With the growing number of states across the country that have welcomed legislation making marijuana legal, both medically and recreationally, new products are being specifically tailored to the aging population. One such product, which comes in many forms, is Cannabidiol or CBD. CBD which can be delivered in multiple ways including oil vapor, topical cream, ingestible tinctures or edibles, is the non-psychoactive part found in marijuana. In layman terms, CBD delivers all of the benefits of marijuana without making the user high. The positive effects that are brought on using CBD can be particularly welcoming to seniors.
Many seniors are not aware of how medical cannabis could improve their quality of life and how the stereotypical marijuana user and use has changed. Because CBD is extracted from the marijuana plant, seniors can take advantage of the medical benefits afforded by the extract without the head or body sensation often associated with marijuana. Additionally, seniors have the option of delivering CBD to their bodies in forms more familiar, rather than inhaling smoke. CBD is an oil extract and therefore can be added to things like topical gels, tinctures and edible products.
In many cases, these derivatives of cannabis can reduce or even replace the use of harmful and addictive prescription drugs. While this information is only now making its way into the mainstream, the natural consequence is, seniors drop their prejudices, face the reality and turn to the treatment of their minor and major age-related diseases using cannabis.
Here are 8 reasons why CBD should become a regular part of every seniors’ health routine as they age.
1. Pain Relief
It has long been known that cannabis is a pain reliever to the same extent as, perhaps even better, prescription medication. For instance, clinical studies have proved that Marijuana is very effective in decreasing arthritis and nerve pain. Handmade, medical, boutique-style creams are the effective cure of different muscles and joint pains.
2. Bone Health
Cannabis could provide a great need for the elderly as it relates to bone fragility. According to a study, cannabis use can help heal fractures and support healthier bones. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cannabis can be very useful for patients with multiple sclerosis.
3. Soothing Effects
Although CBD is known for its soothing effects on senior consumers, it promotes the feeling of energy and acts against inertia. This is because CBD strengthens cells in the human body and contributes to complete regeneration.
In addition, CBD is an antioxidant that promotes the sense of vigilance that can be disturbed by the presence of free radicals. A study shows that cannabidiol has stronger antioxidant properties than Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
4. Fights Glaucoma
There has been growing research that supports a link between cannabis and the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma, which is a neurodegenerative disease (the breakdown of neurons in the communication process from the brain to the body), affects the sight of individuals from an increase in pressure in the eye known as intraocular pressure (IoP). Going back decades, there is supporting evidence that cannabinoids can reduce IoP by up to 25%, however the required dosage of inhalation of full THC cannabis has posed a risk to some patients. However, due to the accompanying symptoms of glaucoma, CBD as a pain management product works well, and may have the added benefit of helping reduce pressure.
5. Insomnia and Sleep Issues
The older we get, the more difficult it is to achieve sustained periods of deep sleep. During the deep sleep phases, our brain regenerates and is freed from toxic substances, which were produced by the body itself. Therefore, sleep quality is also of immense importance to prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or glaucoma. Frequently, elderly people are prescribed sleeping pills, which have a great potential for dependency and a wide range of unpleasant side effects. CBD can help in the extension of the deep sleep phase and the reduction of the lighter sleeping phases.
6. Alternative to Prescription Medications
The number of seniors who use daily prescription drugs grows each year unnecessarily and continuously. Pharmaceutical companies present our government with one of the largest lobbying groups in the country, to promote the effectiveness and stability provided by their products. However, prescription drugs can be extremely dangerous for its users, and can be responsible for organ damage, tissue damage, drug addiction and even death.
In comparison, marijuana is a safe alternative to prescription drugs, coming with fewer side effects and lower addictive traits. This benefit is heightened with CBD and in fact has been used to combat addiction to prescription drugs. Neither deaths nor overdoses have been documented, which are related to marijuana.
7. Stimulates Appetite
A general, dangerous health hazard among older citizens is the loss of appetite, which causes weight loss, tissue weakness, and mental issues. While marijuana has been extensively researched, and shown to improve the appetite of users, CBD likewise has proven to be a good appetite stimulant and thus helpful for seniors.
8. Alzheimer’s and Dementia
An emerging trend that is being researched is could marijuana prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease. According to multiple studies, cannabinoids, and by extension CBD, can contribute to the elimination of a toxic protein related to this disease. This is triggered by a loss of inflammation of the brain and regeneration of damaged cells.
While the potential benefits of CBD use are well documented, it is recommended that you always consult your physician regarding the use of any substance. And, further be aware that the use and possession of marijuana or CBD is illegal in several states. For a comprehensive list of states in which marijuana is and is not legal click here.
Written by Andrew Duke