Aging is inevitable, but losing the comfort of a healthy life as you age shouldn’t be! Seniors, like my grandmother Virginia, are tired of taking a cocktail of prescriptions to get them through the day; when in reality they only feel worse. Virginia’s AM pill case has 6 different prescriptions, and her PM case has 9.
Mentally and physically, she’s aging, leading to pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Doctors prescribe pills left and right to ‘help’ her. Even though her ailments are being treated, most days she complains of new symptoms from her medications, which create more discomfort for her.
Pain affects mood, memory, relationships, sleep, motivation, and overall quality of life, so treating it is important. Making sure my grandmother’s day-to-day life is comfortable and easy is at the top of my families’ priorities. After cocktails of prescription drugs caused just as many problems as they solved, CBD has arisen as a viable, better choice to alleviate pain without all of the other effects.
Modern understanding of the clinical effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in the treatment of pain is evolving. The two main phytocannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the cannabinoid of the Cannabis plant that gives users the medicinal ‘high’.
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of the naturally occurring, non-psychoactive components found in Cannabis plants. This compound not only provides astonishing antioxidant support, but also brings the body to homeostasis, or balance.
There are over 46 million American citizens age 65 or older, and the number of people aged 60 years and over is expected to double by 2025 worldwide and by 2050 in the United States, a 2018 study reports. The majority of this demographic need at least minimal pain relief for some ailments. This means that education on alternative treatments is extremely valuable when considering the future of our healthcare system.
In people old and young, chronic pain affects over 100 million Americans and costs an estimated $635 billion dollars annually in the United States alone. However, treating chronic pain is difficult, and many pharmacologic options only work in a subset of patients, owing to inadequate pain relief or side effects that preclude use.
CBD is particularly well-suited for seniors because there is no psychoactive component! This means absolutely no dizziness, nausea, euphoria, confusion, or disorientation will occur with the use of a CBD product — something that can’t be said of most pain medications. These qualities are particularly important in the elderly population, who say often suffer from conditions such as dementia, frequent falls, mobility problems, and hearing or vision impairments (Abuhusira et al. 2018). Cannabidiol allows users to alleviate many conditions including, but not limited to: autoimmune disease, inflammation, neuropathic pain, energy regulation, anxiety, depression, and even cancer.
Naturally, humans have an endocannabinoid system which helps regulate the endocrine system and energy functions. The endocannabinoid system is comprised of endogenous cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors, including CB1 receptors located primarily in the brain and peripheral tissue and CB2 receptors in the immune and hematopoietic systems (Halawa, Furnish, & Wallace, 2018). When the CBD is released into the body, the endocannabinoid system is stimulated, relieving pain, soothing anxiety, and balancing out your body where YOU need it!
As a result of President Trump’s Farm Bill that legalized the growth of commercial hemp, today there are a variety of CBD pain relief products on the market. When it comes down to what products to try, think about your preferences and daily lifestyle. You could choose to ingesting CBD in the form of tincture oils (sublingual), capsules, or edibles. CBD can also be found in a topical form, which is great for specific areas of the body that need attention. Vaping is another great on-the-go option, as the effects occur much faster when the CBD is inhaled straight to the brain.
When it comes to picking out the right product, I suggest going with what you feel comfortable with first, and expanding your choices as your confidence grows.
At first, my grandmother Virginia replaced her AM and PM ibuprofen with the 25mg CBD capsules in her pill case. After about a week we went over how she was feeling, and adjusted the dosage as needed until her ailments were diminished. For the arthritis in her hands, she massages a topical CBD cream as needed into her joints for extra comfort.
By introducing Cannabidiol to her daily regimen, Virginia has been able to wean herself off unnecessary prescriptions that have held her back in the past. Now she is living a clearer, more comfortable life every day. Aging can’t be reversed, but it can be managed better with certified, high-quality CBD.