Non-psychoactive Cannabidiol Prevents Osteoporosis in an Animal Model and Increases Cell Viability, Proliferation, and Osteogenic Gene Expression in Human Skeletal Stem and Progenitor Cells

doi: 10.1007/s00223-023-01083-2.

Online ahead of print.


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Rivka Ihejirika-Lomedico et al.

Calcif Tissue Int.



Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis sativa plant, is marketed as a potential therapeutic agent and has been studied for its roles in reducing inflammation and managing neuropathic pain. Some studies have reported that CB1 and CB2 receptor activation can attenuate and reverse bone loss in experimental animal models. Despite this, little is known about the impact of CBD on fracture healing. We investigated the effects of CBD in vitro using human osteoprogenitor cells and in vivo via murine femur fracture and osteoporosis models. In vitro mesenchymal stem cells were treated with increasing concentrations of crystalized pharmaceutical grade CBD or vehicle solution. Cell viability and proliferation were significantly increased in cells treated with CBD compared to vehicle control. Osteocalcin expression was also significantly higher in the CBD-treated human stem cells compared to vehicle control. In vivo the effect of CBD on bone mineral density and fracture healing in mice was examined using a two-phase experimental approach. Fluoxetine was used for pharmacologic induction of osteoporosis and surgical oophorectomy (OVX) was used for hormonal induction of osteoporosis. X-ray and microCT analysis showed that CBD prevented both fluoxetine- and OVX-induced osteoporosis. We found that while OVX resulted in delayed bone healing in control mice, CBD-pretreated mice exhibited normal bone healing. Collectively these in vitro and in vivo findings suggest that CBD exerts cell-specific effects which can be exploited to enhance bone metabolism. These findings also indicate that CBD usage in an osteoporotic population may positively impact bone morphology, warranting further research.


Bone mineral density; Cannabidiol; Fracture healing; Osteocalcin; Osteoporosis; Stem cell.


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