It’s not uncommon for elderly patients in modern healthcare systems to have four or five doctors and twice that many medications.
The conscientious healthcare team considers the very drugs they prescribe as potential health risks, which is one reason why the natural supplement cannabidiol (CBD) and geriatric medicine go well together.
Whether or not cannabidiol can actually replace medication is case-dependent, but with more research findings pointing to CBD’s eyebrow-raising potential in many epidemic-level conditions affecting seniors, it’s at least worth another look.
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CBD’s Potential in Geriatric Medicine
As the baby boomer generation ages into their 70s and 80s, the American healthcare system is committing more resources than ever to advances in geriatric medicine.
This means exploring new avenues in treating and preventing conditions that disproportionately affect seniors, like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, and many more.
Research initiatives from hospitals and labs across the world are gradually shaping cannabidiol’s role as a low-side-effect treatment for many of these highly prevalent issues.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia
According to the World Health Organization, there are 50 million dementia cases worldwide, and 10 million cases are reported each year.
Alzheimer’s comprises approximately 60-70% of these cases.
Early-onset is possible in both Alzheimer’s and dementia, but this class of neurodegenerative disorders is strongly biased towards the senior population.
In this academic review by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), the use of CBD oil for seniors with dementia improved several “neuropsychiatric” symptoms, including “agitation, disinhibition, irritability, aberrant motor behavior, and nocturnal behavior disorders.”
Late-stage AD patients can even develop contractures (fixation of joints preventing almost all movement) that further limit their ability to function.
For example, transferring into and out of a wheelchair, bathing and changing clothes, and many other tasks are made much more difficult after severe rigidity and/or contractures enter the equation.
Dementia patients aren’t the only ones who suffer from spasticity and/or rigidity, however.
CBD and geriatric medicine experts are also looking at Parkinson’s disease (PD) as a therapeutic target for the supplement.
CBD and Parkinson’s Disease
As we covered in a past article, approximately one million people across the United States have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease per the Parkinson’s Foundation, and CBD is quickly taking shape as a potentially outcome-altering supplement for this demographic.
Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a deficiency of dopamine in the area of the brain called the basal ganglia, which is responsible for coordinating certain aspects of movement, speech, and behavior.
Like Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients, but to a greater extent, PD patients experience various levels of tremors, spasticity, and rigidity.
CBD and geriatric medicine research, like this finding from Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, describes how cannabidiol has antioxidant effects that specifically protect “nigral neurons,” a high-priority target of the disease.
Additionally, some researchers posit that CBD flattens toxicity levels induced by glial cell activation, another hallmark of PD.
Both of these mechanisms have the potential to slow the progression of the disease.
CBD and Bone Health
Baby boomers and millennials alike have adopted a heavily oversimplified understanding of bone health, thanks to overzealous promotional campaigns for milk run by the dairy industry and the federal government during much of the 20th century.
Milk contains calcium, and calcium plays a role in bone health, but it’s not the only player by any means.
To maintain a healthy density, among other things, our bones have to constantly “remodel” themselves.
They use specialized cells called osteoblasts and osteoclasts to form new bone tissue and reabsorb old bone tissue, respectively.
It appears that CBD can contribute to this ongoing remodeling process in a helpful way.
A study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Bone Laboratory found that “CB2 mutant mice” consistently displayed low bone mass while normal mice didn’t, implicating the endocannabinoid system as a key driver of this absorb-resorb cycle necessary for bone health.
The study also determined that the use of CBD oil for seniors can protect against “age-related bone loss” by “maintaining bone remodeling at balance” via CB2 activation.
As a quick review from our earlier introduction to the endocannabinoid system, CB2 and CB1 are receptor cells activated by cannabinoid substances that our bodies produce as well as CBD, THC, and many others.
CBD for Chronic Pain
Whether it’s related to chemotherapy, neuropathic conditions like multiple sclerosis, or simply a result of the natural aging process, chronic pain of some kind or other is a highly common occurrence among seniors.
In the case of arthritis, a condition characterized by chronic joint inflammation and pain, cannabidiol showed its efficacy in a “rat model of arthritis,” as this University of Kentucky study put it.
Arthritic rats treated with cannabidiol in this study showed reduced symptoms across several key markers, including joint circumference, “paw withdrawal latency” (to determine sensitivity), and pain-related behaviors.
The analgesic capabilities of the endocannabinoid system are being explored in new contexts every day, but we already know that CBD and geriatric medicine experts can use this system to help with chronic low back pain, chemotherapy-induced pain, and more.
Cannabidiol may even have analgesic effects outside of the endocannabinoid system, stimulating “mu” and “delta” opioid receptors per this University of Bonn (Germany) School of Medicine finding.
Getting Started with CBD
With the exception of a CBD-based epilepsy drug, cannabidiol is not a medication; it is a supplement.
Still, CBD is a bioactive substance, meaning it elicits a physiological response (actually, several) when consumed.
For this reason, seniors and non-seniors alike should vet each CBD product as they would a medication.
Priority One: Safety
CBD oil is non-intoxicating and generally accepted as safe for seniors and younger populations, but that doesn’t mean it plays well with all supplements and medications.
The vast majority of orally consumed medications undergo “first-pass metabolism,” during which they are broken down in the liver by special enzymes.
Cannabidiol inhibits the production of some of these enzymes, meaning it can affect the metabolism speed and/or potency of certain drugs.
Product purity is also an important avenue for potential CBD users to investigate because cannabidiol products are largely unregulated.
Unfortunately, this means that manufacturers can say one thing and do another when it comes to their formulations, but leery consumers can work around this by supporting lab-tested brands.
Finally, cannabidiol may cause minor side effects, such as:
- Dry mouth
Selecting a CBD Product Type
CBD oil for seniors is actually available in many forms, including oils, edibles, topical ointments, and several less common delivery methods.
Oils are an excellent choice for beginners because the doses are easy to measure and apply (simply fill the dropper lid), although the slightly bitter taste can be unpleasant, which is why some users prefer isolates.
Edibles, like gummies, offer the same conveniences, and for many, the flavor is much more palatable.
Finally, CBD creams and lotions are most effective for musculoskeletal issues affecting specific areas (i.e., knee pain, a post-operative incision, etc.).
CBD Dosing Guidelines
Seniors are more vulnerable to the side effects of medication, and even though CBD is a supplement, it can still produce side effects as noted above.
For that reason, we recommend starting with a low dose and adjusting from there.
Finding a “low dose” is easier said than done in this instance, since CBD is unregulated and non-intoxicating; some studies use as much as 500mg a day on human or animal subjects.
Many first-time users will notice effects with as low as 20-40mg of CBD in a single day, so we recommend 20 or 25mg for that first dose.
Start there, adjust as needed, and continue until you’ve achieved optimal results.
CBD News Roundup: High-Level EU Court Defends CBD as a Non-Narcotic Substance
Here’s the latest CBD News: A European Union court has excluded cannabidiol from their legal definition of a narcotic substance. In a bid to prepare cannabidiol for eventual regulation, high-ranking officials at the FDA called a virtual public meeting on November 19th to share the “sex and gender differences in use and responses.” The first… View Article
The post CBD News Roundup: High-Level EU Court Defends CBD as a Non-Narcotic Substance appeared first on The CBD Insider.
Here’s the latest CBD News:
- A European Union court has excluded cannabidiol from their legal definition of a narcotic substance.
- In a bid to prepare cannabidiol for eventual regulation, high-ranking officials at the FDA called a virtual public meeting on November 19th to share the “sex and gender differences in use and responses.”
- The first study to assess the long-term effects of CBD consumption was published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research on November 20th.
Table of Contents
- High-Level EU Court Defends CBD as a Non-Narcotic Substance
- FDA Pours More Resources Into Pre-Regulatory CBD Evaluation
- The First Long-Term CBD Exposure Study Was Just Published
High-Level EU Court Defends CBD as a Non-Narcotic Substance
On November 19th, the Court of Justice of the European Union officially clarified its stance on CBD’s legal classification while settling a case related to the sale and distribution of CBD between two EU countries.
In the case, a Czech CBD oil e-cigarette company that marketed and distributed their products in France was charged with the violation of a French law that states “only the fibre and seeds of hemp may be put to commercial use.”
In order to arrive at their ruling that the Czech company didn’t violate the provision in question—or rather, that EU law precluded the French law in this case—the judges had to exclude cannabidiol from the definition of a narcotic drug.
They did so by noting its exclusion from two UN conventions: the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
In defense of their decision, the judges stated, “While it is true that a literal interpretation of the (Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs) might lead to its being classified as a drug, in so far as it is a cannabis extract, such an interpretation would be contrary to the general spirit of that convention and to its objective of protecting ‘the health and welfare of mankind’ … the CBD at issue does not appear to have any psychotropic effect or any harmful effect on human health.”
The ruling marks an important turning point in the ongoing struggle between pro-CBD advocates and prohibitive European legislation, paving the way for a regulatory path in the near future.
FDA Pours More Resources Into Pre-Regulatory CBD Evaluation
Dr. Amy Abernethy, Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), commented on the FDA’s prioritization of CBD research and regulation last Thursday, November 19th.
“We are committed to advancing hemp products with available regulatory pathways, and we are further exploring what additional steps may be appropriate for hemp products,” said Commissioner Abernethy.
The comments were made in reference to a landmark public meeting held by the FDA (virtually) on the 19th, entitled “CBD and Other Cannabinoids: Sex and Gender Differences in Use and Responses.”
Per the FDA’s Women’s Health Research information portal, the meeting sought to “discuss potential sex (biological) and gender (psychosocial) differences in use and responses to cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids.”
The day-long series of four panels were hosted by a team of high-ranking FDA officials, including Women’s Health Director Kaveeta Vasisht, MD, PharmD; Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Toxicologist David Carbone, Ph.D.; and Dr. Abernethy herself.
The meeting covered perspectives from patients and healthcare professionals, known sex differences in CBD’s effects, how CBD use affects pregnant women, and the government agency perspectives on CBD research and evaluation.
The last panel is especially indicative of the FDA’s intentions to move forward with CBD research and regulation, as the learning objectives included identifying “current federal efforts to address scientific data gaps” and the “scientific and ethical considerations affecting CBD research and evaluation.”
The First Long-Term CBD Exposure Study Was Just Published
A Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research study authored by Canopy Growth Corporation and published on November 20th is the first to officially investigate “lifelong toxicity” associated with CBD use.
The study used a type of roundworm (Caenorhabditis elegans) regarded by researchers as the ideal non-human model for its strikingly similar genetic makeup and short life span.
To assess lifelong toxicity, researchers exposed “day 1 adults to 10, 40, and 100 μM until all animals perished,” which is about 2-3 weeks for this particular species.
Compared to control, roundworms in the experimental groups demonstrated a “maximum life extension of 18% observed at 40 μM” and an “increase in late-stage life activity by up to 206%.”
Most importantly for the purposes of this study and the CBD industry at large, the roundworms at all three dosage levels failed to demonstrate any signs of long-term toxicity.
Top 5 Cannabis-Infused Drinks
Not all people consuming cannabis like the idea of smoking or vaping. Some are looking for alternative forms of consumption. The good news is that alternatives do exist as there are many ways to use cannabis. One of these alternative forms is by drinking cannabis-infused beverages. They can be both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. It’s important to note that any alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages that are available on the market must meet
Not all people consuming cannabis like the idea of smoking or vaping. Some are looking for alternative forms of consumption. The good news is that alternatives do exist as there are many ways to use cannabis. One of these alternative forms is by drinking cannabis-infused beverages. They can be both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. It’s important to note that any alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages that are available on the market must meet the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) requirements. Even though marijuana has been legalized in many American states, there are still strict regulation standards for drinkable cannabis. Therefore, each marijuana-infused drink must be approved before being sold. That’s one of the reasons why it still may be difficult to buy this type of beverage. Luckily, it is not hard to make a cannabis-infused drink by yourself. Let’s consider some of the most popular ways of consuming cannabis in drinks!
1. Cannabis-Infused Milk
This is one of the most popular ways to drink marijuana. To prepare it, you need four cups of milk and nearly a quarter ounce of ground cannabis. Try to choose the highest quality ingredients. Don’t buy cheap products as your drink will depend a lot on the quality of your ingredients.
First, you need to decarboxylate your marijuana which means to activate its psychoactive components by heating it in the oven. You should keep cannabis at a temperature of about 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the milk into a boiler and allow it to simmer. Then, add the marijuana and stir it occasionally for 30 minutes until it is thoroughly blended with the milk, which will change colour to spring green. Before serving, cool the milk for at least an hour.
You can not only drink cannabis milk alone but also use it as an ingredient for other recipes. Once you make it, cannabis-infused milk allows you to prepare many more beverages and edibles with weed.
2. Cannabis Lemonade
There are a number of recipes for making cannabis lemonade depending on the desired flavour. To achieve the best result in lemonade preparation, you should use a cannabis tincture which you can either get from a dispensary or make at home.
Making cannabis lemonade only requires squeezed lemons, water, and sugar. Take 2 tablespoons of cannabis tincture for every 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1 ¾ cups water, and 1/3 cup of sugar or honey. You can add some ice and garnishes according to preference, for instance, fresh strawberries.
3. Protein Shake
If you are into fitness and a healthy lifestyle, you can try a marijuana protein shake. It’s really easy to make using cannabis coconut oil. First, you need to boil coconut oil and cannabis together, then just add it to your usual protein shake. Enjoy this healthy and delicious alternative to ordinary sports drinks!
4. Cannabis Iced Tea
To make this refreshing drink, you need to add cannabis to your tea blend, put it into a bag, then place it in boiling water. The longer it steeps in hot water, the more potent your drink will be. You can also use cannabis tinctures or milk instead of a teabag. Add some spices to taste and add ice. To sweeten your iced tea, you may add sugar or honey. This beverage is definitely worth trying!
If you always start your morning with a cup of flavoured coffee, make your routine a little bit different. You can do it by adding a tablespoon or two of cannabis oil to your cup of joe. If you are trying to cut on calories, coconut oil can replace cream and sugar for you. This may be a great alternative to traditional coffee as a cannabis drink can enhance your mood and give you energy for the whole day. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your morning drinks and find out what works best for you.
Everyone has different preferences even when it comes to marijuana consumption. Luckily, today cannabis is available in various forms. You can choose from edibles, sweets, and even drinks. It’s absolutely up to you whether to buy cannabis-infused beverages or to make them yourself. You can create your own cannabis drink according to your preference which is limited only by your imagination. Marijuana-infused drinks can be considered a healthier alternative to smoking, but still don’t forget that everything should be in moderation. Note that cannabis drinks can give you a more potent experience and a stronger high. Moreover, some people like that drinkable weed brings its effects faster than edibles as it is digested more quickly and its components are absorbed into the bloodstream more easily. Typically, cannabis drinks take around 30 minutes to kick in. On the other hand, because of the faster ingestion, cannabis-infused drinks may last between 2 – 4 hours.
by Tia M., Editor and Contributor at AskGrowers
The Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis
Traditionally the industry categorizes the marijuana plant by “Indica”, “Sativa”, and “Hybrid”. However, the more we learn about the hemp and cannabis plants, the more we discover this approach is flawed. It is becoming outdated. This historic system typically applies to cannabis, but does not translate well for the hemp industry as a whole. Research […]
Traditionally the industry categorizes the marijuana plant by “Indica”, “Sativa”, and “Hybrid”. However, the more we learn about the hemp and cannabis plants, the more we discover this approach is flawed. It is becoming outdated. This historic system typically applies to cannabis, but does not translate well for the hemp industry as a whole. Research continues to show that we need a more sophisticated structure. One which accurately describes the different varieties of this unique plant. Once and for all, we will clarify how to navigate these plant varieties in a science led way.
We have discussed in the past that, according to science, hemp and cannabis are the same plant. We also know that this plant can do many different things based on its chemical makeup. This chemical makeup refers to cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that the plant creates. Hence, the most accurate way we are today able to classify this plant is by its chemotype.
The word “chemotype” sounds pretty fancy. But, it’s actually a simple term when we break it down. Think of it as the blend of the words “chemical” and “type”. So really, we are trying to classify the cannabis and hemp class based on their chemical makeups. Currently, there are 5 types of chemotypes that focus on just the cannabinoids; Types I – V. Note that it does not consider the other compounds available in the plant, like terpenes. This is important as we will be looking at classifications based on terpenes in our next post!
Why are chemotypes important?
What are these chemotypes and why are they so important? The first 3 types are pretty straightforward. They finally give us a scientific difference between hemp and cannabis as we know it. To put it simply, Type I is high THC, low CBD content. Type II has a roughly 50:50 split of THC to CBD. While Type III is high in CBD and has a max amount of 0.3% THC. We dive into more detail for the full five types below.
Type I & II – cannabis
We categorise Type I as high in THC, and this is typically what we refer to as cannabis. It is also referred to as marijuana, too. We know that THC is psychoactive and is what causes the “high” associated with cannabis. Type II is less psychoactive than Type I. However, it still maintains a sufficiently high level of THC that would impair the consumer, albeit less so.
So, chemotypes I and II fall under the traditional cannabis category. These types are still illegal in a recreational sense in the U.K, EU and much of the US. However, they are increasingly available through medical programmes across the world, including the UK. Access is still limited, though.
Unfortunately, the lack of legality has stymied significant medical research of Type I and Type II categorized products. It is to the point that there is little expertise outside of the United States and Israel.
Type 3 – hemp
The Type III chemotype is where traditional hemp falls. As the U.K. and EU have recently raised the max THC limit to 0.3%, they now match US regulations. This further establishes said concentration as the standard THC limit for hemp. This reclassification now allows for consistency across the borders and truly establishes hemp as a Type III chemotype.
The physical effects of Type III products are significantly different than that of Type I and II. Type III is much more mellow and relaxed, and lacks the impairment that comes with Types I and II. Type III material is not psychoactive and will be the main focus for medical research in years to come.
Interestingly, while Type I and II will also go through significant testing for medical research, the associated “high” makes it difficult to prescribe as a kind of daily use-type medication.
Type 4 – rich in CBG
Type IV cannabis and hemp plants are gaining traction over the last year. These are plants which are high in Cannabigerol, or CBG. Researchers are interested in CBG because it binds directly to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. This is unlike CBD which does not do this. Further, it has a slightly higher affinity for binding to the CB2 receptors over the CB1 receptors.
Also, CBG is not psychoactive so it will not impair the consumer in the same way that THC does. Needless to say, there is a lot of excitement about CBG. But, we are still learning about its function and benefits to the human body. CBG does offer wellness benefits but it will take some time to quantify what those benefits will be.
Type 5 – no cannabinoids
Finally, we are at Type V of hemp and cannabis. This chemotype does not produce any cannabinoids at all! The science community is still figuring out what function they can serve. One idea is that they may be helpful in stabilizing the genetics of Types I – IV chemotypes, for example.
Drew Ford, our Hemp Advisor, says, “as we expand the industry I fully expect more chemotypes to be confirmed. This will happen as we stabilise more genetic variations which have a focus on the other minor cannabinoids. It is somewhat short-sighted to think we can classify this plant and its 113+ cannabinoids with just a few categories. By focusing on the chemical makeup we discover it is a much more accurate system to understand the amazing benefits of this plant”.
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