With the legalization of cannabis in many US states, Canada, and other parts of the world over the last few years, there has been a big shift in the way cannabis products are viewed and used. One of the primary reasons why so many people have changed their minds in favor of cannabis has to do with the potential health benefits it can have.
CBD has been making waves after numerous studies have provided evidence for its ability to relieve conditions such as anxiety, sleep disorders, epileptic seizures, chronic pain, cancer-related nausea, and more. The research into CBD is no doubt behind its growing popularity. A 2019 Gallup poll(1) found that one in seven Americans say they use CBD products.
The majority of those users are younger, but not all of them. In fact, 19 percent are over the age of 50, and eight percent are 65 or older. With 46 million people over the age of 65 in the US, the senior population of CBD users is 3.68 million. In other words, CBD is quite popular among senior citizens, and there are plenty of reasons why.
What Is CBD Exactly?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. The cannabis plant has over 100 compounds, called cannabinoids. THC is the most abundant cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. THC is what makes people feel intoxicated when they use marijuana. However, the second-most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis is CBD.
Since it is non-psychoactive, it does not make users feel “high.” In fact, recent research(2) has found that CBD may ever counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS exists throughout the entire body, which is why CBD’s health benefits are so wide-ranging.
Seniors Love CBD For Treating Various Health Conditions
CBD has become popular among senior citizens mostly because it offers a natural way to help with various conditions. Many people over the age of 65 deal with things like arthritis and other kinds of chronic pain. The CDC has reported(3) that 49.6 percent of American seniors suffer from arthritis, a degenerative condition that causes often daily pain.
A lot of the traditional medications for arthritis and pain in general are either not that effective or come with severe, sometimes dangerous side effects. This is why many seniors have turned to CBD to treat their pain.
The research(4) into CBD’s effectiveness for treating the pain associated with arthritis has shown that it can reduce the inflammation that causes the pain to begin with. Other studies(5) have shown that CBD can reduce pain in a clinically significant way.
Furthermore, a 2018 review(6) reported on the mounting evidence showing the role of the ECS in osteoarthritis joint pain. Both preclinical and clinical evidence has shown that endocannabinoid agonists, like CBD, that target the CB2 receptors in the ECS have great potential as anti-inflammatory agents.
Another study in 2017(7) showed how CBD was able to block osteoarthritis pain specifically. What’s more, the study also found that CBD could prevent pain and nerve damage in the joints from developing later on.
Aside from pain relief, seniors with other health conditions use CBD as well. There are 5 million seniors in the US who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, one million who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and 300,000 who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), according to the Harvard Neurodiscovery Center(8).
Science(9) has shown that CBD has a lot of potential to help with all of these conditions, which explains why many seniors are using CBD these days.
Seniors Also Use CBD For Their Mental Health
CBD’s may also have a wide range of therapeutic benefits for various mental health issues, having a positive impact on mood, stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, and cognitive functioning. About 27 percent of seniors(10) have anxiety disorders that lower their quality of life and even impact their ability to function in society.
CBD interacts with receptors in the body that regulate mood, meaning it could help to get rid of stress, anxiety, depression, and improve cognitive functioning. For instance, a 2020 review(11) of preclinical and clinical evidence for CBD’s effectiveness in relieving anxiety presented promising results.
Additionally, CBD has also been shown(12) to help with many sleep issues, such as improving the quality of sleep by increasing the amount of time spent in deep, restful sleep. As people get older, they have a higher tendency to suffer from insomnia. This is often the result by chemical imbalances caused by other medical conditions and medications they are taking.
As such, it makes sense that many seniors would turn to CBD to help them with both mental health and sleep issues.
CBD Is Safe To Use
While more research is needed to confirm the potential physical and mental health benefits of CBD, it has been shown to be safe to use and free from serious side effects(13). For these reasons, seniors tend to feel comfortable using CBD as an alternative medicine for their mental health in the meantime.
That being said, CBD may interact with other medications(14) seniors might be taking. A lot of medications are metabolized by way of liver enzymes, the same enzymes used to break down CBD. That is why it is highly recommended to discuss CBD use with a doctor before using it.
Also, because of how new CBD is, clear dosage guidelines remain unavailable and unknown. Experts recommend all CBD users to start taking it slowly, gradually increasing the dosage to determine the lowest possible dose. The correct dose will vary from person to person based on their individual body chemistry, weight, age, and metabolism.
Different symptoms of conditions can also mean different dosages of CBD, even in the same person. For example, a person might need more CBD to relieve anxiety than to relieve pain.
Overall, CBD has been a valuable development in the lives of senior citizens. Not only does it help to improve senior health, but it is also a natural and safe substance to use.
FDA Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or prior to using any CBD products.