A study published by The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, which was conducted by researchers from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University, showed that a chemical in marijuana, known as cannabinoid cannabidiol or CBD, increases bone strength and speeds up the healing of fractures, without causing the patient to have psychotropic effects, or get “high.”
According to researcher Yankel Gabet, CBD makes bones stronger during the healing process, while enhancing the maturation of the collagenous matrix . This provides the basis for new mineralization of bone tissue. Treatment with CBD causes healed bones to be more difficult to break in the future.
A team of researchers produced mild femoral fractures on rats. They then gave and injection of CBD to some of the rats, while others received CBD plus tetrahydrocannabinol or THC - the ingredient that causes the high. The researchers studied the healing between the two groups as well as rats who had not received any marijuana chemicals. The groups of rats that received the marijuana displayed the same rates of healing regardless of whether THC had been added or not.
It was determined that CBD alone was sufficient for healing fractures and that it should be assessed further for its potential use in healing human fractures.
This same team had found previously that the body contains receptors which respond to cannabinoid compounds. These receptors are not exclusively in the brain; they are also in the skeleton. This new discovery might prompt researchers to study the effects of marijuana in the treatment of osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
According to Gabet, there is an undeniable potential for cannabinoid-related compounds in treating various diseases and conditions. The main agent in the study, CBD, is anti-inflammatory and has no psychoactive features.
There is a plethora of medical uses for marijuana. It can be used to increase the appetite in an AIDS patient, lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and soothe chronic pain, just to mention a few. Many studies attest to it regulating blood sugar, slowing down or nearly halting the progression of HIV, treating Parkinson’s disease as well as multiple sclerosis.
Other research has shown that CBD can keep seizures at bay, can inhibit the metastatic growth of various aggressive forms of cancer as well as destroy leukemia cells.
In 2013, the journal Neuropsychopharmacology published a study which found that CBD was as effective as a particular antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and paranoia, but without side effects. There have been other studies which have indicated the CBD could be used as a safe antipsychotic.
Although marijuana is still illegal under U.S. Federal law, there are 17 U.S. states which allow research using CBD in a small number of medical capacities. There are also 23 other countries which allow the medical use of marijuana.
In the U.S., marijuana is still classified by the Federal Government as having no current accepted medical use. One indication that there might be a change on the horizon for this current classification, is the recent decision of the FDA to approve the use of CBD extracts for the experimental treatment for a condition known as Dravet Syndrome. This is a rare form of childhood epilepsy. Perhaps the Federal Government will open the window to allow the use of marijuana for other diseases. This might be an indication.