After a severe spinal cord injury (SCI) many patients suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia. These individuals also commonly experience muscle atrophy. A loss in bone density can actually increase the risk of low-trauma fracture. It is possible to see this type of bone density loss as soon as six weeks after the initial injury. This bone loss can continue up to two years after the SCI. A majority of this loss occurs in the space just above to just below the knee. Most loss of bone mineral occurs below the SCI lesion. After two years, the patient with the SCI will have the same bone density as an average 70-year old female.
Studies and treatments for this type of bone density loss aren’t readily available for those suffering from a SCI. Luckily, that changed early this month. A recent study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology aimed to investigate the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) on sub lesional bone loss in a rat model of SCI. After a surgical transection of the cord adult male rats were treated with CBD for 14 consecutive days. There were tons of relevant benefits found in this new medical cannabis study.
CBD Treatment enhanced the bone mineral density of tibiae and femurs. The treatment actually enhanced the overall bone volume, trabecular thickness, and trabecular number. Also, the trabecular separation in the proximal tibiae was reduced. The ultimate compressive load, stiffness, and energy to the max force of femoral diaphysis were increased with regular CBD treatment. Even more, the treatment elevated the serum levels of osteocalcin while reducing serum levels of collagen type I cross-linked C-telopeptide. While this is some very relevant data, there are even more effects found by the scientists involved in this medical cannabis study. Overall, it was found that CBD administration weakened the SCI-induced sub lesional cancellous bone loss.