CBD: A Marijuana Component Can Speed Bone Healing
Chalk another one up for medicinal marijuana. With legalization sweeping the nation, interest in weed’s therapeutic properties is at an all-time high. It’s already being used to treat cancer patients and people with Parkinson’s disease, and it’s recently been proposed as a treatment for PTSD. Now, researchers have found that one component of pot can actually be used to mend fractures.
Before you go there, the answer is no, smoking a joint won’t heal a broken bone. The researchers from Tel Aviv University found that one of marijuana’s non-psychotropic components — the cannabinoid know as cannabidiol — can enhance the bone healing process, at least in rats. In their study, which was recently published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, the scientists isolated cannabidiol from its highly psychoactive cannabinoid cousin, THC, and injected it into rats with broken thigh bones. They found that cannabidiol alone was enough to enhance bone healing in just eight weeks.
In their previous work, the researchers discovered that our cannabinoid receptors were also involved in bone formation and inhibition of bone loss. Dr. Yankel Gabet, who led the study, is interested in discovering the health benefits of marijuana that aren’t related to getting high — which could help to pacify strongly anti-pot lobbyists.
“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point,” Gabet said. “While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis. CBD, the principal agent in our study, is primarily anti-inflammatory and has no psychoactivity.”
If injecting non-psychotropic compounds into the body sounds less sexy than getting stoned — well, good. People who oppose the drug for its recreational uses might be inclined to see the benefits of cultivating a plant that offers so many highly non-fun uses.