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All animals and people in the world are supported by some kind of backbone. In people who belong to vertebrates, that skeleton is a skeleton made of bones, which lives and transforms throughout life. Osteoporosis, i.e. bone loss, is about weakened bone material and in this article we will learn about bone loss, the endocannabinoid system in the bones and how CBD affects the condition of the bones!
What is osteoporosis?
Bones consist of and are made up of minerals. Osteoporosis refers to a lack of minerals in the bones, which causes bone weakening.
The skeleton is built during pregnancy and develops into its final form approx. by the age of six. Bones are alive, because old bone material is constantly being broken down as new is formed. This process slows down around the age of 30, and new bone is not formed as fast as old bone is broken down. So the bone material also becomes brittle naturally. (1,2)
Osteoporosis mostly affects the older population, especially women. Sometimes osteoporosis is also diagnosed in men and younger people and in general it is very common worldwide. According to estimates, approx. 18% of the world’s population suffers from osteoporosis, some without knowing it.
Hereditary factors affect the probability of developing osteoporosis, but in addition to them, e.g. smoking, lack of calcium and other minerals, underweight, lack of exercise, and some diseases or medications may contribute to the development of osteoporosis. (1,2)
The symptoms of osteoporosis usually only become apparent when a bone breaks, either due to bone loss or an accident. The bone has become weak and can no longer withstand blows as before. In other respects, there are no tangible or visible symptoms associated with osteoporosis.
Prevention of bone loss
Bone loss is partly a result of lifestyle, but it is also due to both hereditary factors and aging. Bone loss can be prevented by investing in nutrient-dense food, exercising enough and avoiding smoking. Especially from minerals that build bones, such as calcium and magnesium, and it is good to take care of their absorption, but bones are also affected by numerous other minerals, vitamins and trace elements such as vitamin K2, vitamin D and copper. (2)
Osteoporosis is significantly more common in women than in men, and this is thought to be due to monthly pregnancies and breastfeeding. A woman’s body and mineral reserves are put to the test because of the monthly bleeding and the building materials needed to grow a baby and child. It is especially important for women to take care of a varied diet throughout life. (1,2)
Bone loss can also be prevented and treated with the help of supplements. All vitamins, minerals and trace elements are important for bones and it is even advisable to take them from a jar, as long as you don’t try to replace a varied diet with them.
Various drugs are used to treat osteoporosis, the purpose of which is e.g. harden the bone, increase the amount of thyroid hormone or affect the activity of the cells that form in the bones. The medicines are very strong and are dosed once a day, once a year or per event, depending on the medicine. No medicine intended for the treatment of bone loss does not heal or restore the bone, but artificially keeps the bone intact and strong. (2,3)
In the treatment of osteoporosis, prevention is important. The onset of osteoporosis can be influenced by lifestyle, but even after diagnosis, diet and exercise have a big impact on general well-being.
Foods to avoid in osteoporosis
The actual foods to avoid are not associated with osteoporosis, rather the urge to eat plenty of certain foods. In terms of the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, it is particularly important to enjoy mineral-rich foods and ensure good absorption of nutrients.
The endocannabinoid system in osteoporosis
The endocannabinoid system is a system that monitors and balances all processes in the body, which is especially responsible for functions essential for survival, such as energy storage and sleep. The endocannabinoid system is also an essential part of bone function and it works in all parts of the bone, from the core to the active part of the bone.
The endocannabinoid system consists of three parts, the body’s endogenous endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors and their disintegrating molecules. There are several endocannabinoids and the best known of them, anandamide and 2-AG, have been detected in the bone in large amounts of both. They are present both in the bone marrow and in the active parts of the bone (3,4).
Two receptors in the body are classified as cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors. In addition to these receptors, TRPV1 and GPR55 receptors are present in bone cells, participating in bone metabolism, e.g. participating in bone cell activity and bone mass regulation. CB1 and CB2 receptors are present to prevent bone loss. (3,4)
CBD for osteoporosis
CBD or cannabidiol is a compound called cannabinoid found in hemp. It and its effects have been studied for decades and, based on observations, it has numerous properties that affect health. Hemp has been used medicinally for thousands of years, especially in Eastern medicine. Slowly, in practice, the active ingredient of nature, which has been found to work, also receives scientific support.
CBD together with other active ingredients of hemp may also be good for supporting osteoporosis treatment. Of course, it is of primary importance to take care of e.g. exercise and diet, but CBD may have effects e.g. for bone strengthening, new bone formation and healing of broken bone. (5,6)
Osteoporosis is a bone fragility disease that especially affects the older female population, which can be prevented and also cured. Diet and exercise play a special role in the creation and prevention of bone loss, but CBD may also have a positive effect on bones and their healing.
- Bone Association. What is osteoporosis? https://luustoliitto.fi/osteoporoosi/mita-osteoporoosi-on/. Referenced 01/02/2023.
- Rheumatism Association. Osteoporosis. https://www.reumaliitto.fi/fi/reuma-aapinen/reumataudit/osteoporoosi. Referenced 01/02/2023.
- Rossi F., Tortora C., Punzo F., Bellini G., Argenziano M., Di Paola A., Torella M. and Perrotta S.. 2019. The Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid System in Bone: From Osteoporosis to Osteosarcoma. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6514542/. Referenced 01/02/2023
- Aymen I.. 2010. Cannabinoid Receptors as Targets for Treatment of Osteoporosis: A Tale of Two Therapies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3001217/. Referenced 01/02/2023
- Ehrenkranz J. and Levine MA. 2019. Bones and Joints: The Effects of Cannabinoids on the Skeleton. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/104/10/4683/5523890. Referenced 01/02/2023
- Idris AI. 2010. Cannabinoid Receptors as Targets for Treatment of Osteoporosis: A Tale of Two Therapies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3001217/. Referenced 01/02/2023