Medicinal cannabis use among seniors is steadily on the rise, so it’s no surprise that CBD oil for seniors is becoming increasingly popular. Known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, CBD oil is a natural, non-addictive alternative to the expensive pharmaceuticals many seniors have to shell out for every month. Plus, it can get the job done without clouding the head like some pharmaceuticals do.
Extracted from hemp, which is cannabis with less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) is an active chemical compound known as a cannabinoid. Unlike THC (the other well-known cannabinoid), CBD is non-intoxicating and cannot get you high. You can find it available in full- or whole-spectrum oils, broad-spectrum oils, or as a CBD isolate oil.
The spectrums determine how much of the plant profile was maintained during extraction. CBD on its own does offer some therapeutic benefits, but it’s not always as effective as using a full- or whole-spectrum oil. Broad-spectrum means the producer kept some of the plant’s active compounds but not all, whereas full-spectrum means all the plant’s oil-soluble compounds were harnessed during extraction, including terpenes (aromatic compounds), flavonoids (flavor and pigment compounds), and trace amounts of THC. Whole-spectrum oil takes full-spectrum one step further by also maintaining the plant’s water-soluble compounds and other phytonutrients.
Again, full- and whole-spectrum CBD oils will never have enough THC to get you high. But, incorporating all of the plant’s healing compounds, including THC, creates a synergistic process within the body known as the entourage effect. Within this effect is where you can really harness the benefits of CBD oil for seniors, like helping with chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, and heart health.
CBD Oil for Seniors with Pain
Inflammation is a major cause of both acute and chronic pain. Because CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, it can be very effective in reducing and relieving both types of pain. A 2018 study found that it does so by binding to and desensitizing receptors known to mediate pain and sensory perception, body temperature, and inflammation.
Small amounts of THC can also offer some pain-reducing benefits because it activates certain receptors in nerve cells, in turn reducing the sensation of pain. This is a great example of the entourage effect—both CBD and THC can reduce pain, but they do it through different channels in the body, so it can be more effective to use a whole-spectrum CBD oil that contains both as opposed to using a CBD isolate.
Types of Pain CBD Oil May Help With
CBD Oil for Seniors with Neurodegenerative Disorders
CBD can reduce inflammation, and that includes inflammation in the brain. On top of that, it has antioxidant properties, can prevent neurodegeneration by reducing cell death, and may even encourage neurogenesis (the process of forming new neurons in the brain).
Additionally, animal studies have found that activating cannabinoid receptors in the brain can increase blood flow to that area. These neuroprotective properties make CBD oil a potential option to help treat neurodegenerative disorders like:
CBD Oil for Seniors with Cardiovascular Issues
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common issue among seniors. CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects can help curb the development of such cardiovascular issues by reducing the irritation your blood vessels can experience from sustained inflammation.
Studies have also found that CBD’s anti-anxiety effects can help reduce blood pressure in the face of acute stress. Plus, its vasodilatory (widening of blood vessels) and antioxidant properties can help with blood flow and protect your heart against free radicals. While most studies have been done on CBD’s effects against acute stress, more research still needs to be done on CBD’s effects on blood pressure when the subject is not facing stress.
Another area CBD oil may be able to help seniors is with strokes. Heart disease can increase your risk of stroke, and one review found that CBD can help protect stroke victims from brain damage and may even aid in recovery by enhancing brain function.
CBD oil, and in particular full- and whole-spectrum CBD oil, is continuing to show promise as a potential treatment option for a variety of ailments. Research is ongoing, but here’s what we know about CBD oil for seniors so far:
- While CBD isolate is an option, studies are showing that using a full- or whole-spectrum CBD oil can offer more complete relief.
- When it comes to seniors with pain, CBD oil has shown promise as an effective reliever of both chronic and acute pain through its anti-inflammatory properties.
- CBD has antioxidant properties, can prevent neurodegeneration by reducing cell death, and may even encourage neurogenesis. These benefits point to CBD oil being able to potentially help with issues like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and glaucoma.
- CBD’s anti-anxiety effects make it an excellent option to reduce blood pressure when facing acute stress. Additionally, its vasodilatory (widening of blood vessels) and antioxidant properties can help with blood flow and protect your heart against free radicals, making it a potential treatment option for cardiovascular issues.
- Studies have also found that CBD can help protect stroke victims from brain damage and may even aid in recovery by enhancing brain function.
It’s important to note that CBD and cannabis’s other active compounds can interact with other medications, so you should always speak with your doctor before trying CBD oil. Once they give the go-ahead, consider a whole-spectrum CBD oil over your other options. Maintaining the plant’s full profile, it offers you a more synergistic approach to relief. Choosing this natural option over potentially harmful pharmaceuticals may be just the switch you need!