As we age, our bones weaken, becoming more brittle and susceptible to breakage even after a seemingly harmless fall. For some, this is nothing more than a minor inconvenience that comes along with aging. For others, it can mean the difference between life and death. If a minor slip in the shower can cause a debilitating injury, an older person may not be able to call for help or seek medical attention.

Bone fractures, similarly, leave many elderly people unable to function in their daily lives like they were previously accustomed to, severely limiting their quality of life. Everyone’s bones undergo a fair amount of stress simply due to daily life, but as we get older, our bodies struggle to repair damage naturally.

Bone Diseases

“Bone metabolism” refers to the process through which old bone material becomes replaced by stronger new material. This process encourages bones to stay strong and healthy throughout our lives. An average adult body will replace approximately 10% of bone structure annually.

Nonetheless, aging puts significant strain on the body’s amazing self-healing capacities. Many older people develop bone diseases such as osteoporosis, which are both painful and difficult to combat. Fortunately, surprising new research has revealed that there might be a life hack that adults can use: the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in the bone metabolism process.

Keeping Bones Strong

How can cannabis help you combat bone disease? According to a paper published in the British Journal of Pharmacology back in 2011, fatty acid amides (FAAs) are crucial in the regulation of bone metabolism. They help ensure healthy bone growth through direct interaction with—you guessed it—the body’s cannabinoid receptors.

Evidently, science revealed a clear link between cannabis and bone health, and doctors were taking notice several years ago. But it wasn’t until 2015 that researchers learned that cannabinoids can actually strengthen previously fractured or broken bones. Seemingly, CBD can not only strengthen the bridges that connect broken bones but actually heal bones more quickly and ensure they are less likely to fracture again in the future.

Middle-aged and elderly patients with osteoporosis benefit strongly from medical cannabis. But even if you are in your twenties or thirties, it’s not too early to start thinking about your future bone health. Use of medical cannabis can help decrease your chances of developing osteoporosis down the road.