What Type of Benefits Can CBD Offer Seniors?
By Keith Alban
Many seniors place very strong trust in their doctors and are open to medication, but may not realize the merit of natural supplements. After a certain age, it seems like some people tend to give up on experimenting with different supplements, therapies, and potential options outside of what their doctors recommend. It’s a daunting task to spend hours upon hours researching scientific studies online in order to understand the validity of different natural supplements. The natural industry is unregulated and sometimes all about clever, deceptive marketing, but I’m here to say that certain supplements can offer great value for people of any age. Many people actually require certain nutrients that their bodies are sorely deficient in and contribute to the health problems they’re experiencing.
The medical system has shifted quite dramatically over the last 30+ years to a system of efficiency and maximum profits. This type of profit based efficiency breeds neglect and a lack of care for each individual. While efficiency is certainly a good thing in many different businesses, it shouldn’t exist in an industry that’s about human health. This is one of many innate problems with the system of modern medicine. Many doctors don’t really do much to earn the trust of their patients, yet they somehow implicitly have it. For some reason, it’s intrinsic for some people to trust someone with the title Dr or MD to their name. This misguided trust that we place in doctors can come at our own peril at times. There’s a balance when it comes to listening and trusting any medical professional.
Scripts of dangerous medications are handed out like candy at times, no matter what the short or long term effects may be. People may not realize this startling fact, but one of the leading causes of death is taking medication in the exact dose as prescribed by doctors. This means that even if there’s NO abuse of medication and you follow your doctor’s guidelines, there’s still a risk. Very few people may know that nearly almost 2 million people are hospitalized each year due to medication being taken AS PRESCRIBED! Another 870,000 patients are hospitalized due to adverse reactions from drugs. This adds up to around 2.7 million hospital visits per year! That’s not even counting the cases where doctors misprescribed medication or when overdoses caused hospital visits.
The Shocking Statistics of Medication Use
A recent analysis showed that around 128,000 people die in America each year due to taking medication as prescribed. Please let this sink in. Maybe it’s time we start talking about these startling facts. Unfortunately, the medical system doesn’t believe in addressing anything related to toxins, heavy metals, pathogens, and nutrient deficiencies, which are usually major contributing factors to disease. Sometimes doctors will recommend antibiotics for certain infections, but unfortunately, this significantly weakens the immune system, which is our front line of defense.
Our beneficial bacteria are like protective pacmen that guard the body against many toxins. When these beneficial bacteria species are destroyed (because antibiotics kill all bacteria usually), viruses, fungi, parasites, and other toxins spread and multiply. Beneficial bacteria even help engulf plastics and heavy metals that we absorb on a daily basis, that’s how important these dedicated helpers are.
For years, people have been working with their doctors and health specialists to address a variety of symptoms that normally arise with aging. Perhaps it’s a specific disease or condition that requires medical attention. It’s a sad part of life that the real causes of disease and ideal ways of treating them are rarely shared with people. The standard medical protocols for most diseases aren’t always very successful long term, which is shocking considering the amount of money that’s spent in research and development. This lack of success is one of the reasons why many experts consider modern medicine to be a miserable failure for the most part.
Having said that, certain branches of modern medicine are amazing, such as emergency trauma surgery. This is one aspect of the medical system that deserves respect for all the great work that is done and lives are saved. Unfortunately, other branches of mainstream medicine have underachieved because of the manner in which disease is worked with. This failure of mainstream medicine to work in a safe, effective long term manner has caused millions of frustrated people to seek other options. While there may be certain medical options for what ails you, it’s important to be open-minded to other solutions that may have potential as well.
Separating Snake Oil From Valuable Medicine
New trends and miracle products are constantly popping up on infomercials, radio stations, magazines, stores, and other places. It is very difficult to differentiate the snake oil treatments and supplements from those that have real benefits with good research. What’s important is to understand that healthy skepticism is good, although that skepticism can quickly turn into closed-mindedness. There are many proven, scientifically validated products that deserve attention. The key to differentiating what has value and what doesn’t is to look into the science and research behind it. Unfortunately, many scientific studies are manipulated because of agendas other than conducting unbiased research. It takes consistency and a broad spectrum of research to really get to know the properties of a substance
Recently, there’s been an explosion of supplements that use an ingredient called cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is a natural plant-based compound that originates from the cannabis Sativa plant. Different types of extracts are being sold online, in health food stores, gas stations, and even certain national chains. There are even CBD based products for pets! Tinctures, gummies, soft gels, powders, and topically applied products are some of the most commonly sold CBD products. While CBD is certainly a very trendy product at the moment, which may raise skepticism within many people, it’s important that we take an unbiased look at the actual research and give it a fair chance.
In the last 20 years or so, quite a bit of research has been conducted on the medicinal attributes of CBD. This research has dramatically accelerated in the past 5 years since becoming legal to consume. Over 15 million dollars has been granted by certain organizations to research CBD in greater depth, which speaks volumes to its potential. Research shows compelling evidence that this herbal supplement may be able to help with a variety of symptoms and health issues that are common in seniors. The actions of this specific cannabinoid seem to be multifaceted and adaptable within the body. More importantly, the side effects and potential downsides are very low, as opposed to medications that are often given out like candy on Halloween.
It’s unfortunate that many people pass on CBD because of its association with marijuana. What many people may not realize is that absolutely no psychoactivity or “high” can occur with CBD. This is why it is legal and allowed to be sold as a supplement. As long as the level of THC is under 0.3% and it is derived from hemp, it is legally allowed to be sold. At less than 1/3rd of 1%, THC doesn’t affect the central nervous system in any type of way that can cause inebriation. It’s a shame not to take advantage of any of the benefits of CBD because of this stigma attached to it. CBD helps to support a very important part of our body called the endocannabinoid system. It also influences many receptors outside of this system that stimulates therapeutic, healing actions. The human body is so complex that scientists have only recently discovered the endocannabinoid system.
This fascinating system can be described as a complex network of cellular receptors within the skin, immune cells, blood vessels, heart, kidneys, muscles, pancreas, bones, fat tissues, GI tract, liver, and brain that play pivotal roles in a variety of metabolic processes. Whether it’s memory and cognition, digestion, overall metabolism, mood stability, pain and inflammation, sleep, immune function, reproductive function, hormonal output, or our stress response, the endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating these important tasks. Endocannabinoids are some of the most versatile and impactful molecules within the human body. This is why studies are piling up from around the world that clearly show the legitimacy of CBD.
When everything is running smoothly in the body, it naturally produces a certain level of endocannabinoids. Sometimes certain heavy metals, toxins, genetic tendencies, and degeneration can negatively impact the endocannabinoid’s ability to perform optimally. Although aging plays a role in all cells and systems of the body, the malfunctioning of the endocannabinoid system has been seen in people of all ages. This is where phytocannabinoids like CBD can make a big difference. Supplementing with CBD can help to engage and activate the endocannabinoid system if it’s not performing optimally for any reason. Even if good health is present, CBD may offer some important benefits, particularly to the aging brain.
Protection for the Aging Brain
Neurodegenerative disorders are one of the main concerns of people that are over the age of 50. The importance of preserving brain functioning and cognition cannot be overstated. Dementia based conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and others strike fear in millions of aging people around the world because of their ability to steal one’s quality of life. It doesn’t have to be an inevitability that these conditions will automatically occur with old age. Prevention is always worth its weight in gold, but even if progressive degeneration has begun to take place, there are steps that can be taken that may help in slowing down the degenerative process. By the time symptoms are felt, some amount of damage has already been done, but it should never be looked at as being too late to improve. It's always possible to see improvement.
Supplements like liposomal curcumin, taurine, creatine, carnosine, CBD, L-serine, holy basil, gotu kola (tulsi), choline, pregnenolone, magnesium threonate, and others can go a very long way to help protect against and improve different aspects of neurodegeneration. All of these nutrients are valuable assets to the brain and won’t be told to you by your doctor. Good research has been done that unfortunately isn’t utilized in mainstream medicine. It is up to each person to be proactive about their health and not rely on the medical system. It is somewhat of a crime that so many seniors are suffering from these debilitating conditions and no medical professional shares any information on any valuable natural supplements.
CBD is an ideal supplement for anyone over the age of 40 that wants to preserve and protect cognitive functioning. While taking CBD will not guarantee protection from neurodegenerative disease, there is very good research for helping to preserve brain cells and combating the progression of different forms of neurodegeneration. Other nutrients are needed though, such as the ones listed above. Over the years, we start to form serious deficiencies of nutrients that are endogenous to our bodies. These nutrients must be replenished for good progress to occur. If they are not replenished, a supplement like CBD may still be helpful, but it will be limited in its effectiveness because the brain and body are literally starving for certain nutrients.
There are several clinical trials underway that should paint a very clear picture of how well CBD works for chronic pain. The natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of CBD may help to regulate pain with fewer side effects than prescription pain medication. CBD appears to work through glycine, TRPV1, CB1, and other receptors. Always talk to your doctor before starting CBD if you’re on medication.
Pain is one of the most common concerns of people in general, especially for people over 50. The body doesn’t regenerate and heal like it once did, so dealing with pain from arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic inflammation, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, back pain, injuries, and others becomes a part of everyday living. CBD, as well as other natural supplements, may be able to lend a helping hand to make life with pain a little easier. Feel free to check out the article “Top 10 Ways To Maximize CBD Use For Pain”. Here we list different safe, natural tips that may be of assistance if you suffer from chronic pain.
Last year, a scientific study was published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine that outlined the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids. In particular, scientists found a clear effect that CBD had on pain relief through multiple mechanisms. Many different types of pain that have been tested responded positively to CBD, although some of the research has only been done on animals.
Reduction of Anxiety & Increased Peace
Anxiety is perhaps the most ubiquitous of all the emotions we experience in this stressful, high paced, modern world. Some forms of anxiety are just normal reactions to situations that inevitably occur in this world. For others though, anxiety can escalate into something unnatural and cause our natural levels of joy and peace to be stolen from us like a thief in the night. Perpetual bouts of worry, stress, and anxiety can sometimes form triggers that we accumulate throughout our lives and become hardwired into our consciousness. Over time, these triggers of the past can mold our own personal level of resistance or susceptibility to anxiety.
Our stress response can sometimes override one’s conscious intent to react with calmness and inner peace. Neurotransmitter levels, gut health, heavy metals, pathogens, nutrient deficiencies, and toxins can all play a role in the inability to stay calm and maintain low levels of anxiety. As we age, sometimes the body becomes more susceptible to anxiety because of our cells taking on more toxins that lower the levels of neurotransmitters. Heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead, and thallium have been linked to high anxiety levels.
Pathogens and nasty microscopic critters such as candida can cause a feeling of unease, anxiety, fear, and unsteady nerves. While phobias and general anxiety often goes undiagnosed, scientists have proven that the endocannabinoid system may act as a balancer for certain forms of anxiety. Perhaps it isn’t surprising that further studies found evidence of CBD positively impacting anxiety levels. While it’s impossible to eradicate all anxiety, CBD may help it feel a little less overwhelming. Minerals like Optizinc and magnesium glycinate, and a low dose of
The Value of a Good Night's Sleep
The Depression Alliance reports that more than 16 million people in the United States have experienced depressive episodes in the last year. Studies actually show that women are twice as likely as men to battle major depression, although one study refuted this when they adjusted the symptoms of depression. The statistics of depressive episodes have shown an increase in aging women. While the exact causes can’t be pinpointed, some evidence points to hormonal decline or imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances, poor gut health, and the accumulation of heavy metals, pathogens, and toxins being major causes. Other factors that can play a role in sudden depression are major life events such as divorce, moving, being in a situation that isn't fulfilling, or the death of a loved one. While our natural emotional balance can fall off-kilter because of external situations, our internal system is meant to keep a situation from causing chronic emotional turmoil.
Not only is depression rising in youth and young adults, it’s also rising for the general population according to recent research. It’s important to speak up if you’re experiencing depression, restlessness, guilt, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, stress, and other symptoms. Seniors will sometimes ignore mental and emotional turmoil because it wasn’t commonplace to discuss things of this nature in the past. CBD may be able to provide some assistance because of its interaction with serotonin and GABA receptors in our brains. Serotonin and GABA are two neurotransmitters that play a pivotal role in emotional wellness, peace of mind, and balance. Other supplements and diet changes will likely be needed to achieve ideal emotional wellness, but CBD may be a useful tool that contributes to greater inner peace and balance.
Talk with Your Doctor
Although most supplements are extremely safe for consumption, if you’re on any medication you may want to talk to your doctor before taking CBD. If your doctor is against it, please keep in mind that many doctors don’t study the science of natural supplements and may not realize what it may do for you. Many doctors are somewhat jaded towards supplements and don’t always acknowledge or even know about the potential benefits of them. Not all doctors are so closed-minded, but it’s important to do what’s best for you as long as it’s safe. If your liver isn't functioning at a healthy level, your body may not be able to metabolize the cannabinoids along with your other medications. It might be a good idea to take supplements like tudca, milk thistle, picrorhiza kurroa, TMG, curcumin, schisandra, and others that can help improve liver health.
Some patients feel uncomfortable talking to their doctors about using supplements, but please do your research and bring it up if you’re on any medication. It’s important to find your proper dose range with CBD and other natural supplements you may take for your specific symptoms. It’s always a good idea to begin a new supplement like CBD with a small test dose and monitor the results for a couple of days before increasing it. Fortunately, CBD is a supplement that is relatively gentle, so side effects are rare at low doses.
The healing benefits of a good night’s rest don’t have to be quantified with science, the feeling is palpable and obvious. Unfortunately, good quality sleep tends to become more elusive with age, which contributes to poor healing, lowered immune function, hormone imbalances, inconsistent mood, and shoddy focus. Sleep disorders are very common with the level of stress we experience on a daily basis. Statistics show that around 70 million Americans have some form of a sleep disorder, with numbers only increasing.
A 2015 study compared cannabinoids to placebo and found moderate evidence for improved sleep quality. Some people have found CBD helpful for sleep problems that are caused by pain or anxiety. It’s important to know that CBD isn’t a total solution for poor quality sleep, but rather a piece of the puzzle. Other nutrients such as low dose melatonin, bioactive milk peptides, hops extract, passionflower, l-theanine, and honokiol may blend very well with CBD for improving overall sleep quality.