How Cannabis can help the Elderly
What if we told you that CBD has many benefits for seniors? As populations age, age-related health problems present a real public health issue. And where many traditional treatments are proving insufficient or transient, Cannabidiol is gaining interest within the medical field and is already making life easier for many elderly. Let’s look at this together.
CBD: a way to help Alzheimer's patients
With ten million new cases worldwide each year, dementia has become the leading cause of dependency for the elderly. With this syndrome, brain cells deteriorate and have more and more difficulty communicating, often causing progressive memory loss, but also a deterioration in reasoning, behavior, and even the ability to perform daily activities.
You got the idea: dementia is kind of public enemy number one among seniors right now, but fortunately, CBD could be a big help for our seniors.
While the term covers more than 50 brain disorders, Alzheimer's disease is believed to be the cause of 60 to 70% of dementia cases. To oversimplify, the disease is caused by proteins that accumulate in the wrong place and cut off the neurons, leading to inflammation. Not only do the neurons find it increasingly difficult to communicate with each other, but the inflammation also destroys the surrounding nerve cells.
The problem is that at the moment, we haven't really found a treatment, and to relieve them, there are only sedatives like antidepressants and sleeping pills. This is not really the ideal solution, given the numerous side effects, the risk of dependence, and above all... it only delays the onset of the disease without tackling the root of the problem.
And that's where our favorite molecule comes in.
On the one hand, CBD is anti-inflammatory. It can indeed inhibit many molecules responsible for triggering the neuron’s inflammatory response. And if you suppress inflammation, you stop the destruction of nerve cells, and you start to tackle the disease... pretty cool, right?
For more explanation on what causes inflammation and how CBD helps reduce it, check out our article on the benefits of CBD.
The antioxidant properties of CBD help slow down the aging of neurons, which helps prevent or fight neurodegenerative diseases. It is to put forward this stimulating action that we developed our Focus range, which helps with memorization and concentration.
To test the benefits of the molecule, a team of doctors at a Swiss nursing home decided in 2017 to test CBD oils and tinctures on patients with Alzheimer's disease. The result? CBD allowed to "reduce or even eliminate drugs against anxiety, antidepressants, sleeping pills.".
How CBD relieves symptoms of arthritis or Parkinson’s
Too often minimized or ignored, chronic pain plagues the daily lives of many seniors. It can be caused by a variety of diseases, the best known being osteoarthritis and Parkinson's, and can lead to additional problems such as anxiety or sleep disorders.
Again, CBD works effectively to relieve the symptoms of these diseases by fighting the inflammation responsible for so much pain.
Anxiety and sleep
Cannabidiol, a natural alternative to fight anxiety and insomnia
Although not specific to the elderly, anxiety and sleep disorders are often linked to the realities that make up their daily lives: lack of activity, stress related to isolation and loss of independence, etc.
To relieve dementia, the medical profession often has the reflex to prescribe benzodiazepines (anxiolytics, sleeping pills, antidepressants) or opiates (morphine derivatives). The concern is that these treatments can become addictive, and contribute to polymedication.
Cannabis: the solution to avoid heavy treatments?
We don't talk about it much, but polymedication is a phenomenon that is particularly present among seniors. Faced with the increase in chronic disorders related to age, prescriptions to relieve them are multiplying.
Consequence? The side effects are multiplying, which leads to even more prescriptions to suppress them. After a certain age, it is not uncommon to be forced to take a dozen different medications on a daily basis.
However, multi-medication is never ideal, because it is accompanied by numerous consequences: more toxicity on the organism, intake errors, and even a decrease in appetite, whereas undernutrition is precisely one of the scourges of aging.
In addition to the fact that CBD stimulates the appetite (just sayin’...), replacing or complementing some treatments with CBD as you saw in this article also allows to limit the number of prescriptions, and therefore side effects. In short, it creates a virtuous circle!
Of course, research in this field is still in its early stage, but the first results are already very encouraging and clearly deserve a closer look... In any case, if you were still looking for a gift for Grandma's Day, we hope this article has inspired you!
For our part, we promise to keep you informed of all the advances in this field, and we invite you to share this article as well as to join us on Cakespace’s instagram for more news on CBD!
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