Brittle bones – Cannabis Compound Hardens Bone tissue

One more research paper has just been released that shows how plant based substances can help to contain the brittle bone condition, osteoporosis. Scientists at the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK have discovered how a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, cannabidiol helps to maintain bone strength.

The endocannabinoid system is a group of cell receptors that are turned on by a group of endogenous lipids in addition to compounds derived from the cannabis grow. The cannabinoid receptors are involved in a number of physiological processes including appetite control, pain, memory and mood. Latest research has shown that the endocannabinoid system also has a strong influence on bone tissue metabolism, as the receptors are well displayed on osteoclasts – cells in whose principal function is to resorb (thin out) bone.

Bone is an energetic, living tissue that is being continuously formed, remodeled and shaped in response to both physical and physiological requirements of the body. Bone matrix is made up primarily of the macronutrients calcium, magnesium and phosphate and is the materials that makes up both the dense areas of the bone and the bone marrow framework.
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Many people still believe that in the event that one eats foods rich in these types of minerals then they will avoid establishing osteoporosis. Epidemiological and other evidence shows that this is not necessarily the case.

When it comes to bone tissue health and disease the integrated processes that control the formation plus resorption bone are just as important as the availability of calcium, magnesium plus phosphate.

The formation and resorbtion of bone matrix is managed by two main cell varieties:

1) Osteoblasts are bone tissue that are responsible for the formation associated with bone matrix
2) Osteoclasts are usually modified white blood cells responsible for the resorption of bone tissues.

These two cell types are controlled by a complex set of signaling human hormones, proteins and cell receptors that respond to the ever-changing demands upon bone tissue and other physiological processes. If there are too many osteoclasts, or even if these cells become overactive, they will resorb more matrix than the osteoblasts can produce. A predominance of osteoclast activity results in the bone fragments becoming less dense – the main characteristic of the clinical condition known as osteoporosis.

The Aberdeen researchers have found that cannabidiol binds to a specific cannabinoid receptor on the bone-resorbing osteoblast cells. By so doing it prevents these cells from resorbing the bone matrix – thereby assisting to prevent further weakening of the your bones.

This is not the first time that plant substances have been shown to influence bone metabolism in favour of stronger bones. In January 2009 researchers at Oklahoma Condition University in the USA found that, during the presence of oxidative stress and systemic inflammation, polyphenols derived from plums prevent the action of the bone-softening osteoclasts but enhance the generation and activity of bone-building osteoblasts.

For those who hope that smoking pot will help to strengthen their own bones, they do so in vain. Although wild cannabis contains up to 40% cannabidiol, cultivated varieties consist of very little of this compound. The important point arising from this research, in my opinion, is it shows how vital plant substances are in the prevention of chronic degenerative illnesses such as osteoporosis. There are bound to end up being many other phytonutrients in other food plants that have a positive influence on bone metabolism – they just have not been “discovered” yet.

While we all wait for that research to be performed, it is important to eat (not smoke) an array of vegetables, fruit and spices to make sure an adequate intake of a host of beneficial phytonutrients.