Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Benefits of Cannabis and Osteoporosis

Benefits of Cannabis for Osteoporosis

54 million Americans suffer from Osteoporosis. It is a disease meaning “porous bone”. The holes in the bones can result in broken bones from minor accidents.(Source) Experts believe cannabis can slow the progression of tissue loss leading to Osteoporosis. This is from findings of how interactions with the CB1 and CB2 receptors maintain bone density.

Cannabis works along with the endocannabinoid system to effect the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are in the skeletal nerve terminals. They regulate the bone formation. CB2 receptors initiate bone formation while also slowing bone resorption.(Source)

Bone metabolism is natural in mammals where the minerals in the bone are renewed. Osteoblasts are bone forming cells. Osteoclasts are bone resorbing cells. Osteoporosis occurs when the bone formation is reduced and fat can accumulate in the bone marrow.

Research shows two findings where associations with the CB2 receptors relate to osteoporosis. In one study, CB2 mutant mice resulted in low bone mass. The other shows a tie with the gene CNR2 that encodes the CB2 receptor. When the CNR2 gene is compromised it increases the tendency for postmenopausal osteoporosis. Bone loss slows when a cannabinoid drug is given to the mutant mice or women with postmenopausal symptoms.(Source)

A study by the Arthritis Research Campaign looked at the CB1 receptor in mice with bone loss. They also investigated the reasoning behind an increase in fat cells in marrow with aging bones. Osteoporosis was slowed when the mice were given treatment with cannabinoids to increase CB1 receptor function. First, the CB1 receptors regulated the osteoclast cells activity, slowing down the resorption. Secondly, the CB1 receptors were able to differentiate between the osteoblast and fat cells. This resulted in the osteoblast cells being increased and the fat cells decreasing.(Source)

The study done by Stuart Ralston, from the University of Edinburgh said:

"This is an exciting step forward, but we must recognize that these are early results and more tests are needed on the effects of cannabis in humans to determine how the effects differ with age in people. We plan to conduct further trials soon and hope the results will help to deliver new treatments that will be of value in the fight against osteoporosis." (Source)

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