Is CBD anti-aging?
Stopping aging: that’s probably the Holy Grail for most people. As we grow older, wrinkles start showing up and our skin becomes looser and dull. We also get tired faster and our bodies sometimes dysfunction. We sleep less well and our brains get confused when hit with too much information. In short, aging is usually unpleasant and reminds us of our mortality
No wonder, then, that people typically prefer staying young and full of life!
Common rules against aging
Doctors, wellness experts, and scientists offer some basic rules for aging gracefully and for pushing back as far as possible the aging process:
- A healthy diet of fruit and vegetables is a good start. The healthier we eat, the healthier we look.
- Regular exercise helps our body and muscles stay fit and keeps our weight steady. Also, it can help prevent diabetes and various metabolic conditions that become the main causes of illness as we grow older.
- Not smoking is also important because smoking deteriorates our cells and is a main cause of lung cancer and other diseases. Even if you are already smoking, it’s good to quit because the benefits will show up fast.
- Finally, most doctors will suggest good sleep patterns and a social life that brings happiness and connections with people.
CBD and aging
Beyond the above well-known tips, though, what can you do to slow down aging?
Right now, scientists are looking at two things: first, how to stop aging altogether and reverse the cellular damage and degradation that causes it. Second, they are looking into ways to mitigate the effects of aging. If we live happier, healthier, and more active lives as we grow old, it will already be a huge step towards aging gracefully.
Where does CBD come into this? CBD has potential anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a major cause of many diseases and conditions, so less inflammation means a healthier body, mind, and skin. CBD may also have anxiolytic, mood-supporting, and pain-relieving potential. It may help us feel better about ourselves and the world in general. And a healthy mind is a good starting point for a healthy life!
What causes aging? A quick overview
Without getting into too much science and too many details, aging is caused by cellular degradation.
Cellular photocopying mechanism
Our cells are supposed to divide and pass on their genetic material to the next generation of cells. As we grow old, this photocopying mechanism starts to fail, and the information passed on to the offspring cells contains errors. Most of the errors are inconsequential, but sometimes these errors lead to diseases.
Certain proteins are responsible for repairing faulty DNA. With age, these proteins are less capable of fixing our DNA errors and their overall repair mechanism malfunctions.
Telomeres: the shoelace example
Telomeres are found at the end of our chromosomes and protect them. They are often likened to the end of the shoelaces that protects the actual shoelace from unwinding.
As we age, the telomeres start getting shorter and shorter until in the end they disappear. When that happens, our cells die and our internal tissue degenerates.
As our cells die, our bodies find it difficult to get rid of the dead cells. These turn into waste and may contribute to diseases.
Mitochondria slow down
Our mitochondria produce energy for the body. However, various oxidants and unbalanced atoms called free radicals cause our mitochondria to malfunction. The body then lacks energy and feels sluggish and less active than before.
Nutrients don’t reach their destination
When we grow older, our bodies can’t make use of all the nutrients we get from our diet. Our cells then fail to respond adequately to the nutrients we get.
Since the body requires nutrients to build, maintain, and grow itself, aging means we don’t make good use of the nutrients we consume, no matter how healthily we eat.
When our cellular waste builds up, inflammation sets in. Chronic inflammation can wear off tissue, cause pain, and become a big part of several auto-immune disorders and various conditions that prevent us from enjoying a happy, healthy life.
Does CBD have anti-aging properties?
Given the above, can CBD help with aging? The answer is a cautious maybe—at least, until further research is conducted on the subject. We still haven’t found how to stop our cells, mitochondria, and protein blocks from malfunctioning. In this respect, we don’t know whether CBD can stop or redress aging.
What we do know about CBD is that it may possess anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and anti-depressant properties. Most people in the United Kingdom take CBD firstly for the treatment of pain, followed by the treatment of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, and for the treatment of sleep problems.
Inflammation, stress, and poor sleep are major causes of poor quality of life. If CBD can assist with these, it is already a big step towards healthy living and may help people age better.
So, how exactly might CBD help in the fight against aging?
CBD, stress, and anxiety
Stress and anxiety eat away at our happiness. When people are stressed, they are pushing their bodies to extremes, which takes its toll on the body and mind. When we stress, we release cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone.” This creates a domino of effects in the body:
- Cortisol can suppress the immune system, reducing inflammation in the body. Prolonged cortisol release due to chronic stress can lead to a continuous suppression of the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to infections and diseases.
- Cortisol can affect mood and cognitive function. High levels of cortisol over a prolonged period can lead to anxiety and depression. It can also contribute to memory loss and cognitive difficulties.
- Cortisol works with adrenaline to help maintain blood pressure. It increases the strength of the heartbeat and constricts blood vessels, which raises blood pressure and wears out the heart.
- Long-term exposure to cortisol can lead to a breakdown of bone, muscle, and connective tissue. This is why chronic stress or medical conditions that increase cortisol production, like Cushing’s syndrome, can lead to muscle weakness and osteoporosis.
In short, chronic stress leading to high cortisol levels over a prolonged period can harm your physical and mental health.
CBD has been shown to have potential in treating anxiety disorders. It also seems to reduce the levels of cortisol in the body. With less stress and anxiety in our lives, we may protect our bodies and age later and better.
CBD, pain management, and inflammation
Pain is usually caused by inflammation. Inflammation causes pain, cell degeneration, and cell damage. Arthritis and other auto-immune conditions, for example, are caused by the build-up of inflammation around a specific body part. In the case of arthritis, it’s inflammation of the joints; in Crohn’s disease, it’s inflammation of the gut.
There is growing evidence that CBD is anti-inflammatory. Besides consuming CBD oil, many people try topicals with CBD for hydration and to deal with occasional skin inflammation problems. As the skin feels better and less inflamed, it looks younger and fresher.
CBD and insomnia
Poor sleep makes cells age faster. When we sleep, our cells regenerate themselves and the body cleanses itself of cellular waste.
There is ongoing research about the direct effects of CBD on sleep patterns, but researchers have already found that CBD may help with anxiety. When people feel less anxious and stressed, they inevitably sleep better.
A good night’s sleep is the best way to help our body restore itself.
CBD and free radicals
We often hear of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that contain an uneven number of electrons. The one electron that doesn’t have a partner is on the lookout for a partner. During this search, however, the free radical can cause havoc in the body.
Free radicals are caused by aging but also by bad habits such as smoking, pollution, and certain chemical substances. They are actually useful to the body, as they play an important role in the immune system: white blood cells produce free radicals to kill bacteria and viruses. This process, called oxidative burst, helps the body fight off infections.
It is important, however, to maintain a balance between free radicals and antioxidants—atoms that contain the missing electron that unstable free radicals need—to prevent cellular damage and maintain overall health. When this balance is disrupted, free radicals become a main cause of cellular damage and diseases like diabetes.
CBD is rich in antioxidants—but it’s not the only cannabinoid in hemp. Industrial hemp contains hundreds of cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN, CBDA, and CBC. Each of these has antioxidant qualities. Hemp also contains terpenes and flavonoids, both of which are known for their strong antioxidant qualities.
You should, therefore, choose full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD to maximize hemp’s antioxidative properties. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of hemp. Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum, except that any traces of THC have been removed. Therefore, full- and broad-spectrum CBD contain all the wellness of hemp and can deliver more antioxidants than CBD isolate.
So, how good is CBD for anti-aging?
CBD is a botanical compound that has been known to humanity for millennia. Researchers are now evaluating CBD’s potential.
When it comes to aging, we are still studying the ways that CBD may help prevent cellular damage and cellular degeneration. Its anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties make it a promising compound. The fact that it may also support people’s mood make it even more so.
CBD may, therefore, help us live better with less inflammation, less stress, and less anxiety. It may also help us sleep better and provide the antioxidants the body needs to keep free radicals at bay. As such, it may be a good starting point for aging better.
Thankfully, taking CBD has never been easier. You can even mix and match CBD products and introduce them to your daily routine to make the most of them. For example, you can take a few drops of CBD oil in the morning, continue with some CBD chocolate chip cookies during the day, and finish your day with a nice cuppa of delicious CBD tea.