A joint a day keeps the doctor away.
We’ve come a long way from the days of “Reefer Madness.”
Cannabis, a drug the US government once used as propaganda to link the black community with immorality, becomes more mainstream with each passing year. Researchers now have the opportunity to take a good look at this plant, and they’ve found it can do everything from ease the pain of arthritis to slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. However, one study from Tel Aviv University connected cannabis with the healing process behind a bone fracture.
The report published by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that a chemical in weed is directly related to bone health.
The compound in question is cannabidiol, or CBD. This non-psychoactive compound of cannabis doesn’t get you high like tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. However, what it does seem to do is help broken bones heal.
The study focused on how bone fractures heal in rats. Researchers gave one group CBD, another THC and a third a placebo. They then spent eight weeks observing the fractures and marking the changes over time.
Researchers followed the progression of calluses that form when a body tries to fix a fracture. The calluses act as something of a bridge, linking the two pieces of bone together as the body works to repair its original framework. A bigger callus translates to a slower healing process.
The results were stunning. The bodies of the rats that received either THC or CBD created calluses that were 26% smaller than their placebo counterparts’. The CBD group even saw an increase in the maximum load capacity and work-to-failure — or toughness — of their femurs, although the THC group did not see this effect.
A second experiment found that a combination of THC and CBD resulted in an improvement of the maximum force that the bone could handle.
The reason for this seems to be related to the connection between cannabinoids like CBD and the body’s regulation of bone health. The body naturally produces cannabinoids, which help control bone mass—although they’re a little different from the ones found in weed. Therefore, it makes sense that boosting the levels of these chemical compounds helps heal a fracture.
Of course, this doesn’t mean lighting up after you’ve broken your leg is going to magically get that cast off faster. Researchers would have to perform human trials before they could understand how cannabinoids might be used to help bone fracture patients.