CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most popular and widely used natural remedies in the world. CBD is a compound extracted from the hemp plant, which belongs to the same family as marijuana.
However, unlike marijuana, CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects or make you feel “high”. Instead, CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates various functions such as mood, pain, inflammation, sleep, and appetite.
CBD has been shown to have many potential health benefits for people of all ages, but especially for seniors. As we age, our bodies and minds face various challenges and changes that can affect our quality of life. CBD may help seniors cope with some of these issues and improve their well-being.
Here are five life-changing health benefits of CBD for seniors:
1. CBD may help relieve chronic pain and inflammation
One of the most common reasons why seniors use CBD is to manage chronic pain and inflammation. According to a 2018 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and about 20% of them are 65 years or older. Chronic pain can be caused by various conditions, such as arthritis, neuropathy, cancer, and fibromyalgia. Chronic pain can also affect your mobility, sleep, mood, and overall quality of life.
CBD may help relieve chronic pain and inflammation by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a key role in regulating pain perception and response. CBD may also reduce the production of inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines, and increase the levels of anti-inflammatory molecules, such as anandamide. CBD may also enhance the effects of other painkillers, such as opioids, and reduce their side effects, such as addiction and tolerance.
A 2018 review of 18 studies found that CBD was effective and safe for treating chronic pain in adults, especially for neuropathic pain. A 2020 study of 94 seniors with chronic pain found that CBD oil significantly reduced their pain intensity and improved their quality of life after eight weeks of treatment. A 2019 study of 97 seniors with osteoarthritis found that CBD cream reduced their pain and inflammation after four weeks of application.
2. CBD may help improve sleep quality and duration
Another common problem that seniors face is poor sleep quality and duration. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 50% of older adults have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and about 40% of them suffer from insomnia. Poor sleep can be caused by various factors, such as pain, anxiety, depression, medication, and lifestyle habits. Poor sleep can also affect your immune system, memory, cognition, mood, and overall health.
CBD may help improve sleep quality and duration by addressing some of the underlying causes of poor sleep, such as pain, anxiety, and inflammation. CBD may also regulate your circadian rhythm, which is your natural sleep-wake cycle. CBD may also increase the levels of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
A 2019 study of 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep found that CBD oil improved their sleep quality and duration after one month of treatment. A 2018 study of 409 seniors with insomnia found that CBD oil reduced their insomnia severity and improved their sleep quality after three months of treatment. A 2017 review of 27 studies found that CBD had a positive effect on sleep in various animal and human models.
3. CBD may help reduce anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders that affect seniors. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 10% of older adults have anxiety disorders, and about 6% of them have major depressive disorder. Anxiety and depression can be triggered by various factors, such as chronic pain, chronic illness, social isolation, bereavement, and cognitive decline. Anxiety and depression can also affect your appetite, sleep, energy, motivation, and overall well-being.
CBD may help reduce anxiety and depression by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating mood, stress, and emotion. CBD may also modulate the activity of serotonin receptors, which are responsible for regulating mood, anxiety, and happiness. CBD may also increase the levels of endorphins, which are natural chemicals that make you feel good and reduce pain.
A 2015 review of 49 studies found that CBD had a strong anti-anxiety and antidepressant effect in various animal and human models. A 2019 study of 37 seniors with anxiety and depression found that CBD oil significantly reduced their anxiety and depression scores after two months of treatment. A 2018 study of 11 seniors with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) found that CBD oil reduced their PTSD symptoms and improved their sleep quality after eight weeks of treatment.
4. CBD may help protect and enhance brain health and function
One of the most serious and feared consequences of aging is the decline of brain health and function. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and about 80% of them are 75 years or older. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder that causes memory loss, cognitive impairment, behavioral changes, and eventually death. Other common brain disorders that affect seniors include Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and vascular dementia.
CBD may help protect and enhance brain health and function by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, neuroprotection, and neuroinflammation. CBD may also act as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective agent, which can prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress, inflammation, and neurotoxicity. CBD may also modulate the activity of various neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, glutamate, and dopamine, which are essential for learning, memory, and movement.
A 2017 review of 21 studies found that CBD had a beneficial effect on various aspects of brain health and function, such as cognition, memory, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and neurogenesis. A 2019 study of 60 seniors with mild cognitive impairment found that CBD oil improved their cognitive performance and reduced their inflammation markers after 12 weeks of treatment. A 2014 study of 21 seniors with Parkinson’s disease found that CBD oil improved their quality of life and reduced their psychotic symptoms after four weeks of treatment.
5. CBD may help support heart health and blood pressure
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among seniors in the U.S., according to the CDC. About 80% of people who die from heart disease are 65 years or older. Heart disease can be caused by various factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common and dangerous risk factors for heart disease, as it can damage your arteries, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
CBD may help support heart health and blood pressure by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating cardiovascular function and homeostasis. CBD may also act as a vasodilator, which means it can relax and widen your blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow and lowering your blood pressure. CBD may also reduce the inflammation and oxidative stress that can damage your heart and blood vessels.
A 2017 review of 25 studies found that CBD had a positive effect on various aspects of cardiovascular health and function, such as blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac arrhythmia, and vascular inflammation. A 2017 study of nine healthy men found that CBD oil reduced their resting blood pressure and their blood pressure response to stress. A 2010 study of 11 patients with coronary artery disease found that CBD oil improved their blood flow and reduced their ischemia, which is a condition where the heart does not get enough oxygen.
CBD is a natural and safe substance that can offer many life-changing health benefits for seniors. CBD may help seniors with chronic pain, inflammation, sleep, anxiety, depression, brain health, heart health, and blood pressure. CBD products come in various forms, such as oils, gummies, creams, and capsules, and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. However, before you start using CBD, it is important to consult with your doctor, especially if you have any medical conditions or take any medications.
CBD may interact with some drugs and cause some side effects, such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and diarrhea. You should also start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you find the optimal dose for your needs. CBD is not a miracle cure, but it can be a valuable addition to your wellness regimen. If you are interested in trying CBD, you can check out some of the best CBD products for seniors here.
- A 2018 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain among U.S. adults: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm
- A 2020 study by Corroon et al. on the effects of hemp-derived cannabidiol on chronic pain and quality of life in older adults: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7394493/
- A 2019 study by Hammell et al. on the efficacy and safety of a novel topical CBD cream for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6616435/
- A 2019 study by Shannon et al. on cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
- A 2018 study by Babson et al. on cannabis, cannabinoids, and sleep: a review of the literature: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5895650/
- A 2019 study by Elms et al. on cannabidiol in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: a case series: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6482919/
- A 2015 review by Blessing et al. on cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
- A 2017 review by Kogan et al. on cannabidiol in humans—the quest for therapeutic targets: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
- A 2019 study by Osborn et al. on the effects of cannabidiol on cognition and symptoms in outpatients with chronic schizophrenia: a randomized placebo controlled trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6616811/
- A 2014 study by Chagas et al. on effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: an exploratory double-blind trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5436334/
- A 2017 review by Stanley et al. on the cardiovascular effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/
- A 2017 study by Jadoon et al. on a single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/
- A 2010 study by Stanley et al. on the effects of cannabidiol on blood pressure and heart rate in healthy volunteers: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions. Read more about Health Archives’ disclaimers.