As of December 2018, 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, 36 have legalized medicinal marijuana and 13 have decriminalized marijuana. Additionally, the federal government has passed the Farm Bill, which legalized CBD and moved it from the DEA’s regulation to that of the FDA.
These major regulatory changes have enabled millions of people to begin using cannabis to treat various ailments. Seniors in particular can benefit from utilizing CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive substance derived from the cannabis plant. It mainly is found in industrial hemp (hemp with less than 0.3% THC) and can be used to treat a variety of health issues. CBD works with your body’s endocannabinoid system to regulate bodily processes, such as the immune system, pain, appetite and sleep.
While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done on CBD and how it affects the human body, current studies are beginning to validate some of the claims made about its effectiveness.
1. Natural Pain Relief
One of the clearest use cases for CBD is for pain relief. CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, which helps it treat chronic pain.
Whether you struggle from chronic pain or episodic pain symptoms, CBD can help you feel better. You can take CBD tinctures or edibles, or rub CBD lotion on the area where you are experiencing pain.
2. Improve Bone Health
A recent study has shown that CBD can help improve bone health in seniors. The study specifically looked at patients with arthritis and found that a dose of 25 mg/kg per day orally was optimal for improving bone health and treating symptoms.
More research needs to be done about whether CBD can help prevent or treat other bone diseases, but the prospect seems likely.
3. Fight Glaucoma
Researchers have looked into CBD’s effect on glaucoma in older patients. CBD has proven effective in treating intraocular pressure, which is one of the major causes of pain and loss of sight from glaucoma. CBD can also be effective in helping patients reduce pain and inflammation related to the disease.
4. Deeper Sleep
Frequently, the elderly have trouble getting the full allotment of deep sleep needed. This is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping the immune system at full capacity and preventing degradation of the body.
Rather than taking sleeping pills, CBD can be used to help your body get better sleep and sustain sleep over longer periods of time. CBD has fewer side effects than sleeping pills, so you can feel better about taking it.
5. Improved Heart Health
A 2017 study showed that men who took 600mg of CBD per day had lower and more stable blood pressure throughout the day. Additionally, researchers found that CBD helped lower heart inflammation and deterred cell death in the heart.
The heart is one of the most important organs, and heart issues are a leading cause of premature death in the elderly. Taking CBD can help keep you in better health and may enable you to lead a longer life.
6. Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases
Studies in 2007, 2014 and 2015 examined CBD as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The results are still too early to be conclusive, but all three studies found that CBD helped reduce nerve inflammation and prevent the development of Alzheimer’s. This is a sign that, with more research, CBD could prove effective in treating neurodegenerative diseases.
7. Improve Mood
Many people have noted that CBD simply makes them feel better. Whether this is due to a reduction of minor chronic pains, action on a bodily system or a placebo effect is still unknown, but a number of doctors and medical publications have noted that patients who take CBD experience improved mood.
There is a possible remedy here for mental health issues, but it is too early to say conclusively. For now, though, it seems likely that CBD can make you happier.
8. Treat Arthritis Pain
Arthritis pain can be debilitating, and taking a load of pills is often problematic. For example, the active ingredient in Tylenol is proven to damage the liver. If you want help to work through your arthritis and deal with less pain, research has shown that CBD is an effective option for reducing inflammation and improving your condition.
Whatever your situation in life, old age comes with health problems. CBD is still in the early stages of clinical trials, but unfortunately some people do not have time to wait around and find out what the results of the trials will be. For now, note that the side effects seem minimal or nonexistent, and the possible benefits are beginning to get validated by researchers.
Without any guarantees, it may be worth a shot to use CBD to treat your symptoms, particularly if they are related to pain or inflammation.