Osteoporosis means “porous bone”, and it is a disease where new bone creation doesn’t keep up with old bone removal. This weakens and causes brittle bones. Many people have no initial symptoms, although over time they can cause joint pain and even fractures. Previous injuries, steroids, diabetes, obesity, eating disorders, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal surgery, autoimmune disorders, low calcium intake, organ transplants, insomnia, cancer and seizures can all increase the chances of osteoporosis.
The main treatments include increasing calcium and vitamin D intake (diet & supplements), improving diet, weight-bearing exercises, and medications such as parathyroid hormone, raloxifene (an oestrogen-affecting hormone medication), and bisphosphonates (e.g. alendronic acid).
There is some evidence that suggests that heavy cannabis use may raise the risk of osteoporosis, but there is also evidence that cannabinoids can be used to reverse bone loss. There is certainly much more research needed to be done to see how cannabis and specific cannabinoids affect the bones. Another factor to consider is the specific condition that is leading to osteoporosis. For example, osteoporosis as a result of an autoimmune condition may be effectively treated by cannabis.
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