A molecule derived from cannabis, CBD is a product which has multiple benefits. Its remarkable properties are beneficial for adults in general. More specifically, seniors are the main beneficiaries of the benefits of this molecule. The seniors can notably resort to CBD to relieve the various pains they experience.
A consequence of the stigmatization and lack of education around therapeutic cannabis is the confusion between THC and CBD. Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid naturally present in the cannabis plant whereas THC is a powerful psychoactive substance. We are learning about the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) thanks to research. Indeed, various scientific studies, testimonies and clinical trials are conducted around the world.
Discover in the following lines the virtues of CBD in the treatment of pain in seniors.
The therapeutic effects of CBD for seniors
First of all, it is important to remember the safety of CBD. Contrary to what we may think, it has a good psychoactive effect. It acts on the state of consciousness through its anxiolytic, antidepressant and anti-psychotic potential. Contrary to THC, it does not have an intoxicating effect, i.e. it will not make you “high”. Thus, no risk of spatial-temporal disorientation or dizziness, a key criterion for seniors.
A phenomenon particularly present in the population over 70 years old is polymedication. Due to the overall aging of the body, the number of chronic disorders is increasing. At the same time, therapies or prescriptions are increasing. These therapies and prescriptions allow to relieve them and to reduce the side effects associated with certain treatments. As a result, we can easily find ourselves with more than a dozen prescribed medications to be taken daily.
Take for example a person suffering from chronic hypertension. His or her doctor prescribes an antihypertensive, such as a diuretic. The doctor will then add a second treatment to prevent one of the most common side effects, hypokalemia. Hypokalemia is an excessive elimination of potassium through the urinary system, which can lead to heart rhythm problems.
CBD can reduce the side effects of long prescriptions
Poly-medication is observed with a large number of so-called traditional treatments and seniors find themselves with long prescriptions. This phenomenon has several negative consequences. These consequences can be increased toxicity on the body, risk of error when taking the medication and decreased appetite. Having to swallow 6, 8, 10 tablets before meals greatly accelerates the feeling of satiety. It is essential to consider how to limit this phenomenon because undernutrition is frequent in this population.
The gradual introduction of cannabidiol will help to limit the addiction specific to treatments. It can also reduce their side effects such as constipation, nausea and vomiting, altered consciousness or dizziness. These side effects can be particularly dangerous for the elderly. The senior are indeed more at risk of intestinal obstruction, malnutrition or falls.
CBD Uses and Research for Seniors
While cannabis has been used for centuries for medical treatments, the use of CBD products is relatively new. This means that research is also new and limited. Despite that, the therapeutic effects of CBD have been demonstrated on all age groups.
Nevertheless, a few studies have shown benefits for conditions that often affect older people. CBD may help people with these conditions:
- Arthritis: Researchers are studying the benefits of CBD on different types of pain. This includes the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Some studies suggest the positive effects of CBD. Studies on mice with Alzheimer’s disease suggest that CBD may have a neuroprotective effect against Alzheimer’s disease, reducing neuroinflammation. It has also the ability to reverse the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Drug dependence : the aging population is at an increased risk of addiction. This can be related to the large amount of painkillers prescribed to the elderly. This phenomenon often goes undiagnosed. CBD may help these people recover, as it reduces the number of painkiller cravings. (Importantly, studies show that tolerance and risk of addiction with CBD is very low).
- Chronic pain: CBD may be a pain management alternative. Limited research suggests that it may help reduce pain and inflammation. Conditions that could benefit include fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain.
- Brain health: CBD works on the endocannabinoid system in your brain. This system helps manage wellness responses and activities in the brain. But activating this signaling system with CBD can also have beneficial effects on other parts of the brain.
- Heart health: Some research suggests that CBD may help reduce blood pressure. It may also reduce the increase in blood pressure that occurs when a person is stressed or anxious. This could potentially decrease the case of diabetic disorders or cardiovascular disease.
How CBD can help arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a joint pathology involving the destruction of cartilage. It is associated with an inflammatory phenomenon, arthritis (inflammation of the joints).
Many reports highlight the potential benefits of CBD oil for arthritis. Arthritis and joint pain can cause a lot of problems for older people. Often, remedies for these conditions are not always helpful. CBD oil for seniors dealing with arthritis pain can potentially help them in this regard.
CBD is not the most recommended for all types of arthritis or joint pain. However, it does in all cases help relieve the pain that seniors face as they age. Some studies suggest that CBD for arthritis can help.
The benefits of CBD oil for arthritis can already be seen in some animal studies. They have shown that a dose of CBD for arthritis helps relieve pain caused by arthritis. Some later studies have concluded that CBD can potentially help humans with arthritis pain in general.
For many people, topical application can be of great help. However, the dosage of CBD for rheumatoid arthritis will not be the same for everyone. That said, the best CBD for arthritis will be the one that comes from the best quality CBD. In fact, the best CBD for arthritis or CBD for rheumatoid arthritis contains only the highest quality ingredients.
Likewise, when faced with chronic bone pain, CBD is an excellent solution to adopt. In fact, as we age, bone density decreases significantly. This failure becomes a major cause of fractures and sometimes painful bone diseases. Such is the case of osteoporosis which weakens the bones and bone structures. The cannabinoids present in CBD act actively to promote bone healing while ensuring the preservation of healthy bones.
CBD reduction of chronic pain for seniors:
Chronic pain is particularly prevalent among seniors. Chronic pain has various origins (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, neurological lesions, consequences of a stroke, Parkinson’s disease…). It is nevertheless too often trivialized and little verbalized by the patients. Thus, it will accentuate anxiety and sleep disorders. Unfortunately, the latter are already very common in this population. The reasons are their physiology and their life context, lack of activity, isolation and loss of autonomy.
The prescription of benzodiazepines (anxiolytics, sleeping pills, antidepressants) or opiates (morphine-based painkillers or morphine derivatives) is very common. This phenomenon is a result of life quality deterioration among our elderly. Prescriptions are often renewed without being really re-evaluated by the general practitioner or geriatrician. Thus, an addiction will insidiously take hold, without the medical profession or the patient being aware of it. It is not uncommon for the patient to increase the dosage or the number of times for the medication. The reasons for that is they no longer feel sufficiently relieved.
Introducing CBD-based remedies for various indications (chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, depressive syndrome, dementia, …) will allow to limit the number of prescribed treatments, the associated side effects and thus the polymedication in general.
How CBD can help relieve back pain for seniors
There are many reasons why back pain occurs. For some people, back pain can come from degenerative diseases, while trauma can cause back pain for others. Simply living day to day as well as age can create back pain for many seniors. CBD for back pain is one of the few alternative methods to treat pain. This method does indeed not depend on the origin or location of the pain.
CBD oil for back pain exists and using it for chronic back pain is something that some have reported success with. People with chronic back pain know that there are many solutions, but not all of them are effective. In addition, people may have a strong sensitivity to some of these back pain medications. The dangers of using very strong painkillers are well known.
In such an atmosphere, it is easy to understand why senior citizens often want to seek alternatives and solutions. That can potentially help them with severe back pain without becoming a bigger problem.
It is important to note that CBD oil is not a substitute for prescription drugs and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. People who suffer from chronic back pain should always consult their doctor and follow any instructions given to them.
CBD as a global neuropathic pain reliever
People can use CBD for chronic back pain and overall neuropathic affections. Chronic sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome could be treated with efficacy by CBD. That means that a topical solution can sometimes offer direct pain relief. This pain relief is not limited to back pain either. One of the main benefits of CBD for neuropathic pain comes from the fact that it is not psychoactive.
CBD oil for chronic nerve pain could also target the source of the pain. Thus, it is more than just alleviating the sensation of pain that someone is experiencing. Having something that can potentially lift the pain at the source can make a big difference for seniors.
It is always important to consult with the doctor, chiropractor, and other health professionals about neuropathic pain. Adding CBD oil can provide surprising relief and is worth considering.
CBD and brain degeneration:
Let’s move on to more targeted applications of CBD. Dementia is a very common symptom among seniors and especially among patients suffering from chronic neurodegenerative pathologies. It would be due to a decrease in the concentration of acetylcholine in the brain. There is no real traditional treatment to relieve it except for sedative drugs (antidepressants or antipsychotics). They, as one can imagine, are not optimal for the comfort of the patient. They are indeed accompanied by serious side effects and only serve to delay the decline of cognitive functions.
Dementia is particularly present in Alzheimer’s patients. This phenomenon interferes with neuronal communication, causing local inflammation and killing adjacent nerve cells in the affected patient.
Cannabidiol, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective potential could mitigate the effects of neurodegeneration.
As people begin to distance themselves from opioid painkillers, CBD is developing as a natural alternative. Pain management in the elderly can often require a lot of medication and therapy. CBD won’t change that for some seniors but it can significantly improve their life quality.
However, some people will find that CBD oil can sometimes help reduce the amount of medication or therapy they need. Since CBD has very few side effects, it makes perfect sense to try it. The range goes from arthritis pain relief, to back pain relief, poly medication and overall chronic pain.
As always, people should consult their doctor before taking a CBD supplement or using CBD oil. Seniors who want to experiment with CBD for their health symptoms should start slowly. After that, they can increase their intake over days or weeks. When they begin to feel the desired results, they will find their own dosage or method of application. Consequently, they will have an increased efficiency.