⚕️ » The Ultimate 2021 Guide for Seniors Using CBD For the First Time *New? Start here!

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Right now, 14 percent of American adults use cannabidiol (CBD). Only 8 percent of adults over the age of 65 are currently using CBD. According to the same poll, 49 percent of adults over the age of 65 are unfamiliar with CBD oil and other CBD products.

This is a potential issue because seniors are the population group that can benefit the most from using a CBD salve or capsule. An estimated 65 percent of seniors suffer from pain. Up to 30 percent of seniors suffer from chronic pain. Since CBD can alleviate the symptoms of pain, it is important for seniors to learn more about CBD as an alternative to addictive painkillers.

Why Do People Use CBD?

People use CBD tinctures, topical products, edibles and capsules for a range of different reasons. Right now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still working to determine the effectiveness of different CBD products. There is one FDA-approved drug available that is designed for treating two rare forms of epilepsy. Other than this, the FDA is still researching how effective CBD is at treating other ailments.

CBD users take CBD for a range of benefits. According to Gallup, 40 percent of people take CBD for pain. While 20 percent of people use CBD for anxiety, another 11 percent take CBD for insomnia. An estimated 8 percent of users take CBD for arthritis because of its ability to reduce pain and inflammation.

Pain, anxiety, insomnia and arthritis are the top four reasons why people say they take CBD. The following are some of the less common reasons why people use CBD.

  • Migraines and headaches.
  • Muscle spasms and soreness.
  • Stress.
  • Depression.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems.
  • Skin care.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.

How Does CBD Work?

In 2018, CBD sales were at just half a billion dollars. By 2019, sales had jumped up to $1.8 billion. In 2025, the market is projected to hit $23 billion in the United States.

The main reason this market is growing is because of CBD’s medical and therapeutic purposes as well as its general lack of side effects. Unlike prescription painkillers, CBD is generally considered to be safe and not addictive. Because of the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, it is now legal to buy hemp-derived CBD.

Whether you are using a CBD cream or a CBD tincture, your product is made from the same compound. CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids known to exist within the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of the cannabinoids in cannabis, and it is the compound responsible for getting you high. CBD is completely different and can not make you high. Instead, it can work to treat ailments like muscle soreness and insomnia.

You can rub a CBD balm onto painful joints or use a CBD tincture under your tongue. It is also possible to buy other CBD-based products like CBD honey and CBD pills. The right administration method depends on what you want your CBD to do. If you have aching muscles or joint pain from arthritis, CBD topicals might be the best option. For anxiety sufferers, edible products like CBD oil or gummies are the best option.

How Much CBD Do I Take the First Time?

The dosing CBD patients need depends on their illness and how fast they want to achieve results. For conditions like anxiety, it may take several weeks for CBD to produce a noticeable result. Because of this, it is important to be cautious about increasing your dosage until you know whether the amount is working or not.

People have used cannabis for thousands of years. Unfortunately, hemp production was only legalized on a federal level in the last couple of years. Because of this, researchers are still working to determine all of CBD’s effects. Until more clinical trials are done, the dosing CBD patients need for different conditions remains unknown.

At the moment, people base their dosage on anecdotal reports from other users. As a general rule, you can start out with the lowest dose possible and increase it gradually until you find the right amount. Your body chemistry and weight can determine how much you need.

In addition, the form of CBD can determine how much you need. While CBD gummies contain a dose of 5 milligrams in each gummy, a CBD tincture generally has a milligram in each drop. The following products are some of the different forms of CBD that you can buy.

  • CBD pills and capsules.
  • Vaping products.
  • CBD tinctures and oils.
  • Edibles.
  • CBD topicals like salves, creams and lotions.

In general, edibles and pills can take longer to produce an effect than a tincture or spray. While vaping or smoking CBD may give you faster results, the respiratory effects are perhaps not worth it. Researchers still need to learn more about CBD to know how vaping or smoking it might affect the body, but it is safe to say that smoking or vaping any product can lead to negative effects.

The amount you take can also depend on what condition you have. If you suffer from arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation recommends starting with a sublingual dose of CBD twice a day. You can start with just a couple of milligrams at a time. If you do not see enough results after the first week, you can try increasing your dose.

Also, keep in mind that it may take hours before specific products take effect. For example, edibles can take up to a couple of hours to take effect because they are absorbed through your digestive tract. If you take CBD sublingually, it might get absorbed faster because it absorbs directly into your bloodstream. A CBD salve or a similar topical product might take about 45 to 60 minutes to take effect. While vape products take just 15 to 30 minutes to take effect, CBD tinctures can take effect about 15 to 45 minutes after you spray them under your tongue.

How to Find a Safe Supplier

Hemp products were only legalized recently, which means that the market is still undergoing some growing pains. Right now, there are very few regulations regarding CBD production or distribution. Unfortunately, some fly-by-night suppliers have already been caught selling products that do not contain as much CBD as they advertise on the label. Some CBD products do not contain any CBD at all, or they have been found to contain harmful contaminants. For you to achieve the medical benefits you need, you have to find a safe, reputable supplier.

You can start by searching for companies that have been in the business for a long time. Read through customer testimonials and reviews to see if other clients liked buying from the business. In addition, you want to find a company that uses a third-party laboratory to test their products. If the company is a reputable one, it could include the lab report on its website for customers to review.

Is CBD Safe?

While scientists still need to learn more about different side effects, they already know that CBD cream and other products are safe to use. Since one CBD-based medication has already been approved by the FDA, doctors have a generally good idea about the risks involved in taking CBD. Other than relatively rare reports of minor issues like fatigue, weight gain, insomnia and weight loss, there are very few reports of severe side effects. In addition, scientists have not found any potential for abuse or addiction.

Even when CBD is used in high amounts, researchers have still found it to be safe. In some studies, researchers gave participants up to 1,500 milligrams of CBD in a single day. Even at this extremely high level, CBD did not produce euphoria or any major problems. This is remarkably different from traditional alternatives to CBD like prescription painkillers. Opioids are known to be addictive and deadly, which is one of the reasons why so many seniors are turning to CBD instead.

CBD and Drug Interactions

While healthy adults can often start with 5 milligrams of CBD per day, elderly patients and people on other medications are recommended to start with lower doses such as 2.5 milligrams a day until they know how the drug affects their body. It is also important to talk to your doctor before you take CBD.

Although CBD is generally considered safe, researchers know that it can affect the way drugs are metabolized by the body. This means it can increase or decrease the effectiveness of drugs like mood medications, anticancer medications, antihistamines, cholesterol medications and blood thinners. A general rule of thumb is to read your medication and look for a grapefruit warning. If the label warns you not to consume grapefruit while you take the medication, then you might want to avoid using CBD.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

Currently, scientists think that CBD may work with other cannabinoids through an entourage effect. This means that the effects of CBD may be heightened by the presence of cannabinoids like THC. Because of this, many companies offer full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD.

A full-spectrum CBD contains an array of cannabinoids and terpenes. Because it has a full spectrum of compounds, it contains some THC. While a full-spectrum CBD does not have enough THC to make you high, it might be enough to make you fail a drug test. Meanwhile, a broad-spectrum CBD is processed to remove any trace amounts of THC. If you want pure CBD, a CBD isolate is processed to remove any non-CBD cannabinoids or terpenes.

If you want to get the entourage effect from your CBD balm, you need to buy a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD. Right now, researchers believe that CBD and THC work together to achieve different effects. By using a full-spectrum product, you may be able to heighten your results.

The Advantages of Using CBD for Seniors

For a long time, many seniors were worried about taking CBD because of the stereotypes about marijuana users. Thankfully, the legalization of CBD has helped seniors discover the ways CBD can improve their quality of life. Whether you have CBD honey in your tea or use a CBD oil under your tongue, there are many different administration methods available.

One of the biggest advantages of using CBD is pain relief. Clinical studies have shown that CBD is effective at reducing nerve and arthritis pain. In addition, CBD is significantly safer and less addictive than prescription drugs.

CBD is also known to have soothing effects, which can reduce anxiety and stress levels. Some studies also show that CBD can help increase bone strength. This is a useful quality for seniors since elderly individuals are more susceptible to developing a bone fracture. Cannabis and CBD are also beneficial for people who have multiple sclerosis.

Other studies show that CBD is useful at treating glaucoma, which is a kind of neurodegenerative disease. It normally affects your sight by increasing the pressure in your eye. Studies show that cannabinoids can reduce this pressure by up to 25 percent. CBD is also useful at reducing the pain that accompanies this pressure.

While older adults have a lower chance to enjoy a good night’s rest, they still need just as much sleep as younger adults. The brain needs sleep to regenerate and heal. By improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia, CBD can improve your overall health.

Is CBD the Right Choice for Me?

CBD has many health benefits and can help with a number of different conditions. The decision to take CBD or not depends entirely on your unique situation. If you have a condition that CBD can treat, you may want to try it and see if it helps.

Before you take any supplement or medication, always talk to your doctor first. Your doctor can help you figure out the right dosage. In addition, your doctor can help you find out if any of your current medications could have a negative interaction with CBD.

Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A

Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A is a clinician-scientist and ophthalmic surgeon. Before attending Chicago Medical School, he worked as a Research Scientist in a Healthspan Pharmacology Laboratory at University of California, Irvine focused on investigating the impact of botanical extracts and dietary supplements that can slow the aging process and add healthy years to human life. He has served as a clinical/scientific consultant to multiple stage companies focused on developing interventions for age-related diseases.

Dr. Igor started to learn about CBD through his research as well as from patient experiences and has since become an advocate for their efficacy. He teamed up with long-time activist Richard Cowan to co-create CBD Seniors in 2020.

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Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A

Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A is a clinician-scientist and ophthalmic surgeon. Before attending Chicago Medical School, he worked as a Research Scientist in a Healthspan Pharmacology Laboratory at University of California, Irvine focused on investigating the impact of botanical extracts and...