Medical Marijuana Research: Cannabis Linked With Bone Fracture?

First Posted: Oct 14, 2016 04:32 AM EDT

News regarding the positive effects of medical marijuana is spreading. As people and states are asking for the marijuana to be legalized, experts warn about the negative effects. A current research shows that heavy use of marijuana can lead you to bone diseases and fractures.

The researchers conducted a new study and found that people who smoke a large amount of marijuana regularly have a contraction with bone density. Experts also found that heavy marijuana smoking gives users low body weight and reduction of body mass index. The lowering of BMI results to thinning of their bones and may expose users the risk of osteoporosis.

In the study, scientists from the University of Edinburgh investigates 170 people who smoke marijuana regularly for recreational purposes and 114 non-users. To study the participants the team measures their  bone density by scanning with the use of specialized x-ray techniques called DEXA.

As a result, the experts found that the heavy marijuana users have a five percent lower bone density, compared to those who did not use marijuana. The researchers also found that bone fractures are common with heavy marijuana users compared to non-users. As for the moderate users they have no difference from non-users, according to Science Daily.  

Center for Genomic and Experimental Medicine from the University of Edinburgh, Lead researcher Professor Stuart Ralston said, "Our research has shown that heavy users of cannabis have quite a large reduction in bone density compared with non-users and there is a real concern that this may put them at increased risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures later in life."

In line, researchers claimed that their study was the first to investigate the effect of marijuana on bone health. However, the experts said that further studies are necessary for them to understand better the relation between the marijuana and thinning of bones.

Ralston added that "We have known for a while that the components of cannabis can affect bone cell function,  but we had no idea up until now of what this might mean to people who use cannabis on a regular basis," according to Indian Express.

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