Cannabidiol decreases bone resorption by inhibiting RANK/RANKL expression and pro-inflammatory cytokines during experimental periodontitis in rats

Int Immunopharmacol. 2009 Feb;9(2):216-22. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2008.11.010. Epub 2008 Dec 12.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid component from Cannabis sativa that does not induce psychotomimetic effects and possess anti-inflammatory properties. In the present study we tested the effects of CBD in a periodontitis experimental model in rats. We also investigated possible mechanisms underlying these effects. Periodontal disease was induced by a ligature placed around the mandible first molars of each animal. Male Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups: control animals; ligature-induced animals treated with vehicle and ligature-induced animals treated with CBD (5 mg/kg, daily). Thirty days after the induction of periodontal disease the animals were sacrificed and mandibles and gingival tissues removed for further analysis. Morphometrical analysis of alveolar bone loss demonstrated that CBD-treated animals presented a decreased alveolar bone loss and a lower expression of the activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand RANKL/RANK. Moreover, gingival tissues from the CBD-treated group showed decreased neutrophil migration (MPO assay) associated with lower interleukin (IL)-1beta and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production. These results indicate that CBD may be useful to control bone resorption during progression of experimental periodontitis in rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Resorption / drug therapy*
  • Bone Resorption / etiology
  • Bone Resorption / pathology
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Periodontitis / complications
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Periodontitis / pathology
  • Peroxidase / immunology
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • RANK Ligand / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cytokines
  • RANK Ligand
  • Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B
  • Cannabidiol
  • Peroxidase