Can CBD heal broken bones?

Cannabis has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes since ages. Giving the phenomenal healing potential of marijuana, several people wonder if cannabis can heal fractured bones.
As many people look upon the plant as a healer of several fatal health conditions, the popular media is amassed with anecdotal reports of miraculous healing stories of various people suffering from serious conditions.

It is only recently, increasing scientific evidence is coming out showing marijuana can help relieve several medical conditions.
In USA cannabis is classified as Schedule 1 substance having high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Cannabis illegal status under federal law prohibits wide-scale research on the healing properties of the plant. Despite, a number of studies support that CBD can address a number of health conditions.

Fractured bones are hard to heal and a number of remedies are available to heal broken bones. Cannabis is an effective healer which ensures speedy recovery of fractured bones without any harmful side-effects.  Surprised?

As a matter of fact, cannabis not only assists fractured bones quick healing but also strengthens bones reducing their chances of breaking again. Using different perspectives, a number of studies already proved effect of cannabis on bones during recent years.

In 2008, a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science showed that CBD activates GPR55 – G protein-coupled receptor – that plays a role in the regulation of bone mass by controlling the growth of cells called osteoclasts that promote the resorption of bone minerals.

The research team noted,” Our observations also suggest that CBD can inhibit bone resorption in vivo via modulation of GPR55 signaling”.

The team further went on to suggest that THC has an opposite effect on GPR55 receptor and its interaction may counter the positive effects of CBD on bone density.
“Our observations suggest that blocking GPR55 also may have direct beneficial effects on bone turnover in arthritic or metabolic bone diseases. Finally, although CBD is a major constituent of cannabis, it remains to be determined whether cannabis smoking may increase bone density, because [THC], another constituent, also is thought to be a GPR55 ligand and may oppose the effects of CBD”, the researchers associated with this study observed.
Later studies extended this stream of research to next level by investigating the possible mechanisms by which CBD might help bones heal from fracture. A team of researchers from the University of Rostock in Germany investigated the effect of CBD on migration and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that are known to be involved in various regenerative processes such as bone healing.

The findings of the study show that CBD exhibits properties of an osteoanabolic drug, and have very few side effects compared to other  currentpharmacotherapeutic options for the treatment of osteodegenerative disorders.

“[A] fast activation of stem cells leading to migration within hours and (ii) a differentiation of these cells into the osteoblastic lineage as response to a prolonged exposure in a time frame of weeks”, the researchers explained.

Shedding light on the mechanism by which CBD heal broken bones, the research team argues, “CBD may cause recruitment of MSCs to sites of calcifying tissue regeneration and subsequently support bone regeneration via an osteoanabolic action on regeneratively active mesenchymal cells”.

The research outcome of the study confirmed that CBD enhanced the strength of healed broken femurs of laboratory rats. Explaining the finding the researchers suggest CBD triggers a gene that codes a series of reactions resulting in the production of collagen which transformed into harder bones through a process called collagen cross-linking.

Later on in September 2016, a review of phytocannabinoid pharmacology published in the Journal of Reviews concludes that CBD supports the bone formation and fracture healing processes as well as reduces the bone resorption in vivo in mice.  

After reviewing a range of literature on the topic, the researchers of the study noted, “Migration and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are known to play a central role in bone formation and fracture healing, and CBD promotes the migration of MSCs to sites of calcifying tissue regeneration via activation of CB2 receptors, and to induce osteoblastic differentiation by inhibiting GPR55”.

In addition they also found support for CBD’s role in preventing bone resorption.
“CBD also controls bone resorption during the progression of experimental periodontitis in rats”, the team noted further.

Another study which is published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research by Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University researchers found administration of marijuana’s non-psychotropic component CBD can greatly help in healing fractured bones. The research headed by Dr. YankelGabet of Tel Aviv University concluded that CBD significantly enhanced healing process of femora among rats with mid-femoral fractures.

Explaining the link between cannabis and human body, Dr. Gabet maintains, “We only respond to cannabis because we are built with intrinsic compounds and receptors that can also be activated by compounds in the cannabis plant," according to the press release.

Dr. Gabet is convinced CBD is not only effective for fractured bones healing, it is safe for human body as well.

"We found CBD alone to be sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing," said Dr. Gabet. "Other studies have also shown CBD to be a safe agent, which leads us to believe we should continue this line of study in clinical trials to assess its usefulness in improving human fracture healing."

Bottom line, CBD is an effective and potent bone healer though research has to go a long way to discover effective therapeutic strategies to administer cannabis for fractured bone healing. The research cited above clearly demonstrates that cannabis-based remedies are fast, effective and safe when used to address broken bones.

It is worth noting that research on medicinal effects of cannabis is hampered by restrictions imposed due its schedule 1 substance status. The studies investigating marijuana’s healing potential have been largely conducted on laboratory animals or isolated cells, not on humans.

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