CBD, or cannabidiol, has been making a lot of waves in recent years as it joins THC in the growing list of notable cannabinoids. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound with a wealth of health benefits. Much of the oil’s popularity in recent years stems from the discovery that it has a good rate of success when used to treat epilepsy, but it’s becoming apparent that senior citizens stand to benefit greatly from it as well. It is a digestive aid, an anxiety medicine, an antipsychotic, an analgesic, and so much more.
Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are neurodegenerative conditions that affect millions of people each year, and that number is expected to increase. In a report by the Alzheimer Organization, by 2050, the disease is estimated to affect up to 7 million seniors 85 and older by the year 2050. That’s 51% of people 65 or older projected to have the condition. But cannabidiol is showing promise as a treatment for both of these diseases. Scientists worldwide are producing an increasing number of studies by scientists showing that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties result in brain cell regeneration, also called neurogenesis. With the variety of side-effect-laden prescription drugs that doctors prescribe for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, a safe and powerful medicine could finally be a reality.
Falling is something that happens to everyone in life, but as a person ages, the effect of the fall is progressively more detrimental. Bruises, sprains and broken bones are common injuries that result from seniors losing their balance, but the cannabis plant seems to be a viable treatment for body damage. Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University in Israel have conducted studies showing that cannabidiol not only sped up healing bone fractures but also enhanced mineralization of bone tissue, strengthening the whole bone and preventing further breaks.
But seniors should take care in determining the source of the cannabidiol used in the products they buy. Not all CBD oils are created equal. Some oils are extracted from the potent flowers of low-THC strains while others come from industrial hemp. Hemp is a ‘bio-accumulator,’ which means that it draws heavy metals from the soil. Because the percentage of CBD is so low in hemp, much more of it must be used to extract even a small amount. The risk of possible ingestion of toxic contaminants increases as a result. When the oil extractors use CBD-rich cannabis strains, the risk decreases dramatically.
Cannabidiol boasts many medical uses on its own, but when combined with THC, it produces something called the ‘entourage effect.’ When working in conjunction, there is a synergistic enhancement of CBD and THC’s therapeutic effects. Research by the California Pacific Medical Center shows that the cannabinoid combination is more effective at treating neuropathy than either component alone. While some seniors may not be comfortable with the high associated with THC, ingestion of raw (non-decarboxylated) or juiced cannabis can give the benefits of the THC-CBD combination without any psychoactive effects.
Whether used in conjunction with THC or not, CBD is a non-toxic medicine that seniors may want to consider adding to their medication regimen or possibly replacing certain meds altogether. Its lack of psychoactive and other side effects make it easy to take without worrying about health risks. The growing list of health benefits are making it hard to ignore.