The deregulation of hemp as a controlled substance, the growing legalization of recreational marijuana and the widening acceptance of CBD (cannabidiol) may have older adults wondering if there really is anything to all the hype about the health benefits of the many new products hitting the market. There actually may be something to it, and an extensive study out of Dalhousie University in Halifax explains why.
As we know, the senior population worldwide is rapidly growing and although many older adults are living longer, healthier lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of older adults suffer from arthritis. Most commonly, seniors feel the joint pain, swelling and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis when the cartilage starts to break down and cause changes to the bone.
The drugs, usually NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen, used to treat OA pain can have serious side effects including gastrointestinal bleeding and an increased risk for heart attack or stroke. For some people, with heart disease, stomach ulcers or a history of kidney disease, these drugs are prohibited.
It’s not surprising then to learn that millions of adults over the age of 65 have decided to give CBD products a try. CBD is the non-psychoactive element of hemp and cannabis that has been found to help reduce inflammation, a common cause of OA pain, and may even help protect against age-related bone loss, according to a recent study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Although opioid drugs are not the first choice in treating chronic OA pain, they are sometimes prescribed when other treatments fail. But opioids can have serious risks for older adults including mental confusion, sleepiness, shallow breathing and heart problems. Finding a non-addictive preventative treatment for the pain of OA could help millions of older adults live more active, pain-free lives. Learn more about cannabinoid pain relief by following this link to a recent Dal News report featuring the pain specialists and scientists at Dalhousie Medical School.