Yes, you read properly. CBD can help you maintain your bone density and this is a big deal. In fact, it affects bone health in 3 ways: regulating bone mass, bone loss, and bone cell function.
We have learned from previous blogs that there are two main Endocannabinoid System (eCB) receptors, called CB1 and CB2. CB1 and CB2 receptors belong to the larger G protein-coupled ‘superfamily’ and when dealing with bone, we also have to consider the G protein-coupled receptor (GPR55), as it also acts like a cannabinoid receptor.
The study titled ‘Role of Cannabinoids in the Regulation of Bone Remodeling‘ by Aymen Idris and Stuart Ralston, published in Frontiers of Endocrinology, 2012, covers a lot of material that discusses just how regulation of bone mass, bone loss, and bone cell function are affecting by the eCB system.
For background, CB1 receptors tend to be found primarily in the brain, central nervous system, and organs. They are also present on osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoblasts are responsible for building bone and osteoclasts help break bone down. Once believed to be the only receptor involved with bone health, we now know that the CB1 receptor is not alone. The CB2 receptors are also found on osteoblasts and osteoclasts and are actually found at higher concentrations than the CB1 receptors. The GPR55 receptor is also involved with bone health, but most of those receptors are found in the brain, GI tract, and adrenal glands.
Below are the mechanisms by how CBD helps bone health…
Regulation of Osteoclastic Bone Resorption by Cannabinoids
Osteoclastic bone resorption is how the body breaks down bone. This is not a good thing as it’s part of the aging process, especially if our bodies are acidic and we leach calcium from bone to neutralize systemic pH. Sadly, this is the case for most of our society. Lucky for us, CBD helps protect us from this process. CBD has an odd effect on osteoclastic activity. On one hand, CBD enhances osteoclast formation, while at the same time inhibiting their ability to do their job. This is quite odd. Opposite of CBD, GPR55 helpers inhibit osteoclastic formation yet stimulate the resorptive ability of the osteoclasts. Again, this is both odd and interesting. Good thing, that although this is an odd process, there appears to be overall less bone resorption with the ingestion of CBD…this is what matters!
Regulation of Osteoblast Function and Bone Formation by Cannabinoids
Osteoblasts are what the body uses to create bone. This topic is a bit easier to understand. Research has show, in mice models, that when you eliminate that all important CB1 receptor, osteoporosis sets in due to reduced bone formation. To top this off, fat gets deposited in the bone marrow space. We don’t want either of these things to happen! Oh…about CB2 receptors and bone formation: CB2 deficient mice also developed age-related osteoporosis. CBD allows your body to utilize its endocannabinoids (the ones your body makes) and by doing so, your CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated, thus improving and allowing your body to better regulate osteoblastic activity.
Regulation of Bone Mass by Cannabinoid Receptors
Studies have shown that deletion of CB1, CB2, and GPR55 receptors creates abnormalities of bone mass. As bone mass decreases, you end up with osteopenia and osteoporosis. Unlike the first topic we read about above, CBD also has a hand in the quality of bone being formed. The CB1 and CB2 receptors need to work properly for the body to have normal bone mass. Non-functioning CB1 receptors creates an environment where bone formation and accumulation of marrow fat start to weaken bone mass…and this is not a good thing.
Research will undoubtedly continue in the area of the endocannabinoid system and its effect on bone health. This study sheds some essential light on the topic.
CBD undoubtedly aids in so many body systems. It’s a shame the stresses of life break down our body’s ability to have a properly functioning endocannabinoid system. We can use CBD to help our system operate as it should or we can continue to have a neurological system that is not functioning properly. The choice is yours.
Thank you for living the NN lifestyle!