We often associate CBD use with the “younger” generation—but there are lots of reasons for older people to be using it, too! People of all ages can enjoy the many health benefits of CBD. Those of a more senior age who are seeking a natural, alternative treatment for health conditions may find that CBD is exactly what they need.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. It’s a safe, non-addictive substance with numerous benefits for people of all ages.
The endocannabinoid system (called the ECS) plays an important role in regulating many of the processes that keep your body functioning every day: blood pressure, mood, energy production, immune function, glucose metabolism, appetite, pain management, and more.
CBD comprises more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are similar to the cannabinoids our own bodies produce. CBD works by interacting with our cannabinoids, more or less ‘tricking’ our body into providing relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, and other issues.
The benefits of CBD for seniors
Many seniors are unaware of how effective CBD can be in improving their quality of life. This may be because CBD has long been associated with marijuana and certain stereotypes of those who use it. But CBD should not be confused with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound that produces psychoactive effects. CBD doesn’t make you feel high, but does help to relieve pain, insomnia, mobility issues, and other issues that tend to accompany aging.
The other great thing about CBD is that it doesn’t have to be smoked! CBD products are available in a wide variety of forms, from tinctures and sprays to balms, edibles, and sublingual drops.
Why seniors should consider CBD
As we noted above, CBD is a completely natural alternative to pharmaceutical medications, many of which come with unpleasant side effects. CBD typically has no side effects but can help with a wide range of issues and conditions.
CBD for pain management
Pain is a common ailment among seniors. This is often due to degenerative conditions such as arthritis, bone and joint disorders, and other chronic issues. When cells are damaged by disease or wear and tear, the body senses this damage and cranks up the inflammatory response. This means it begins pumping inflammatory agents (chemicals) into the cells. While this inflammatory process is the body’s way of getting rid of damaged cells, chronic inflammation can result in constant pain.
Research shows that CBD can be effective for managing pain. It activates certain cannabinoid receptors in the body, producing an effect similar to that of taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Unlike NSAIDs, CBD is safe to take regularly and has little in the way of side effects, making it a fantastic alternative.
CBD for improving digestion
The digestive system becomes less efficient as we age, and slow or impaired digestion is particularly common among seniors. Indigestion, sluggish bowels, and other gastrointestinal discomforts are typical complaints. Loss of appetite may also develop, which in turn leads to weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, and further harm to the aging cells.
CBD is a natural appetite stimulant for elderly people and may also help with digestive function. By relieving inflammation in the gastrointestinal system, CBD can help promote bowel motility and the mechanical breakdown of food.
CBD for supporting bone health
New research shows that CBD may help accelerate bone healing and strengthening, which could be highly beneficial to seniors. Bone degeneration and loss of mobility can occur quite rapidly as we age, and seniors may be prone to falls and fractures.
Animal studies suggest that CBD can help promote cell repair. There is evidence that regular CBD treatment can reduce alveolar bone loss, stimulate osteoclasts function, and even speed up healing of fractured bones. In general, scientists agree that the benefits of CBD for seniors include helping with bone heath and maintenance. It appears that CBD increases the volume and thickness of bones and helps maintain cartilage, while also improving strength of healed bones.
CBD for promoting heart health
In addition to its important anti-inflammatory benefits, CBD harbors antioxidative properties that may help reduce the risk factors of heart disease, such as high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most serious risks for heart conditions and is often linked to stress and anxiety.
Studies show that CBD is highly effective in alleviating stress and anxiety, subsequently reducing blood pressure and heart rate. One study involving healthy adults showed that after being exposed to a stressful situation, a dose of CBD helped to lower blood pressure much more quickly than those who were given a placebo. Further research even suggests that CBD may help prevent brain damage in stroke patients and support brain function, which can speed recovery. It appears that CBD helps increase the flow of blood to the brain, which is a crucial factor in stroke-related illness.
CBD for improving sleep quality
Although people can suffer from insomnia and other sleeping problems at any age, seniors are particularly prone. Age has a detrimental effect on our ability to sleep deeply, and it’s common for older people to experience longer periods of wakefulness during the night. Prescription medications and medical conditions can also affect healthy sleep patterns due to the disruption in certain brain chemicals.
Sleep is crucial to good health—especially in the older age group—since this is when the body undergoes much of its repair and restoration. There is evidence to suggest that CBD can help promote sleep and reduce anxiety and insomnia by interacting with the brain’s serotonin and GABA receptors. Serotonin helps to regulate mood and anxiety, while GABA is responsible for reducing excessive activity in the brain and promoting relaxation.
A note of caution
While CBD has plenty of benefits, it isn’t for everyone. Seniors who are taking prescription medications should check with their doctor before trying CBD. CBD may affect the metabolism and efficacy of certain medications, and vice versa.
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