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Senior years are often seen as the golden years because as people age, they become wiser and hold dear memories and profound life experiences. However, advanced age means exposure to numerous health issues, so most older adults are perpetually on medication.
But thanks to CBD’s health benefits, senior citizens can enjoy a decent lifestyle without enduring undesirable side effects. Even better, there’s a variety of quality CBD products from reputable vendors like best CBD gummies from CBDfx available for sale online.
Are you wondering how CBD oil helps facilitate a comfortable old age? Find out below.
Improves Bone Health
The muscle-skeletal system is among the body systems most adversely affected by age. Statistics show that 16% of adults aged 65 to 75 and 25% of senior citizens over 80 years old have osteoporosis.
Radical changes in the skeletal structure, including spinal cord shrinkage, stiff joints, and drastic changes in bone remodeling, are responsible for the above statistics. Bone remodeling is a cyclical process involving specialized cells that degenerate and deposit bone cells in succession, creating thicker, stronger bones.
While bone remodeling occurs throughout one’s life and facilitates bone repair and retrieval of minerals like calcium and phosphorus, the cycle shifts with age; once you hit peak bone mass (early-mid thirties), the specialized cells that degenerate bone matter work faster than those that deposit new bones, causing the formation of weak bones. Consequently, senior citizens are prone to fractures from simple accidents and are more susceptible to degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis.
However, research reveals CBD’s efficacy as a potential treatment for osteoporosis and other age-related bone diseases. According to the study, CBD’s effect on CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors slow down bone degradation or resorption, helping Cannabinoid Receptors as Target for Treatment of Osteoporosis: A Tale of Two Therapies prevent and slow down bone degenerative disease advancement. CBD may also partially help reverse bone damage resulting from such diseases.
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Age is also a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases as statistics show that one in ten people over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease. Neurodegenerative diseases attack the central nervous system and the brain, causing various cognitive functions and mobility loss. Besides the loss of function, neurodegenerative diseases also feature chronic pain as a symptom.
CBD’s neuroprotective effect can help delay neurodegenerative disease onset, slow disease progression, and restore particular functions. Neurodegenerative diseases affect the central nervous system’s specialized cells called neurons. Neuroprotection, therefore, entails protecting neural cells from structural damage, restoring damaged neurons, and generating new cells to replace dead ones.
Oxidative stress, hyper inflammation, and a lack of equilibrium (homeostasis) in the body are the primary culprits that cause neural damage. However, one study on CBD’s efficacy in neuroprotection showed that the compound’s antioxidation and anti-inflammatory properties double as neuroprotective activity.
CBD also binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to modulate various functions and achieve therapeutic effects. The ECS modulates many physiological and psychological functions, and a lack of balance in its functionality increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. However, CBD’s modulatory effect on the ECS helps restore homeostasis, reducing the risk of such diseases or slowing their progression.
Besides advanced age, the other common characteristic the diseases highlighted above share is chronic pain. As sad as it sounds, chronic pain is a way of life for most senior citizens due to the debilitating health conditions they suffer.
While synthetic opioids are the standard treatment for managing chronic pain, they have undesirable side effects and lead to dependency. However, CBD is a potent analgesic with no psychoactive effect that can trigger dependency.
CBD exploits various channels to deliver chronic pain relief. It inhibits the activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that hydrolyses the endocannabinoid anandamide. Anandamide binds to CB1 receptors located along peripheral nerves and blocks them from transmitting pain signals to the central nervous system. Therefore, CBD’s action causes a spike in anandamide levels, barring pain signals.
It also binds to CB1 receptors causing a spike in serotonin levels. Serotonin is the hormone responsible for moods and helps offset negative emotions like anxiety, which increases pain sensitivity. Therefore, CBD tackles chronic pain from a physical and a psychological angle, causing total relief.
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Insomnia is yet another health issue that preys on the elderly as statistics show that 30%-48% of senior citizens experience insomnia symptoms. Some reasons for late-life insomnia include geriatric health conditions, including the ones listed above, reduced productivity and mobility, limited social interaction, and menopause symptoms in women. Changes in the body’s circadian rhythm and reduced sensitivity to sleep-wake signals also contribute to the condition.
The endocannabinoid system modulates sleep, and according to a study, CBD modulates various aspects of sleep. Therefore, the older population can benefit sleep-wise by including CBD oil in their nighttime routine.
Older adults tend to lose appetite due to lower energy requirements, difficulty chewing and swallowing food, depression, among other issues. Such appetite loss is terrible because they need a balanced diet to avert malnutrition, unnecessary weight loss, and lead healthier lives.
Unlike its sister cannabinoid (THC), which promotes the “munchies,” CBD induces an appetite for healthy food. It does so by soothing the digestive tract, inducing full-body relaxation, and activating the motivation-reward cycle.
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CBD oil is an exceptional natural remedy with idyllic therapeutic benefits for tackling seniors’ health issues.