Living Life to the Fullest – Exploring the Benefits of CBD for Seniors
As we age, it’s natural to experience a range of physical and emotional challenges that can impact our overall well-being.
However, CBD oil may offer a natural solution to help seniors manage some of these challenges and live life to the fullest.
In this post, we’ll explore the potential benefits of CBD oil for seniors’ health and wellness and provide tips for finding the right product for individual needs.
Understanding CBD Oil
CBD oil is a natural product that is extracted from the hemp plant. It contains a compound called cannabidiol (CBD), which interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote balance and homeostasis.
Unlike THC, another compound found in the hemp plant, CBD is not intoxicating and federally legal.
CBD Oil vs Marijuana
CBD oil is not the same as marijuana or “pot”. Marijuana contains significant concentrations of the cannabinoid THC. THC is intoxicating and responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana. Derived from the cannabis family, CBD and THC have different chemical compositions that lead to distinctive effects on the body.
CBD does not produce the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana. CBD meets federal legal standards as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC and is derived from hemp.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Seniors
Since CBD oil shares the same lineage as marijuana and THC, it was effectively illegal until the 2018 Farm Bill. Clinical research takes time, since the farm bill, there are more and more studies underway.
However, it will be some time before these trials complete and validate the benefits of CBD oil. For now, the evidence is largely anecdotal, but it suggests promising benefits for seniors!
Some potential benefits of CBD oil for seniors include:
- Pain relief: CBD has been shown to have pain-relieving properties, making it a potential natural alternative to traditional pain medications for seniors who suffer from chronic pain conditions.
- Anxiety and depression reduction: CBD is showing it may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in seniors, improving their overall mood and quality of life.
- Improved sleep quality: CBD might be a great solution for seniors, who may experience sleep disturbances, as it has been found to help improve their sleep quality and reduce insomnia symptoms.
- Neuroprotection: CBD has shown potential in protecting the brain and nervous system from damage and degeneration, which may help neurodegenerative diseases.
- Heart health: Some studies have indicated that CBD may have a positive effect on heart health. This could particularly benefit seniors who are at an increased risk for heart disease.
- Senior mental health care: The potential of CBD to help seniors find relief from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues may provide them with improved mental wellbeing. In combination with traditional therapies and medications, this can be especially helpful to ensure seniors receive the best mental health care.
- Joint pain and mobility: CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce pain in the joints, potentially allowing seniors to stay active and engaged in their daily lives.
- Skin and hair health: CBD may help your skin feel smooth and supple and your hair look strong and shiny. This might be a blessing for seniors who often struggle with skin issues, or those who face dryness in the scalp.
Possible Side Effects
While CBD is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of, including dizziness, dry mouth, and changes in appetite.
Seniors should monitor their body’s response to CBD and adjust dosage or stop use if any adverse effects occur.
What Is The Best CBD For Seniors?
Full-spectrum CBD oil is the best option for seniors looking to take advantage of the full range of potential therapeutic benefits. It contains a range of other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant, and is believed to have enhanced benefits due to the “entourage effect.”
Additionally, full-spectrum CBD oil contains trace amounts of the cannabinoid THC, but is still considered legal as long as it contains less than 0.3% by law.
Is CBD Safe for Seniors to Use?
While CBD appears to be generally safe and well-tolerated, it’s still important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement, especially if you’re taking any medications. CBD can interact with certain medications, so it’s important to make sure your doctor is aware of your CBD use.
CBD for Stress Reduction In Seniors
Stress and anxiety relief is important for seniors, as these issues can affect their overall wellbeing. There are several options available, including CBD, stress reduction techniques, meditation for stress reduction, exercise and other natural anxiety relief solutions.
Stress Reduction Techniques for Seniors
- CBD – Full-spectrum CBD oil could be a good choice for seniors looking to benefit from potential therapeutic advantages like pain relief, stress and anxiety relief, and better cognitive ability.
It contains a range of other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant and is believed to have enhanced benefits because of the “entourage effect.”
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) – Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves focusing on each muscle group in the body, tensing and then relaxing them one at a time. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve sleep quality. You can do PMR on your own or with the assistance of a licensed practitioner.
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
- Inhale deeply.
- Exhale and tense each muscle group in the body, starting with the hands and feet.
- Hold the tension for five seconds.
- Exhale and release the tension.
- Move up the body, tensing and then releasing each muscle group for five seconds.
- Focus on your breathing, and observe how your body feels.
- Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – A form of meditation that focuses on being mindful in the present moment and not judging what you experience.
To practice MBSR, you can engage in activities such as yoga, guided meditation, and other mindfulness practices.
You can practice MBSR anywhere and anytime, and it can help relieve stress and anxiety, as well improving cognitive functioning.
- Start by finding a comfortable and quiet spot to practice.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
- Scan your body and become aware of any tension or tightness.
- When thoughts and feelings come up, observe them without judgment.
- Allow common distractions such as noises or sensations to be part of your practice.
- Without attaching any emotions to the thoughts and sensations, or any ‘thinking’, just stay in your position and focus on your breath.
- Once you are ready, end your practice slowly and start to bring your attention back to the present moment.
- Gently open your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) – SMART is an evidenced-based approach to helping people manage their stress, anxiety and other mental health issues. It is an 8-week program that comprises four main components: compassionate self-awareness, building self-efficacy, developing distress tolerance skills and emotions management. SMART provides individuals with techniques to help them regulate their emotions, reduce stress and build self-confidence. The techniques used include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, problem-solving techniques, and acceptance and commitment therapy.Participants learn how to cope with difficult situations, manage their emotions, develop distress tolerance skills and improve overall wellbeing. Participate in an 8-week SMART program:
- Learn techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, problem-solving techniques, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
- Develop compassionate self-awareness, building self-efficacy, and developing distress tolerance skills and emotions management.
- Practice these techniques regularly to regulate emotions, reduce stress, and build self-confidence.
- Focus on staying present and mindful in difficult situations.
- Observe emotions and thoughts without judgment.
- Develop distress tolerance skills to help cope with difficult emotions.
- Work on improving overall wellbeing.
Strategies for Retaining Cognitive Ability in Seniors
The gradual loss of cognitive abilities is a common part of aging. We can use various strategies to keep our minds sharp as we get older.
Here, we’ll take a look at a few techniques to stay sharp as we age.
Improve Brain Health
Keeping the brain healthy is one of the best ways to ensure cognitive ability in old age. Eating balanced meals, staying active, and getting enough zzz’s are all important for keeping your brain strong.
Socializing, exercise, and challenging yourself mentally can also help with cognitive ability as we get older.
Memory and Retention
Having an excellent memory and the ability to retain information can help preserve cognitive ability in old age. Repetition, association and mnemonic techniques such as acronyms can help us recall information more effectively.
Staying on top of things, writing down lists, and using apps can help us remember facts, data, and details. All these activities help us keep our mental ‘edge’. Cognition, just like any other muscle, needs constant stimulation and engagement.
What is Cognitive Ability?
Cognitive ability is about how well a person can reason, ponder, decide, and make decisions.
Stimulate the Brain
Engaging in activities that stimulate the brain can help keep our cognitive abilities sharp. Read, solve puzzles, write, even if it’s just a daily journal catalog and engage in creative activities like painting, drawing or music.
Pair them with attending events, seminars or even playing board games.
Being around like-minded people and engaging in meaningful conversations keeps our brains engaged as well.
Exchanging stories and ideas over coffee can help stimulate the brain and help retain mental acuity as one grows older.
Age related neurodegeneration
A gradual but progressive worsening of neurological functioning characterizes age related neurodegeneration as neurons succumb to the effects of aging.
It is important to recognize the risk factors associated with age-related neurodegeneration, as well as the strategies and techniques that can help retain cognitive ability in old age.
CBD for Pain Relief In Seniors
Older adults can take either prescription or OTC meds for pain relief, but they should know the potential side effects and any other meds they’re taking.
Apart from medication like ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, there are other, natural ways to ease pain such as anti-inflammatory food, diets, and working out.
It is important to speak with your doctor to determine which form of pain relief is the best option for you.
Pain Relief for Sciatica
Sciatica is a pain that originates from the lower back, radiating through the buttocks and down the back of the legs. CBD has been found to be a helpful for sciatica, with its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and muscle relaxant properties.
By taking CBD, users have been able to reduce the frequency and severity of sciatic nerve pain.
CBD For Teeth Pain
CBD may provide relief from tooth pain caused by things such as cavities, toothaches, abscesses, and more. CBD’s potential for numbing and reducing inflammation might make it useful for pain relief.
CBD for Pain Relief In Lower Back
CBD may be effective in treating lower back pain, a very common symptom that various factors, including disc injuries, sciatica, and muscle strain, can cause.
CBD may help soothe inflammation, spasms, and aches in the lower back, helping people have a more active and pain-free life.
CBD for Neck Pain Relief
Injury, degenerative diseases, and muscle tension can cause neck pain. Using CBD for neck pain may help to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, and discomfort.
According to users, CBD has been effective in relieving tension headaches and reducing migraine symptoms, providing a sense of relaxation and reducing neck pain.
How to Use CBD Oil
CBD oil can be used in a variety of ways, depending on individual preferences and needs.
Some common methods of using CBD oil include:
CBD Oil Drops: CBD oil drops are a popular option for many people due to their versatility, quick-effect, and ease of use. They are best taken sublingually (held under the tongue) for at least 30 seconds. Oil drops may also be added to food or drinks.
CBD Topicals: CBD topicals, such as lotions and gels, can be applied directly to the skin for targeted relief of pain or inflammation.
CBD Edibles: CBD edibles, such as gummies or chocolates, offer a fun and yummy way to consume CBD. However, they are hard to dose precisely and consistently.
CBD Capsules: CBD capsules offer a convenient way to take a specific dosage of CBD, without the need for measuring or dosing.
CBD Inhalation: CBD oil can be inhaled using a vaporizer or e-cigarette.
How to choose high quality CBD Oil
When choosing a CBD oil product, there are several factors to consider, the most important being:
- Potency: If the CBD concentration is too low there will not be enough of an effect. Extremely high CBD concentrations are usually indicators of poor quality or mis-labeling. Pick a potency and product that lets you experiment and find the optimal CBD dose for you.
- Extraction method: Look for CBD oil products that use high-quality extraction methods, such as CO2 extraction. High quality extraction means a clean, potent, and consistent end product.
- Third-party testing: Look for a brand that conducts third-party lab testing on their products. This ensures that the CBD content is accurate and that the product is free of contaminants
- Reputation: Look for brands that offer strong customer service and have the reviews to support it.
Which Type of CBD Should Seniors Use?
Short answer – Full Spectrum CBD.
Long answer? We can broadly classify CBD into three categories: Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate.
Full Spectrum CBD: Full Spectrum CBD contains various cannabinoids, terpenes, and other active compounds, each with its own potential health benefits, that work together to provide a more complete wellness experience. Think of this as a powerhouse of plant-based goodness, giving you way more health benefits than CBD alone can.
It’s like tapping into all that cannabis has to offer and unlocking its true healing power by what we call the “entourage effect”.
Broad Spectrum CBD: Broad-spectrum CBD is a type of CBD product similar to full-spectrum CBD, but with trace amounts of THC removed. Without these trace amounts of THC, it is unclear how much, if any, entourage effect is achieved with broad-spectrum CBD.
For maximum benefit, seniors should consider full-spectrum CBD. The presence of THC in full-spectrum CBD, even in minimal amounts, is important for maximizing the entourage effect and overall therapeutic potential of the product. If the trace levels of THC must absolutely be avoided, then seniors may consider broad-spectrum or pure THC-free CBD isolate.
CBD Isolate/THC Free CBD: CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD, made up solely of the isolated cannabidiol molecule. If you don’t want to risk any THC exposure, this is a great option, since there are no other cannabinoids or plant materials.
For seniors who are looking for the most effective CBD product, full spectrum CBD is often the best choice because it can provide a wider range of benefits than CBD Isolate or broad spectrum CBD. For example, studies conducted in 2010, 2015, and 2019 have shown that the combination of CBD and THC can be more effective for pain relief than CBD alone. This is because of the entourage effect, a term used to describe the synergy that arises when all the compounds in the hemp plant work together.
However, seniors who are concerned about the potential psychoactive effects of THC may prefer THC-free CBD products. While full spectrum CBD contains only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%), THC-free CBD products are completely devoid of THC. This can be reassuring for seniors who may be worried about the potential for THC to cause unwanted side effects such as anxiety or confusion.
In addition, some seniors may be subject to drug testing and need to avoid THC entirely. THC-free CBD products can provide a way to get the benefits of CBD without risking a positive drug test result.
Ultimately, the decision between full spectrum CBD and THC-free CBD will depend on individual needs and preferences.
How to Safely Use CBD as a Senior
- Consult with a Doctor: Before starting any new supplement or medication, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional. This is especially important for seniors who may be taking other medications or have underlying health conditions that could be impacted by CBD.
- Start with a Low Dosage: It’s recommended to start with a low dosage of CBD and gradually increase as needed. Seniors may be more sensitive to the effects of CBD, so starting low can help avoid any unwanted side effects.
- Be Aware of Potential Side Effects: While CBD is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of, including dizziness, dry mouth, and changes in appetite. Seniors should monitor their body’s response to CBD and adjust dosage or stop use if any adverse effects occur.
- Avoid Driving or Operating Heavy Machinery: CBD can cause drowsiness or impair coordination in some people, so seniors should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while using CBD. At least until they have an understanding of how CBD interacts with their bodies.
What is CBD oil and where does it come from?
CBD oil is a natural product extracted from the hemp plant, containing a compound called cannabidiol (CBD). It interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote balance and homeostasis.
How is CBD oil different from marijuana?
CBD oil is not the same as marijuana, which contains significant concentrations of the cannabinoid THC. While both CBD and THC are derived from the same plant family, they have different chemical structures and effects on the body. CBD does not produce the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.
What type of CBD should seniors use?
Full-spectrum CBD oil is a product type that contains a range of other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant, including other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. It is believed to have enhanced therapeutic benefits due to the entourage effect.
Is CBD oil legal for seniors to use?
Yes, CBD oil is federally legal as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. However, it’s important to check local laws and regulations before using CBD oil.
Can CBD oil interact with other medications?
CBD oil may interact with certain medications. It’s important to talk to a healthcare provider before using CBD oil if taking other medications.