CBD for Seniors – CBD is a relatively recent discovery with far-reaching potential. CBD for seniors has fascinating implications given recent research regarding CBD and common age-related conditions.
Before discussing some possible benefits of CBD for seniors, we must consider the system of circuitry that makes it all possible: the Endocannabinoid System.
A Closer Look at the EC System
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is an intricate system of cannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes designed to help the body resist and cope with stress. The body produces endogenous cannabinoids (commonly called “endocannabinoids”) like anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG), which help regulate things like pain, memory, mood, sleeping patterns, and more.
Unfortunately, EC Systems do not always maintain perfect functionality – they may produce insufficient cannabinoids or fail to metabolize them properly, for example. When someone’s ECS is faulty, they could experience many symptoms, including pain, mood problems, digestive issues, migraines, and more. This condition, called Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, may help explain why cannabinoids like CBD have such varied applications.
An Aging EC System
Interestingly, 2-AG levels seem to decrease with age in mice models, whereas AEA did not. Researchers suggest that this may help explain age-related neurodegeneration, particularly related to the hippocampus or the part of the brain responsible for memory. ECS-related pain perception also changes as we age, as noted in this study of both rats and humans.
The ECS and CBD for Seniors
As noted, our bodies produce their own cannabinoids on demand, which may slow as we age. Interestingly, CBD may stimulate a weakening ECS by helping regulate the production and metabolism of endocannabinoids. Regularly consuming high-quality CBD products can help an aging body maintain a healthy EC System for longer. Consequently, seniors who consume CBD may live a happier, healthier life well into their golden years.
Possible Benefits of CBD for Seniors
Are you still not convinced that CBD for seniors is a great choice? Then consider this list of possible benefits of CBD for seniors.
Reduce Pain and Inflammation
More than 70 percent of adults over 65 experience chronic pain, with hip and joint pain being the most common. Inflammatory diseases are incredibly common, which can impact functional, cognitive, and emotional health.
Fortunately, one of the many roles of cannabinoids is to control the body’s reaction to pain. For example, one study showed that oral CBD reduced inflammation and neuropathic pain in rats, while another suggests that it may reduce surgical incision pain. Moreover, rats that consume CBD regularly seemed to have a dulled sense of pain, suggesting that CBD may increase one’s pain threshold over time.
Protect Against Memory Loss
Brain inflammation can cause cognitive impairment, including confusion and memory loss. Studies suggest that CBD for seniors may reduce brain inflammation by helping regulate the proteins that consume dead brain cells. By normalizing this function, CBD may help improve cognition and reduce cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease. CBD may also improve motor skills which tend to suffer in those with the disease, further proving its impact on the aging brain.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBD seems to reduce stress in rats, as displayed by decreased heart rate and reduction in other stress symptoms. Many other studies back this notion, causing numerous experts to acknowledge CBD’s apparent stress-relieving qualities. For example, some suggest that CBD may reduce unwanted memories, especially when used in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Others have found that CBD can make public speaking easier, suggesting that it may improve stress related to social situations.
A good night’s sleep becomes unfortunately hard to come by as we get older. Pain and anxiety are common factors contributing to insomnia in seniors, and sleeping pills are a common solution. Unfortunately, sleeping pills carry a high risk of dependency and include many potentially uncomfortable side effects. Fortunately, CBD for seniors may provide a safe solution to sleeplessness thanks to its ability to dull both pain and mental discomforts. Research suggests that CBD may help speed the onset of sleep and increase duration. For example, one case study found that 66 percent of participants experienced an improved sleep score following prolonged use. Notably, this improved sleep score diminished after participants ceased taking CBD.
The EC System also contributes to bone metabolism, which slows as we age. Researchers found that CB1 receptors, in particular, help regulate bone formation and resorption after noting a tendency toward osteoporosis in CB1 deficient mice.
Generally, the body signals bones to repair by releasing the endocannabinoid, 2-AG. When the cannabinoid interacts with CB1 receptors, the brain-to-bone communication triggers bone development. As mentioned earlier, 2-AG levels drop with age, which largely contributes to age-related bone diseases. However, by stimulating CB1 receptors when 2-AG cannot, CBD may help repair bone damage and ward against progressive bone loss.
Minimize Signs of Aging
Topical CBD may prove useful for reducing visible signs of aging. For example, CBD may reduce inflammation and redness in the skin. Moreover, CBD may reduce oxidative stress to increase elasticity and minimize wrinkles. This, of course, is in addition to the many other ways hemp products nourish the skin.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Seniors
The body is an amazing machine, capable of sustaining an amazing life regardless of external circumstances. Unfortunately, this machine tends to wear down over time and could use a little help to keep it running smoothly.
Adding CBD oil to your regular health routine could be a great way to maintain a well-functioning Endocannabinoid System. Always remember to consult your doctor before beginning a new regimen, especially if you take other medications, as CBD could alter their effects.
What’s your favorite reason to use CBD for seniors? We’d love to hear your story.