People always used to say that if you drank milk, it would help your bones grow. Well now, studies have showed that cannabis might have a similar impact. While people have been using cannabis for ages both medicinally and recreationally, only recently have the other effects of cannabis come to light. One of the most important development is the discovery of the “endocannabinoid system,” a collection of chemical pathways found in mammals whose existence wasn’t demonstrated until the 1990s.
This system is made of specific receptors that are affected by chemicals in our body-the endocannabinoids. Many of the chemicals in cannabis known as “phytocannabinoids”, are almost identical to the endocannabinoids present in our bodies. Therefore, the cannabis chemicals can also affect these receptors if they make their way into your bloodstream.
One of the most well-known chemical is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which creates the psychoactive “high” people desire when they use the drug for recreation. Other research has discovered other phtyocannabinoids that do not produce the psychoactive effect, but show therapeutic potential. The most prominent of these other chemicals is CBD (cannabidiol), which has been proven to show strong pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, and also has been shown to essentially stop seizures caused by the neurologic condition Dravet’s Syndrome.
Scientists performed a study involving these chemicals to see how it affected broken femurs in laboratory rats. They found that CBD increased the strength of healed broken femurs. They found CBD to be most effective with other constituents removed. CBD increases the expression of a gene that results in a higher production of collagen, which creates harder bone material, a process named collagen cross-linking.
What is interesting is that, the CBD specifically has more therapeutic effect than the cannabis plant as a whole. Therefore, consuming canna
cannabis as a whole would not be nearly as effective as consuming the CBD itself. To be most effective a treatment would require the isolation or concentration of CBD and the removal or reduction of THC.
There is still much to be studied on this matter, but there are hopes that this could help strengthen human bones in the future.