CBD for Seniors: How to Navigate Your Way
A majority of seniors don't use CBD (yet). Here's what you need to know.
One in seven Americans say they use CBD (cannabidiol) products, according to a Gallup Poll. While the majority of CBD consumers are under the age of 64, seniors are also starting to discover CBD—albeit slowly. Nearly half of the seniors polled (49 percent) were not even aware of CBD's existence. As a result, many seniors find the whole topic of CBD confusing.
Below are some tips to help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of CBD. Although CBD is generally considered a safe, natural product with little risk of side effects, CBD use is not recommended for everyone. If you have a medical condition or take medication, it's important to discuss your interest in CBD with your doctor before ordering.
CBD and ECS
Recent studies have found that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in all of our bodies does not just respond to the endocannabinoids produced in the body, but also respond to external cannabinoids like CBD.
What does the endocannabinoid system do?
Regulates sleep cycle
Your ability to fall asleep and sleep peacefully throughout the night is regulated by your circadian rhythms. Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates your circadian rhythms.
Related: The Link Between CBD and Sleep
Regulates metabolism and appetite
The activation of key ECS receptors has a direct impact on how hungry you feel, how your body processes nutrients, and how efficiently the foods you eat are converted to energy.
Regulates moods and emotions
By regulating the release of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and more, your ECS plays a vital role in regulating fear, anxiety, depression, stress, and how you respond to their impact, according to research in the Journal of Young Investigators.
Immune system function
Research shows that the cells of your immune system contain a large number of endocannabinoid receptors believed to be instrumental in balancing inflammatory responses and preventing immune system overactivity.
Functions of memory and learning
The areas of your brain crucial to memory and learning have a high concentration of endocannabinoid receptors. Researchers believe the abundance of ECS receptors suggests your endocannabinoid system directly influences your ability to adapt to and retrieve information.
How much CBD should you take?
Determining how much CBD you should take depends on several variables, including product type, CBD concentration, and how your body responds to CBD.
Everyone is different. A serving size that works for you might be too little or too much for someone else. To help determine your unique needs, consider the value of the following suggestion:
Look for pre-measured products
Many seniors trying CBD for the first time appreciate the option of a pre-measured product, the convenience of CBD capsules, soft gels, or gummies. Most pre-measured CBD products contain an amount of CBD that works well for most people.
First time CBD users should start with a small serving size. This can be anywhere between 2 to 30 mg. The choice is yours. If you don't get the results you anticipated, increase by a small amount of CBD at your next serving.
Increase over time
It can take several days or several weeks for your body to start responding to CBD. That's why it's commonly recommended to increase your serving size slowly. Some seniors prefer increasing in small increments each serving; others choose to wait several days or a week to give their bodies time to adapt.
Test a variety of products
Although descriptions and reviews can tell you a lot about a product; you may not know what type of CBD works best for you until you try it. Many seniors find they prefer using different types of products depending on their needs. Some days you may find a topical preferable to a tincture; other days, you may find it better to use a combination of products.
Separating the good stuff from the snake oil
Before making your first purchase, it's essential to know how to differentiate between quality CBD products, and the poor quality or gimmicky products unlikely to give you the results you were hoping for. You can protect yourself from a disappointing purchase by remembering that genuine and gimmick products will have all or most of the following:
Genuine CBD product checklist
Quality CBD products specify the amount of CBD they contain in milligrams (mg). You should also be able to tell which part of the plant the oil was extracted from by looking on the manufacturer's website or reading the product label. Genuine CBD is extracted from the stalks stems and flowers (aerial parts) of hemp plants. Reputable manufacturers will also provide access to their third-party test results and display certification by the US Hemp Roundtable, US Hemp Authority, National Hemp Association, or similar organizations.
Non-genuine CBD checklist
Gimmicky products or products of questionable quality are often described in vague terms. Vendors use generic phrases like "high potency" or "extra strength" without specifying the CBD content. You may also find companies misrepresenting their products by marketing hemp seed oil as having similar value to CBD. That's why it's important to know that hemp seeds do not contain CBD. You may also find exaggerated health claims, no access to third-party tests, or gimmicky products like toothpicks or candles, products unlikely to provide any effect.