You might think “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks,” but polls suggest that seniors is the fastest-growing group of medical cannabis consumers, which includes cannabidiol (CBD). The stigma of cannabis has been rapidly declining in the United States since its legalization for medical and recreational use, which has considerably affected “Baby Boomers.” Polls reveal a 25% incline in their adoption of cannabis use. That said, we still have a long way to go for mass adoption of CBD among the elderly.
According to a recent Gallup poll survey, 11% of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 years old use CBD products, and 8% over 64. However, approximately only 50% of seniors report that they have tried CBD.
Older Americans can perhaps benefit the most by using CBD products as their health concerns incline and they are seeking a better quality of life. So why aren’t they all using them?
This is where knowledge is key, especially when it comes to educating yourself on the benefits and legality surrounding CBD.
As CBD-infused products become overwhelmingsly popular and increasingly more older adults report the benefits those products have, soon everyone will be jumping on the CBD bandwagon. Still, there’s a large number of seniors who still need convincing.
Go ahead and get that conversation going this Grandparents Day and show grandma and/or grandpa you care with these talking points.
Cannabis Products Have Gone Mainstream
The Myth of the Stoner Hippie is Over.
Perhaps the biggest reason seniors are steering clear from CBD is the stigma attached to cannabis. They grew up during a time when people largely smoked marijuana to get high and not because it was good for their health. Marijuana, during that time, also had strong ties to hippie culture, and from there, a negative stigma was born. People who used cannabis were considered lazy, unmotivated, unemployed, and unintelligent.
But with the proliferation of CBD-infused products in the mainstream marketplace, that stigma has quickly become a thing of the past.
A little known fact is that cannabis was legal in the United States once before.
It wasn’t until the 1930s that the U.S. developed a growing concern, which lead many states to ban cannabis. In 1937, a man by the name of Harry Anslinger launched an anti-marijuana campaign that led to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. With it came regulations on the possession and distribution of marijuana. Those caught with marijuana illegally were subject to pay a hefty monetary fine and could face up to 5 years in jail. Marijuana became a drug, not unlike that of alcohol during the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 30s.
Unfortunately, this also hit the THC-free hemp plant. But guess what, prohibition on the hemp plant is over. Moreover, it its psychoactive cousin is also going mainstream as it becomes legal or decriminalized across the nation for medical or recreational use. That said, cannabis with THC is not right for everyone, particularly those with heart conditions, thus we advocate the THC-free variety that is generally recognized as safe for most consumers.
CBD is Legal
In December, the 2018 Farm Bill, officially titled the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, was signed into law, which legalized industrial hemp for growth, transport, and sale of hemp products as long as they contain minimal amounts of THC (less than 0.3 percent). Still, you might have to remind grandma or grandpa that THC is responsible for euphoria and munchies, not CBD.
While marijuana is still deemed illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, the cultivation of hemp is not. Law-abiding grandma or grandpa may see a green leaf on a CBD product and steer clear of the legal hemp product.
That is, seniors may be confused with the difference between CBD and THC. But you can safely tell them:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the hemp plant, a type of cannabis with negligible trace amounts of THC
- CBD will not get you high
- CBD will not cause you to fail a drug test
- CBD is considered safe for the average population by the World Health Organization, however the FDA has still not evaluated this claim.
- CBD is associated with any serious side-effects (but if someone has a history of allergies, they should consult their doctor)
Do you ever see a commercial for a prescription medication promising to cure joint pain or to help you sleep better and you balk at the laundry list of side effects?
While CBD products are not without their side effects, which could include nausea, sleepiness, and diarrhea, the number of side effects those who use CBD are far less than those that are a by-product of taking many types of prescription medications.
Common medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), corticosteroids, and prescription opioids might help pain and discomfort, but they often come with serious side effects.
NSAIDS side effects
- heart attack
- kidney damage
- liver and kidney problems
Corticosteroids side effects
- increase fracture rates
- increased vulnerability to infection
- blood clots
- thinning of the skin
- weight gain
- eye disorders (cataracts, glaucoma, etc.)
- bruising easily
Opioids side effects
- physical dependence/ tolerance
- respiratory depression
On the contrary, CBD is not associated with serious side effects and considered generally safe.
Seniors experience bouts of insomnia, joint pain, and a decline in eye health — these natural signs of aging, they may take interest in safe solutions to manage their health. Taking prescription medications for what ails them could make them more sensitive to the side effects that come with certain OTC drugs. What’s worse is they could be put at risk of getting a more severe condition or could experience additional symptoms unrelated to what they were originally taking the medication for.
On the other hand, CBD products, with a lower list of side effects, appears to be a much safer, more viable option.
CBD is a Safe, Natural Alternative to Pills
CBD products are a natural alternative to prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, something a number of senior adults expressed a desire to get away from in a study conducted by BDS Analytics, a cannabis consumer research company based in Boulder, Colorado. In fact, among baby boomers, adults between the ages of 55 and 75 years old, 67 percent cited that as one of the main reasons for taking a CBD product.
Studies show that among seniors taking a product containing CBD for their health concerns, they believe their quality of life has improved, lending credit to the fact that CBD can be an effective natural alternative to prescription and OTC medications.
At CBDMEDIC™, we know the importance of using all-natural ingredients, that’s why our topical pain relief and skincare products use natural authorized pharmaceutical ingredients blended with 98-99 percent naturally-derived ingredients for a synergy effect that complements each and every ingredient’s soothing effect.
Studies show that natural oils enhance the absorption of active ingredients, which is why we include THC-free, CBD rich, broad-spectrum distillate from the Cannabis sativa L. hemp plant in our products alongside jojoba seed oil, cottonseed oil, and other natural emollients.
You can assure grandma and/or grandpa that they can use CBDMEDIC’s products for arthritis, back and neck pain, before, after, or during workouts (yes the elderly workout too); general muscle and joint pain, and foot pain. If your grandparents are like mine, they’ll love a little TLC foot rub with a cooling cream or oil.
Better yet, you can treat grandma or grandpa to a gentle massage with a soothing scent of frankincense and myrrh, age-old essential oils associated with the biblical 3 wise men and known for aromatherapy benefits including stress relief.
And if have minor skin conditions are giving them stress like eczema or itchy rashes — say from a casual dayhike with their grandchildren, we’ve got them covered. You never know what they need in their medicine cabinet. Just remind them:
- CBD is non-addictive, non-psychoactive, and THC-free
- CBD is federally legal
- CBD is naturally-derived