How to Talk to a Senior Loved One about the Benefits of CBD
We have known for only 30 years about the endocannabinoid system in the human body. And it’s been less than a decade since CBD products have been legalized in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and across Europe.
Therefore, it’s no wonder that older people are reluctant towards CBD. Because CBD is produced from cannabis, there is, sadly, a stigma still connected to it and in some people’s minds, CBD is synonymous to weed.
Additionally, research is still ongoing about the true potential of CBD, so it makes perfect sense that some seniors are hesitant about CBD products.
The irony, of course, is that seniors are among those who may benefit the most from CBD. Aging is inevitable. As time passes, our bodies change. Our hair turns grey, our skin loses its elasticity, and our muscles become weaker. Not only do we experience these natural changes, but we also suffer from various age-related diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, heart problems, osteoporosis, and obesity.
Senior years can be very rewarding but also upsetting because of the issues that accompany old age. CBD may help take away the edge off these, support people’s health, and offer seniors greater peace of mind and a stress-free attitude to life.
CBD Is Not Addictive
The most important point you need to stress to your senior loved one is that CBD is not addictive nor intoxicating, unlike THC—its cannabinoid sibling.
CBD is produced from industrial hemp that has been selectively grown from cannabis to contain minimal THC but a lot of CBD and other cannabinoids.
CBD has been shown by the World Health Organization to be well-tolerated by the human body and non-addictive . There have never been any reported deaths from a CBD overdose. At most, taking too much CBD might cause drowsiness and nausea, both of which dissipate after a few hours.
Cannabis has been used for at least 5,000 years. People in Central Asia and China knew about its potential benefits and included it in their herbal remedies.
Since then, cannabis growers have selectively grown cannabis and industrial hemp. Cannabis produces marijuana, which is brimming with THC and has been known to be hallucinogenic and psychotropic.
On the other hand, industrial hemp has no intoxicating properties and was grown for its long stalks to use as rope, sails, and textiles. Even George Washington grew hemp in Mount Vernon to use the fibres for rope, sails for boats, and sacks for agricultural products.
Industrial hemp is nowadays used to produce CBD. Hemp flowers are teeming with cannabinoids such as CBD but contain only traces of THC. Hemp flowers and leaves contain plenty of CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, and minerals. CBD products in the UK are required to contain less than 0.2% of THC per dry weight. In these quantities, THC is practically non-existent.
We Have Known about CBD for Millennia
Tribes in Mongolia and Siberia had grown cannabis since 12,000 BC and Chinese emperors used CBD for health purposes back in 2,800 BC.
Egyptian pharaohs used cannabis daily, particularly as part of their plant-based skincare routine. Ancient Egyptians understood hemp’s potential and planted it for textiles and paper used for writing.
Ancient Greeks also seem to have known about CBD’s anti-inflammatory potential and applied cannabis to wounds.
In the West, from the 19th century and until the early 1930s, CBD was used in several medicines, especially for pain management, depression, and migraines.
Cannabis products were prohibited in the late 1930s following the lifting of prohibition, and industrial hemp and cannabis were suddenly regarded as addictive and dangerous. No legal separation between CBD and THC was made and law enforcement bundled all cannabis products in the same category. It wasn’t until the 2010s that lawmakers understood the intricacies of cannabis and hemp enough to make the differentiation.
CBD Is Legal
CBD products in the United Kingdom are legal as long as they contain less than 0.2% of THC per dry weight and have been produced from industrial hemp. This is a major point that some older people have doubts about, and it always helps to highlight how CBD is a botanical and legal compound.
Talk to Them about the Endocannabinoid System
We have known since the 1990s that the human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for keeping our body in balance and regulates many bodily functions, including appetite, mood, learning, memory, inflammation, pain perception, reproduction, and even motor and temperature perception.
The ECS works with two human cannabinoids called anandamide and 2-AG. These cannabinoids attach to receptors spread around the body and activate cells when something is amiss.
CBD and 2-AG have a very close resemblance. Studies suggest that CBD may help the ECS stimulate more effectively the cannabinoid receptors and the cells . The receptors that respond to 2-AG are particularly found in the immune system and the gut. This is one of the possible explanations offered as to how CBD may help with pain and inflammation: many of the receptors affected by CBD are located in the immune system.
CBD May Help with Inflammation and Pain
More than 50% of Britons aged 75 years and older suffer from chronic pain. Arthritis, osteoarthritis, and painful joints are the most common culprits—all of which are related to chronic inflammation. Inflammation also expresses itself through asthma, Crohn’s disease, and other painful and stressful inflammatory conditions.
Research  is showing that CBD can improve the body’s anti-inflammatory response and “clinical studies have confirmed that CBD reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.”
Many seniors feel they can’t enjoy their life because their mobility and ensuing quality of life are impaired. Perhaps CBD might help your loved ones manage their pain better and gain more flexibility.
A recent study found that many people with fibromyalgia switched to CBD . 72% of respondents said they were “substituting CBD products for medications, most commonly NSAIDs (59.0%), opioids (53.3%), gabapentanoids (35.0%), and benzodiazepines (23.1%).” The reason behind their decision was that CBD had fewer side effects and allowed them to better manage their symptoms.
Makes You Feel Better and Relieves Anxiety and Stress
Half of the adults aged 55 and over have experienced mental health problems, according to the NHS . The most common mental health problems mentioned in the study were stress, social anxiety, anxiety, and depression.
According to the same study, 71% of Britons take CBD for pain management and 38% take it for depression and anxiety. While there are various anti-depressant and anxiolytic medicines available in pharmacies, many people opt for milder and more natural products.
CBD appears to interact with brain neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin . Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression and anxiety. CBD may help the brain regain healthy serotonin levels and re-balance the chemical interaction in the brain between several neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine .
CBD displays very few side effects: drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhoea, and changes in appetite are the most common. Most people manage their side effects by changing CBD brands or adjusting their CBD dosage.
On the other hand, anti-depressants and similar medicines have serious side effects, including dizziness, loss of appetite, headaches, a sick feeling, and a general feeling of unease .
While your loved one should never stop their recommended medication without their doctor’s approval, they may benefit from CBD as an additional remedy.
Helps with Sleep
Almost 30% of seniors aged 65 years and over have sleep problems and struggle to fall asleep at least once per month according to a study . There is nothing like a good night’s sleep to regenerate the brain cells and get rid of toxins.
Because CBD appears to relax the mind and body, it is thought that it may help with insomnia and sleep problems.
Show Them Some CBD Products
Sometimes it helps to show your loved one a real CBD product. Choose a simple CBD product, such as CBD pills or CBD oil. Make sure the product carries a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) to show what ingredients it contains.
The CoA will show the CBD potency, the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes, and the traces—if any—of THC. It will also show if the product contains heavy metals and other chemicals. This certificate makes CBD more approachable and more tangible and may help alleviate people’s fears about a product that is unknown.
Alternatively, you may show your loved one the wide selection of CBD products available on the market. There are CBD edibles, gummies, chocolates, pills, capsules and tinctures, as well as topicals, creams, gels, and oils. It always helps to see a real product instead of simply reading about it or seeing it online.
Always Talk to a Doctor before Taking CBD
Most seniors are already taking some medication for various ailments and conditions. CBD may interact with some medicines like blood thinners, some antibiotics, antihistamines, blood pressure medication, and cholesterol medication.
Talk to a doctor and evaluate whether CBD might help your loved one. You should never switch medicines without your doctor’s approval. We still don’t know how effective CBD can be and at what dosage, while we do know the effectiveness of conventional medicine.
CBD may help your loved ones feel better about themselves and regain some sense of freedom and mobility, but we are not yet at the stage where CBD can safely substitute conventional drugs and medicines.
Even so, CBD has too many possible benefits to ignore. CBD may help reduce inflammation and increase blood flow, thus giving us healthier-looking skin. It may also increase serotonin levels in the brain, easing stress, anxiety, and depression. As a result, it may improve sleep quality, increase REM cycles, and decrease insomnia. Finally, CBD may help manage pain, helping us live happier lives, while improving our overall mood.
Because of all this potential, CBD can be perfect for seniors!