Cannabis could be used to treat bone fractures after researchers discovered one of its components encourages the healing process.
Scientists from Tel Aviv University discovered cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychotropic ingredients in marijuana, significantly helps bone fractures to heal, according to the report published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
Tests on lab rats with mid-femoral fractures showed that even without the psychoactive ingredient, THC, the CBD notably improved the healing process after eight weeks.
Dr Yankel Gabet of the Bone Research Laboratory at the Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and co-author of the study, said: "We found that CBD alone makes bones stronger during healing, enhancing the maturation of the collagenous matrix, which provides the basis for new mineralisation of bone tissue. After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future.
"We found CBD alone to be sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing. Other studies have also shown CBD to be a safe agent, which leads us to believe we should continue this line of study in clinical trials to assess its usefulness in improving human fracture healing."
Cannabis has also been identified as having anti-cancer properties while also helping to alleviate symptoms from ailments such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis to name a few.
Gabet added: "The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point. While there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies, it is clear that it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective from the psychoactivity of cannabis. CBD, the principal agent in our study, is primarily anti-inflammatory and has no psychoactivity."