Marijuana Could Help Heal Broken Bones, New Study Finds

By May Wilkerson 07/23/15

Add another to the list of medical conditions possibly aided by medical marijuana.

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Sticks and stones may break your bones, but marijuana could help put them back together. That's because cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in marijuana, “significantly helps heal bone fractures,” according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Tel Aviv gave the compound to rats with mid-femoral fractures and found the healing process was “markedly enhanced” within just eight weeks. According to the findings, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, CBD worked even when it was separated from THC, the component of marijuana that makes people high.

“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point,” said Dr. Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv’s Bone Research Laboratory. “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.”

The CBD treatment not only mended fractures, it also helped strengthen bones during the healing process. This means the limb "will be harder to break in the future," said researchers in a press release. Dr. Gabet said these findings could lead to future research into the use of marijuana to treat not only bone fractures but also osteoporosis and other skeletal diseases.

Medical marijuana currently has a wide range of uses, from easing the negative effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients, to improving appetite in AIDS patients, to treating chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Lately, researchers have been investigating the potential use of medicinal marijuana to treat Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, and various forms of cancer.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.