9 Things Seniors Need to Know About CBD
As the popularity of CBD increases among people of almost every age, the numbers of questions tend to multiply, especially among seniors who want to try it for the first time. Are all brands the same? What’s the difference between hemp and cannabis? Does CBD contain THC? Will it make me high? The goal of this article is to provide clarity for older adults and seniors who want to better manage their symptoms and live independently as possible.
Is CBD Safe?
First and foremost, seniors want to know if CBD is safe for them to use on a daily or as needed basis. While the lion’s share of research has been on younger to middle-age adults, there are some important studies indicating that CBD is safe, effective and has few to no side effects.
Are All CBD Brands the Same?
The short answer to this question is – No! the consumer should do their homework and look into the CBD brand’s website and make sure they offer a certificate of analysis (COA) which lists everything that should be in their CBD (high levels of CBD; terpenes) and what should not be in the product (pesticides and heavy metals).
Some brands contain trace amounts of THC (0.3%) and artificial flavors while others are 100% natural, are organically grown and contain no THC whatsoever. Older adults who are employed and can be drug-tested should probably avoid any CBD products containing THC.
What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis?
Older adults and seniors should look for products that contain CBD that is extracted from hemp, which is a distinctly different plant altogether from the cannabis plant, which is commonly called marijuana or weed. Hemp contains minimal to no THC, whereas the cannabis plant may contain moderate to large amounts of THC. The majority of CBD products are made from industrially or medically grown hemp, which does not make the consumer high.
Is the CBD Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or an Isolate?
Here is another point of confusion – the difference between these three types of CBD. Luckily, the explanation is simple. “Full” spectrum means that the CBD product is full of all cannabinoids (other molecules in the hemp plant) along with THC. “Broad” spectrum is like full spectrum, but contains 0.3% or no THC. CBD “Isolate” means just that. The CBD molecule is isolated from other cannabinoids in the laboratory and all the consumer is getting is CBD. This generally is not recommended for use because research reports that CBD needs the other cannabinoids and terpenes to be fully effective. Older adults and seniors who are still employed should probably stay away from full spectrum and lean towards broad spectrum.
Where Was the Hemp Grown?
This is important because some geographical sites and land areas are cleaner than others. The United States and Canada are known for their high standards and strict regulations about the soil the hemp is grown in. These areas are tested for molds, fungi, heavy metals, pesticides and insecticides. Other countries do not have similar rules and regulations.
What Symptoms are Being Targeted?
One of the most, if not the most important question a consumer should ask him- or herself, is “What symptom am I trying to improve by using CBD?” The reason this is important is because after a week or so of using CBD, the consumer should notice some kind of symptom improvement. While some people use CBD as a preventive supplement, most older adults and seniors use it for very specific physical or emotional health issues.
How Do I Measure Doses?
Another question that many seniors have concerns how much CBD to take. The rule of thumb is to start with around 25mg – 30mg per day and monitor symptoms. If the CBD bottle contains 1000mg, and the consumer wants it to last for a month (30 days) the math is simple. A full dropper is around 33.33mg, so take slightly less than a full dropper every day and monitor for symptom relief.
If the consumer feels they need improvement in their symptoms, then double the dose to roughly 60mg per day and monitor symptoms again for a week to 10 days. The consumer can repeat this again until they begin to feel the results they’re looking for. Just like any medication, doses have to be titrated or adjusted until the best results are achieved.
What About Price and Customer Support?
Prices for CBD are all over the place. Some products are very cheap and some are expensive. Look for brands that offer a fair price. In the world of CBD, higher-priced brands may be superior in quality and effectiveness. At higher prices, the company should offer customer service and support. They should also have a 100% money back guarantee if the consumer is not fully satisfied.
What if the Brand is Making Dramatic Health Claims?
Older adults, seniors and everyone else need to stay away from any CBD brand making dramatic health claims. CBD products are not approved by the FDA for any drug-like benefits claims, so the CBD company shouldn’t be making any either. The more dramatic the claim, such as “cures cancer and heart disease”, the more skeptical the consumer should be. Some CBD companies are shut down by the FDA for such claims.
More and more older adults and seniors are turning to CBD in hopes that it will help them manage symptoms, maintain good health and live more productive lives. Due to the significant increase in CBD companies and products, it’s easy to get confused and have many questions about safety, quality, purity, effectiveness and use. Consumers need to be educated about these areas in order to find the best product for their unique needs. Hopefully this article helped.