CBD and seniors seem to go together like, peanut butter and jelly, turkey and dressing, bread and butter. OK, I think you get the picture. Why do I say that? According to a recent Gallup poll, almost one in five people over age 50 use a CBD topicals or oil.
Why the enthusiasm? CBD is not intoxicating, and it’s readily available almost everywhere. Of course, as I’ve cautioned before, you need to know your CBD, because a lot of products are not what they claim to be. So do your homework before you jump on the CBD bandwagon.
As we age, minor aches and pains crop up and health conditions seem to increase. CBD has become a natural alternative for many people to decrease symptoms of many health conditions such as joint pain, stress, depression, anxiety, arthritis and others.
How can CBD benefit seniors?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a component of hemp with some pretty unique talents. It interacts with CB receptors sprinkled throughout the human body to support our endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is responsible for homeostasis, or balance, in our bodies. When our ECS becomes compromised, adding CBD can help restore balance. It’s a lot more complicated than that and you can learn more here.
An added benefit to using CBD is the absence of harsh or negative side effects. What can CBD do for seniors?
CBD is an anti-inflammatory, and most pain is caused by inflammation, so it makes sense that when joint and muscles ache, or when you experience pain from arthritis, neuropathy from surgery or cancer treatment, nerve pain and others, CBD can ease the discomfort. Use it as an oil to supplement your diet and balance your system. In addition, apply creams or salves directly to the affected area to get to the heart of the matter quickly. It’s a great alternative to prescription and over-the-counter products, which often can have side effects. Plus, the topicals moisturize and soothe dry skin, and who doesn’t need a bit more skin hydration as we age?
Relieve depression and anxiety
According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “about 80% of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 50% have two or more. Depression is more common in people who also have other illnesses (such as heart disease or cancer) or whose function becomes limited.”
CBD has been shown to help regulate mood disorders through CB receptor interaction with serotonin in the brain, which helps balance emotions. In addition, it can help reduce stress caused by pain or illness and improve sleep, both of which can aggravate depression and anxiety. It does so without side effects and with little risk of addiction.
Help with sleep
Sleep can be elusive as we age, robbing us of the regenerative effects that deep sleep offers. Lack of sleep can also lead to other chronic issues. CBD acts as a calming agent for your mind and your body. As noted above, it can help ease pain, which may interfere with a restful sleep. CBD can also help stabilize hormones that can cause anxiety and stress. A great benefit of CBD is that, unlike sleeping pills or other aids, it’s not addicting and doesn’t produce negative side effects.
Promote bone health
Osteoporosis is the bane of seniors. Bone loss as we age can lead to fractures and breaks at the slightest impact. But losing bone density could be slowed with proper exercise and diet. CBD, which can control inflammation and help repair bone cells, could be a way to stave off bone fragility. Some research shows that CBD can help strengthen bones, but also promote healing if there is a fracture.
Improve heart health
According to the American College of Cardiology, heart disease is the most common condition among older adults and their No. 1 cause of death. We’ve all heard about diet and exercise as a way to stay healthy. But there are other ways to improve heart health. As a preventive measure, you could include CBD oil with a healthful diet.
CBD can help reduce the potential for heart disease by normalizing high blood pressure, a big factor in heart attacks. Researchers have also found that it’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce cardiac inflammation, but also reduce cell death usually caused by oxidative stress, which is defined as an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.
Deter neurogenerative disease
CBD interacts with receptors located in our brain and central nervous system in a way that experts believe could help treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis. Although the results are not conclusive, studies have shown there is substantial evidence supporting the neuroprotective benefits of CBD. As research continues, more information about whether and how CBD can treat these conditions will become readily available.
Aging well with CBD
Included as part of a healthful lifestyle, CBD can help alleviate some of the more uncomfortable aspects of aging. The nutritional properties of CBD oil make it a wonderful dietary supplement. Topicals in the form of salves, lotions, creams and ointments work to relieve pain, dry skin, burns, etc. when applied directly to the specific area. It’s a more natural alternative to health care that comes with few side effects if you work with your doctor and know what’s in the CBD product you want to use.