The ageing process comes with both varying, and inevitable health challenges. Managing your health only becomes more of important as we get older. Cannabidiol has proven to be a versatile wellness product - Not only does it have many remarkable health benefits, but it is also helpful to various age groups for different reasons – right from childhood to late adulthood.
You might be wondering how seniors can benefit from CBD and if it is safe for them. Let's start by mentioning that cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive natural compound derived from cannabis. In this article, we explore how much we know about the use of CBD in adults, and how it can support the ailments that accompany ageing.
How Does CBD Work?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex system found in various parts of the body. It regulates a wide range of operations, including sleep and wakefulness, alertness, appetite, mood, immunity, and other systems. There are two types of receptors that mediate these functions – CB1 and CB2.
These receptors are scattered all around the body – the central and peripheral nervous systems, immune cells, and some other organs. CBD influences these cannabinoid receptors and subsequently affects the operation of the ECS system. This is responsible for the many benefits we observe in CBD use.
What are the Benefits of CBD to Seniors?
Many seniors regularly use supplements or medication to manage their health. CBD is potentially a natural remedy relevant to every older adult. Here are some of the benefits of CBD to seniors:
It helps in managing pain and inflammatory conditions.
Many seniors live with chronic pain, whether due to arthritis, joint inflammation, or previous injuries. Various studies point to the analgesic effects of the compound in managing pain from multiple sclerosis, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc.
CBD also has anti-inflammatory effects. The older we are, the more prone we are to inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. A regular CBD dose might improve the quality of life for those of us suffering from chronic pain, and reduce any associated inflammation.
Unlike many NSAIDs, CBD does not pose risks of excessive bleeding and stomach ulcers.
The older one gets, the more difficult it might get to enjoy a good (or full) night's rest. This is because many neurons in the brain that help with sleep start to deteriorate with advancing age. This prevents us from getting to sleep in the first place, sleeping soundly, or sleeping for long enough.
The ECS plays a major role in regulating sleep. CBD is, therefore, a relevant compound for seniors living with insomnia. Taking CBD before bed could significantly improve sleep in people over 70.
It reduces anxiety and depression.
A large portion of the older adult population lives with anxiety. CBD influences the secretion of serotonin by acting on 5-HT1A receptors.
Serotonin is one of the happy hormones that works as an antidepressant. By increasing the production of this hormone, CBD helps to improve mood, reduce depression and anxiety. It also aids socialisation.
It relieves the symptoms of neurogenerative diseases.
Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's are terrible conditions that impact the lives of both the sufferer and their loved ones. Some studies have revealed that CBD can help to relieve the neuro-inflammatory symptom common to Alzheimer's. It also decreases the aggressiveness seen in such persons while improving social recognition.
Many older adults struggle to eat well, which can predispose them to various nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies can lead to many other health conditions. One of the functions of the ECS is in stimulating the hunger centre of the brain. CBD improves appetite in seniors by influencing this function.
There are other studies that show CBD might be a helpful remedy in improving heart conditions, combating addiction, bone problems, and managing glaucoma – one of the leading causes of irreversible loss of vision.
Is CBD Safe for Persons over 70s?
Cannabidiol is not psychoactive and is non-addictive. There are no significant health risks to using CBD, even at high doses, older adults tolerate CBD well. Like every other remedy, there could be side effects to CBD use, these should not generate a lot of concerns. Read more about CBD side effects here.
If you are taking medication, it is important to disclose your interest in taking CBD to your physician or pharmacist. This is because CBD could interact with the function and metabolism of other drugs. However, when your healthcare provider is aware, they can support in ongoing management of your condition.
While we say there are no major health risks to using CBD, you should start taking CBD at the lowest dose possible and gradually increase it till you are satisfied with the effect. Micro-dosing like this helps your body get used to the compound and reduces the risks of experiencing side effects. Read more about CBD dosage here.