Sleep problems are the unwanted and unwelcomed accessory of the aging, and a rapidly growing number of Baby Boomers and older adults are trading their OTC sleep aids for CBD. According to a study conducted by the Brightfield Group, 31% of adults aged 45+ use cannabis to address insomnia-related issues, making it the fourth-most common medical condition this demographic treats with cannabis. They also discovered that one-fourth of these sleepless older adults have completely replaced their sleep medications with the more natural supplement — CBD.
When people think about the growing CBD movement, they usually picture millennial users driving that growth. But as more and more people learn about the many health benefits of CBD (like its ability to be used as a sleep aid!) the demographics of users are shifting as well. There are now a plethora of stats showing that Baby Boomers are just as likely – if not more likely – to use CBD as millennials.
To put it simply, CBD is just one of more than 400 compounds produced by the cannabis plant. These are called cannabinoids. Although there was once an attached stigma, CBD is not intoxicating, meaning you can add it to your nighttime routine without the worry of experiencing a high.
CBD stands for cannabidiol and is classified as a cannabinoid, like THC, except CBD is completely non-psychoactive. It’s commonly extracted from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant. You see, hemp carries high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC. Whereas marijuana contains high amounts of THC and low amounts of CBD.
CBD extracted from hemp is what has gained so much popularity in recent years, and it has quickly become the new super-star sleep aid.
One common concern among older adults who use CBD is whether CBD can interfere with prescription drugs taken for arthritis or other conditions. And as a matter of fact, a huge number of medications, including CBD, are broken down by the same large family of liver enzymes, called CYP450.
CBD has been shown to inhibit some enzymes in this family. This makes them break down certain drugs more slowly, which could potentially increase side effects unless your doctor adjusts the dose. On the other hand, CBD induces other enzymes in this family, which speeds the breakdown of certain drugs so they may potentially be less effective unless the dose is increased. It's all dependent on what medication you're taking, at what dose, and how your body interacts with the medication. That's why we highly recommend consulting with your doctor before beginning a CBD practice to avoid any unwanted side-effects and also have peace of mind.
CBD has been shown to help people get to sleep and stay asleep by working its magic in the body in a biological manner. It operates within something known as an endocannabinoid system, which is essentially our body's primary regulatory system.
The endocannabinoid system can be found in the body of all humans and has been shown to play a role in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm by balancing out your natural sleep/wake cycles. For instance, it's been reported to work similarly to melatonin. You can use it about an hour before bed, and given you've found your right serving size, will start to feel the blissful benefits within about thirty minutes.
The blissful benefits in question?
It is important to emphasize that, with CBD, finding a proper delivery method and each dose is highly individual. What works for some may not work for others. However, for fatigued Baby Boomers wary of the cumulative damage from OTC sleep aids, we highly suggest giving some all-natural, CBD honey or gummies a shot. We recommend starting low and going slow. Begin with a small serving of 10mg CBD per night, and if you’re not seeing the desired results after five days at that serving, go up by 5 or 10 milligrams. It’s also important to stick with it, as desired results may not be felt right away. Every body is different and it’s important to find what works for you.