When you think about CBD oil, and who uses it, you may not think about seniors. With all the gummies, edibles, vapes, and flavored CBD oils out there, CBD seems like a product for young folks. However, CBD is growing in popularity among seniors, and the reasons for this are not surprising.
While millennials may be one of the biggest consumers of cannabis products, they use them for completely different reasons than seniors. Baby boomers are the fastest-growing segment of CBD consumers, surpassing Millenials in their use of CBD products.
Why are seniors so interested in CBD products?
Seniors have more health conditions like arthritis, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. Cannabis is a completely natural plant. The more it is researched, the more seniors are discovering how much potential CBD has to improve their health and wellness.
In 2020, there was a record number of research studies published on cannabis. Over 23,000 peer-reviewed articles have been published on cannabis, and more research is coming out every month. While we don’t yet fully understand how CBD works, the research on its therapeutic uses and benefits is promising. People over fifty are most affected by chronic illnesses and health conditions, so it’s not surprising that they are interested in trying it.
This took some convincing though. After being exposed to years of misinformation about cannabis, many baby boomers were reluctant at first. Up until recently, most older people only knew about the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. Now that researchers have really started investigating the non-psychoactive properties of cannabis, CBD, people are discovering how amazing the cannabis plant really is.
Cannabis use is no longer taboo
Many seniors only knew about marijuana and knew very little about hemp. Most baby boomers grew up in a time where the only thing they were told about cannabis was that it was a gateway drug or that it was only used by people who wanted to get “stoned”. Because of social media and more information being published about CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and CBD’s health benefits, CBD is no longer considered taboo.
Cbd oil is made from hemp and only contains a trace amount of THC, the part of the cannabis plant that makes you feel high. Some CBD oils don’t contain THC at all. With study after study being published showing that CBD has numerous health benefits that people were never told about before, more seniors are curious about how CBD can help them.
The FDA changed its position on cannabis
Another reason there has been a boom in CBD use among seniors is because the FDA updated its position on cannabis. In 2018, a lot of big changes happened that made seniors more comfortable with CBD. The FDA recognized that there were potential therapeutic uses for cannabis-derived compounds and many of the restrictions preventing consumers from purchasing CBD products were removed.
Even though hemp contains only a trace amount of THC, up until 2018, it couldn’t be grown in the US due to the Controlled Substance Act. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was removed from the CSA, making it legal to grow cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC. With hemp no longer classified as a Schedule 1 drug, farmers were able to grow more strains of hemp to keep up with the demand for new CBD products.
The FDA’s removal of restrictions and change in position may have opened the minds of seniors who were previously concerned about using CBD.
Why are seniors using CBD oil?
More seniors are trying CBD now and recommending it to friends. According to a survey by Remedy Health, 51 percent of seniors who have tried CBD said that it improved their quality of life and 89 percent said they would recommend it to a friend.
CBD oil is completely natural and seniors have discovered that it is useful in managing health conditions they deal with regularly.
Seniors are using CBD to manage arthritis pain
Probably the biggest reason seniors use CBD is to manage pain from arthritis or other chronic conditions. CBD may help reduce inflammation and the pain associated with arthritis. While we presently only have animal studies to support this, the Arthritis Foundation, suggests that some people who have tried it have noticed an improvement in pain. They recommend consulting your doctor before using CBD and provide some guidelines for using it on their website.
CBD Oil may help with Dementia and Alzheimer's symptoms
While we do not have scientific data to prove that CBD oil prevents or reverses the symptoms of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, there have been a few small-scale studies that support the use of CBD oil as a promising treatment option.
One study found that the use of MCO, or medical cannabis oil, significantly improved the CGI score of the study’s participants. While it may not be a cure, the study found it to be a safe option for treating patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia and that it may reduce symptoms such as agitation and aggression.
CBD oil may improve bone health in seniors
CBD may improve bone density and bone health in seniors. The central nervous system controls the neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of bone metabolism. A number of neurotransmitters influence bone cell activity and bone health.
New research has shown that endocannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system play a role in bone metabolism. A study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that CBD oil significantly improved the healing process of bone fractures in rats. Most of the research on bone health has been conducted on animals. However, the research suggests that CBD may assist in bone healing and bone health.
CBD may help with appetite and sleep
Researchers now know that the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate our mood, appetite, and sleep. Loss of appetite is a concern for older people. Not eating can cause weight loss, muscle weakness, and loss of energy. CBD may improve sleep, appetite, and energy levels in seniors.
According to the American Sleep Association, using CBD oil may improve sleep. This is good news for seniors, as getting quality sleep is an important aspect of good health. Sleep becomes even more important as we age. We need sleep to feel restored and for our body to heal and repair itself.
Seniors are trying CBD as an alternative to antidepressants
Depression and anxiety are unfortunately very common in seniors. Older people often have very different symptoms than younger people. Family and friends might not recognize these symptoms as depression. Instead of appearing sad, they may sleep more or feel tired all the time or act irritable and grouchy. If they have medical conditions, it’s not uncommon for these conditions to make them feel more depressed.
CBD may relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression without the side effects that occur with pharmaceutical antidepressants. In addition, it may work faster than typical anti-depressants. Research suggests that, unlike anti-depressants that take weeks to start providing noticeable relief, CBD oil may provide an immediate improvement in depression symptoms, even after just one dose.