Research into the use of cannabis or hemp for the alleviation of illness symptoms is nothing new – people have been supporting use of the weed (illegally, mostly) for generations. But growing scientific research is starting to prove that this isn’t just a hippie fantasy, or the premise of younger advocates.
Hemp oil is being embraced by a growing number of older consumers due to the supplement’s links with better mental acuity. And users are reporting great results for alleviating symptoms of Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, anxiety, fibromyalgia and even cancer.
What is CBD? Will it make me high?
Firstly, it’s important to make it clear that the kind of hemp oil we’re talking about is THC-free. THC is the psychoactive part of cannabis – and the part that makes hemp illegal. But hemp oil that is made using cannabidiol (CBD) has all the psychoactive properties removed and is taken as a supplement for a wide range of complaints, from anxiety or skin conditions to heart health. Hemp oil is also high in omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. It is now also thought that hemp oil could delay the onset of age-related conditions that result in mental deterioration, such as Alzheimer’s. Recent studies have indicated that taking cannabidiol (CBD) extracts can reduce amyloid-[beta] production as well as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which could potentially slow down the effects and symptoms of the disease for many people.
It is now also thought that hemp oil could delay the onset of age-related conditions that result in mental deterioration, such as Alzheimer’s.
Huge growth in older users
Professor Mike Barnes*, a leading neurologist, says, “We’re only just starting to understand the array of benefits connected with cannabidiol consumption. For a long time, wrongly in my view, hemp oil has carried a stigma. It’s pleasing to learn that some evidence is emerging that there are benefits for older people.” But as he points out, the beauty of using CBD is that it effectively side-steps the legalisation lobby. “Following our all-party parliamentary group report on medical cannabis, the debate has been focused around legalisation; something I believe would be a positive step within the medical profession. But the reality is that many of the proven health benefits of cannabis, based on study data and current patient trials, can be found from using CBD, without the mental health risks or psychoactive effects of cannabis.”
Tony Calamita, co-founder of Love Hemp, who make a range of products that are CBD based, says that his company is experiencing a real boom from boomers. “We’ve seen a real surge in sales of our hemp oils in the last 12 months. Our sales are historically to customers in their twenties and thirties but we’ve been really struck lately by the volume of sales that we’ve made to older customers. It’s interesting that cannabis has generally been associated with vagueness, whereas hemp oil has been shown in studies to sharpen mental acuity.”
It’s interesting that cannabis has generally been associated with vagueness, whereas hemp oil has been shown in studies to sharpen mental acuity.
So what exactly does this all mean?
The public understanding of hemp extracts and how they can be used is low, with many believing the products to be illegal or harmful to the brain. So we’ve put together a few myth-busters…
- CBD is illegal and is considered to be a drug
No. The key compound (cannabidiol) has never been a controlled substance. It is derived from approved strains of specially grown plants with extremely low THC levels. It’s totally legal.
- You can still get high from products containing CBD
No. THC (delta-9-tethrahydrocannabinol) is the component within cannabis that is responsible for creating a high. Due to the methods used in the processing and extraction of CBD hemp extracts, the levels of THC present are negligible.
- There is no scientific evidence that CBD has a positive impact on medical conditions
Again, no. Millions has been invested in the study of cannabis extracts and CBD over the past decade. There is already scientific evidence to support the treatment of issues such as epilepsy, inflammation, anxiety, and mild to strong pain relief.
Products containing CBD can only be purchased from unregulated ‘head shops’ or hidden websites
No. In fact, CBD is a fast growing industry in the UK with an increasing number of reputable high street stockists.
So can I try this stuff?
Always check in with your doctor first about trying medication, particularly if you’re already taking other meds. Love Hemp are a reputable supplier but CBD products can also be found in many high street stores like Baldwins, Holland & Barrett and Planet Organic. Do your research to find the good stuff – Love Hemp’s products are also vegan and there’s a range of different products on offer, including hemp oil for pets! It’s not a cheap option, but it seems like it’s pretty effective in many cases and the dosage often doesn’t need to be high. Reportedly there are no ‘high’ effects of usage at all, so you don’t need to worry about being ‘stoned’! But as with any supplements or medication, it’s best to get checked out first.
Jo Reeve, UK
I have fibromyalgia and suffer with horrible RLS (restless leg syndrome) which means I’m lucky to get two hours sleep a night. I’ll admit I was totally skeptical about CBD, but being somewhat desperate I decided what the hell, and I’m so glad I did! The first night I took two sprays before bed and no RLS! It’s been a few days now and not a twitch.
Ann Wade, UK
We decided to try the 40% CBD oil to treat my husband’s dyskinesia (caused by his Parkinson’s medication) as we’ve seen videos of people getting remarkable relief from taking the oil. We administered the tiniest drop under his tongue to see if it would have any effect. Amazingly it did! His dyskinesia (involuntary writhing movement) calmed almost to a stop, not only for that entire day but for part of the next day as well. Hopefully this very low level dose will continue to help him so that we can afford to keep it up. We are so grateful for the natural God-given remedies that are helping him deal with PD.
Mrs E Beresford, UK
I no longer use my crutches to walk. I can walk normally and use my wheelchair only for distance or if I will be mobilizing for a length of time. I am able to go to the shops alone and can push the shopping trolley. My blood pressure has lowered, my panic attacks have stopped and I no longer have anxiety. I can go to bed and go to sleep normally. This product has definitely helped my fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. I take one drop in the morning and one drop at night, and I am also going to start taking a drop at lunchtime to see what happens. My doctor was shocked when he saw the difference in me!
Suzanne Sutherland, UK
I have been trying cannabis oil now for nearly two months and have just started to notice a benefit to my mobility (Parkinson’s). Half an hour after taking ten drops of the 8% cannabis oil after 21:00; one dose in one day, the dexterity in my hands means I can turn the screw into my hot water bottle, swiftly and with ease.
With thanks to Trustpilot
- There is lots more information about the science at Love Hemp.
* About Professor Mike Barnes
Mike Barnes is a Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation and a trained consultant Neurologist and Rehabilitation Physician. He founded the International Centre for Neurorehabilitation at Walkergate Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, and was the Founding President of the World Federation of NeuroRehabilitation and remains on the Executive Board. He has also been President of the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine and is currently chair of the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF).