Following what was hopefully an active weekend gathering safely with family, gardening, or getting in some steps on the golf course or tennis court, adults of a certain age may be feeling some aches as pains this Monday morning. As an alternative to ibuprofen and other pain medications, older adults may be considering the potential benefits of CBD oil.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract of hemp that does not contain THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. CBD can be ingested by mixing it with other drinks, placing a few drops under the tongue, or through a CBD gummy candy. Lotions and topical oils infused with CBD can also be applied to sore muscles and joints.
According to a recent Harvard Medical School Health Blog, CBD may be helpful in treating anxiety and insomnia and studies have found that CBD applied to the skin may help treat chronic pain by reducing inflammation and inhibiting neuropathic pain. It’s important to talk with your doctor before taking CBD; it can interact with certain drugs like blood thinners, pain medication, and antidepressants. The dosage will depend on individual body chemistry and BMI (body mass index); it is best to start off with a small dose and slowly increase it over time.
In addition to potentially reducing pain, anxiety, or improving sleep, CBD may also help with depression and provide some protection from age-related cognitive decline. In recent animal studies, CBD was found to improve neurodegeneration associated with conditions including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, CBD and hemp oil production and distribution are not universally regulated in North America which can lead to variability in THC levels in products. Individuals planning to try CBD oil should do so under the care of a doctor and look for the highest-quality product extracted by carbon dioxide, with no solvents, certified as organic, and tested for pesticides and herbicides. Learn more about choosing a cannabidiol or hemp oil product here.