Over the last few years, CBD oil has ignited a massive shift in the health and wellness industry as people everywhere are finding it offers natural relief for a variety of health conditions.
In fact, one in seven Americans say they personally use cannabidiol- (CBD-) based products. Of those, 19% are over the age of 50, and 8% are over 65.
In the US today there are over 46 million individuals who are 65 years of age or older, so ya, that’s a fair portion of the population taking advantage.
Despite its status as “trendy” (we don’t see it as a trend, but hey, that’s just us), it’s clear that CBD isn’t just for the younger crowd. CBD for seniors is just as popular!
And based on the research and stats, there’s no question as to why it has garnered popularity across the various age ranges.
CBD Oil Basics
If you’re new to the CBD craze, it helps to know the ins and outs.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the over 100 different compounds found in the cannabis plant.
You’re probably familiar with the other very popular cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. Unlike THC though, CBD oil is considered non-psychotropic so it won’t give you that “high” feeling.
Instead, CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ES) in your body to produce an effect on the neurotransmitters and the chemistry of your brain.
This is a system that runs all throughout your body. In it, there are receptors that receive and transmit signals from one part of your body to another. Essentially, when you take CBD, it speaks to those receptors, causing a response. Its main goal is to bring about balance, and that’s always a positive thing!
CBD for Seniors
Why is CBD for seniors continuing to grow in popularity? It has a lot to do with what CBD has the potential to help.
Perhaps one of the biggest health challenges seniors face is arthritis. According to the CDC, 49.6% of American senior citizens suffer from this degenerative condition, meaning many live with the pain on a daily basis.
Thankfully, research suggests CBD oil has immense potential as an alternative treatment for arthritis pain.
Research shows that CBD can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in patients suffering from arthritis. By activating various receptors in the ES, experts have found that patients treated with CBD experience a “clinically significant reduction” in pain-related symptoms.
A review in 2018 found that, “Increasing amounts of evidence demonstrate that the endocannabinoid system actively participates in the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis-associated joint pain… Overall, preclinical and clinical data support the potentially effective anti-inflammatory properties of endocannabinoid agonists that target CB2 receptors.”
For arthritis pain specifically, a 2017 study found that local administration of CBD blocks osteoarthritis pain. Additionally, CBD seemed to prevent the later development of pain and nerve damage in the joints. Researched concluded, “These findings suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating OA joint neuropathic pain.”
But it isn’t just arthritis. According to the Harvard Neurodiscovery Center, in the United States alone:
- 5 million senior citizens suffer from Alzheimer’s
- 1 million senior citizens suffer from Parkinson’s
- 300 thousand senior citizens suffer from MS
Research suggests CBD can also help with these conditions, again, making it easy to understand why seniors are turning to it as a viable treatment method.
CBD for Seniors: The Mental Health Aspect
While physical health is important, so too is mental health. Again, seniors in America are, unfortunately, well represented in the numbers.
In fact, Mental Health America found that 27% of senior citizens suffer from severe anxiety disorders that are significantly impacting their ability to function.
By interacting with the receptors which help regulate your mood, CBD can alleviate stress, calm anxiety, and improve cognitive function. These three things combined, greatly contribute to how your mind perceives its current situation. This can significantly impact a person’s ability to cope with anxiety and help improve mood and outlook.
And to round it out, sleep. Sure, sleep has a lot to do with physical health, but it also impacts mental health just as acutely. And sleeping disorders like insomnia are very common for seniors.
Why? Experts suggest that sleeping issues are caused by the shift in sleeping patterns as an individual gets older, coupled with the chemical imbalance caused by specific medical conditions and prescription meds.
Research into CBD oil for sleep suggests it holds great promise. According to studies, it helps calm the mind and can help you fall asleep and have better sleeping patterns overall. CBD can improves the extension of the deep sleep phase and can reduce lighter sleeping phases.
CBD Oil Safety
One of the biggest concerns we’ve heard about CBD for seniors is with regard to side effects. Thankfully, we know that CBD is very safe, even at high doses, and that there have been no documented overdoses of CBD.
What about drug interactions? Like any other substance, there is potential for interactions between CBD and certain medicines. A lot of this has to do with the way your body processes CBD. Many medications on the market are metabolized through a set of liver enzymes called cytochrome P450, or CYP450. These are the same enzymes that break down CBD. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to have an honest conversation with your doctor and/or to take your medications and CBD at different times of the day to give your body plenty of time to use each one as it is supposed to.
To be safe, talk to your doctor about using CBD first, and always start off slowly. Everyone reacts differently. Everyone’s metabolism is different, and that impacts how your body uses CBD.
When it comes to CBD oil, it’s clear that, no matter your age, it’s a valuable natural substance that can significantly improve your life!