Arthritis can be a debilitating condition for seniors, causing significant pain and discomfort. While there are many ways to manage pain stemming from arthritis, traditional treatments may be accompanied by undesirable side effects. This can make it more difficult for the elderly to successfully manage their arthritis with ease. However, a potential alternative treatment option has gained attention in recent years: CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis sativa plant and is one of the many cannabinoids besides THC believed to offer therapeutic benefits. It’s currently used by those in the health and wellness space to address a range of conditions, including chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, and depression.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at CBD, what it may have to offer seniors struggling with arthritis pain, and how you or a loved one can begin incorporating CBD into your daily wellness regimen.
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What Is CBD And How Does It Work?
CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis sativa plant known as a cannabinoid. CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which maintains homeostasis and regulates various functions including pain, inflammation, sleep, and mood.
When introduced into the body, CBD binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. It’s believed that this interaction can then help users regulate pain and inflammation, thereby alleviating arthritis symptoms.
Available in various forms, such as oils, capsules, edibles, and topicals, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before using CBD, as it may interact with certain medications and cause side effects. Even so, it’s typically regarded as safe for elderly people with arthritis and can be a useful supplement to their treatment strategy.
What Is Arthritis In Seniors?
Arthritis, a common condition affecting millions of seniors annually, refers to joint inflammation and pain ranging from mild to severe. As one of the leading causes of disability in seniors, arthritis can significantly limit mobility and cause considerable pain.
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most prevalent type, is a degenerative joint disease where protective cartilage covering bone ends deteriorates, leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. Other forms include rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder, and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), linked to psoriasis.
Arthritis can severely affect a senior's quality of life, restricting their ability to perform daily activities. While traditional treatments like medications and physical therapy can help, many seniors seek alternatives. CBD, a natural compound in the cannabis plant, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, and is being researched as a potential treatment for arthritis in seniors.
Types Of Arthritis
Arthritis is an umbrella term for a wide variety of conditions that affect the joints. It is a common condition in seniors, with more than 50 million adults in the United States living with some form of arthritis. The most common types of arthritis in seniors are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in seniors. It is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. This causes the bones to rub against each other, leading to inflammation, pain, and stiffness. It’s often caused by wear and tear on the joints due to age, obesity, genetics, or trauma.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own joint tissue. This leads to inflammation and pain in the joints, as well as fatigue and fever. It’s most common in people aged 40 or older, and is more common in women than men.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that is associated with psoriasis, an autoimmune skin condition. It’s characterized by inflammation, joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness in the fingers, toes, and spine. It’s most common in people aged 30 to 50.
No matter the type of arthritis, it can be a painful and debilitating condition for seniors. Fortunately, there are many treatments available to help manage the symptoms.
Benefits Of Using CBD For Arthritis In Seniors
Besides limiting a senior's ability to carry out daily tasks, arthritis can cause joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, edema, weariness, and depression. While traditional treatments like medications and physical therapy can help, many seniors seek alternatives. CBD has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, and is being researched and considered as a potential treatment for arthritis in seniors.
Chronic Pain Suppressant
Arthritis, a chronic condition causing severe pain in seniors, may find relief through CBD. Research indicates that CBD acts as a potent pain suppressant, reducing inflammation and providing respite for arthritis patients.
It interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain, inflammation, and other functions. CBD binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors found throughout the body, helping ease inflammation and pain.
CBD also mitigates pain by reducing the release of pain-causing neurotransmitters and promoting the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.
This dual action can enable seniors with arthritis to manage their condition better and improve their quality of life.
Joint And Cartilage Protectant
CBD's ability to protect joints and cartilage is among its most valuable benefits for seniors with arthritis. As we age, our joints and cartilage can wear down and become damaged, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. CBD can safeguard joints and cartilage by reducing inflammation, alleviating pain, and promoting new cartilage growth.
Research shows that CBD can decrease joint inflammation, alleviate joint pain, and enhance the range of motion while preventing cartilage breakdown and improving joint health.1
The ability of CBD to protect nerves is one of its most important advantages for elderly people with arthritis. CBD has a favorable effect on the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the neurological system.
Research shows that CBD can help reduce inflammation and pain related to nerve damage, while also shielding nerves from further harm.2
CBD is particularly beneficial for individuals with peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage causing pain, numbness, and tingling in extremities. It’s been proven to decrease inflammation and reduce pain associated with nerve damage while protecting nerves from further damage.
Additionally, CBD is believed to help lower oxidative stress that can harm nerves, reducing pain related to nerve damage. By decreasing inflammation, CBD can help ease pain and enhance mobility for arthritis sufferers.
Best CBD Products For Arthritis In Seniors
As an alternative treatment for seniors with arthritis, CBD is gaining popularity, and various CBD products are now available. Each product type provides distinct benefits and addresses diverse symptoms. Let's examine the most suitable CBD products for arthritis in seniors.
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CBD gummies have become popular among seniors with arthritis due to their convenience, ease of use, and enjoyable flavors. These edible treats contain a specific amount of cannabidiol.
Available in diverse shapes, sizes, and flavors, CBD gummies offer a discreet and pleasant way to consume CBD. Unlike oils and tinctures, gummies are simple to dose and don't require any special equipment, making them particularly suitable for seniors who may struggle with swallowing pills or using droppers.
CBD drops are a popular choice for seniors with arthritis, as they are easy to use and can be taken sublingually or added to food and drinks. Sublingual absorption quickly delivers CBD into the bloodstream, providing fast relief from arthritis pain.
Available in various concentrations and flavors, CBD drops can be tailored to individual needs. When choosing a product, opt for one that is third-party tested and made from high-quality ingredients. CBD drops are ideal for seniors who prefer not to smoke or vape and those who dislike the taste of CBD oil.
Some drops are flavored with natural ingredients like mint or citrus, making them more appealing.
CBD drops can be taken once or twice a day depending on your needs. Begin with a low dose and gradually increase it to find the right amount for your situation. Before using any CBD products, especially if you are on other medications, speak with your doctor for better outcomes.
CBD topicals offer a suitable option for seniors with arthritis seeking localized relief. These topicals, including creams, lotions, salves, and balms, are applied directly to the skin, targeting the affected area without producing the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD topicals are ideal for seniors who prefer not to consume CBD orally. The most effective ones for arthritis contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil.
When choosing a CBD topical for seniors with arthritis, opt for one specifically designed for the condition. While many CBD topicals cater to general use, arthritis-specific products often include additional ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin to reduce inflammation further and support joint health.
CBD capsules offer an effective and convenient method for taking a daily dose of CBD. They are easy to swallow and provide precise dosages. These oral capsules are ideal for those wanting to avoid the taste of oils and tinctures and maintain accurate dosage control.
For seniors with arthritis, CBD capsules present a simple solution, as their dosage can be easily adjusted, typically ranging from 10 mg to 25 mg per capsule. Containing only CBD, they provide a safe, non-intoxicating way to experience CBD's benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Before starting any new supplement, including CBD capsules for arthritis, seniors must consult their doctor to determine the appropriate dosage. Additionally, ensure that you choose high-quality products from reputable brands.
Other Benefits Of CBD For Seniors
For seniors with arthritis, CBD capsules offer a straightforward option, as dosages can be effortlessly adjusted, usually ranging between 10 mg and 25 mg per capsule. With only CBD content, they serve as a safe, non-intoxicating method of enjoying CBD's benefits without THC's psychoactive effects.
Offered in full-spectrum and isolate formulas, CBD capsules can accommodate individual preferences.
Full-spectrum capsules include CBD alongside other advantageous compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids, whereas isolate capsules contain only CBD. Both varieties are widely available, enabling users to choose the one that best meets their needs.
Choosing The Right CBD Product For Arthritis In Seniors
In selecting the appropriate CBD product for seniors with arthritis, several factors should be considered. It’s crucial to understand the various types of CBD products and their concentrations. CBD products are available in diverse forms, such as tinctures, capsules, topicals, and edibles, each offering unique benefits and drawbacks.
Tinctures are a great option for seniors with arthritis, as they are easy to take and provide quick relief. Tinctures are made by combining CBD oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil. They are taken by placing a few drops under the tongue and holding it there for a few minutes before swallowing.
Capsules are another popular option for seniors with arthritis. They are easy to take and provide a consistent dose of CBD. Capsules are made by encapsulating CBD oil in a capsule form. They are taken with water and can provide long-lasting relief.
Topicals are a great option for seniors with arthritis, as they are applied directly to the affected area. Topicals are made by combining CBD oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil.
Edibles are easy to take and provide long-lasting relief. Edibles combine CBD oil with a food or beverage, such as chocolate, gummies, or tea. They are taken with food and can provide long-lasting relief.
In selecting a CBD product for seniors with arthritis, it's essential to consider the CBD concentration. Depending on the product, concentrations can vary from 0.3% to 30% or higher, with higher concentrations typically being more effective for arthritis treatment.
Additionally, it's important to consider the kind of CBD utilized in the product. CBD isolate represents the purest form, while full-spectrum CBD includes other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
In summary, CBD presents a promising alternative for seniors with arthritis. It has been shown to decrease inflammation, alleviate pain, safeguard joints and cartilage, and offer nerve protection.
CBD can help reduce chronic pain and inflammation by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system. Moreover, by choosing the appropriate CBD product and dosage, seniors can enjoy its benefits without significant side effects, making it a safe and effective treatment option for arthritis.
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How many mg of CBD oil should I take for arthritis pain?
The recommended dosage of CBD for arthritis pain depends on the individual and the severity of the symptoms. Generally, it’s best to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it until you find the amount that works best for you. The ideal dosage of CBD for arthritis pain is usually between 10-20 mg per day. However, it is important to consult your doctor before taking any CBD products, as they can advise you on the best dosage for your individual needs.
What is the best way to take CBD for chronic pain?
The best way to take CBD for chronic pain is to choose a product that is specifically designed for this purpose. CBD oils and tinctures are the most popular delivery methods for chronic pain, as they are easy to dose and administer. However, other forms of CBD, such as capsules, edibles, and topicals, can also be effective.
Do doctors recommend CBD for arthritis?
While research on the efficacy of CBD for arthritis is still in its early stages, many doctors are beginning to recognize the potential benefits of this treatment option. However, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking any CBD products, as they can advise you on the best dosage and delivery method for your individual needs.
What is the best CBD for chronic inflammation?
The best CBD for chronic inflammation is one that contains a high concentration of CBD and other cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD products are usually the most effective as they contain a range of different cannabinoids and terpenes which work together to provide a more potent effect. However, it’s crucial to consult your doctor before taking any CBD products.
- Hazlegreaves, S. (2021, September 15). CBD for arthritis: What the research shows. Open Access Government. https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/cbd-for-arthritis-what-the-research-shows/120022/
- CBD oil for pain management: Effects, benefits, and uses. (2020, October 20). Www.medicalnewstoday.com. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475#benefits