The United States is home to one of the largest groups of aging citizens, with researchers suggesting that seniors will outnumber children in this country by the year 2035. With the proposed benefits of CBD changing the way many Americans look at helping themselves with a myriad of ailments, especially older adults, a large group of citizens may be missing out. A Gallup Poll published in 2019 shows that only 8 percent of seniors over the age of 65 personally use a CBD product and as much as 49 percent are not familiar with the cannabinoid at all.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is just one of at least 66 cannabinoids in the cannabis family of plants, which includes hemp. CBD has gained a lot of notoriety in the last few years as a potential therapeutic component of cannabis, but CBD was actually known about as far back as 1940.
CBD can be found in a lot of different types of products. The cannabinoid is incorporated into an array of tinctures, oils, topical creams, and even edibles. You will find all of these products labeled with things like "full-spectrum" or "CBD isolate." In the most general terms, full-spectrum CBD is created by extracting the CBD and small levels of other cannabinoids from the plant. For example, a full-spectrum product may have trace amounts of THC, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds from the plant. On the other hand, a 99 percent pure CBD isolate has been further processed so almost all of the other compounds have been stripped out. Essentially, you will be getting just the CBD.
Common Issues Seniors Face as They Age
CBD has grown to be a popular option for individuals who are looking for a more natural way to potentially help with certain symptoms or ailments. Seniors in particular may benefit from CBD because the cannabinoid may help with ailments seniors often experience. Seniors can be more prone to issues with things like pain and inflammation related to arthritis or illness, digestive issues caused by medications, and certain medical conditions and diseases. While CBD is definitely not a cure-all, it may be a viable option to consider for some issues.
CBD for Sleep in Elderly
Previous studies of CBD show that this drug can help to soothe pain. By reducing the amount of pain you experience, CBD can improve the overall quality of your sleep. In 2015, a small trial of patients with Parkinson's disease also found that CBD alleviated REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD).
Does CBD Help in Anxiety
A 2011 study showed that CBD reduced anxiety and discomfort during public speaking in people with social anxiety disorder. Another 2011 study found that CBD reduced anxiety symptoms in people with social anxiety disorder.
The Advantages of CBD
While medications can work wonders for symptom management of certain ailments, pharmaceutical drugs can also potentially have undesirable side effects. For example, opioid pain relievers commonly prescribed for pain can cause drowsiness, impaired judgment, constipation, nausea, and risk of overdose. On the other hand, CBD, which may help with pain and inflammation according to some studies, seems to have less undesirable side effects. Therefore, it may be more logical for some seniors to try CBD. Of course, this is not medical advice and you should always consult your doctor before changing anything regarding your medications.
Final Thoughts on CBD for the Elderly
Always speak to your doctor before trying CBD to discuss any potential medical contraindications. If you are hesitant to try CBD, start out low and slow, monitor for the effects or benefits, and adjust as needed. If you have any questions about CBD, reach out to us at Fully Activated and we'll do our best to answer them.
McPhillips, Deidre. “Aging in America, in 5 Charts.” US News, 30 Sept. 2019, www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2019-09-30/aging-in-america-in-5-charts.
Brenan, Megan. “14% of Americans Say They Use CBD Products.” Gallup, 17 Aug. 2019, news.gallup.com/poll/263147/americans-say-cbd-products.aspx.
British Journal of Pharmacology. “Cannabinoid Pharmacology: The First 66 Years.” PubMed, 9 Jan. 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1760722.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Pain Medications - Narcotics.” MedlinePlus, 4 Aug. 2020, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007489.htm.
HHS Public Access. “Cannabinoids as Novel Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.” PubMed, PubMed, 1 Aug. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614.Bergamaschi, M., Queiroz, R., Chagas, M. et al. Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients. Neuropsychopharmacol 36, 1219–1226 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2011.6