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Israeli Researchers: Cannabidiol in Marijuana Can Heal Broken Bones

Medical marijuana (Mark/Flickr Creative Commons)

Medical marijuana (Mark/Flickr Creative Commons)

According to a study conducted by researchers at two of Israel’s leading universities, marijuana can help broken bones heal faster, giving a whole new meaning to “joint relief.”

A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research by Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University researchers found that administering cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic component of marijuana, significantly helps heal fractured bones.

Cannabidiol, the second-leading active ingredient in marijuana, has a calming, sedative effect when combined with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component in cannabis. CBD has long been known to have beneficial anti-spasmodic, anti-epileptic, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic properties. High-CBD, low-THC strains of medical marijuana have been especially useful in helping children greatly reduce and even eliminate seizures in ailments including epilepsy, Dravet and Doose syndromes.

The Israeli scientists fractured the femurs of lab rats and found that CBD, even when isolated from THC, significantly hastened the healing process after just eight weeks.

The research was led jointly by Dr. Yankel Gabet of the Bone Research Laboratory at the Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the late Prof. Itai Bab of Hebrew University’s Bone Laboratory.

“We found that CBD alone makes bones stronger during healing, enhancing the maturation of the collagenous matrix, which provides the basis for new mineralization of bone tissue,” said Dr. Gabet. “After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future.”

“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point,” added Dr. Gabet. “While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis. CBD, the principal agent in our study, is primarily anti-inflammatory and has no psychoactivity.”

Earlier research by the same team found that CBD receptors in the human body stimulated bone function and fought bone loss.

Medical marijuana is currently used to treat a wide range of symptoms and ailments, from relatively minor conditions like insomnia and anxiety to severe pain and debilitation caused by cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

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