Brittle bones – Cannabis Compound Hardens Bone fragments

An additional research paper has just been released that shows how plant based compounds 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 sustain bone strength.

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

Bone is an energetic, living tissue that is being continually formed, remodeled and shaped according to both physical and physiological requirements of the body. Bone matrix consists primarily of the macronutrients calcium, magnesium and phosphate and is the material that makes up both the dense parts of the bone and the bone marrow framework. Many people still believe that if one eats foods rich in these minerals then they will avoid building osteoporosis. Epidemiological and other evidence shows that this is not necessarily the case.

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

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

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

These two cell types are managed by a complex set of signaling human hormones, proteins and cell receptors that will respond to the ever-changing demands upon bone tissue and other physiological procedures. 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 becoming less dense – the main characteristic of the clinical condition generally known as osteoporosis.

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

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

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

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