Osteoporosis can lead to limited mobility and quality of life, but could CBD help? Yes! Learn how CBD can ease chronic pain and influence bone metabolism.
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According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 worldwide. While it’s not a communicable disease, it is the most common bone disease and is considered a significant public health concern. As osteoporosis progresses, bone loss can lead to painful fractures that limit mobility and quality of life. But could CBD provide relief for those with osteoporosis?
Fortunately, CBD Oil and Gels can provide some pain relief and potentially even reduce loss of bone mass. Keep reading to learn more about osteoporosis, how CBD may provide relief, and how to use CBD products for maximum relief.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis literally means “porous bones.” That’s also a pretty good descriptor of what this disease does.
The cells in our bones get broken down and replaced throughout our lives. This process, called bone remodeling, is completely normal, but it tends to accelerate as we age and lose more calcium. Actual bone loss happens once the cells in your bones start to break down faster than they can be replaced.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, bone density tends to increase until we’re roughly twenty-five years old. Then between the ages of twenty-five and fifty, our bone density stays relatively stable. After age fifty, bone resorption tends to outpace bone formation, which leads to accelerated bone loss. But at what point does this normal bone loss actually become osteoporosis?
If you and your doctor are concerned, they may order a bone densitometry test (DXA or DEXA scan). They’ll use this scan to develop what’s called a T score. “A T score of -1 to +1 is considered normal bone density. A T score of -1 to -2.5 indicates osteopenia (low bone density). A T score of -2.5 or lower is bone density low enough to be categorized as osteoporosis.”
Once someone has developed osteoporosis, they’re at increased risk of:
- Painful bone fractures
- Back pain from fractured or collapsed vertebrae
- Loss of height
- Stooped posture
- Loss of mobility
Who’s at Risk of Developing Osteoporosis?
The Mayo Clinic says several factors increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. These include things like age, race, lifestyle, medical conditions, etc.
In general, women are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis. However, both men and women are susceptible and genetics can play a role as well. For example, individuals who are Caucasian or of Asian descent are more likely to develop osteoporosis. It’s also more common for those with hormone issues (thyroid, sex hormones, etc.) or a lifelong low calcium intake.
Certain medical conditions like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or inflammatory bowel disease have a higher risk as well. When it comes to lifestyle choices, people who are particularly sedentary, consume excessive amounts of alcohol, or use tobacco products may experience bone loss earlier in life which can develop into osteoporosis.
Traditional Osteoporosis Management and Treatment
While there’s no way to completely reverse bone loss, there are several ways to slow it down and preserve bone density. Lifestyle changes like those mentioned below are a great starting point:
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Calcium and Vitamin D supplements
- A diet rich in calcium (low fat dairy products, dark leafy green vegetables, chia seeds, canned salmon, etc.)
Depending on your risk and T score, your doctor may recommend prescription medications as well. The most common medications are called bisphosphonates (Alendronate, Ibandronate, Risedronate, etc.) or other medications like denosumab, hormone-related therapies, or bone-building medications.
When taken properly, these medications may slow bone loss, reduce fractures, or even stimulate new bone growth. However, some of these meds must be taken indefinitely, in combination with other medications, or can only be used for a short time. Additionally, there are several side-effects and potential complications from these medications. That’s why many people are now turning to CBD.
How Does CBD Provide Osteoporosis Relief?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound derived from the hemp plant. When we use CBD products, the molecules interact with our ECS (endocannabinoid system) to promote various effects. Depending on your unique physiology, CBD can relieve anxiety, ease chronic pain, or even ease insomnia. Now, studies are finding that its interaction with the ECS may provide relief for those with osteoporosis as well.
Recently, it’s been discovered that two ECS receptors (CB1 and CB2) influence bone metabolism. Additionally, studies have shown that patients with osteoporosis have altered ECS and that CB2 receptors in particular have therapeutic potential. Considering how CBD modulates the ECS, it’s possible CBD could influence bone metabolism as well.
Studies have shown that CBD could be a successful osteoporosis therapy in several ways:
- CBD boosts collagen and promotes healing of fractures
- CBD stimulates mRNA expression in bone cells to stabilize collagen.
- CBD improved bone volume and thickness in a study looking at CBD’s therapeutic effects in rats with spinal cord injuries.
There’s also plenty of evidence (both clinical and anecdotal) that suggests CBD can help those with osteoporosis manage chronic pain.
While the majority of pain is associated with fractures, over time these can develop into chronic pain. CBD balances the neurotransmitters that communicate pain on top of reducing inflammation that can make chronic pain worse.
How to Use CBD For Osteoporosis Relief?
All of that sounds great, but how can YOU use this information to experience relief?
First, let’s look at the science. A study in International Immunopharmacology used 5mg of CBD to treat periodontitis in rats. After a month, they noted reduced bone loss and less inflammation. Sounds great! So, what does that mean for you?
First, even if you were to do the math based on those numbers and determine a proportional amount of CBD for your weight…that might not work. Everyone’s physiology is different. Two people with relatively similar ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds might still have different responses or sensitivities to CBD.
That being said, here’s what we recommend. Start with a low strength CBD oil and use it regularly for several weeks. Take note of how it affects you, and then adjust your dosage from there. Need more? Try a high strength CBD oil or try administering the same product twice a day. Feel like the dose is too high? Cut it in half and see how you feel. It helps to keep a journal so you can track all of your information.
If you’re hoping to improve bone density, you’ll need to do this in collaboration with your doctor. Since measuring bone density requires specialized tests, it’s pretty difficult to get this information on your own. If, however, you’re trying to minimize pain and improve mobility, you’ll be able to feel the difference.
Just remember that everyone is different. You may need to take CBD at a certain time of day or you may metabolize CBD quickly and need to use it more frequently.
For all-over relief, a high-strength CBD Oil is generally recommended. However, for localized pain, a CBD Gel can relieve pain and inflammation right where you need it. Plus, you don’t have to worry about using too much CBD if you opt to use both a gel and an oil. Combining gel and oil can give you extra relief without risk should you need it.
Try CBD Today for Less Pain and Stronger Bones
We want to remind everyone that while CBD is considered a safe and mild supplement, you should always talk with your doctor before adding CBD to your regimen. This is particularly important if you’re already using any prescription medications.
Feel free to contact us with any questions and consider trying CBD today for less pain and stronger bones. You deserve to feel better and live more.