Recent studies have shown that the use of CBD oils can have positive effects on alleviating symptoms as well as slowing the progression of Osteoporosis. Bone density loss that comes with osteoporosis can spell disaster for many, but CBD oil is giving people a new reason to hope. Here’s what you should know.
CBD Oil for Osteoporosis
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation 1 , this condition affects an estimated 75 million people in Europe, the United States, and Japan. It is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide – approximately one-tenth of women aged 60.
What is Osteoporosis?
Also known as “porous bones”, Osteoporosis causes bone loss. It’s the loss of tissues, thus resulting in fragile and brittle bones. This means that patients with Osteoporosis have poor bone health as these parts have a lowered density. This makes them especially prone to fractures or other injuries. In worse cases, this disease might deform the normal physical structures. Osteoporosis can trigger issues such as spine deformities.
Symptoms & Causes for Osteoporosis
There are typically not many symptoms in the early stages of Osteoporosis. Once your bones have been weakened by the bone loss, you may have signs and symptoms that include:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- Bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected
Women are more likely to develop Osteoporosis. This is because they can quickly lose bone mass in the first couple of years after menopause.
Other risk factors could include:
- Overactive adrenal glands
- Overactive thyroid
- Low level of sex hormones
- Using corticosteroids for a long time
- Medical issues like inflammatory or hormone-related conditions
- A lower BMI than average
- Heavy drinking and smoking
- Frequent use of medications which affect bone strength, bone density or hormone levels negatively
Why can CBD oil work for Treating Osteoporosis?
Over the past few decades, researchers have found out the presence of some cannabinoid receptors such as CB1 and CB2 in bone tissues. Indeed, these elements play an essential role in bone health.
CB2 is expressed predominantly in osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells) and osteoblasts (bone-forming cells). This kind of cannabinoid receptor is necessary for the regulation of your bone metabolism. Physiologically, it is important to keep a balance between osteoclasts and osteoblasts as it would maintain optimum bone health. As people age, this balance would be impaired, and result in bone fractures or loss of bone density.
CB2 agonists like cannabidiol (CBD) could be used to modulate the functions of these receptors 2 . They can improve the activity and count of osteoblasts while inhibiting the expression of osteoblasts and the proliferation of osteoclasts. These elements can also stimulate the formation of Endocortical bones, suppress bone losses and maintain a normal mass of bone. CB1 receptors, on the other hand, can be activated to inhibit a chemical known as norepinephrine 3 .
This element might delay the formation of your bones and the bone density, adjust the rate of reabsorption and lead to some bone issues.
Recent studies have proven that the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil can have positive effects on these receptors, thus alleviating symptoms as well as slowing the progression of osteoporosis.
CBD oil is available in various forms and concentrations, including liquid or thick paste, oil, capsules, gum or candy, salves, sprays or drops, and vapor.
What are the Benefits of Using CBD oil for Osteoporosis?
Over the years, studies have shown that CBD oil and other CBD products have 2 distinct benefits in osteoporosis treatments. Firstly, it would negatively modulate CB2 and CB1 receptors, thus reducing their capability of binding to agonists, a compound which activates them 4 . This is often called the entourage effect, meaning that using CBD oil can help reduce the effects of other compounds that serve as the same cannabinoid receptors.
What’s more, CBD can inhibit several enzymes such as FAAH and increase the effects that they would exert on these cannabinoid receptors. As a result of these effects, researchers have suggested that CBD is effective and helpful in lowering the risks of bone problems and enhancing health.
The Endocannabinoid System & Bones
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) plays an essential role in the regulation of osteoclast and osteoblast activities 5 . This means if any problem happens in this area, it might lead to a number of conditions, including osteoporosis. There is also evidence to show your ECS might determine the development of a low bone mass 6 . Indeed, a lack of the endocannabinoid receptors in your brain has been linked to a higher turnover of bone.
Essentially, your body might keep “retiring” old bone cells without producing enough new ones for replacement. However, if these receptors could be stimulated with the help of cannabidiol (CBD), the bones are more likely to maintain its function even after many years.
In general, the ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors that are activated by several elements like CBD. The endocannabinoids are basically generated and degraded by a few types of enzymes, this giving this system a role in controlling some essential activities. Consequently, reduced numbers of endocannabinoid receptors are linked to the development of osteoporosis.
CBD oil dosage for Osteoporosis
As a rule of thumb, the dosage of CBD oil or for osteoporosis treatments can vary a lot depending on the level of intensity. It is advisable to start small and increase the CBD dosage gradually until you get the desired results. A standard dose of between 10mg and 100mg of CBD per day is recommended by the CBD experts Leinow and Birnbaum in thier book “CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis”.
The Step-up Method
An in-depth guide of how to dose your CBD has been given in the book CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis by Leinow and Birnbaum 7 . The authors have introduced their Step-Up Method, where they recommend different types of dosage according to weight and condition. To find out how to follow Leinow and Birnbaum’s guide, read our post on CBD dosage.
Is CBD good for Osteoporosis?
A study by French scientists has suggested that human bones come with a higher level of endocannabinoids and ligands than brain cells 8 . Also, a naturally generated cannabinoid in our body named Anandamide could have an effect on the bone tissues. Anandamide helps to bind to those CB2 receptors. They also pointed out that CBD can imitate Anandamide, thus positively affecting bone health in those people who suffer from osteoporosis.
Another study by Idris Al focused on the important part of cannabinoid receptors in treating osteoporosis 9 . The results suggested that CBD is likely to affect bone metabolism and ligands. Therefore, these products can be used for bone fractures and other issues as they may be applied to exploit the cannabinoid receptors for targeting anabolic therapy and anti-resorptive.
A published study in 2015 by researcher Kogan Niemand 10 has found that when mice were treated with CBD oil, the maximal loads on their bones significantly increased. Also, he discovered that using CBD could speed up the process of healing fractures or broken bones, as well as slow down the loss of bone density.
As reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), cannabidiol is considered safe and has only few side effects and only in rare cases.
Osteoporosis & CBD Oil: Best Products & Research on Building Bone Density
Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which bone loss exceeds the creation of new bone. Literally translated as, “porous bones,” the bones of people with osteoporosis become increasingly brittle and fragile as density decreases. All of this puts osteoporosis suffers at an increased risk of bone fractures, but CBD oil may be able to help.
Bone is not a static system, but is continually undergoing change. Under the influence of hormones and stressors, new bone is continually laid down while old bone is lost, or resorbed.
In a healthy individual, the rate of bone turnover is equal, meaning that there is not a net gain or loss of bone tissue. In osteoporosis, there is a net loss of bone tissue, leaving bones brittle and susceptible to fracturing.
There is plenty of research that is ongoing but the information that we have so far points to a number of ways in which using CBD oil for osteoporosis could be beneficial.
Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Osteoporosis
Bisphosphonates is the class of medication most commonly prescribed for people with osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates do an excellent job of slowing or even preventing bone loss, though unfortunately, these results come with some less than pleasant side effects. Many who are prescribed bisphosphonates complain of nausea, abnormal heartbeat, dizziness, and pain. Although bisphosphonates are generally thought of as the gold standard in the treatment of osteoporosis, they are not always very effective and sometimes bone loss does still occur after a few years of taking them.
If you’re taking bisphosphonates and are considering adding CBD oil to your wellness regimen, first speak to your doctor, and keep this chart handy.
|Common Osteoporosis Medication||Potential Side Effects||Potential Side Effects of combining CBD Oil w/ Osteoporosis Medication||Potential Benefits of Using CBD Oil|
|Alendronate (Fosamax)||Chest pain; new or worsening heartburn; difficulty swallowing; new pain in thigh or hip; burning sensation under the ribs.||There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Alendronate but that does not mean they don’t exist. Always talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.||CBD oil has been shown to decrease bone loss.|
|Risedronate (Actonel)||Chest pain; new or worsening heartburn; difficulty swallowing; new pain in thigh or hip; burning sensation under the ribs.||There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Risedronate but that does not mean they don’t exist. Always talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.||CBD oil has been shown to reduce bone loss.|
|Ibandronate (Boniva)||Back pain; headache; redness or swelling in eyes; diarrhea; nausea; upset stomach; pain in arms and legs.||Reduction in nausea is a positive interaction between Boniva and CBD. Always talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.||CBD oil has been shown to reduce pain; inflammation; bone loss; and nausea.|
|Zoledronic acid (Reclast)||Nausea; fever; fatigue; anemia; vomiting; constipation; flu-like symptoms.||There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Zoledronic acid but that does not mean they don’t exist. Always talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.||CBD oil has been shown to reduce bone loss.|
|Raloxifene (Evista)||Potential for blood clots (pulmonary embolism and DVT) and stroke||There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Raloxifene but that does not mean they don’t exist. Always talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.||CBD oil has been shown to reduce bone loss.|
|Denosumab (Prolia; Xgeva)||Low calcium levels; weakness; constipation; back pain; anemia; diarrhea; pain in arms and legs.||There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Denosumab but that does not mean they don’t exist. Always talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.||CBD oil has been shown to reduce bone loss.|
|Teriparatide (Forteo)||Constipation; diarrhea; weakness; joint pain; muscle spasm. Maximum usage is 2 years.||There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Teriparatide but that does not mean they don’t exist. Always talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.||CBD oil has been shown to reduce bone loss.|
|Abaloparatide (Tymlos)||Dizziness; nausea; headache; fatigue; palpitations; vertigo; upper abdominal pain. Maximum usage is 2 years.||There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Abaloparatide but that does not mean they don’t exist. Always talk to your doctor before using CBD oil.||CBD oil has been shown to reduce bone loss.|
For those looking for a relatively worry-free alternative to bisphosphonates, and some of the other prescribed medications, cannabidiol (CBD) is an excellent option. CBD has very few side effects and is non-habit-forming. Additionally, research exists that supports using CBD oil as a way to slow, or even stop, the bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
Effectiveness of Using CBD Oil for Osteoporosis
To get an idea for how CBD may benefit those dealing with osteoporosis, it is helpful to understand what plays a part in bone density. Two different types of cells affect bone density: osteoclasts, which degrade bone, and osteoblasts, which help produce bone. It is the balance between these two cell types that maintains homeostasis in bone density.
Research has identified a cell receptor on osteoclasts that, when stimulated, speeds up bone degeneration. This receptor, called GPR55, was found to increase the rate of bone loss when artificially stimulated in studies.
Researchers then went on to attempt to find a chemical or compound which could block the GRP55 receptor, and one such compound that proved effective was CBD. Researchers found that CBD effectively blocked the GPR55 receptor, resulting in a significant reduction in bone degradation.
Further research confirms CBD’s role in affecting the balance between osteoclasts and osteoblasts in the bones. Supplementing with CBD appears to tip the balance towards osteoblast, or bone-building, activity, resulting in increased bone density!
In another study, CBD was found to increase the rate of bone healing in rats with fractured femurs. CBD did so by encoding enzymes that increased collagen cross-linking, which is associated with overall bone strength. The study concludes with, “Taken together, these data show that CBD leads to improvement in fracture healing and demonstrate the critical mechanical role of collagen crosslinking enzymes.”
As the research into CBD oil for osteoporosis continues, we will reach a greater understanding of all the ways CBD oil may be able to help. With the evidence available now, CBD oil appears to be a safe and natural way to prevent or reverse osteoporosis without the side effects of traditional treatments.
How to Take CBD Oil for Osteoporosis
The first step to using CBD oil for osteoporosis is speaking with your doctor. While CBD oil is generally considered safe, it can interact with certain prescription medications, yielding unwanted effects.
Once your doctor has cleared you for safe use, you’ll need to choose how you’d like to take your CBD. If you’re interested in trying CBD oil for osteoporosis, there are plenty of great options available. CBD is available in a variety of different preparations such as:
For osteoporosis, any of the above options should be effective. CBD topicals, like lotions or salves, will provide targeted, external relief for hours at a time. However, because they do not penetrate past the skin, you may want to supplement with a CBD inhalant, edible, or drops to up your bone density by targeting osteoclasts and osteoblasts in your bones. It will take some experimenting to find which CBD delivery method(s) are most comfortable and effective for your needs.
Note from the Medical Editor: As mentioned before, unless there are fractures present, osteoporosis doesn’t really cause pain on its own. I think the best method would be edibles or drops to ensure consistent levels of CBD acting on osteoblasts/clasts.
While you’re trying out different CBD products, it is important to understand that different delivery formats will have different onsets and each will have a different duration.
For example, CBD vape oils and CBD flower can go to work in a matter of minutes but their effects are often gone within an hour. Whereas a CBD edible or CBD oil capsule can be slow to take effect, typically about an hour to start feeling effects, but can last for up to 6 hours.
CBD oil tinctures and drops are a good middle-of-the-road option, typically taking about 30 minutes to show effects and lasting for 2 to 4 hours. CBD oil drops and tinctures offer the best dosage control, making it easier to increase or decrease your dose as needed.
You may find that it takes more than one product to achieve desired effect. It may be best to supplement daily with a CBD oil capsule or tincture and apply CBD cream to areas with constant osteoporosis pain. You can use a CBD vape to address sudden aches when they pop up.
Given CBD oil’s safety profile, you can experiment without too much fear that something will go wrong.
CBD Oil Dosage for Osteoporosis
When it comes to selecting a proper CBD oil dosage, unless your doctor has advised otherwise, it is recommended that you start slowly with the lowest recommended dose listed on your CBD oil product.
If you’re having trouble finding a good starting dose, at CBD Oil Review, we have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with the following:
The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25 mg of CBD taken twice daily.
This dose should be effective for most people, though individual results may vary. If you’re not seeing the effects you desire, increase your dosage by 25 mg every 3-4 weeks until you’re seeing results.
For more information on CBD dosing, consider reading through our dosing guide here, or speak with a naturopathic doctor for the most personalized action plan for using CBD oil to manage osteoporosis.
- Matthew T. Drake et al. (2009) Bisphosphonates: Mechanism of Action and Role in Clinical Practice – National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2667901/
- Side Effects of Bisphosphonates (Alendronate, Ibandronate, Risedronate and Zoledronic Acid) – NOF https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/medicationadherence/side-effects-of-bisphosphonates-alendronate-ibandronate-risedronate-and-zoledronic-acid/
- Beom-Jun Kim et al. (2018) Coupling factors involved in preserving bone balance – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30515522/
- Lauren S Whyte et al. (2009) The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 affects osteoclast function in vitro and bone mass in vivo – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19805329/
- Aymen I Idris Cannabinoid receptors as target for treatment of osteoporosis: a tale of two therapies – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21358974/
- Natalya M Kogan et al. (2015) Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25801536/
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