Cannabidiol is presently one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. The major credit for this goes to products such as CBD infused oils and edibles which are delivering notable benefits to their users. These users belong to all age groups and backgrounds. However, one section of the CBD consumer population that particularly benefits, and is constantly falling in love with it, is the senior citizen.
Senior citizens in particular have become a loyal base for CBD products. They are continually trading their conventional medications for CBD products which are naturally derived.
What is CBD?
The sudden fame of this wonder compound has forced many to ask the question what is CBD? CBD is a phytochemical found in the hemp variety of the cannabinoid plant. It occurs naturally in hemp and exhibits multiple therapeutic properties for the human body. These properties are one of the prime reasons for its rise as the new natural alternative to conventional medicine.
CBD oil: the new alternative medicine?
CBD oil is increasingly becoming a medicinal compound everyone is turning to. The reasons for this are many. First of all, CBD is complete, one hundred per cent organic and natural. CBD is derived from hemp. The cultivation of hemp is free of chemicals and pesticides and thus CBD is as pure as a natural resource can be.
Secondly, studies on CBD oil’s effect on the human body have revealed that CBD produces no significant side effects. Thirdly, it is non-addictive in nature. This plays well in favour of CBD because many conventional drugs are addictive in nature.
And lastly, the research on CBD has led to the birth of numerous CBD-based products. Users today have access to CBD oils, CBD edibles, CBD Coffee etc. This allows them to pick and choose a product as per their needs.
Why should senior citizens try CBD as a medicine?
Senior citizens are often the victim of elevating pain and discomfort from multiple ailments such as arthritis. They also face the challenges that the rising drug costs for prescription drugs bring with themselves. Also, senior citizens have trouble regulating their sleep and appetite.
Even if there are no serious medical conditions such as arthritis and dementia, the human body will naturally age and there will always be a threat of serious health conditions. And more often than not, the elderly will be afflicted by them.
What is the good news here?
The good news is that CBD oil can help alleviate all of the problems mentioned above and then some. Multiple studies show that CBD has properties that can relieve some of the symptoms of ageing while providing comfort for those in their senior age.
Though CBD’s use as natural medicine is on the rise, there is a percentage of the population that is inhibitive to using the compound. This could be attributed to the relationship CBD bears with hemp and hemp bears with marijuana.
Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp and marijuana are sister plants. The (un)popularity of marijuana has led to in-numerous misconceptions about hemp as well. It has now become highly difficult to outline the thin line between medical marijuana and recreational drug.
This is a major reason which stops many from trying CBD oil for their health conditions. Another reason is lack of awareness. Many senior citizens are not aware of the benefit of medical cannabis, and therefore, CBD can provide to them. They are also not aware of the fact that they have multiple options to consume CBD than just smoking it.
Why should senior citizens give CBD a chance?
It is 100% organic
CBD is derived from hemp. The hemp plant is grown organically without any chemicals. It is, therefore, a healthy and nutritional supplement. CBD inherits its chemical-free nutrition and health benefits.
It is safer
Because it is free of any unwarranted chemicals and other harmful substances, CBD is a safer alternative in comparison with multiple prescription drugs. It causes minimal to no side effects in the body which is another advantage, especially for senior citizens.
It costs less
According to surveys, a senior citizen is likely to spend approximately $3000 USD per year on prescription drugs alone. When contrasted with an average of $650 a year for CBD, this option is more cost-effective.
It’s backed by science
CBD’s ability to relieve and treat some medical conditions where conventional medicines have failed is backed by science. It is from thorough research and studies that scientists and doctors draw these conclusions and hence recommend CBD.
Benefits CBD for Senior Citizens
Studies and researches on CBD’s effect strongly suggest that CBD has an extensive array of health benefits. These result from its natural analgesic properties. CBD interacts with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system in the human body and gradually works towards improving biological functions such as pain sensitivity, sleep cycles, and anxiety levels.
Let’s take a look at some of the medical conditions that CBD helps cure:
This function of CBD is perhaps the first one on everybody’s list. Pain and inflammation—whether triggered by conditions such as arthritis or otherwise—is a common problems for all senior citizens. However, with CBD, it doesn’t have to be.
Studies suggest that using CBD (oil or in any other form) can help curtail inflammation and reduce pain caused by conditions such as joint pain, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Relief from chronic pain is by far the most common effect experienced by users of CBD. This is something that science backs up. A number of experts have found that by activating the receptors in the ECS, CBD significantly reduces the pain and related symptoms with no major side effects.
“There is increasing evidence that cannabis is helpful in the management of certain kinds of pain”, says Dr Igor Grant, a professor at the University of California.
Another great thing about using CBD for pain is that it need not only be smoked up. With the increasing demand for CBD as a pain reliever, a number of options for using it are available. The market today offers CBD oils, creams, and lotions that can be applied to aching points.
As a natural alternative, CBD can help relieve pain from joint pain, nerve damage, and chronic illnesses.
Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety disorders are surprisingly common and severe in the elderly. As the human body ages, the triggers that can manifest in the form of anxiety, or essentially any mental disorder, increase in number. Sadly, in a majority of the cases, anxiety disorders in senior citizens can develop into more serious conditions such as depression and chronic panic attacks.
Studies on mental health suggest that CBD can be peculiarly beneficial owing to its ability to elevate the levels of neurotransmitter anandamide. This neurotransmitter is responsible for promoting feelings of happiness and relaxation. In many individuals, anandamide is degraded by the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). CBD inhibits this enzyme and slows down its degrading effects on anandamide thus allowing the latter to stay in our systems for long.
There are also studies concluding that CBD aids in the stimulation of serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin receptors are the primary target of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. CBD offers a natural, chemical-free way of improving them.
Through these properties, CBD helps in curing anxiety and other mental health disorders such as:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic Disorder (PTSD)
- Panic Attacks
- Moderate Depression
- General Anxiety
When the human body naturally ages, it begins to endure Osteoporosis. During this condition, our bones experience a loss of crucial minerals. This causes them to become fragile and brittle. This makes the bones prone to breaking. Bone health, is, therefore, a serious issue for the older generation.
But, CBD comes to the rescue. Studies show that CBD can promote cell repair and can reduce inflammation. In addition, it helps in strengthening the bones. In case a fracture occurs, CBD promotes the healing process of the bone.
Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
Experts hold the opinion that insomnia is a common condition in the elderly because of the shifting sleeping patterns with age. Missing sleep is harmful, especially for seniors, because it prevents the body from flushing out toxins.
Many senior citizens turn to sleep pills to combat their insomniac conditions. However, these in combination with other prescription drugs can really damage the body. Because CBD prevents anxiety and calms the mind, it naturally promotes healthier sleeping patterns. Some CBD products contain melatonin which is the hormone responsible for regulating sleep in humans. When taken together, CBD and melatonin can help patients with recurring sleep problems.
While doctors trust prescription drugs to be the first resort for any medical problem, they often overlook the addiction they cause. Conventional medication often requires a gradual increase in dosage. This creates medication dependency and can lead to further damage to the body.
From the earliest research on CBD, we know that it is non-addictive. And new studies show that it can actually help in combating addiction. In this 2018 study, scientists observe that after administering CBD once a day for a week, patients did not display addictive behaviours any longer. It also deters the patients from relapsing.
Glaucoma occurs when a build-up of fluid damages the nerves in the eyeballs. Among the elderly, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. In glaucoma, the pressure in the eye, known as the Intraocular Pressure (IoP) increases because of the amount of fluid. This eventually leads to difficulty in vision.
Conventionally, glaucoma eye drops help in reducing this pressure. However, research going back decades, suggests that cannabinoids such as CBD can reduce IOP by up to 25%.
CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and the central nervous system. According to researchers, because of this interaction, CBD can be a potential treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
A 2007 study shows that CBD helps in reducing the neuro-inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
A study from 2014 explains how CBD can prevent the development of social recognition deficits caused by Alzheimer’s.
Another 2017 study examines the efficacy of CBD in treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, ALS, and Huntington’s.
As surprising as it may sound, eating disorders are fairly common in the elderly. 80% of the deaths because of anorexia occur in the elderly age group. With ageing, the human body loses its desire to eat. Poor eating in the middle of issues such as heart problems and bone loss can prove to be chronic.
This is another problem where CBD comes to the rescue. Numerous studies indicate the underutilization of the ECS in patients with anorexia and bulimia. This is what essentially makes food undesirable for the brain.
CBD, because it interacts with the ECS directly, can help in stimulating the system and help the brain look at food as a necessity again. Conventionally, eating disorders are treated with antidepressants and antipsychotics. As we discussed above, these can have some harmful side effects in themselves. CBD here, according to experts, offers a natural and safer alternative.
Alleviates bad mood
Ageing brings with it some major life changes. These include a decline in health, disabilities, pain, stiffness, etc. Adjusting to these changes often causes mood swings that gradually intensify.
If these mood swings prolong for a long time, they can lead to major health problems such as depression. How can this be helped?
Our mood is controlled by the ECS in the human body. CBD’s interaction with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) helps in alleviating stress. It calms the mind and improves cognitive functions. When these three things are combined, they leave a significant impact on our mood.
With that being said, our list of CBD’s benefits for senior citizens ends. CBD is a science-backed, organic, and natural alternative which can heal many ailments in the body without the use of chemicals. It offers a better, healthier lifestyle and, as a result, a happier life.
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