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Ask A Doctor – CBD And The ‘Over 50s’

CBD for over 50s
Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

CBD is used to treat a host of symptoms in the over 50s. From high blood pressure and cardiac disease to chronic liver disease and even shingles, CBD could be just what the doctor ordered

Question: My husband – he’s 64 years old, is on metformin and wants to know if it’s okay to take CBD with it

Yes, it is. Metformin is not metabolized in the liver (where CBD is metabolized).
The “bad press” about how cannabis can make diabetes worse comes from those studies of people who take THC, not CBD. THC can cause the “munchies” which is when a person craves high caloric, sweet foods.

If you use THC, your diabetes will worsen because after the effects of the THC wane, and you crave high calorie sweets, the body weight goes up – and so does the blood sugar.
CBD does not result in “munchies”. CBD does not interact with metformin. CBD is perfectly safe to take with metformin.

1. “Metformin pathways: pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.” Pharmacogenetic Genomics. 2012 Nov; 22(11): 820–827.
2. Pharmacogenetics of metformin response: a step in the path toward personalized medicine. J Clin Invest. 2007; 117:1226–1229

Question: My 86-year-old mom is chronically ill. She has suffered a lot in her life.
She has high blood pressure, cardiac disease, chronic liver disease, and above all, a recent outbreak of shingles that resulted in her hospitalization a week ago. A mother can have eight children, but each one – myself including – can have only one mom. Please help her.

Your mom has neuropathic pain. Shingles causes neuropathic pain. Shingles is the dermatological manifestation of a virus that lies dormant in the spinal nerve and under times of stress (mental or physical) becomes activated and appears on the skin as scattered blistering painful itchy scales that run along the same path as the dermatomes.
Start your mom on CBD right away. She is old, female, and likely petite. Starting at only 2-gm tinctures will begin to give her benefit.

Remember – though she may be blessed with many children, she is still a “virgin” to CBD, so we don’t yet know how sensitive her body will react to it.
Starting at a low dose will give you the freedom to increase it has high as you (and she) wish.

Please give it to her twice a day, and then reassess. Continue tapering it up ever few days and go as high as necessary.Each person responds differently.
What works for one person – given the same gender, body weight, disease process, and age, does not necessary work for another with all the same variables.
Once the pain, anxiety, and depression are addressed CBD will afford your mom an added benefit – it will help her get a restful sleep.

Question: Can CBD help my older sister? She is 68 years old. She has been having “mini-strokes”. The doctor says that one day she’s going to have a really big one and….

Absolutely yes. Start her on CBD now – it will help to decrease the incidence and the extent of any future cerebral events. CBD is a neuroprotective agent. When the cells of the body undergo hypoxic or ischemic insult such in seen in cerebral or cardiac ischemia (i.e. stroke or heart attack), CBD inhibits the uptake of adenosine. As a result, adenosine levels are increased. Increased adenosine protects against the cell damage that occurs in ischemic heart and brain injury, seizures, and inflammation.

Question: My 75-year-old mom has emphysema due to second-hand smoking.
I am wondering if either CBD or THC can be used in the management of her emphysema. If so what recommendations do you have?

Emphysema is a lung condition where the inflammatory enzymes in the lung eat away at the lung tissue leaving very little viable alveoli.
The result is persistent shortness of breath and diminished exercise tolerance.
People suffering with emphysema often have tremendous anxiety due to the difficulty in breathing.

Once the lung tissues are destroyed, short of a lung transplant, there is no cure.
Either one – CBD or THC can help. But whichever you choose, it will be a lifelong treatment to help control her symptoms. CBD is an anti-inflammatory. CBD is an anti-anxiety agent.
CBD can help your mom by decreasing the inflammation causing destruction of the lung parenchyma.

CBD will reduce the anxiety she has due to the difficulty in “catching her breath”.
If you choose to give her THC, remember that due to the chronicity of emphysema, your mom will have to take the THC for the rest of her life.

Taking an agent for the rest of your life that is addictive and requires progressively higher doses to get the same effect is not necessary when you have CBD available.
I recommend softgels because it is easier to take softgels that tinctures when you are older.

Softgels are easy to swallow, easy to digest, and there is no measuring necessary as the CBD is in pill form and not liquid form.

Please be advised that we are moving the weekly In-house doctor session to a more suitable time as requested – From Thursday at 3pm EST, to the earlier time of 1pm EST on Thursday.

If you want to read more from Dr Zachar, check out: ‘Ask A Doctor – CBD For The Elderly

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About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.