Cannabis - marijuana, hashish - was used as a go-to medical remedy by societies around the world for centuries. But the therapeutic use of marijuana was banned in most countries in the 1930s and '40s due to a growing awareness of the dangers of addiction. The significant medical benefits of marijuana in alleviating symptoms of such diseases as Parkinson's, cancer, and multiple sclerosis have only recently been reinvestigated.
In a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, researchers explores another promising new medical application for marijuana. According to the research, the administration of the non-psychotropic component cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) significantly helps heal bone fractures. The study, conducted on rats with mid-femoral fractures, found that CBD - even when isolated from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive component of cannabis - markedly enhanced the healing process of the femora after just eight weeks.
According to the researchers, our bodies are equipped with a cannabinoid system, which regulates both vital and non-vital systems. "We only respond to cannabis because we are built with intrinsic compounds and receptors that can also be activated by compounds in the cannabis plant," they said. The researchers found that the skeleton itself is regulated by cannabinoids. Even the addition of a non-psychogenic compound acting outside of the brain can affect the skeleton.
The researchers injected one group of rats with CBD alone and another with a combination of CBD and THC. After evaluating the administration of THC and CBD together in the rats, they found CBD alone provided the necessary therapeutic stimulus.
"We found CBD alone to be sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing," the researchers said. "Other studies have also shown CBD to be a safe agent, which leads us to believe we should continue this line of study in clinical trials to assess its usefulness in improving human fracture healing."
Based on material originally posted by American Friends of Tel Aviv University.