Over the past couple of years, there has been a rising interest in CBD and its effects among a growing number of seniors in the United States.
According to the Gallup Poll in 2019, 8% of seniors over 65 use CBD for its various health-enhancing effects.
Research shows that 51% of elderly users of CBD have benefitted from medical cannabis in one way or the other.
Therefore, this product is likely to gain more acceptance and popularity among older adults in the coming years.
This blog post aims to go in-depth into the topic of CBD for seniors, weighing in on CBD’s health benefits, CBD oil for senior use, and the best CBD-based products to consider.
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- 1 CBD Health Benefits for Seniors
- 2 CBD Oils for Seniors
- 3 Other CBD Products for Seniors
CBD Health Benefits for Seniors
Despite the popularity of CBD, a large chunk of the senior population is still unaware of its health benefits.
Cannabis has proven to offer an improved quality of life in ways that are discussed in detail below:
1. Helps in Pain Management
CBD can offer pain relief to people who are susceptible to chronic pain and have to rely heavily on painkillers such as aspirin, naproxen, etc
CBD products interact with tiny receptors in the cells and provide pain-relieving effects in the body. People suffering from chronic neck or back pain can benefit the most from CBD oils and other CBD products.
In addition to treating chronic pain, cannabis-based products are also useful for arthritis pain relief, migraine pain treatment, and cancer pain management.
2. Improves Bone Health
Several studies conclude that CBD helps promote bone growth.
Bone weakness is a common health concern among seniors as they commonly suffer from the loss of quality and density of their bones in the form of a disease – osteoporosis.
Seniors with osteoporosis are at a higher risk of fractures. It has been estimated that 50% of women and 20% of men over the age of 50 are likely to suffer from an osteoporosis-caused fracture.
This kind of fracture usually affects the hips, wrists, or spine. However, CBD can help strengthen bones by blocking a powerful receptor – osteoclast – that is notorious for speeding up bone loss and degeneration.
3. Fights Insomnia
Sleep deprivation is common among the elderly. As they grow older, they start to suffer from more and more bouts of sleeplessness.
Several reasons can cause insomnia, such as mental health issues – anxiety, PTSD, or depression, some form of medication, or even a physical condition. However, a few studies show that CBD can help improve the quality of sleep.
According to a study, 25 patients were given a 25-mg of CBD to help fight insomnia. In the first month, subjects experienced an improvement in their sleep/wake cycle.
4. May Increase Appetite
Loss of appetite is another common health hazard among senior citizens. The decrease in appetite often results in weak overall health.
Some studies show that the intake of CBD products can help increase the appetite of users. The frequent intake of CBD causes hunger pangs, which, in turn, aids in weight gain.
In this way, older adults won’t suffer from health concerns such as a lack of energy or weak tissues.
5. Improve Overall Mental Health
Mental health problems such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and neurodegenerative disorders are all linked to old age.
Since CBD is considered to be a “neuroprotectant,” it can help reverse the side-effects of these mental conditions.
Neurodegenerative disorders tend to attack the nerve fibers in the brain or spinal cord, and CBD helps protect these areas of the body.
The drug also helps protect the myelin sheath, which helps enhance a person’s cognitive/mental function.
CBD Oils for Seniors
CBD can be consumed in several ways – edibles, lotions, creams, vaporizers. However, the safest way to take CBD is through oil (oil tincture).
Research shows that the cannabinoid drug usually consists of healthy oil such as coconut oil or MCT oil. Seniors that are new to CBD should start with CBD oil as it is easier and safer to consume.
When taking CBD oil, take a drop of oil and place it underneath the tongue for a while before swallowing it.
Doing so gives the oil some time to absorb into the bloodstream. When it comes to the right dosage, it highly depends on the age and condition of the patient.
Doctors usually recommend the dose according to the health situation of the senior. Ideally, it is best to start with a dose of 2.5 mg – half of the recommended dose for adults.
However, increase the dose if it shows no outcome within the first hour of the intake.
Keep in mind that every person’s preference and metabolism is different. Considering this, it is best to start slow and gradually and observe the dose’s effect.
Older adults usually take other medications, and hence, they may experience the effects of CBD faster than a young, healthy individual.
Due to the other heavy doses of medicines or overdosing on CBD oil, it is likely for older adults to suffer from nausea or dizziness.
Some common symptoms of CBD overdose include low blood pressure, dry mouth, sedation, the poor performance of B and T cells, and reduced p-Glycoprotein performance.
Over time, slightly increase the dose of CBD oil. Do this only when the body is fully used to the cannabinoid drug.
Physical symptoms are more apparent than the mental or psychological ones, so make sure to discuss this with the doctor. Don’t try to stop taking a certain medication without a doctor’s consultation.
Other CBD Products for Seniors
Different CBD products have different characteristics (size, dosage, benefits, flavors, etc.). Depending on the senior’s age, need, and condition, the choice of CBD product must be made.
Seniors that are suffering from stress or anxiety should look for CBD products that help calm their nerves. This can include CBD oil that helps users become more relaxed.
CBD Topical Products (Creams, Lotions, or Salves)
The elderly with chronic pain can find the answer to their problems in pain-relieving CBD topical, including CBD-based creams, lotions, or salves.
These over-the-counter products are directly applied to the skin to enjoy their benefits. According to a 2016-study, when a CBD topical product was applied to a rat, it helped control the pain and inflammation that is common with arthritis.
Seniors with acne, eczema, or psoriasis may need external treatment to get rid of these severe skin conditions. In this regard, they can apply CBD creams or lotions on the affected area.
CBD offers inflammatory properties that prevent cytokines from triggering breakouts.
With age, older adults may suffer from cracked, inflamed, or rough skin patches.
However, this can be cured with CBD creams that are rich in feel-good oils (camphor oil, jojoba oil, peppermint oil, and shea oil, to name a few) and other excellent nutrients.
Some topical creams rich in CBD also help treat sore or achy muscles. The main ingredient of such products is usually coconut oil.
This healthy oil can easily melt away in warm conditions, which is why it is best to store CBD creams or lotions in a cool place.
Other than CBD oil and topical creams/lotions, seniors can also consider low-dose cannabis edibles.
CBD edibles include food, beverages, or any baked goodie that’s infused with cannabis. This product goes by many names, including hash cakes, space crackers, or edibles.
As compared to other cannabis products, edibles usually contain a high dose of the hemp plant, and it can also take a little longer to cause an effect on the user, usually 30 minutes to 60 minutes.
However, its impact can last more than vaporizing CBD.
Cannabis can be found in many kinds of food items, especially cookies, brownies, and tea. During the preparation of these edibles, cannabis is usually infused in butter or oil – a common ingredient in baked goods.
It can be slightly tricky to find the right dose of an edible. Since cannabis is not regulated by the FDA, there can be variations in the consistency of the two same edibles of different brands.
Hence, a little trial and error occur when finding the right dose of edible cannabis.
Vape pens heat cannabis compounds that older adults inhale for health benefits. However, this form of smoking proves to have little to no benefits.
Instead of smoking actual cannabis, vaping the cannabis flower is considered to be more beneficial.
Vaping usually involves bringing the flower to its boiling point, where it is converted into vapor and then inhaled. This is far cleaner than smoking cannabis via a vaporizer.
Using CBD to cure common elderly health problems(mentioned in this post)is an effective solution.
While there are quite a few options to consider when choosing the CBD intake method, the most preferred and safest ones are usually cannabis oil and cannabis topicals.