Legal Pain Relief: CBD Oil for Seniors
A creaky hip here, a sore knee there — pain and aging seem to go hand-in-hand. After all, seniors are more likely to have degenerative or overuse conditions that cause pain, such as osteoarthritis and tendonitis. While there are many treatment options, some patients are turning to a popular alternative therapy for pain relief: CBD oil.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant (hemp and marijuana). It is one of dozens of compounds found in the plant, the most common being THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which produces the “high” associated with marijuana use. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a euphoric effect because it does not trigger the same receptors as THC.
CBD has been legal under federal law since 2018, as long as it contains no more than trace amounts of THC and as long as it’s derived from hemp. It is also legal in South Carolina following these same guidelines. That said, no CBD products have been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pain relief, nor can they be marketed this way. But research and anecdotal evidence are promising.
Investigation of CBD’s efficacy is still ongoing, but some studies have shown it can be effective at relieving pain caused by arthritis, migraine, cancer, and other chronic conditions. For example, one study in rats found it effective in reducing joint inflammation caused by arthritis, and another found cannabinoids useful in lessening neuropathic pain.
CBD is available in many different forms, including ingestible pills, infused candies or mints, and drops ingested under the tongue. For some in search of pain relief, CBD-infused creams or lotions are the way to go. When choosing a product, consider the following:
Where the hemp was grown. Most commercial hemp in the U.S. is grown in Colorado, which is known to have strong oversight. Avoid products originating from outside the United States, as regulation and quality control can be lax.
Type of CBD. There are three types of CBD products: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum products contain all the naturally-occurring compounds within cannabis, including up to 0.3 percent THC. Broad-spectrum products contain these compounds minus the THC. Pure CBD products, known as CBD isolate, contain no other compounds other than the CBD itself.
Amount of CBD. All products should list the amount of CBD compounds they contain, usually expressed in milligrams. Strength varies widely from product to product. It’s best to start with small doses and work your way up. Reputable dealers should be able to guide you toward the right and dosage. If they can’t answer questions to your satisfaction, buy elsewhere.
CBD oil is not without its drawbacks. Although it’s nonaddictive and generally well-tolerated, it can cause side effects. It can also interfere with some medications, so it’s always best to check with your doctor before adding it to your health repertoire. Another concern is its purity and authenticity, as many products have been shown to be less pure or potent as claimed.
Find Pain Relief with CBD Oil
Before exploring the world of CBD oil for pain relief, talk to your doctor. Each body is different, and thus reacts differently to CBD compounds. Cumberland Village takes the health and comfort of its residents seriously, and understands there are many options for seniors seeking new forms of pain relief.