Potential Side Effects & the Right Dosage of CBD in Elderly - LaJolla.com

Potential Side Effects & the Right Dosage of CBD in Elderly

This post is part of our Best Dispensaries in Utah series, brought to you by Cannabist Utah.

Being a senior citizen should afford you certain luxuries that weren’t available in your youth.  For instance, this time of life should allow you opportunities to enjoy retirement, take life easy, relish time with grandkids, or pick up hobbies you never had a chance to do before.  


While the golden years are meant to be treasured, sometimes aches, pains, or sleepless nights can get the best of many elders.  Increasingly, seniors are looking toward the restorative and soothing properties of CBD for relief.  

If you are thinking about trying CBD products, you might be curious about the side effects of CBD in elderly people.  In this article, we are sharing some useful tips about safety concerns as well as CBD side effects elderly citizens should know about. 

Side Effects of CBD in Elderly

Is CBD Safe to Use for Senior Citizens?

There is still more research to be done on the side effects of CBD in elderly communities.  However, the popularity of CBD has grown widely among senior citizens for its healing properties.  The unique aspect of CBD is that it contains only trace amounts (.3% or less) of THC. This is the component that produces what is known as a “buzz” or “high.”  As CBD does not have THC-producing psychoactive side effects, CBD is considered safer for seniors because there is less risk of mental incapacity or motor skill impairment.

Moreover, seniors are opting to use CBD for relief as an alternative to traditional medicines, which can cause uncomfortable or health-harming side effects.  Most medical experts agree that, in some instances, CBD is far more gentle on seniors than artificially manufactured pharmaceuticals.  What’s more, CBD is not habit-forming, unlike many prescription pain medications.

Nonetheless, it’s imperative to consult a doctor before using CBD. Furthermore, depending upon where you live, you may need a medical marijuana card (MMJ) to obtain CBD.  Dispensaries in certain states, such as Cannabist Utah require an MMJ card before allowing patrons to purchase.  

In any case, every senior is different.  Therefore, it’s wise to talk to your physician about the potential side effects of CBD in elderly conditions.  Discussing your unique needs with your doctor is the best way to get the full scope of CBD effects on your unique physiology. 

Difference Between CBD and THC

Both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are derived from cannabis plants (also known as marijuana).  The most marked difference between the two is that THC contains psychoactive compounds which produce the sensation of being high. So, when you hear about someone getting high or stoned by smoking or ingesting marijuana, that’s the psychoactive effect of THC.  

THC side effects elderly people might experience include impairments in memory and motor function, altered mental capacity, and other conditions that may increase the risk of injuries or falls in senior citizens.

Alternatively, CBD contains little to no psychoactive agents as found in THC. This means that “high” sensation is not among the side effects of CBD oil in seniors.  CBD is extracted from cannabis plants or hemp (which is also a derivative of cannabis).  Seniors can take advantage of CBD in the form of oils, pills, extracts, gummies, lotions, gels, and more.  

Other Cannabinoids (Such As CBD vs. CBN)

While CBD and THC are the more common cannabinoids, you might be seeing more and more information about CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and even CBC (cannabichromene).

CBN is specifically the one you’re probably hearing the most about right now, especially in terms of its potential benefits around improving sleep. So what’s the difference between CBN vs CBD? CBN, while having some commonalities with CBD, is chemically closer to THC. This has sparked interest in studying its combined effects with THC. Many believe CBN to be effective in improving sleep, unlike the more inconsistent results seen with CBD. Also, both CBN and CBG have antibacterial qualities, which are absent in CBD and CBC. In essence, CBN offers a middle ground, potentially delivering therapeutic advantages without causing significant mind-altering effects.

Which CBD Products are the Best for Elderly

The best product for you is contingent upon what condition you are treating. As mentioned, CBD comes in many different forms. For instance, CBD oil is commonly used among seniors as a pain-relieving topical for sore joints or arthritis.  On the other hand, ingestible CBD products, such as gummies or supplements, can serve seniors as an effective anti-anxiety remedy. Moreover, seniors often use CBD oil for sleep side effects because it has a calming effect that is helpful during sleepless nights.

Side Effects of CBD in Elderly

Benefits of Using CBD in Seniors

According to a 2020 survey conducted by Consumer Reports, 20% of senior citizens in the US say they’ve tried CBD oil.  That figure increased by 6% since 2019.  There’s a reason for this escalation of elderly consumers of CBD.  Namely, the product is touted for alleviating a wide array of conditions from which many seniors commonly suffer.  Here are a few benefits of using CBD and some positive side effects of CBD oil in the elderly: 

  • Serves as a calming agent, helping reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Helps relieve pain from arthritis, inflammation, and chronic pain.
  • Aids in stabilizing or managing mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or Alzheimer’s. 
  • It can serve as a sleep aid, helping with restlessness or insomnia.
  • Lessens the discomfort of muscle spasms.
  • May diminish cancer cell growth.
  • May also reduce vomiting or nausea, particularly as experienced by seniors undergoing chemotherapy.

Risks & Side Effects of CBD in Elderly

While the benefits of CBD for the elderly is clearly a coup, there can be some drawbacks.  Most notably, seniors need to be particularly aware of CBD side effects when combined with other medications.  Furthermore, CBD patches side effects may be unfavorable when the patch is used in combination with certain drugs. Negative side effects may also occur if CBD is consumed alongside grapefruit. This is why it is important to talk to your doctor about taking CBD in conjunction with medications or supplements.

A recent study published by the Canadian Journal of Kidney and Health Disease brought up information about CBD oil side effects on kidneys, citing that the kidneys do not filter CBD or THC as it does other chemicals. Regardless, many medical experts agree that the benefits of CBD for kidney disease outweigh the risks when taken in moderation and under a doctor’s supervision.

Other side effects of CBD in elderly people may include fatigue, fluctuations in appetite and weight, as well as dry mouth, or diarrhea.  

Get the Best CBD Products with Special Deals For Elderly

Where to Find Dispensary Deals in Utah

People shopping for marijuana at a dispensary

A San Diego dispensary sign

After consulting with your physician, you determine that CBD can be an effective part of your lifestyle, you might be wondering where to go for quality products.  Luckily, there are several dispensaries such as Go Cannabist, that are extremely helpful in attending to your needs, answering questions, and providing you with the right CBD product for your conditions.  

Moreover, Go Cannabist offers special promotions, deals, and even a 15% discount for seniors.  The main step to take when opting to use, consume or consider the side effects of CBD in elderly conditions is to align yourself with a trustworthy dispensary.  The right vendor should be knowledgeable, helpful and carry the highest-quality CBD products so that you can live life more fully and pain-free. 

The banner image of CBD and other products is courtesy of Cannabist Utah.


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