CBD Consumption Through Life
From birth to our senior years, each stage of life comes with its own challenges. How does CBD consumption through life change? Can it help throughout a person’s lifetime? If so, do its effects change with age?
CBD impacts people in different ways and at different phases of their lives. For toddlers and young children, CBD is only recommended for cases of epilepsy as there is little research about its effects on the very young. CBD is thus mostly consumed by adults, mainly for stress management, anxiety, and chronic pain. As people grow older, their health tends to deteriorate and they often find CBD to be helpful.
As more research emerges, it becomes easier to fit it into people’s wellness routines. Thanks to CBD’s non-psychoactive nature, it’s easy to incorporate it into people’s everyday lives. The side effects are usually minor and most people adjust to taking cannabidiol quickly and effortlessly.
CBD and Childhood
There is still a long way to go until we fully establish how CBD works on children and adolescents.
When it comes to childhood, the use of CBD is both delicate and controversial.
The only CBD-based medicine that’s been approved for young children is Epidyolex, which targets two rare epilepsy syndromes, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidyolex has been found to decrease the frequency and intensity of seizures, which makes life for young patients much better and easier.
There is increasing research on other conditions that affect children like autism. Research suggests that CBD may help reduce behavioural outbreaks and disruptive behaviours. Anxiety and communication issues also seem to improve.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that parents whose children experience severe health issues like juvenile arthritis consider giving them CBD to alleviate the symptoms and improve their quality of life. They are particularly concerned about the side effects of conventional medicines and are looking for treatments that can be valuable and better tolerated.
Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The implications of CBD on the developing brain, its potential influences on cognitive growth, and the ethical debates surrounding paediatric use paint a complex picture.
There are many unknowns when it comes to CBD and young children. The question of dosage, absorption rates, and long-term side effects on children troubles parents. A recent American poll about CBD for children found that the vast majority of parents — 83% — want the FDA to regulate CBD for children. A full three-quarters want a doctor’s prescription to administer CBD to their child and more than 7 in 10 would consider CBD if other medicines don’t work.
CBD use in adolescence
Adolescence is marked by physical and emotional upheaval and can sometimes be a very difficult transition from childhood to adulthood.
CBD consumption in adolescence is usually focused on anxiety and mood swings while many adolescents consider taking CBD for acne, the bane of many teenagers’ lives.
However, there is little known about CBD and how it affects the adolescent brain. The adolescent brain is still under construction, and the long-term impacts of CBD during this critical phase remain uncertain. This is the main reason behind people’s reluctance to give adolescents CBD products.
Even so, initial research findings are promising. A double-blind clinical trial in Japan on teenagers with social anxiety disorder (SAD) showed that adolescents who received the CBD treatment experienced less SAD than those who didn’t. Those who took CBD also found it easier to reach out for treatment and support down the line.
As for the impact of CBD on the brain, a clinical trial on adolescent mice showed that prolonged adolescent CBD exposure didn’t impact brain activity, anxiety behaviour, or spatial memory. Now, research needs to move from mice to human adolescents.
It’s easier and less controversial for teenagers to apply CBD on their skin. Because human skin is made of seven layers, it’s almost impossible for substances to cross all layers and reach the bloodstream. Topical CBD creams and lotions target the outer layer of the skin to reduce acne-related inflammation. Therefore, CBD bath bombs and other skin products are more innocuous for adolescents and teenagers although a GP’s advice is always necessary.
CBD in adulthood
In adulthood, CBD finds its stride. Adults turn to CBD for plenty of reasons — stress relief, pain management, or simply for better overall wellness. At this stage of life, humans are fully developed, physically and mentally, so there are no worries about CBD’s impact on overall development and cognitive processes.
Most adults take CBD to manage stress and anxiety and improve their mental well-being, including sleep. According to the same research, people take CBD for pain-related purposes and to manage chronic pain as they get older. These findings are supported by another research, which found that 62% of Americans take CBD for stress and 60% consume it for pain management. Findings for the United Kingdom are expected to be along the same lines.
CBD and aging
As we step into the golden years, the conversation around CBD takes on a new dimension.
Aging gracefully isn’t just a matter of aesthetics, but also of managing the aches and pains that come with time. CBD’s potential role in helping with conditions like arthritis, cognitive decline, and sleep disturbances offers a glimmer of hope for many.
The elderly often find CBD to be gentler and more suited to their bodies than conventional medicines. Recent findings show that older adults with fibromyalgia are substituting CBD for conventional medicines because cannabidiol has fewer side effects. People switching to CBD reported better health improvement, less pain, and improved quality of life.
Women in menopause often find CBD to be helpful. CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating our mood, appetite, reproduction, temperature perception, pain perception, and inflammation. Since several of these functions are affected by menopause, it’s no surprise that many women are looking into gentler ways to manage menopause symptoms.
Menopausal mice treated with CBD showed improved bone density, better energy levels, and healthier gut bacteria. While more research is required, CBD may thus help with menopause-related anxiety and depression and improve sleep patterns and sleep quality.
Precautions to take, no matter your age
Even in adulthood, CBD products shouldn’t be taken without consideration. To find the right CBD product for you, follow the tips below:
- Choose reputable brands and quality products.
- Discuss with your GPD and mention any medicines and over-the-counter medicine you might be taking that could interact with CBD. People who take prescriptions for blood pressure could witness interactions with CBD. Likewise, CBD interacts with antihistamines, some antibiotics, antidepressants, and some anti-inflammatories.
- Mention any health conditions you may have that could be affected by CBD. Glaucoma sufferers, for example, should avoid CBD as it may increase intraocular pressure.
- Start with a low dosage and increase it slowly to see how it affects you.
- Don’t trust brands that promise miracles. CBD may improve your well-being and help you lead a happier and healthier life—but it can’t cure diseases.
CBD through the life stages
CBD is produced from industrial hemp and is thus considered a botanical compound. Because of this perception as a natural product, many people prefer it to common medicines when looking for ways to cope with occasional problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, pain management, inflammation, insomnia, and more.
The fact that CBD is plant-based doesn’t mean, of course, that it can be safely consumed by all ages. Research on CBD for children is very limited and most people would refrain from administering CBD to a child. The only recommended CBD-based medicine is Epidyolex for two rare and very specific children’s epilepsy conditions.
Adolescents are often tempted to take CBD to help them with anxiety and stress but, again, there is still little research available to confirm that it’s safe. Initial findings and anecdotal evidence are very promising, but the teenage body is still developing and doctors must be sure that CBD won’t interact with natural adolescent development.
Once you reach adulthood, the body and brain are fully developed, and taking CBD is safer and easier. Most research and clinical trials have been carried out on adults, which is why we know more about CBD’s impact on grown-ups rather than children and adolescents.
As a potent yet gentle botanical compound, CBD may help people lead better lives, from early adulthood to senior years. To maximize its potential benefits, check out our reviews on the best CBD oil in the UK and the best CBD UK stores!