We’re here to guide you on how CBD can be used for seniors. We aim to answer your questions about what CBD is, if CBD is safe for the elderly, and the top 5 possible benefits of CBD for seniors and older adults.
What is CBD?
So, what is CBD? As the stigma around cannabis subsides, more people are being drawn to this question, and a 2020 Consumer Reports survey noted a 14% rise from the previous year, with 20% of Americans aged 65 and over saying they’d tried CBD oil.
Another poll found almost one in five Americans over 50 are now using some kind of CBD product available on the market.
CBD (also known as cannabidiol) is one of the many naturally occurring chemicals found within the marijuana plant. It’s now meeting more interest as CBD can be extracted and isolated from these other chemicals, such as THC.
Many products such as CBD oils, vapes, and edibles are now thriving thanks to this extraction as it does not give the ‘high’ effect found with THC but still works with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) to bring about great potential benefits.
Is CBD safe for seniors/older adults/the elderly?
As the evidence grows, the safety of CBD for seniors, adults, and young people alike is showing no cause for concern.
A WHO report found that CBD exhibits no effects that risk addiction or abuse, nor is there any evidence of public health-related problems such as overdoses associated with the use of pure CBD.
The biggest risk with CBD comes from potential drug interactions, so whether you’re elderly or not, it’s important to check these before using CBD for helping any ailments.
As older generations tend to take more prescription meds, it’s also key to consider taking half the adult dose and building up, which would mean starting at 2.5 mg of CBD.
Check out our blog post ‘CBD drug interactions: 9 drugs that may interact with CBD’ for more info.
Top 5 benefits of CBD for seniors
1. Chronic pain
Chronic pain is a particular burden for the elderly and seniors, with the aches and illnesses of older life turning a simple trip to the supermarket into a task too great to handle.
Studies show that CBD can have a positive impact on chronic pain thanks to the mediation of pain regulators such as serotonin, as well as benefitting chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Likewise, the many forms of inflammation that mother nature throws our way can in turn cause symptoms and chronic pain to worsen.
Luckily, she also throws us CBD which, in addition to the regulation of serotonin, has the ability to combat many forms of inflammation.
As mentioned, another headache faced by seniors comes from arthritis, and it’s estimated that around half of the adult population lives with it.
This is where cannabinoid comes in, as for seniors and older adults CBD offers a great natural remedy thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, as found in this 2020 study.
The study goes into detail on how CBD can be good for helping arthritis via targeting synovial fibroblasts under inflammatory conditions.
More studies are needed, but these anti-inflammatory benefits are cropping up in much of the CBD literature that continues to grow.
Results in a biomolecules journal found that CBD could be a strong potential therapy for not only depression, but also anxiety, schizophrenia, and other related psychotic disorders.
CBD’s interaction with our ECS receptors, along with additional elements key in emotional responses and cognitive processing, ultimately show that CBD plays a significant role in the regulation of anxiety- and depressive-related behaviors, cognition, and locomotion.
As well as anxiety, CBD can also reduce symptoms of depression thanks to this improvement of cognitive impairment, and the reduced discomfort in social situations that many struggle with.
4. Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune Diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia)
Another of the problems faced with getting older is neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
As many of these diseases are on the rise, so too is the understanding of CBD’s ability to help them. CBD has been found to have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties for battling these conditions.
CBD has huge potential to help millions, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and alone effects over 33 million people worldwide.
An Ethnopharmacology journal found that using CBD for seniors with Alzheimer’s can attack the disease from many angles while reversing and preventing the development of cognitive deficits.
For dementia, a study looking at CBD and THC found half of the subjects decreased or stopped other psychotropic medications as a result of improved behavior, decreased constipation from fewer opioids, lack of side effects, and the effectiveness persisting after two months.
With Parkinson’s, CBD treatment was found to reduce the psychotic symptoms while demonstrating no worsening of motor function, as seen in this Psychopharmacology study.
Sleep issues can be some of the hardest-hitting for anyone, and the implications can stop your body and mind from being able to heal and fuel you for the next day as they should.
Prescription meds can be effective, but they come with their own risks and side effects that can lead to further problems down the line, with many being notoriously addictive.
Studies point to the improvement in sleep mentioned by those using CBD but also highlight how CBD can show better results with the treatment of anxiety.
As anxiety is often linked with sleep problems, the benefits of CBD for seniors and older adults can help from a number of angles and often overlap, as in this example.
Other notable benefits
The research on CBD and its benefits for seniors is still in its infancy, but we already know of more ways that CBD can aid your ailments.
Other notable benefits of using CBD for older adults and seniors include:
As many of the conditions associated with older age leave the sufferer without an appetite, being able to stimulate it can prevent conditions from worsening, and improve overall recovery with improved health.
Although the mix of CBD and THC is most effective at stimulating the appetite, solely using CBD can also have an impact.
Again as a result of CBD reacting with our body’s ECS receptors, a reduction of inflammation can be found at many points in the body.
Many athletes are in fact turning to CBD to help with injury recovery because of this, and the benefits of CBD for seniors are no different.
For more on this, have a look at our blog post ‘CBD for athletes: 8 professionals who openly talk about CBD’.
As we’ve addressed above, CBD has the ability to influence not only depression but also overlaps into helping with anxiety in the same way.
This has been most noted in specific moments that tend to bring anxiety, such as before public speaking.
For the elderly who want to use CBD to help anxiety, if their symptoms are specific then it could give a useful calming effect to take CBD products such as oils in anticipation of any such event.
Like what you see when it comes to CBD? Thinking about taking the plunge into the plant world?
At Hempika, we want to help you on this journey and keep you covered every step of the way. We offer products that are high-quality, organically certified, and met with 3rd party analysis.
Why is this important? Even more so for seniors, the potential of unsafe and mislabelled products could have horrible knock-on effects that leave you worse than you were before.
The risk of drug interactions being the prime example, you need to put your trust in the products you’re paying for.
There are many benefits beginning to meet the mainstream, and the possibility of improving the quality of life for seniors with CBD is clear.
From help with neurodegenerative diseases to chronic pain, these natural products could be worth the plunge.
More studies are now beginning to give evidence to the anecdotes, and further studies will help make things even more clear-cut and safer in the days to come.
Most importantly, especially when considering drug interactions and the possible side effects of this, you should always seek advice from a medical professional before trying these products.
Frequently asked questions about CBD for the elderly:
Is CBD good for the elderly?
Yes, CBD is good for the elderly, so long as you know it could benefit the condition you want to take on and that you can assure it’s safe in terms of possible drug interactions with other medications.
How many seniors use CBD?
The number of seniors using CBD is soaring. One U.S. survey found that 25% aged 65 plus said they’d tried CBD oil, and another poll finding nearly one in five over 50’s are now using some kind of CBD product.
Does CBD affect blood pressure medicine?
Using CBD can affect blood pressure medicine and even cause a possible sudden drop in blood pressure, as well as result in the medication staying in your system for too long.
Does CBD make you poop?
CBD can make you poop thanks to its calming properties that help the muscles relax, to the point that those with conditions related to muscle tension (such as multiple sclerosis) even run the risk of pooping themselves as a result.