Osteoporosis is one of the key reasons for bone fractures worldwide. According to statistics, every year around 8.9 million fractures are caused by osteoporosis. Even though it can affect anyone, it is usually seen in women. Statistics show that more than 53 million people in the United States are affected by this condition.
A cure for osteoporosis has not been developed yet. It is controlled by lifestyle changes and an increase in the consumption of calcium and vitamin D. Recent studies have shown that cannabidiol is more effective than traditional medications of osteoporosis. Here in this article, we will discuss more about CBD as an effective treatment for osteoporosis.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone condition that affects people of all ages; however it is more common in older adults. Osteoporosis is a Latin word that means “porous bones”. This condition gradually disrupts and weakens the bones. Gradually the strength of the bones will start to diminish and the risk of fractures will increase exponentially.
There are honeycomb-like small spaces in the inside of every healthy bone. Osteoporosis increases the size of these honeycomb-like spaces. This causes the bone to lose its strength and density, and the outside of the bone will become weaker and thinner.
Osteoporosis can cause severe pain and discomfort to the affected regions of the body. But the main problem is that the person won’t notice the disease until it hurts. People usually notice the condition when they suffer a fracture or broken bone out of nowhere.
People with osteoporosis have to limit their body movements. They need to stop doing heavy lifting, running, etc. because all these can cause fractures. When older adults are affected by osteoporosis, it will become very difficult for them to even walk. Osteoporosis usually affects the ribs, hips, spine, and wrist bones.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis occurs when the old bones are not reabsorbed properly and are balanced improperly with the new bone formation. The bones grow weaker due to the incorrect quality of calcium and phosphate, and a few additional complications in the body chemistry. The strength of the bone reduces due to a variety of reasons. Age is the biggest risk factor of osteoporosis. The quality of the bone reduces gradually when people start getting old. It is very difficult to differentiate between actual bone degeneration and osteoporosis.
The major risk factor of osteoporosis in women is menopause. It occurs in women when they are around the ages of 45 to 55 years. Menopause can cause bone loss in women more quickly because of the hormonal changes associated with it. Bone degeneration in men at this age is very less compared to women. However, at around the ages of 65 to 70, both men and women start losing bone at the same rate.
Some research has found that Caucasians and Asians have a high risk of osteoporosis. Other factors that could cause osteoporosis are:
- Family history
- Poor nutrition
- Low body weight
- Physical inactivity
- Small-boned frame
You cannot control the risk factors like age or gender. However, some other risk factors like poor nutrition, inactivity, and smoking can be controlled and can help avoid the chances of getting osteoporosis. You can quit smoking and improve your diet for benefiting your bone health. Including calcium and Vitamin D rich food in your diet will also help in increasing the strength of your bones. If you are getting regular exercise, then you can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Symptoms Of Osteoporosis
It is basically impossible to discover the initial signs of osteoporosis. This is mainly because osteoporosis happens very slowly and it is very hard to notice. In most cases, you start noticing the symptoms of osteoporosis when it becomes severe. Even if the symptoms do appear early, they will include receding gums, weak and brittle nails, and weakened grip strength.
One of the main symptoms of osteoporosis is the back pain that is usually the result of an unfortunate back injury. You might also notice that you are getting shorter over time. A gradually stooping posture and a tendency for the bones to break are also the symptoms of osteoporosis.
Fragile bones are the major characteristics of osteoporosis. The condition gradually causes porous bones. This results in bone fractures happening a lot easier even from small accidents.
Types Of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is classified into two types; primary osteoporosis and secondary osteoporosis. The most common type is primary osteoporosis. It includes senile osteoporosis and postmenopausal osteoporosis. Senile osteoporosis is caused by aging and postmenopausal osteoporosis is caused by the hormonal changes that occur after menopause.
In secondary osteoporosis, the loss of bone mass is due to specific clinical issues instead of aging or menopause. This means that you can develop osteoporosis due to other medical conditions also. Secondary osteoporosis can lead to microarchitectural changes in the bone which reduces bone strength. Secondary osteoporosis is very hard to detect because the bone weakness that develops overtime is very small.
Treatment of Osteoporosis
A permanent cure for osteoporosis has not been developed yet. Most of the treatments available today focus on treating the pain associated with osteoporosis rather than curing the actual cause of the disease. These treatments can soothe the pain but it is insufficient to overcome the disease.
Bisphosphonates are the most common drugs used for the treatment of osteoporosis. These drugs can prevent the loss of bone mass and they are usually taken in orally or by injection. Alendronate, Ibandronate, Risedronate, and Zoledronic acid are the bisphosphonate drugs used for the treatment of osteoporosis.
Testosterone therapy is one of the treatment methods of osteoporosis in men. It helps to increase bone density. In women, estrogen therapy is a treatment that helps to stop bone density loss. All these therapies and drugs may cause side effects. Therefore, people are turning towards more natural treatment methods to get relief from osteoporosis.
Supplements like red clover, soy, and black cohosh can promote bone health and support the treatment of osteoporosis. CBD is also recommended by some medical professionals as an effective treatment for osteoporosis.
What Is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one among the 113 known cannabinoid compounds present in cannabis Sativa. It is a very popular cannabinoid compound across the world because it provides many health benefits. CBD is proven to be an effective remedy for many health issues that affect the human body, including stress, anxiety, depression, arthritis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, acne, nausea, etc.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of CBD is that it is a non-psychoactive compound. That means unlike THC, it does not cause any euphoric sensation to the user. People are extensively using CBD products all across the world without the fear of getting any severe side effects.
Using CBD For Osteoporosis Treatment
According to many recent studies, CBD is showing positive results in the treatment of osteoporosis. CBD for osteoporosis is more effective than traditional medications and treatments. The interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid system in the body can help in a variety of body function such as reducing pain and inflammation and promote bone growth.
CBD and THC, the two major cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, can interact with the endocannabinoid system of our body with different effects. The endocannabinoid system of the body is responsible for maintaining the homeostasis. It is also an integral part of the skeletal system. It regulates body processes such as appetite, pain reception, sleep, inflammation, and cognitive function. THC can activate the endocannabinoid receptors, while CBD promotes the activity of our natural endocannabinoids.
The interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid system can reduce the pain and inflammation associated with osteoporosis. Taking CBD oil is a great way of dealing with the pain caused by osteoporosis, without having to deal with any side effects. You can take a daily dose of CBD oil for dealing with the inflammatory pain caused by osteoporosis.
The endocannabinoid system has a significant role to play in bone metabolism. This means that the interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid system can encourage bone growth as well as slow down the degeneration. CBD can increase the regeneration rate of the new bone tissue by the stimulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
CBD Improves Bone Mass
Doctors are encouraging the use of CBD to treat osteoporosis because many studies have shown that CBD enhances bone strength and growth through an accelerated formation of the osteoblast, the cell that makes bone.
The osteoclasts are the cells that breakdown the bones. When the GPR55 receptor in the osteoclast activates, the rate of bone loss and degeneration will increase. Studies have shown that CBD blocks the activation of the GPR55 receptor and thereby reduces bone loss and degeneration.
In a recent study in Israel, CBD or a combination of CBD and THC were given to mice to study their effect on bone regeneration. The result of the study was encouraging. It shows that CBD stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase, the enzyme that helps in the healing of the bones. Thus, CBD will have significant effects on healing the fractures and increasing bone strength and toughness.
How To Take CBD For Osteoporosis?
Since osteoporosis mostly affects elderly people, they are unlikely to understand CBD and what to do with it. CBD can be consumed in a variety of ways. But for older adults, the easiest and effective way of using CBD is through CBD oil.
They can consume CBD oil sublingually, that means taking a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue, and holding it there for a couple of minutes before swallowing. You can also mix CBD oil into the food and drinks, which makes the consumption of CBD much easier.