CBD, or cannabidiol, has many promising health benefits for seniors that researchers are continuing to explore.
This gentle supplement can potentially provide relief from inflammation-related pain, anxiety, and even Alzheimer’s disease or dementia symptoms.
Let’s explore the top questions families have about using CBD oil for seniors, including the safety, efficacy, and how it may help with a range of health concerns.
Is CBD oil safe for seniors?
CBD is a chemical found in marijuana, but it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the ingredient that produces a high feeling.
CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially aid in a wide range of health issues in seniors.
The only CBD product that’s currently FDA-approved is called Epidiolex. This prescription oil treats epilepsy.
While this is the only FDA-approved product, CBD is still widely used and actively studied for its uses as a treatment for other conditions, including:
- Azheimer’s disease and dementia
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Pain and inflammation treatment
CBD oil for seniors is known to be well-tolerated, but it can produce a few side effects and may interact with some medications. There are no reported CBD overdoses.
Side effects appear to be tied to dosage, so working with a medical professional to find the right dose is the safest approach.
Side effects can include:
- Dry mouth
- Abnormalities in liver-related blood tests (at high doses of CBD)
- Increased level of blood thinning
Experts say the liver-related and blood thinning side effects are similar to the way grapefruit can interact with blood thinning medications, or the way Tylenol can result in liver abnormalities at high doses.
Overall, it’s important to make sure you’re getting quality CBD brands from a reputable source, and working with a doctor to make sure it won’t interact with any medications.
How effective is CBD oil?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body is meant to maintain balance through a network of neurotransmitters.
These ECS receptors can be found all throughout the body, including the lungs, digestive system, reproductive organs, and in the brain.
CBD oil appears to be able to target out-of-balance systems in the body to restore balance. It can slow the breakdown of endocannabinoids that are already in the body.
The effectiveness of CBD oil depends on the person, how it’s being used, the dosage, the type of CBD, and more.
There are three main types of CBD oil: CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, and broad-spectrum CBD oil.
This is the most pure form of CBD, without THC or any other cannabinoids.
Full-spectrum CBD can include trace amounts of THC, plus the other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.
The trace amounts of THC usually won’t create a high feeling, but it depends on how much is in the product.
Broad-spectrum is a mix of cannabinoids, but usually without THC.
Some scientists point to broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD as beneficial due to “the entourage effect,” where having a mix of cannabinoids can produce stronger effects than CBD on its own.
What are the medicinal benefits of CBD oil for seniors?
While CBD oil is currently used in a wide range of age groups and health concerns, the benefits and effects aren’t fully known.
However, there are several studies that point to CBD’s potential health benefits to help manage pain and inflammation, and protect cells.
Let’s take a look at CBD’s potential to help with the following health concerns.
Arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling.
The reasons for arthritis can vary, from natural wear-and-tear to autoimmune causes.
Despite the root cause, research suggests CBD can reduce inflammation in the joints of those with arthritis, aiding with the pain and discomfort.
It also can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep, which can help with overall pain management in those with arthritis.
Some research suggests that CBD may work similarly to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications by regulating serotonin levels in the brain.
Multiple studies also have shown that CBD can help with symptoms of PTSD, including nightmares and replaying negative memories.
Chronic pain can result from a variety of health issues, including fibromyalgia, cancer, lupus, or multiple sclerosis.
Since CBD can reduce inflammation in the body, it may be able to soothe chronic pain caused by inflammation.
CBD may be able to boost your immunity by keeping inflammation in check and acting as an “immunomodulator” that suppresses or stimulates the system based on the body’s needs.
Due to its potential for reducing stress and anxiety and improving sleep, CBD oil also may help keep your immunity system strong by supporting overall health and wellness.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia
Some studies suggest CBD can help aid with brain cell communication and soothe other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
CBD is a known antioxidant, which may help protect the brain cells affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Additionally, it may help with sleep issues, anxiety, and agitation that some seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia experience.
The Kensington Sierra Madre incorporates CBD into our care
CBD comes in many forms other than oils, including capsules, patches, and lotions.
The Kensington Sierra Madre team works with expert consultants to explore the benefits of CBD oil and CBD with THC-A, where the THC is kept cold to remove the hallucinogen effects.
Our team has experienced first-hand the benefits of using CBD treatments with our residents, including those with severe cases of dementia.
In addition to CBD for treating dementia, we also use it to help our residents with arthritis who are experiencing joint pain.
How we provide a full spectrum of care
The Kensington Sierra Madre Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.
We offer assisted living and memory care services for seniors in a unique, cozy, loving environment, where your loved one can experience true “aging in place.”
This means that no matter how a senior’s care needs change or evolve over time, they have a home with us.
Our care and services exceed typical assisted living because we incorporate a wide range of life enrichment activities, on-site rehabilitation, and a dedication to overall health and wellness.
Our team is passionate about providing the highest levels of care to our residents.
Call us today to learn more about our vibrant, loving community, and to tell us about your loved one’s unique needs and preferences.