Frequent cannabis use linked to low bone density and more fractures

Regularly smoking large amounts of cannabis can lead to lower bone density and higher risk of fractures, say researchers from the University of Edinburgh. Their study, which is the first to link bone health to cannabis use, found that heavy cannabis smokers tend to have five per cent less bone density than cigarette-smoking non-users. High frequency users were also more likely to get fractures, although this was not true for moderate users.

“There is a real concern that this may put [people] at increased risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures later in life”, says Professor Stuart Ralston from the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine.

Osteoporosis is a condition that makes bones weaker and more likely to break. Wrist, hip, and spinal fractures are more common in people with osteoporosis.

The researchers defined heavy users as having reported smoking cannabis at least 5,000 times in their lifetime, while moderate users averaged about 1,000 times.

The study also found that heavy cannabis users tend to weigh less than non-users. Researchers suggest that this may be because long-term use of large quantities of cannabis can lead to reduced appetite.

Cannabis is the most widely-used drug globally, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In the UK, it is illegal to possess, sell, or use the plant.

The SNP recently backed a motion to decriminalise cannabis for medical use in Scotland, though this has been rejected by the Home Office: “This Government has no plans to legalise cannabis or devolve drug control”, said a Home Office spokesperson.

Image: Lode Van de Velde

4 comments on “Frequent cannabis use linked to low bone density and more fractures

  1. Cannabis use is linked to higher bone density and bone, tendon regeneration which will be useful in use in high impact sports such as American Football. ‘Google search CBD Bone regeneration Israel’.

  2. This is why you have people with osteoporosis finding relief and improved symptoms with cannabis use, so far we have found research showing CBD (cannabidiol) to heal and regenerate bone tissue, which suggests why pharmaceutical companies are looking to cash in on this as well as other areas of health such the use of cannabis as an anti psychotic, as CBD has anti psychotic and anti anxiety properties.
    The U.S. Cancer Institute have also just admired that cannabis does actually Cures Cancer or to put correctly Cannabis Cures the person of the Cancer.

  3. Just to point out the amount of bias in these type of articles as the amount of quality research is in favour of cannabis and when you find on bad study that might point to the contrary, they jump on it like gospel which only proves their bias.

    • Just to point out I don’t use cannabis or alcohol. My drug of choice is a cup of tea or coffee. So who am I or anyone to tell someone what they can or can’t take depending on their individual bias. We all have different chemical reactions going on in our bodies so are all suited to different chemicals, so in that sense it would be cruel to stop someone from having their vice in moderation. The only problem when it comes to drugs is abuse, where it takes over their life for example just look at the American diet and the abuse of unhealthy sugary foods.

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