Does CBD as Preventive Self-Care Make Sense for Older Adults?

older woman talking to doctor

Baby Boomers are the most medicated group in the United States. Because they are more susceptible to chronic health conditions, people 65 and older account for 34% of all prescription medication use, even though they comprise only 12% of the population, according to the American Public Health Association.

It’s not an enormous surprise. The older we get, the more our bodies “break down” and the more likely we are to rely on traditional methods to help us cope with our aches, pains and other maladies. It’s why many — who are the group that potentially will derive the most benefit from it — are turning to CBD as a natural component of their preventive self-care strategy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “no public health problems… have been associated with the use of pure CBD.” Plus, known side effects from CBD use, such as dry mouth and drowsiness, are relatively minor.

Here are four ways CBD can play a role in your preventive medicine strategy and perform an important role in improving the quality of life. CBD is thought to contribute to:

  1. Pain management – A National Institutes of Health-funded study found that 53% had, in the last month, experienced bothersome discomfort (with 75% saying they had pain in more than one location). Here’s why CBD could potentially play a role in easing aches and soreness in older adults. A 2009 study titled “Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs” concluded that “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and subsequently attenuate disease symptoms.” A 2016 study by the European Journal of Pain concluded that topical CBD application may have therapeutic potential for relief of pain‐related behaviors “without evident side effects.” Cytokines are small proteins released by the immune system to coordinate our body’s response to infection by triggering inflammation. However, sometimes excess cytokines are produced (which is referred to as a “cytokine storm”), resulting in hyper-inflammation (which can harm or even kill you). A 2018 study by The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics confirms that CBD and other cannabinoids help regulate the release of cytokines that can inflame allergic responses.
  2. Healthy joints – Falls are the leading cause of death for people 65 and older. Every year more than 30% of U.S. older adults fall. As we age, our bones lose mass and density. The data from a preclinical study found that “CBD leads to improvement in fracture healing.” Another study done by Tel Aviv University revealed that the “non-psychotropic compound in marijuana can help heal bone fissures.” Dr. Yankel Gabet, one of the researcher leaders, is quoted as saying, “We found that CBD alone makes bones stronger during healing, enhancing the maturation of the collagenous matrix, which provides the basis for new mineralization of bone tissue. After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future."
  3. A healthy, restful sleep – A reported 46% of older adults have trouble falling asleep, according to a national poll by Healthy Aging. One reason for this is because, as our body ages, it makes less of the chemicals and hormones that promote healthy sleep. It’s harmful because our body flushes out toxins and rejuvenates itself during sleep. A 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal found that in the first month, 66% of the study participants experienced an improved sleep score but, over time, their sleep scores fluctuated. It’s important to note that, in addition to 25 mg of premium CBD oil in each tablet, our Zebra CBD Sleep Support Tablets also comprise ingredients that are known sleep inducers, such as chamomile extract — a mild sleep aid commonly used to “calm nerves and reduce anxiety, nightmares, difficulty falling asleep and other problems,” according to a report by the U.S. National Library of Medicine; extract of valerian root, a medicinal root (known as nature’s Valium) that’s been used to improve the quality of sleep since ancient times; melatonin, a naturally occurring human hormone and popular supplement known for resolving sleep issues by regulating your body’s sleep/wake cycles; and L-theanine, an amino acid present in green tea leaves that promotes a sense of calm.
  4. Enhanced skin care – Good blood circulation improves the health of your cells and reduces skin discoloration. CBD has been shown to improve blood circulation. Plus, CBD may increase collagen production. Collagen, the most abundant protein in your body, promotes vibrant skin. Research has shown that CBD may aid with the production of collagen, which may help lessen the visible signs of aging skin, such as wrinkles, skin dullness and ruddy skin tone.

While more research is needed into the health benefits of CBD, all signs indicate that making this safe and natural compound part of a preventive medicine strategy.

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