June 23, 2012
Although research is not conclusive, some studies shows that medical marijuana could be a potential solution for those suffering from osteoporosis. While osteoporosis is especially a problem among women, with approximately 4.5 million women 50 years old and over suffering from the condition, it is also a problem among men, with nearly 0.8 million men 50 and over experiencing the health problem.
Some research found that, while excessive cannabis use may reduce bone strength in younger individuals, using the plant could protect against osteoporosis later in life by activating a naturally occurring molecule (cannabinoid receptor, or CB1) in the body that is key to osteoporosis development.
To examine the relationship between cannabis and osteoporosis development, researchers funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign used similar compounds to those in cannabis which activate the CB1 receptor. As mentioned, they found that the compounds helped to weaken bone tissue in the young, but also showed that bone loss in older mice decreased. Fat accumulation around the bones was also prevented, which is a known occurrence in people with osteoporosis.
“This is an exciting step forward, but we must recognise that these are early results and more tests are needed on the effects of cannabis in humans to determine how the effects differ with age in people. We plan to conduct further trials soon and hope the results will help to deliver new treatments that will be of value in the fight against osteoporosis,” said study leader Stuart Ralston, the Arthritis Research Campaign Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Edinburgh.
The possibility of using medical marijuana may not exist for everyone, but it could be a possible solution for those who do have access to this kind of treatment. What’s more, the ability to use medical marijuana is slowly expanding throughout the United States due to the benefits of medical marijuana being recognized and the desire for freedom and legalization is growing, and therefore more individuals could benefit over the next few years.
- Medical marijuana does not increase teen drug use (newscientist.com)
- Medical Marijuana May Become Decriminalized in 7 States (inquisitr.com)
- Commerce City to allow medical marijuana business (denverpost.com)