What You Need to Know About CBD Oil for Elderly People: Benefits of CBD for Seniors
Everyone gets older, and we embrace this fact with great courage. Ageing is a natural process that is characterised by various changes – biological, physiological, psychological, behavioural and social – in our bodies and minds. The older we become, the more problems we have with our eyesight, hearing, heart and bones. We also face a higher risk of sleep deprivation, injuries and mental health problems (according to the WHO, around 15% of people over 60 have mental disorders).
Taking drugs prescribed by doctors can be accompanied by unpleasant side effects, and in fact, few really work. At the same time, improper use can cause even greater damage leading to other related diseases.
If you are searching for an alternative solution to improve the quality of your life, why not give CBD a shot?
1. What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural supplement that is widely used around the world, as many countries have officially legalised its use for recreational and medical purposes.
More than 100 chemical compounds (cannabinoids) are found in the cannabis plant, and CBD is just one of them. The structure of these compounds resembles that of endocannabinoids produced by our own bodies, and the effects of cannabinoids such as CBD or CBN can be different.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for supporting the balance between, for example, the immune and peripheral nervous systems. In addition, your mobility, mood and appetite depend on the workings of the endocannabinoid system. CBD affects the cannabinoid receptors by increasing the internal number of endocannabinoids, thus helping to restore a state of balance in the case of arthritis pain or stress.
2. CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD
CBD takes on different forms depending on the presence and quantity of certain compounds.
CBD isolate is cannabidiol that doesn’t contain any other compounds from the hemp plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids, tetrahydrocannabinol, etc. That’s why it is considered a pure product.
Full-spectrum CBD, on the contrary, contains all the phytochemicals naturally found in the plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in amounts not exceeding 0.3%, as per legal regulations adopted in most countries. Each element in full-spectrum CBD helps the other elements unleash their full potential effects.
Broad-spectrum CBD sits between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD as it doesn’t contain THC (removed immediately after the initial CBD extraction) but still has all the other compounds.
3. Types of cannabis plants
There is a long history of cultivating multiple species of cannabis plants with specific characteristics to produce hybrids and particular strains with different concentrations of cannabinoids, CBD, THC and other compounds. These strains have their own appearance, taste and effects and are primarily categorised as follows:
- Sativa (grows in various parts of Africa and Asia and usually has lower CBD and higher THC content);
- Indica (native to countries such as Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Turkey; these plants grow faster than sativa, and the CBD and THC content can both be high);
- Hybrid (a mix of sativa and indica strains; each hybrid variety has a unique ratio of CBD and THC).
4. THC vs. CBD
As we mentioned earlier, there are loads of chemical compounds – cannabinoids – in the cannabis plant, and many of them have not been adequately studied. However, researchers point to THC and CBD as the key ones.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive, which means it produces the “high” effect and is responsible for the state of euphoria usually expected when using cannabis.
With cannabidiol, though, you can reap some physical benefits, such as relieving headaches or pain, or even preventing seizures. This compound is not euphoric, so you don’t need to worry about “getting high”.
5. Hemp plant vs. hemp seeds
When it comes to hemp, it is often mistaken for marijuana. So, let’s clarify the difference between the two and shine a light on the beneficial properties of hemp seeds.
Hemp refers to the cannabis plant whose THC content does not exceed 0.3% by dry weight, but for marijuana (or “weed”) this percentage is higher.
Though related to the cannabis plant, hemp seeds have nothing in common with this psychoactive compound. They are rich in nutrients and have been used for ages as a good substitute for meat, dairy products and protein.
6. Uses and research
We are reaching the point where even the healthiest lifestyles cannot protect against health problems, and CBD can be a real help for certain diseases that make life difficult for older people.
After various studies and clinical trials, there are indications that CBD can reduce anxiety, help with insomnia (to fall and stay asleep at night), treat chronic pain and even difficult-to-treat inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
7. Potential benefits of CBD for senior citizens
Given that we told you earlier how highly effective CBD is, let’s look at it in more detail.
- Our bodies age as we get older, and chronic pain is one of the symptoms. Studies indicate that CBD can help manage pain caused by migraines, headaches, arthritis, neuropathy, spinal cord injuries, postoperative and post-traumatic recovery and other conditions.
- A new trend under consideration is whether marijuana can prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease. As numerous studies suggest, cannabinoids, and more broadly CBD, are able to eliminate the toxic proteins associated with this disease.
- Heart problems, driven by high cholesterol levels, are one of the leading causes of death in the elderly. But studies show that CBD can help lower these levels, thus significantly reducing the risk of disease.
- As for bone health, using CBD may also result in cell repair, which is beneficial as our bones become more brittle (i.e., break more easily) and falls are more frequent the older we get.
- CBD can be instrumental in managing anxiety. Researchers believe it may change the way brain receptors respond to serotonin, which is closely linked to mental health effects. CBD may also help reduce stress and physiological effects of anxiety, such as increased heart rate. One study showed that cannabidiol’s antioxidant properties are stronger than those of vitamin E and C.
- A growing body of research confirms the link between cannabis and the treatment of glaucoma. This disease leads to the destruction of neurons involved in communication between the brain and the body, affecting people’s vision due to increased pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure or IoP). There is supporting evidence that cannabinoids may contribute to a reduction in IoP by up to 25%. It also works well as a pain reliever and may help to lower blood pressure.
- Changes in sleep patterns, especially in the elderly, lead to sleeping problems and insomnia. Compared to prescription medications, which can have long-term negative effects and become addictive, CBD can be a natural solution to calm and relax – the necessary conditions for regular and rewarding sleep.
- Malnutrition is another problem elderly people face due to loss of appetite. This is a major health concern due to the probability of weight loss or muscle and tissue weakness. In this case, marijuana and CBD may be beneficial as they stimulate the appetite.
8. How we chose these products for older people
With CBD products, safety is always the primary concern, especially when it comes to the elderly. So please seek advice from your doctor before you start using new products that affect your health.
As for CBD, it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, but there are some considerations to bear in mind when shopping for such products:
- Research third-party testing. Well-known CBD brands conduct tests of their products for THC and contaminants in independent laboratories and make the results available to their consumers (confirmed by a Certificate of Analysis, or COA).
- Learn about different CBD products and pay attention to ingredients and their origin. Synthetic CBD may contain substances that are harmful to seniors.
- Choose a product that suits your needs and lifestyle.
- Decide on the extract: CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD.
- Start with a low amount of cannabidiol.
- Check the amount of THC.
9. Side effects of CBD oil for seniors
Again, when discussed with a doctor and taken in measured concentrations, CBD oil poses no danger to one’s health. But misuse of the product can cause side effects such as changes in weight and appetite patterns, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting, irritability and breathing problems.
Be careful when you are taking supplements or medications with a “grapefruit warning”, as CBD and grapefruit can interfere with a group of enzymes (cytochromes P450) that are important for drug metabolism. In addition, cannabis extracts with CBD may cause liver toxicity.
CBD oil is not recommended for pregnant women or those who are trying to get pregnant, nor should it be taken during the breastfeeding period.
10. CBD products for seniors
Discover CBD oil drops and beauty products with Marry Jane!
For seniors, we can offer full-spectrum hemp seed oil or THC-free drops. These are pure oils that are free of artificial additives and contain vegan components such as hemp seed oil, cannabidiol isolate and vitamin E. All are made from 100% natural ingredients and sold at the best prices.
11. Why can this be important for seniors?
CBD can be a perfect substitute for those who are resistant to traditional therapies, are tired of drugs that have adverse health effects, or are simply looking for complementary products to treat and manage diseases and symptoms such as chronic pain, anxiety, arthritis, sleep deprivation, etc.
Don’t forget to consult with a specialist before buying any CBD product (double-check if you are currently taking any other medication) and start with small doses.
Provided you do thorough research, you will benefit from CBD as a preventative and therapeutic step on your way to a healthier life.
12. Possible CBD dosage for seniors
Remember the rule of a low dose when you start taking any product with CBD and then gradually adjust it to hit the perfect amount. The recommended dose for beginners is 5 mg, but for seniors taking medication, it should not exceed 2.5 mg.
Between 40-100 mg of CBD are the most common dosages for daily intake. However, our endocannabinoid systems are unique, and for some people it may be 5-10 mg, while for others it may be as high as 1500 mg.
Experimenting with methods and dosages should prove helpful in understanding your own regimen.
13. Final thoughts
It takes time and considerable effort to dig into this matter. With a wide range of CBD brands hitting the market and identifying the potential health benefits of CBD products, researchers are still in the early stages of understanding how cannabinoids can contribute to the well-being of older adults. However, early studies have found that CBD is a very promising agent for the treatment of a variety of diseases and conditions.
As you already know, CBD products come in many forms, so it’s important to speak with your doctor to determine if treatment with CBD is right for you.
- CBD isolate (https://cfah.org/cbd-isolate)
- Full-spectrum CBD (https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-full-spectrum-cbd-5088630)
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil (https://marryjane.com/blog/what-is-broad-spectrum-cbd-oil)
- What is hemp? (https://www.verywellhealth.com/hemp-benefits-side-effects-dosage-and-interactions-4767355)
- What we know and what we don’t about CBD (https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476)
- CBD dosage: Figuring out how much to take (https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-dosage)
- General CBD dosage guide (https://marryjane.com/blog/general-cbd_dosage-guide)
- Safety and side effects of cannabidiol (https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0034)
- Hepatotoxicity of a cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract in the mouse model (https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/9/1694/htm)