The skeletal system is an essential of the human anatomy. We need our skeletal system to stand erect, to walk properly and function optimally. The sad reality is that, a lot of people take their bone health for granted thereby affecting the skeletal system.
For some individuals, poor bone health is caused by the strenuous activities that they engage in on a daily basis. For others, it is poor workout routines that leaves a strain on the bones. Cannabis has emerged as a possible remedy for poor bone health in recent times, but how?
Why is Bone Health Important?
Our bones are essential to our proper functioning as humans. Without bones, we will simply be a pool of tissues that cannot accomplish the most basic activities. Our muscles and tissues attach to the bones, giving our body shape and form. The functions of our bones can be broken into three main parts.
- Protection: We have said much on how our bones give our body shape and form, allowing us to carry out daily function. Another important function of our bones is providing protection for the body. Our bones works with the muscles to provide a needed shield for the vital organs in our body. With the bones in place, our vital internal organs like the heart and lungs, are protected from blunt force trauma in case of an accident. Protection of our organs is one important function of bones that cannot be overemphasized.
- Blood Cell Production: It might seem unbelievable because of the hard form that they take, but bones are actually instrumental in blood cell production. Inside the bone marrow, both white blood cells and red blood cells are produced. White blood cells are essential for immunity of the body system from diseases and sickness, and red blood are crucial for the transportation of oxygen around the body. In essence, the bones are essential for good health and proper functioning of the body system
- Mineral Reservoir: The bones are basically a store house in the body, serving as a mineral reservoir. Our bones store up to 85% of the phosphorus and 99% of the calcium in the body. All of these functions prove that poor bone health reduces our quality of living.
Best Practices for Good Bone Health
When it comes to figuring out the best practices for good bone health, there are two simple answers: movement and nutrition. Food provides your bones with the necessary nutrients and building blocks, while movement helps the bone to remodel itself in the best way to give the body a great shape.
Osteblasts are the cells that are responsible for stripping away old bone tissue, and creating new bones. And your body needs good nutrition as well as movement in order to utilize their functionality. Without movement, the activity of the cells might be reduced, resulting in a condition called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis refers to the thinning of bones, to the point that a higher risk of fracturing is present.
Tips for Good Bone Health
- Protein: There is a general misconception about the composition of human bones, with many people believing that they are solid masses of calcium. While bones are made of calcium, they contain other ingredients as well. As a matter of fact, the human skeleton is made of about 50% protein, which takes the form of collagen. Bones require high levels of mineral to be sturdy, and protein is instrumental to achieving this. Having low levels of protein in the body affects bone formation, as it reduces calcium absorption.
- Resistance Training: Exercising helps a lot in promoting good bone health. One of the best forms of exercise for your bones is resistance training. This entails lifting weights and other tasking activities in the gym. When you carry out this resistance training, your body gets the signal that there is a need to maintain (or increase) bone density in order to deal with the rigorous activities. This way the bone stays strong and healthy. It is important, however, to avoid taking on weights that are too heavy for your body.
- Calcium: Of course, calcium makes up a large part of our bones, which makes it essential to eat calcium-rich food. This includes food like cheese, yogurt, fish, lentils, beans and seeds.
- Vitamin D: Your bones also need vitamin D in order to be strong and healthy. This is because vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium easily. Vitamin D can be absorbed from exposure to sunlight, as well as foods such as fatty fish, mushrooms, fortified plant-based milks and cereals, and cheese.
Cannabis and Bone Health: All You Need to Know
The tips listed above are effective in promoting good bone health, however, scientists are actively exploring another means in the form of cannabis. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is linked to the possibility of cannabis being beneficial to bone health. The ECS, which is made up of receptors, enzymes and signaling molecules, plays a regulatory role in the body.
One of the body functions that this system regulates is bone remodeling. The receptors in the endocannabinoid system that are linked to bone health are: cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), as well as transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1). While TRPV1 and CB1 aid the breaking down of old tissue, CB2 assists in osteoclast activity of laying down new bones.
As a result of the effectiveness of these cannabinoid receptors in the body, THC and CBD are being explored as tools for promoting good bone health. At this point, THC and CBD are being experimented in cases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and fractures.
The use of cannabis for bone health still requires some research, and as such, it is important to consult a doctor before consuming THC or CBD for any bone condition. However, it is being predicted that cannabis will play a big role in bone health in the near future.