For today’s seniors, 60 is the new 40. Many are living their best (and even healthiest) lives well into their golden years, and we are so here for it. Unfortunately, even the most spry and fiery seniors aren’t entirely immune to aging’s natural side effects. And sadly, many older adults experience new and worsening health conditions. Whether you’re one of the lucky ones with active, engaged, and healthy senior parents, or are struggling to help your elderly loved one cope with new challenges, CBD might be beneficial.
6 WAYS CBD CAN HELP SENIORS
PROVIDE PAIN RELIEF
One of the best-known and well-researched qualities of CBD is its pain-relieving properties. According to the American Psychological Association, around 65% of American adults ages 65 and older report experiencing persistent pain, and 30% report chronic pain. And nearly a quarter of U.S. adults have some type of arthritis, which can cause pain, inflammation, and decreased mobility. Research shows CBD can reduce inflammation and pain sensation. With the use of CBD, seniors may be able to reduce their dependence on over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, many of which can have adverse side effects, including cognitive difficulties or brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and dependency and addiction.
PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S & DEMENTIA
Inflammation doesn’t just apply to the body, but the brain as well. Neuroinflammation may play a role in conditions, including epilepsy and dementia. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its neuroprotective and regenerative qualities, can make it a powerful tool in preventing or slowing cognitive decline. In addition to stopping tissue deterioration, CBD can help to eliminate toxins that can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps heal damaged cells.
Alzheimer’s and dementia aren’t the only mental health concerns seniors face. Many older adults also experience anxiety and depression. Sometimes, this occurs as a result of loneliness and isolation or the effects of cognitive decline. Seniors might also feel increasingly stressed and depressed if they feel they’re losing independence or autonomy or cannot participate in life as much as they used to. Fortunately, CBD has mood-boosting benefits and may promote a sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
Sleep disorders are common among various demographics, but they’re particularly prevalent in seniors. Experts think this may be because our sleep patterns change as we age. Certain medications can also play a role. Sleep is crucial for overall health and wellbeing. While we’re asleep, the body rests as the brain flushes harmful toxins and rejuvenates itself. Chronic exhaustion can cause or exacerbate a host of problems, from anxiety and depression to cognitive decline and pain. Sleeping pills can help, but, like painkillers, they often come with a high risk of side effects. CBD may provide a safe, natural alternative to help your older loved one fall asleep faster and enjoy better-quality shuteye.
Nutrition can significantly impact a person’s overall health. But as we age, our appetite may decrease, making it difficult to get all of the necessary nutrients. When seniors don’t get enough nutrition, they may lose excess weight and suffer from malnutrition and bone and muscle loss. Nutritional deficiencies can also cause or exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depression. CBD can help stimulate appetite to help seniors get the fuel they need.
BOLSTER BONE HEALTH
Osteoporosis is another common health concern for older adults, especially women. It occurs when the bones become fragile and brittle as a result of mineral loss and decreased density. This can increase the risk of fractures and, subsequently, mobility challenges and chronic pain. CBD can help strengthen the bones while reducing inflammation and cell degeneration, increasing the risk of fractures. Plus, if a bone does break, CBD may speed up healing.
CBD SAFETY FOR SENIORS
Before giving your parent CBD, consult with their primary care doctor. While rare, CBD can cause certain side effects, including fatigue and low blood pressure, in some users. Also, it may interact with certain prescription medications. Your parent’s physician can help you determine if CBD is safe for them to use.
It’s also important to note that different kinds of CBD may have different effects. Depending on your parent’s needs and desires, as well as local laws, you may want to go with a broad-spectrum or isolate CBD product, as opposed to a full-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD products contain all of the naturally available cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes in the cannabis plant, including THC. While the amount of THC in such products is only as much as 0.3% and will not produce a “high,” it is not legal, even in such minuscule amounts, in every location. While CBD and THC often work best together, CBD alone is also highly effective and can help your parent get the perks of cannabinoids without any concerns about THC.
Once your parent decides to try CBD and their doctor gives the go-ahead, select a high-quality product that contains organic ingredients with no synthetics or chemical additives. It should be Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified and contain a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to prove it’s been third-party tested for quality and safety.
Dosing isn’t one-size-fits-all, and there is not an “official” recommendation. But as a rule of thumb, it’s best to start small and increase the dose gradually. If your parent experiences any adverse effects, like fatigue, nausea or diarrhea, or lower blood pressure, decrease the amount and consult with their doctor if the problem persists.