The human body constantly breaks down and rebuilds bone, but through age, the body tends to break down bone faster than it rebuilds it. This can result in one of the most common forms of bone diseases, osteoporosis, in which the bones become weak and more susceptible to breaking as a result of breaking down bones faster than it can replace. In addition to age, the amount of calcium in a diet, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use, gender, body size, race and family history, hormone levels, eating disorders, and the use of certain medications also effect bone density. Now, research is revealing cannabis can help bone density, and therefore strengthen bone tissue and lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoblasts within bones contain CB2 receptors that control the growth of bone tissue by stimulating bone growth and inhibiting bone breakdown, and THC has been shown to activate these CB2 receptors. Cannabinoids, even at low levels, activate osteoclasts, increasing bone density and offering relief for bone diseases, which suggest those who suffer bone diseases or those who are at high risk could benefit from regular cannabis treatment, even if they use very little. CBD also supports bone health by facilitating the bone healing process. In one study from 2015, rats who were treated with CBD for eight weeks after sustaining broken leg bones had significantly stronger healed legs than those who lacked CBD treatment. The cannabinoid also enhanced the maturation of collagen, which is the protein in the bone's connective tissue.
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