Shalom Life | July 18, 2015

Broke a Bone? Smoke a Joint

TAU scientists find cannabis speeds healing of fractures

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: July 17th, 2015 in Health » Israel

Israel is once again finding itself at the forefront of medical marijuana research and policy, with a team of researchers at Tel Aviv University discovering that medical marijuana “significantly helps heal bone fractures.”

The new study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that cannabidiol, the non-psychedelic chemical found in cannabis, considerably sped up the healing process in the broken leg bones of rats. Most interestingly, the benefits of CBD were found even when the psychedelic chemical in marijuana, THC, was absent.

Dr. Yankel Gabet, and his late colleague Prof. Itai Bab, both discovered the link between our bodies cananbanoid receptors and the stimulation of bone growth. This research may be used in the future to justify the prescription of medical marijuana not only to treat the pain from broken bones, but to also treat skeletal diseases like osteoporosis.

In order to determine which chemicals were responsible for the enhanced bone growth, Gabetand his colleagues created two test groups, one which was given both THC and CBD, and the other being provided only CBD. “We found CBD alone to be sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing,” explained Dr. Gabet. “Other studies have also shown CBD to be a dafe agent which leads us to believe we should continue this lone of study in clinical trials to assess its usefulness in improving human fracture healing.”

Interestingly enough, CBD not only helped to heal the broken bones, but also made them stronger than before. “After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future,” Gabet said.

Although medical marijuana is currently used to treat chronic conditions, like the nausea experienced by chemotherapy patients, improve the appetites of AIDS patients, and treat PTSD, researchers have recently been investigating broader applications for the drug.

“The clinical potential of cannabanoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point,” Gabet added. “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.”

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