20 Oct 11 Surprising Benefits of CBD for Seniors
Cannabidiol or CBD oil has become increasingly popular with Americans. Older adults are no exception, and we look at some of the ways that CBD positively impacts the elderly.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a chemical coming from the Cannabis sativa plant. This plant is also known as marijuana or hemp. More than 80 chemicals, referred to as cannabinoids, have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major active ingredient in marijuana in it. However, cannabidiol is also obtained from hemp, and cannabidiol contains just trace amounts of THC.
The use of CBD is exploding, and its benefits are increasingly being researched and documented. While CBD can help people at any age, it can have a profound effect in the way it can improve the lives of older adults. Below, review 11 potential health benefits of CBD use for seniors.
11 Health Benefits of CBD for Seniors
Compared to traditional pain medications, CBD can be a compelling alternative as a natural and potentially safer remedy. Almost all older adults have to deal with pain and inflammation. Many of these are chronic conditions as well. With a large majority of seniors dealing with pain, CBD can have the powerful benefit of alleviating pain. In fact, 75 percent or more of seniors deal with chronic pain.
Around half the older adult population suffers from arthritis. Studies have indicated that CBD can reduce inflammation while alleviating pain. Conditions improved include joint pain, arthritis, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Researchers have uncovered that patients treated with CBD may experience reductions in pain symptoms. Plus, there have been few side effects noted.
CBD may have the potential to help you manage anxiety. Researchers think that it might change the way that the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin.This chemical is closely associated with mental health outcomes. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical messages and help your cells respond to different stimuli.
Research derived from one study uncovered that sufferers from social anxiety were able to give a speech easier with the help of CBD. Additionally, research done with animals has shown that CBD may help lower anxiety in several ways. CBD can help promote stress reduction. It also can lead to fewer physiological effects from anxiety, such as an increased heart rate. Plus, it has fewer symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and helps insomnia sufferers sleep better.
Bone health promotion
As we get older, osteoporosis sets in. Osteoporosis causes the bones to experience a loss of crucial minerals and causes them to become more fragile and vulnerable. This makes them more prone to breaking. For these reasons, seniors could experience significant pain and propensity to fractures when falls occur.
Falls are a major concern for older adults, along with the potential for bone fractures. Accordingly, healthy bones are a major challenge for seniors. Falls are actually the number one cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in senior adults. Accordingly, bone health and wellness is a major concern in senior citizens.
In addition to reducing inflammation and promoting cell repair, research has shown that CBD may actually aid in strengthening bones along with reducing inflammation and encouraging cell repair. It can also promote the body to heal itself if a fracture does happen.
Results so far appear to demonstrate good results, but further research is needed.
Improved sleep quality
Sleep concerns and insomnia, while common among many Americans, are prevalent in seniors.
This may be caused by changes in sleep patterns as individuals age. Additionally, medical conditions and prescribed medications are another factor that can interfere with sleep. Both are more commonly observed in seniors.
Many individuals, including seniors, will consider sleep medications when looking at ways to sleep better. Medications for sleep can be very effective in inducing sleep. However, their use can cause issues and concerns in the long run. They could ultimately lead to dependence, addiction, or fuel further sleep concerns over time.
CBD can help sooth and promote calm. Through this, improved and higher quality sleep can be the end result. This can be a natural way to lead to more regular and helpful sleep for older adults. On top of that, it can minimize the need to take harmful sleeping medications.
Help with neurodegenerative disorders
CBD might be a promising product to use in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases. These conditions are characterized by a loss of neurons in different parts of one’s nervous system. This loss of nerve cells leads to a corresponding decline in cognitive and motor functions that people experience from these diseases. Researchers are studying brain receptors to uncover the ways that CBD could help those affected by neurodegenerative disorders. These diseases, such as Parkinson’s, dementia, and stroke, cause the brain and nerves to deteriorate over time.
The ability to reduce inflammation is another benefit of CBD. Because inflammation can actually make neurodegenerative symptoms worse, CBD can promote good health through this mechanism too. Just like with most of the benefits here, further study and evaluation is needed to help paint a picture of the effects of CBD oil on neurodegenerative diseases. As more studies come out, we could see CBD evolve to become a major treatment in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases.
CBD may help alleviate the symptoms of cancer along with side effects stemming from cancer treatment. CBD has shown a reduction in tumor growth in animals. It may even have the ability to help the body absorb medications better or even increase the potency of them. That’s very promising for cancer treatment and research. The benefits of CBD may come from its ability to positively manage inflammation and change how cells can reproduce. CBD could inhibit the growth of some types of tumor cells and stem their ability to reproduce efficiently.
Fight addiction and dependence
America is a pill happy nation. When older adults are confronted with an illness, prescribed medication will usually follow.
Of course, there is definitely a place for medications in our society, from those that are prescribed to natural remedies. However, tolerance may build for many medications that are taken over time. In some cases, addiction or dependence is another negative result of prescribed medications. This can naturally cause harm or permanent damage to the body, along with a reduced ability of the medication to work.
Over time, older adults will often be prescribed a variety and often increasing quantity of medication. This is because of the tendency for health conditions to increase in quantity and frequency over time and as we get older. With increased medication reliance, dependence may be the end result, or worse.
CBD has been shown to alleviate some conditions that involve risky medications such as pain medications and generally without the side effects of them as well. On top of that, CBD can aid in combating developed dependencies that were fostered from the medications prescribed.
As far as addiction goes, CBD can potentially help fight addictions by reducing cravings along with preventing relapses.
As older adults make the switch from potentially dangerous medications to natural cannabis relief, it appears that CBD can fight relapses and assist in overcoming withdrawals that develop during this time.
Improve heart health
Heart disease is a major concern among seniors. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death for older adults. A top contributor of heart disease in older adults is high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of heart disease.
CBD has shown to be very promising as an alternative and natural treatment for high blood pressure. One recent study determined that it lowered the resting blood pressure of the study’s participants. Additionally, researchers administered stress tests to see if CBD had any effect on the stress response of those evaluated in the study. It showed that the study’s participants exhibited a lower blood pressure increase than the normal baseline.
On top of the ability to help high blood pressure, another study suggests that antioxidant properties of CBD can aid in lowering cardiac inflammation. Plus, it can dissuade the death of related cells that results from oxidative stress.
Through helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure while managing levels of inflammation as well as lowering the death of cells in the cardiac region, CBD can strongly improve overall heart health. Plus, it can act as a preventive measure against additional serious health diseases. Consider these heart healthy tips as well.
Aid mental health and mood-related disorders
Anyone has their fair share of ups and downs. As we age, we experience some major changes and tough challenges that result from getting older. Our health declines, and we are more likely to deal with loss and grief. Plus, social isolation, depression, and loneliness may all play a factor. These all may contribute to mental health and mood disorders.
Over time, they can become major health concerns. Mental illness may result if they go unchecked or if an older adult is at higher risk. Luckily, CBD has been shown to help with these and related conditions.
CBD can work to interact with brain receptors which are involved in mood regulation. CBD can promote stress reduction, mindfulness, and improvement in cognitive function. This powerful combination can strongly contribute to how the mind perceives its situation. This can be a positive mood enhancer.
A major health concern often lurking in the shadows for seniors is malnutrition and related loss of appetite. This can lead to unnecessary and unwanted weight loss, muscle and tissue weakness, and other health issues that stem from poor nutrition. Marijuana itself has been studied regularly and is proven to enhance appetite in its users. In addition, CBD is shown that it can stimulate appetite. In this way, it can be beneficial for seniors combating malnutrition and appetite loss.
Scientific research takes time and effort. With CBD exploding on the market recently and its potential health benefits now coming to light, researchers have only just begun to scratch the surface and prove statistically the ways that cannabinoids can promote wellness in both adults and seniors alike. That being said, CBD has been shown to be very promising in improving a variety of ailments and conditions.
Older adults should talk to their doctor before starting a CBD regimen. They can help you determine if CBD treatment is right for you and make sure that no interactions or concerns exist.
If you or a senior loved one needs hands-on assistance or care, consider the role of home care in helping with activities of daily living. Chosen Family Home Care provides caring and supportive caregivers that help promote independent living.