Could CBD be the key to healthy aging?
Here we are, three months into the year 2020, and by now just about everyone has heard about hemp or CBD products. Whether from a friend, a family member, in a store or on TV, there is no denying it–the CBD revolution is now. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 14% of Americans use CBD products to support their wellness. While health deterioration is an unavoidable part of the aging process, CBD may be the key to unlocking naturally positive effects on the body’s overall condition and vitality.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of more than 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The term hemp applies to cannabis plants that have high levels of CBD and low levels of the more controversial cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. Because THC is associated with getting high, there is a popular opinion out there that THC is bad and CBD is good when, in reality, these cannabinoids work especially well together and both have important places in clinical practice.
Our bodies produce different forms of cannabinoids regularly as part of our endocannabinoid system. The cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, such as CBD and THC, are commonly referred to as phytocannabinoids and can bind to the human endocannabinoid system. Research suggests these plant-derived cannabinoids can impact our various biological functions when taken internally.
CBD is a biphasic substance. When a low dose of CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, consumers have reported feelings of wakefulness and alertness. This is compared to a consumer ingesting more substantial amounts of CBD, who then may potentially get sleepy and calm instead of alert and energetic. The biphasic nature of this compound is one of the many reasons CBD is so versatile, and commonly being used by more and more aging adults every day.
While still unregulated– only one drug consisting of CBD, Epidiolex, has been approved by the FDA–much of the data out there about CBD is anecdotal. What we are seeing is that cannabinoid therapy and CBD use is seeming to be a low-risk, potentially beneficial way to treat a variety of complications, especially those associated with the aging process.
Though it’s often well-tolerated, according to the FDA and Mayo Clinic, CBD can cause low-risk side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications, specifically blood thinners and other similar drugs so it is best to consult a physician before beginning to ingest CBD products. Topicals, however, do not penetrate the blood/brain barrier
Of course, you want the best for your loved ones, and if you are taking or considering starting a CBD regimen, you’ll want to know the science behind your product. Look for organically grown hemp products that have brand transparency. Random samplings of CBD products consistently detect misrepresentation between their labels and their contents. Do not purchase a product that cannot provide lab reports. Every CBD product should be lab tested by an accredited third party lab with test results available from the item’s label or online. This ensures the consumer that they are purchasing a legitimate product that is free of contaminants and made with verified ingredients.
This article was also published in Nature’s Pathway Magazine.