edibles are usually the best solutions. Taking a few milligrams of CBD each day either by placing drops under your tongue or by taking a CBD capsule is an easy way to introduce this molecule into your life. And as a bonus, it could also help you with other conditions, such as stress or high blood pressure.

For people with osteoporosis who are currently recovering from a fracture, topical CBD for osteoporosis could also be a good solution. You can find products like creams, balms or massage oils that contain CBD in many health shops. When massaged into the skin, they can provide quick and effective relief to the target area. For example, they could help to lower pain and inflammation around a fractured wrist or neck. 

Dosage

How much CBD should you take? It all depends on your condition and your needs, as well as how much you can handle. As a general rule, you should take a minimum of 10 mg of CBD a day to feel tangible effects. Start slow, then progressively increase the dose. 

People who want to prevent osteoporosis might want to start off with a smaller dose than those dealing with an osteoporosis-related fracture. In the treatment of chronic pain, high doses of CBD (over 50 mg/day) are common and can provide real relief. However, only a medical specialist will be able to recommend the right dose for your condition.

Is CBD safe?

As a molecule, CBD has very few harmful side effects. This 2017 review of CBD studies found that CBD mainly had minor side effects (such as nausea or changes in appetite) and very few harmful ones. 

CBD could also be much safer than the painkillers that those with osteoporosis frequently take to deal with fracture pain. As a molecule that doesn’t cause addiction and isn’t harmful for the liver, it can be a good natural alternative.

cbd dosage for osteoporosis

Takeaways

Research on the use of CBD for osteoporosis is still underdeveloped. This makes it difficult to conclude how much it can really help, and what dose may be effective in preventing this dangerous condition. However, as a natural supplement with a wealth of benefits and a good safety profile, it shows some very promising results. And given what we now know about the relationship between bone density and the endocannabinoid system, we are likely to see more studies on the topic coming soon. 

Bibliography

The endocannabinoid system and bone density

2012 study on the role of the endocannabinoid system in bone production

CBD and bone mass

2009 study on cannabinoids and bone loss

CBD and fracture healing

2015 study on CBD for fracture healing

CBD and pain

2018 review of research on cannabinoids and pain

Safety of CBD

2017 study on the safety and side effects of CBD

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