Cannabidiol (or CBD) oil has become increasingly popular with Americans. Older adults are no exception, and we have been seeing some amazing ways that CBD can positively impact the elderly.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol which is one of over 114 different compounds found in the cannabis family of plants. Hemp and marijuana are members of that plant family and hemp contains the highest concentration of CBD. Marijuana contains higher amounts of THC, the compound that gives you a high. There is little or no THC in the hemp plant and researchers are still discovering the many health benefits that come from using products that contain CBD.
CBD for Seniors
CBD happens to be very easy to use. This makes it an appealing product for seniors. CBD is found in many different formats as well. One of the most popular ways to consume it is in an oil (tincture) form. Drops can be applied under the tongue, added to food or beverages, and even rubbed into the skin. Seniors find using drops an easy and simple way to get CBD into their system to treat a long list of ailments. Research is very promising when it comes to common conditions and illnesses that many seniors experience. Here are some potential health benefits of CBD use for seniors:
Compared to traditional medications, CBD can be a compelling alternative as a natural and potentially safer remedy. Almost all older adults have to deal with pain and inflammation. Many are chronic conditions as well. In fact, 76 percent or more of seniors deal with chronic pain. With a large majority of seniors dealing with pain, CBD can have the powerful benefit of alleviating pain.
Around half of the older adult population suffers from arthritis. Studies have indicated that CBD can reduce inflammation while diminishing pain. Conditions improved include joint pain, multiple forms of arthritis, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
CBD may have the potential to help you manage anxiety. Researchers think that it might change the way that the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin. This chemical is closely associated with mental health outcomes. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical messages and help your cells respond to different stimuli.
Research derived from one study uncovered that sufferers from social anxiety were able to give a speech easier with the help of CBD. Additionally research done with animals has shown that CBD may help lower anxiety in several ways. CBD can help promote stress reduction. It can also lead to fewer physiological effects from anxiety, such as an increased heart rate.
Bone Health Promotion
As we get older osteoporosis sets in. Osteoporosis causes the bones to experience a loss of crucial minerals and causes them to become more fragile and vulnerable. Falls are a major concern for older adults along with the potential for bone fractures. Accordingly, healthy bones are a major challenge for seniors. Falls are actually the number one cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in senior adults, thus bone health and wellness is a major concern in senior citizens.
In addition to reducing inflammation, research has shown that CBD may actually aid in strengthening bones along with encouraging cell repair. It can also promote the body’s healing if a fracture does happen. Results so far are positive, but further research is needed.
Improved Sleep Quality
Sleep concerns and insomnia, while common among many Americans, are prevalent in seniors. This may be caused by changes in sleep patterns as individuals age. Additionally, medical conditions and prescribed medications are another factor that can interfere with sleep. Both are more commonly observed in seniors.
Many individuals, including seniors, will consider sleep medications when looking at ways to sleep better. Medications for sleep can be very effective in inducing sleep. However, their use can cause issues and concerns in the long run. They could ultimately lead to dependence, addiction, or fuel further sleep concerns over time.
CBD can sooth the mind and help promote calm within the body. Through this, improved and higher quality sleep can be the end result. This can be a natural way to lead to more regular and helpful sleep for older adults. On top of that, it can minimize the need to take harmful sleeping medications. See our CBD Sleep Strips Here.
Help With Neurodegenerative Disorders
CBD might be a promising product to use in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases. These conditions are characterized by a loss of neurons in different parts of one’s nervous system. The loss of nerve cells leads to a corresponding decline in the cognitive and motor functions that people suffer from when they have these disorders. Researchers are studying brain receptors to uncover ways that CBD could help those affected by neurodegenerative disorders. These diseases, such as Parkinson’s, dementia, and strokes, cause the brain and nerves to deteriorate over time.
Inflammation can actually make neurodegenerative symptoms worse, but CBD reduces inflammation and could have a positive impact on these disorders.
Just like with most of the benefits here, further study and evaluation is needed to paint a clearer picture of the effects CBD oil can have on neurodegenerative disorders. As more studies come out we could see CBD evolve to become a major treatment in the fight against neurodegenerative disorders.
CBD may help in the fight against cancer along with the side effects stemming from cancer treatment. CBD has shown a reduction of tumor growth in animals. It may even have the ability to help the body absorb medications better or even increase the potency of them. The benefits of CBD may come from its ability to positively manage inflammation and change how cells can reproduce. CBD could inhibit the growth of some types of tumor cells and stem their ability to reproduce sufficiently.
Fight Addiction and Dependence
America is a pill-happy nation. When older adults are confronted with illness, prescribed medication will usually follow. Of course there is definitely a place for medications in our society, however, tolerance may build for many medications that are taken over time. In some cases, addiction or dependence becomes the negative result of prescribed medications. This can naturally cause harm or permanent damage to the body, along with a reduced ability for the medication to work.
Over time older adults will often be prescribed a variety (and often increasing quantity) of medications. With increased medication, reliance and dependence may be the end result, or worse. CBD has been shown to alleviate some conditions that involve risky medication (such as pain meds) and generally without the side effects of them as well. On top of that, CBD can aid in combating developed dependencies that were fostered from the medications prescribed.
As older adults make the switch from potentially dangerous pain medications to natural cannabis relief, it appears that CBD can fight relapse and assist in overcoming withdrawals that develop during this time.
Improve Heart Health
Heart disease is a major concern among seniors. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death for older adults. A top contribution of heart disease in older adults is high blood pressure.
CBD has shown to be very promising as an alternative and natural treatment for high blood pressure. One recent study determined that it lowered the resting blood pressure of the study’s participants. Additionally, when researchers administered stress tests to see if CBD had any effect on the stress response of those evaluated at the study, they showed the study’s participants exhibited a lower blood pressure increase than the normal baseline.
On top of the ability to help high blood pressure, another study suggests that the antioxidant properties of CBD can aid in lowering cardiac inflammation.
By helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure while managing levels of inflammation as well, CBD can strongly improve overall heart health.
Aid Mental Health and Mood Related Disorders
Everyone has their fair share of ups and downs. As we age, we experience some major changes and tough challenges that result from getting older. Our health declines and we are more likely to deal with loss and grief plus social isolation, depression, and loneliness. These all may contribute to poor mental health and mood disorders.
Over time, they can become major health concerns. Mental illness may result if they go unchecked or if an older adult is at a higher risk. Luckily, CBD has been shown to help with these and related conditions.
CBD can work to interact with brain receptors which are involved in mood regulation. CBD can promote stress reduction, mindfulness, and improvement in cognitive function. This powerful combination can strongly contribute to how the mind perceives its situation. This can be a positive mood enhancer and can ward off depression.
A major health concern for seniors often lurking in the shadows is malnutrition and related loss of appetite. This can lead to unnecessary and unwanted weight loss, muscle and tissue weakness, and other health issues that stem from poor nutrition. Some preliminary research has shown that CBD can stimulate the appetite. In this way, it can be beneficial for seniors combating malnutrition and appetite loss.
Scientific research takes time and effort. With CBD exploding on the market and many of its potential health benefits now coming to light, researchers have only just begun to scratch the surface and scientifically prove the way that cannabinoids can promote wellness in both adults and seniors alike. That being said, CBD has been shown to be very promising in improving a variety of ailments and conditions.
Older adults should talk to their doctor before starting any CBD regimen. They can help you determine if CBD treatment is right for you and make sure no interactions or concerns exist.