CBD for Osteoporosis & Bone Health [How It Works]
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), an estimated 44 million people aged 50+ have either osteoporosis or are at risk of developing the condition. This figure represents 55% of the 50+ population, and the number of people at risk is increasing rapidly.
Prescription medication is one of the treatment options given to osteoporosis patients. However, CBD, especially topicals, may ease some of the symptoms of this condition and help to improve bone health.
In this article, we’ll cover recent medical research and whether or not CBD can be used to mitigate symptoms for osteoporosis and help to increase bone health.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
The word osteoporosis means porous bones, and it occurs when the bones weaken over time, increasing the risk of fractures. Worldwide, osteoporosis causes 8.9 million fractures annually.
Osteoporosis can be caused by a number of things, including nutritional and hormonal factors. It’s also related to the normal breakdown of bone, which happens in every person. Human bones are broken down and repeatedly replaced throughout life in a process called bone remodeling. The loss of bone mass occurs when the bones’ breakdown happens at a faster rate than the replacement.
Eventually, the bones lose calcium faster than they can replace it, so the bones become less dense. In women, bone mass loss accelerates after menopause.
Certain medical conditions increase the likelihood of a bone breakdown. Such conditions include Cushing’s syndrome, overactive thyroid, and kidney disease.
While it is impossible to reverse the osteoporosis process completely, there are ways to slow down bone density loss. A change in lifestyle may be necessary. Often, those at risk need to increase the amount of calcium and vitamin D in their diet. They should also avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.
Helpful food and drink choices include
- fatty fish
- leafy green vegetables
In addition to eating well, exercise can help strengthen the bones. Sensible options include fast walking, climbing stairs, step aerobics, racquet sports, and dancing.
Living with Osteoporosis
As people age, falls become a real danger. If they have low bone mass, a fall could cause a severe injury such as a broken or fractured hip.
At-risk individuals should ensure their home is safe by removing clutter from stairs and walkways to prevent falls. They should also place non-slip mats in the bathroom and use an adhesive to ensure rugs stay firmly on the ground.
Conventional Osteoporosis Treatments & Their Side Effects (Not CBD)
There is also an array of prescription drugs that may slow down the breakdown of bone mass. The bisphosphonates family of drugs is popular and includes Boniva, Zometa, and Actonel.
However, bisphosphonates do not have a high level of efficacy. This type of medication can also cause serious side effects such as esophageal ulcers, atypical femur fractures, skin rash, and low calcium in the blood. It may also cause bone, joint, and muscle pain. CBD may help to counter some of these effects.
How Does CBD Help With Osteoporosis & Bone Health?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a significant role in maintaining the health of the bones. While the stresses of daily life take their toll, the ECS facilitates the bone remodeling process.
According to a 2011 article published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, fatty acid amides (FAAs) interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors and improve the bone remodeling process.
CBD & Osteoporosis Research
A 2015 study looked at the impact of CBD on the healing of fractures. It looked at rats, and over eight weeks, the study determined that CBD may markedly increase the maximal load and work-to-failure rates of the rats when the compound was injected into their femurs.
Understanding why it helps…
Why Choose CBD For Osteoporosis & Bone Health?
While there is no cure for osteoporosis, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in regular exercise can help to slow down the rate of bone loss. Prescription medicines are also a hallmark of therapy. However, they can come with a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
There is increasing evidence that the endocannabinoid system may play a role in bone remodeling related to osteoporosis. Whether CBD use has any effects on bone health in humans, though, is to be determined.
Final Thoughts on CBD, Osteoporosis & Bone Health
Unfortunately, there is no way to defeat the aging process. Although experts are not yet able to reverse osteoporosis, CBD may be able to play a role. It is available in various forms, including oils, vape juice, edibles, and even balms, and doesn’t have intoxicating or mind-altering effects.
For those with osteoporosis choosing to opt for CBD, cannabidiol topicals may be the best choice as they can be applied to a targeted area that might be tender or painful. CBD tinctures, on the other hand, are consumed sublingually and provide less of a targeted impact.
We may not be able to reverse osteoporosis, yet we might slow down its steady march by consuming CBD. Explore the truth in this comprehensive article…
Osteoporosis & CBD Oil: Best Products & Research on Building Bone Density
Osteoporosis & CBD Oil: Best Products & Research on Building Bone Density
Osteoporosis is characterized by pores in the bones that put patients at a higher risk for fractures and breaks.
Osteoporosis is a medical condition where the body loses bone mass at an accelerated rate. 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.
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 are the most common medications people with osteoporosis are prescribed. 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. For those that choose to risk the side effects associated with bisphosphonates, bone loss often still occurs after a few years, rendering the treatment fairly ineffective.
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 reduce pain and inflammation.|
|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 pain and inflammation.|
|Ibandronate (Boniva)||Back pain; headache; redness or swelling in eyes; diarrhea; nausea; upset stomach; pain in arms and legs.||There are no known interactions between CBD oil and Ibandronate 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 pain and inflammation. It’s also been shown to reduce 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 nausea and vomiting.|
|Raloxifene (Evista)||Hot flashes; increased sweating; headache; dizziness; spinning sensation; joint pain; nausea.||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 joint pain/inflammation and nausea.|
|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 pain and inflammation.|
|Teriparatide (Forteo)||Constipation; diarrhea; weakness; joint pain; muscle spasm.||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 joint pain/inflammation and reduce muscle spasticity.|
|Abaloparatide (Tymlos)||Dizziness; nausea; headache; fatigue; palpitations; vertigo; upper abdominal pain.||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 nausea and inflammation.|
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 cells that stimulates bone growth and bone loss.
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 deal with the symptoms and side effects of osteoporosis and its more common treatment methods.
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:
- CBD Oil Drops
- Topical Creams
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.
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 relief. It may be best to supplement daily with a CBD oil capsule or tincture, apply CBD cream to areas with constant osteoporosis pain, and 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.
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