Daily stiffness, constant pain, worries about diet, or a dreaded flareup at the most inconvenient moments are just a few things seniors with arthritis have to worry about. The effects of this disease are life-changing and often underestimated by the majority of those who don’t have it.
While there are options for managing pain out there, it never hurts to explore new ways to treat arthritis that are emerging as science evolves. In this article, we’ll take a look at using CBD for seniors with arthritis. Read on to learn more about CBD, if it really works, and which products might be best to help.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a natural compound in hemp plants. It’s one of the many compounds (called cannabinoids) that is getting a ton of attention in recent years. CBD has been celebrated for its potential as a healing aid in all kinds of conditions, including arthritis.
Unlike cannabis, CBD has no psychoactive effects which means you won’t feel any “high.” This led researchers to look into how CBD might be used medically.
CBD Form Factors
CBD comes in a variety of form factors including:
- Oils and Tinctures – In this form, CBD extract is suspended in a carrier oil that is taken orally.
- Edibles – You can enjoy CBD in a tasty way with gummies, chocolates, drinks, and more.
- Topicals – Creams, balms, and salves with CBD can be applied directly to the skin.
- Transdermal Patches – These patches stick to your skin and deliver CBD more deeply, and over a longer time than topicals.
- Vaporizers and Flowers – Some people prefer to use CBD inhalants like these for more immediate effects.
Does CBD help with arthritis?
Because of its complex legal status at the federal level, it’s still difficult to get research funding for CBD. But, early studies, anecdotal evidence, and plenty of high scoring consumer reports hint at the potential of CBD’s healing properties.
For now the truth is this: CBD might help with arthritis. There isn’t enough research yet to either confirm or deny that CBD is an effective way to treat arthritis in humans. But, there are plenty of findings that suggest CBD’s effectiveness. One study showed CBD reduced pain in rats with arthritis. And another confirms that CBD suppresses the body’s natural immune response to indirectly reduce inflammation. You’ll also find no shortage of consumer reviews and success stories online that back up these findings.
The study on CBD for arthritis mentioned above used a transdermal CBD gel. This delivery method is one of the best options in CBD for arthritis for a few reasons outlined below.
What is the best CBD for arthritis in seniors?
All form factors are not created equal, depending on why you’re taking CBD. No matter which form you take, you should see some results if you’re buying a quality product. But, transdermal CBD patches seem to be the best choice for arthritis in seniors. We’ll go into why and some other form factors below.
Transdermal CBD Patches
Our skin’s main job is to be a protective barrier. It stops any outside substance from entering our body. That includes the CBD meant to help us. To get past this, transdermal gel uses chemical enhancers that let active ingredients enter the bloodstream. These chemicals do no harm to the skin and are safe to use as directed. Nicotine patches, hormonal treatments, and contraceptives are some common examples of transdermal gel patches.
Besides being able to pass through our skin, transdermal CBD patches have a few more amazing benefits.
- One of the highest levels of bioavailability. Bioavailability is how much of the CBD ends up being absorbed into your body. It varies from form to form. Being digested in the stomach or passed through the liver usually lowers CBD’s bioavailability. A transdermal patch delivers CBD directly to the bloodstream instead.
- Deliver a constant stream of CBD for a long time. Arthritis pain is present all the time in varying degrees throughout the day. So, a sustained, slow delivery of relief has the best results. The effects of other forms of CBD usually last about 2 to 6 hours. Transdermal patches can last up to 72.
- Target a specific area. You’ll want to get relief exactly where you need it most. A transdermal CBD patch delivers the compounds inside directly below the skin where the patch is placed.
Transdermal CBD can be a bit more expensive compared to other forms. So, if you’d rather try an oil, edible, or another CBD product, the effects should be similar. But, if you’d like to stick as close to the science for the best potential results, go for a transdermal CBD patch.
Unlike transdermal patches, CBD topicals never enter the bloodstream. Instead, they work by stimulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your skin. The ECS in our skin maintains bodily functions like sweating, hair growth, and immune response. So even though CBD never enters our body with topicals, it may still alleviate pain by manipulating an overactive immune response. A less active immune response in our skin means less irritation, reduced inflammation, and less arthritis pain.
You might choose CBD topicals over transdermal patches to:
- Test the waters before buying a more expensive product. A CBD topical doesn’t work exactly as transdermal patches do. You will probably feel lighter effects than a patch. But, CBD topicals are an inexpensive, safe way to try CBD and see how your body responds.
- Apply CBD in a more flexible way. CBD topicals come in all types of containers and sizes. You can easily carry some products in your pocket or purse to use any time of day. Apply once in less than a minute and you’re finished. On the other hand, once a CBD transdermal patch is on, it’s on. To get the full benefits of all the CBD inside, you’ll have to leave it on as directed. That can be anywhere from a few to 72 hours.
- Promote healthy skin. A lot of CBD topicals contain other botanicals, essential oils, and natural compounds that are fantastic for your skin. Transdermal patches penetrate deep into other tissues to enter our blood but are focused less on healing our outside layer of skin. CBD topicals are designed to make your skin feel and look great.
CBD Oils, Tinctures and Extracts
CBD oils, tinctures, and extracts are the most common form of CBD. There are a few differences between the three on a really technical level. But, don’t worry too much about those. These three labels are used interchangeably without regard for their technical meaning.
There are three main types of CBD oil: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. Check out our recent article to learn more about those.
CBD Oils have a few benefits over other form factors:
- Versatile way to take CBD. CBD Oils can be taken sublingually and orally. Swishing the CBD oil around your mouth and the base of your gums before swallowing is a sublingual application. This is the recommended method for its extremely high bioavailability. You can also swallow CBD oil or add it to food and drinks. This is a good way to mask the taste if you don’t enjoy hemp flavor. But, you’ll lose some effectiveness as the CBD is digested.
- Limitless choices. Since this is the most popular form factor, you’ll have thousands of great options to choose from. CBD oils come in dozens of strengths and flavors, with a wide variety of botanicals, or as raw hemp extract with little else added. With a bit of research, you can find a CBD oil made for the exact problem you’d like help with.
Are there other benefits to CBD for seniors?
CBD has plenty of other points that make it a great addition to any wellness routine. The elderly especially have a lot to gain from the potential benefits of CBD for seniors. Check out just a few of the many below.
- Reduce Inflammation
CBD could be an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Between all of CBD’s potential uses, its ability to fight inflammation is one of its most well studied. CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities can help seniors in a few ways. Studies suggest that CBD topicals might help alleviate pain from arthritis by indirectly reducing inflammation. CBD is believed to help with inflammatory bowel conditions like IBS too.
- Get Better Sleep
A 2019 study found that people with insomnia responded well to CBD. The patients reported longer, uninterrupted sleep compared to a placebo. These effects fluctuated but continued for months after the trial concluded. For seniors, more restful sleep means more energy, better brain function, and an overall better sense of wellbeing.
- Relieve Anxiety
The same 2019 study also showed amazing results for people with anxiety. Nearly 80% of the patients reported lower scores of anxiety within the first month of treatment. These decreased anxiety levels were stable for the duration of the trial. An earlier 2015 study found that CBD was effective in reducing anxiety behaviors in a huge range of disorders. But, the exact way CBD for anxiety works is still unclear.
Best CBD Transdermal Patches for Seniors with Arthritis
For arthritis pain, we recommend looking at CBD transdermal patches before other forms. Below is our top pick of the best of them.
PureKana Full Spectrum CBD Transdermal Patch
PureKana is a company that’s been creating solid CBD products for a long time now. Their popularity, high reviews, and huge array of innovative items make this one of our most trusted brands.
Their full-spectrum transdermal CBD patch delivers 60mg of high-quality hemp extract. The best point about this patch is how long it stays active: a whopping 96 hours! The patches are small, discrete, and are waterproof for a reliable way to deliver CBD to points of pain.
Some ingredients are in this patch are:
- Organic Full Spectrum Hemp Extract – 60mg of CBD delivered over 96 hours
- Organic Coconut Oil – Fights inflammation and promotes collagen production
- Organic Aloe Butter – Hydrates skin to reduce irritation of skin conditions like eczema, or psoriasis
- Organic Sage Essential Oil – Reduces appearance of blemishes and relieves skin irritation
Best CBD Topicals for Seniors with Arthritis
Topicals are another excellent choice in CBD for arthritis. You’ll find more options than transdermal patches since topicals are a lot more common. CBD topicals are generally safe at any strength level since they never enter the bloodstream. So, we recommend higher dosages than other forms to feel the best results.
Hemptotally THC-Free Organic Balm
This THC-free balm from Hemptotally got stellar reviews in our own team’s product review. It’s unscented and melts into your skin to leave a clean feeling after applying. This CBD balm comes in 5 strength levels at a very affordable price point. We recommend somewhere between 1000mg to 3000mg for arthritis pain.
Some ingredients of this balm are:
- Hemp extract (aerial parts) – the CBD extract comes from the hemp plant only, not the hemp seeds
- Emu oil – This oil from the emu bird is recommended to reduce pain in skin conditions, and help rejuvenate damaged skin
- Eucalyptus oil – The botanical is used as a remedy for arthritis and skin ulcers
Premium Jane Cocoa Butter Salve
Premium Jane makes CBD products with a commitment to quality, ethical farming, and educating its customers. These are values we here at CBD Informative can firmly stand behind. So, this high-strength cocoa butter CBD salve landed at the top of our list. It contains 1500mg of full spectrum CBD and 450mg of CBG, two powerful cannabinoids in one effective salve.
Some ingredients in this salve are:
- Full spectrum hemp extract – CBD and CBG work in tandem against inflammation, and muscle and joint pain
- Sweet almond oil – reduces swelling and inflammation, improves complexion
- Beeswax – heals and softens skins, great for eczema, acne or dryness
Best CBD Oils for Seniors with Arthritis
These oils offer a versatile way to take CBD for arthritis. Take them orally, add them to food, or mix them into drinks for a convenient way to add CBD to your life.
DrBurns’ ReLeaf CBD Pure Pain Relief
This brand was created by a licensed medical professional, Dr. Elaine Burns. Her over 6 years of experience working with medical marijuana patients is a clear sign of her commitment to CBD and medical cannabis. DrBurns ReLeaf CBD is not only a product from a dedicated professional, it received a 9.9 out of 10 in our review.
This extract oil was designed for pain relief and contains:
- Hemp extract – 1200mg of premium CBD extract
- Organic MCT oil – carrier that protects CBD as it enters the body
- Withania Somnifera – an ancient medical herb with a 3,000 year history of use for anxiety, stress, and depression
- Salix Alba – a plant used like aspirin to relieve pain
Populum Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
We love Populum for their professional approach, impressive customer reviews, and extremely reliable production. In our review of this full spectrum hemp oil, our lab reports showed an incredible level of accuracy in their labeling where variance is common. Our team enjoyed effective results in our own tests too.
Some ingredients in Populum’s Full Spectrum Hemp Oil are:
- Full-spectrum hemp extract – choose between four strengths from 250mg to 2000mg of CBD per bottle
- Grapeseed oil – known to support the immune system and be an excellent source of omega-6 acids
- Hempseed oil – a natural addition packed with vitamins and minerals
Whether you go for transdermal patches, topicals, or oils, you’re now better equipped to make a solid choice for help with your arthritis pain. Remember to always buy the right product for your condition since there are a ton of choices out there. In our opinion, transdermal patches, topicals, or oils are the best way to go here.
Want to make an informed buy? Stick with us at CBD Informative! Learn more about the cannabinoids mentioned in this article. Or check out our guide to the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate extracts.