As we age, it's inevitable that we have more and more health issues. 80% of older adults have at least one chronic issue, and 77% have at least 2.
As you can imagine, it can be quite a struggle juggling not only multiple illnesses, but also medications. Whether it's one or all, prescribed medications can cause adverse side effects, which can really impact your quality of life.
Because of this, many are turning to CBD oil, which is a natural remedy that has soothing effects and much lesser side effects. And not just younger adults are using CBD oil; seniors are as well.
If you're interested in using CBD oil, then keep reading. We'll tell you what it is, how it works, and 9 amazing benefits of CBD oil for older adults.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is made from CBD, or cannabidiol. This is an active ingredient you can find in marijuana and hemp plants.
You may be familiar with a substance called THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the active ingredient in marijuana that not only gives people many health benefits, but also a "high" when they ingest it. Because of this, many avoid using it, as their judgment is impaired while actively using marijuana.
This is what makes CBD so great; while it has almost identical health benefits, the biggest difference is it's not psychoactive at all. This means you can take CBD, reap the same benefits as you would from THC, and not have your judgment be impaired. Technically, you can use CBD oil while at work or operating machinery and you'll be fine.
In fact, so long as you choose high-quality products, you won't fail drug tests either. Lower quality CBD oil may have over 3% of THC in it, but the better products will have little to no THC. And seeing as drug panels test for THC, you won't have to worry about that if the products you're using are purely CBD.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil acts upon your endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for many important things in your body, mainly responses to pain and inflammation. Other functions it's responsible for include your moods, appetite, sleep, and memory.
Its name is "endocannabinoid" system, but this doesn't mean you have to use cannabis for the system to be active. In fact, you make endocannabinoids in your body. The 2 key ones are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG).
When you ingest CBD or THC, these bind to your endocannabinoid receptors. As you can guess, endocannabinoids, CBD, and THC can affect how your body deals with the functions listed above.
The Benefits of CBD Oil for Older Adults
By understanding how CBD oil works, then you can understand how it helps older adults. Below are some of the benefits of CBD oil.
1. Get Relief From Pain and Inflammation
One of the biggest benefits you can get from CBD oil is pain relief. You may have heard of patients using marijuana for pain; this is due to its pain-relieving properties.
Since pain and inflammation often go hand-in-hand with one another, it's almost guaranteed that once the CBD oil works on your pain, it'll work on your inflammation too, and vice versa. As a result, you'll find much-needed relief from symptoms of illnesses and diseases.
This is especially beneficial in older adults, since the majority of illnesses and diseases have those 2 common symptoms.
2. Battle Depression
For older adults, depression is a common occurrence. The older they get, the lonelier they become. This happens because not only do their younger relatives grow up to have their own lives, but illness and death strike their friends as well, which can thin out their friend circle.
Add in the fact that most older adults live on their own and may also be unwell, so they can't get around so easily. When they're trapped at home all day without anything to do, or anyone to speak to, and it makes it very easy for the elderly to slip into depression.
Battling mental health issues can be challenging, especially if you're on your own. Thankfully, CBD can help.
While CBD won't increase the amount of serotonin in your brain (this is what gives you happy feelings), it can change how your brain reacts to the existing serotonin in your system. In a rodent study, it was shown that CBD was received in the brain like an antidepressant. By this logic, CBD oil can have profound effects on depression in the elderly.
3. Battle Anxiety
Not only does CBD oil help with depression, but it can help with anxiety as well. In the same rodent study cited above, it was shown that CBD also has anti-anxiety effects.
Considering the comorbidity of depression and anxiety is high, CBD's potential reduction of both can tremendously benefit older adults who struggle with their mental health. Since you're retired, you deserve to live the rest of your life both pain-free and worry-free.
4. Fend off Insomnia
For many older adults, restful nights sleep doesn't come easily. The components in your brain responsible for sleep get weaker over time, which is why even if you feel exhausted at night, you still can't get to sleep at times.
As a quick fix, many physicians prescribe sleeping pills to the elderly. But these can have nasty side effects; not to mention, they're also addicting.
CBD oil is a great alternative since it can help you sleep, but without any adverse side effects or risk of dependency.
5. Increase Your Appetite
As we get older, we might find our appetites shrinking. A lack of appetite can lead to other health issues, as subpar eating habits can lead to mental health issues, as well as weight loss and tissue weakness. You've probably heard of cancer patients using marijuana to fight nausea and to boost their appetites so they can become a normal weight again. The same concept applies to CBD; if you need help perking up your appetite, just add some drops to your daily regimen and you'll fall back in love with food again.
6. Fight Cardiovascular Disease
Remember how CBD oil can help with inflammation? This applies to your blood vessels too. If the inflammation in your blood vessels goes down, then so does your risk for stroke and heart attack. Your blood pressure will decrease as well, which can dramatically improve your cardiovascular health.
7. Combat Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
You or your loved one may already need long-term home care since there are physical limitations preventing you from living a truly independent life. Don't let dementia or Alzheimer's disease take away more of the true you.
While it hasn't been shown that cannabis (and by default, CBD) has any preventative benefits, it can still help you manage some of the behavioral symptoms, such as aggression and agitation. More research needs to be done before we can say definitively if cannabis and CBD products can prevent dementia and/or Alzheimer's.
8. Little to No Side Effects
We all know we get more fragile as we get older. As a result, we end up having to take more prescription medications than we did when we were younger. Yes, these prescriptions may help manage our illnesses and symptoms, but the side effects can be just as bad. But why suffer through them when CBD is just as good?
With its worst side effects being fatigue and diarrhea, those are hardly anything compared to the damage prescription drugs do. Plus, there is zero risk of overdose, so if you think you forgot your daily dosage of CBD oil, it won't do you any harm to accidentally take an extra dose.
Give CBD Oil a Try for Your Ailments
As you can see, CBD oil seems to be a promising supplement for not just young people, but also older adults. With its main benefits being pain and inflammation reduction, this can help immensely with a number of ailments.
If you feel like your life's been taken over by your illnesses, medications, and their side effects, it's time to explore a better alternative. CBD oil may be just what you need to boost your quality of life.
But before you quit your medicines and start taking CBD oil, make sure you speak with your doctor first. Some medications are dangerous to quit cold turkey, so your physician will be able to assess your situation. They'll be able to tell you if CBD oil is right for you and how to quit your medicines if necessary.
If you or a loved one is struggling to live an independent life, then take a look at our in-home care services now. We'll help you maintain your lifestyle without the need for a nursing home by monitoring and aiding in non-medical, at-home caregiving.