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For Those Worried About Aging Is CBD Really The Fountain of Youth?

Jessica McKeil

People who take CBD will often say they feel a renewed vigor that includes extra energy to spare, but can CBD actually slow the aging process?

Humans’ search for the fountain of youth probably began at the dawn of time. Records of this search date back as far as ancient Greek philosophers to the first explorers of the New World. Everyone wants to find the secret of eternal youth. Today, you would be forgiven if you’ve started to wonder if cannabidiol (CBD) is the elixir we’ve been searching for.

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Don’t believe everything you read about CBD

A quick search about CBD for health, and you’ll immediately see how skewed the science can get. As one blog post is rewritten into another. By the end of the game of informational-telephone tag, the results from one small study of CBD in a petri dish has become the cure-all for cancer, wrinkles, and depression.

Consumers should always be wary about any companies making absolute claims about their products. Thankfully, CBD is safe to consume in nearly all circumstances. However the evidence is barely past the petri dish phase of study.

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Most CBD research is conducted on human cells in a laboratory, sometimes on lab animals, and very, very rarely on small human trials. To date, the only approval given by the Food and Drug Administration to any cannabis derivative is to Epidiolex (for the treatment of intractable forms of epilepsy).

Still, it’s not as if the these claims about CBD are entirely baseless. The current body of research into CBD’s potential therapeutic value is exciting. And while it may not be the fountain of youth, but there is a lot of promise for its youthful and healthful properties.

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What Does the Research Really Say?

Thus far, most research demonstrates CBD has two key properties which may, given more study, promote anti-aging effects. These are: antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. But, have there been any legitimate, placebo controlled studies on CBD-infused creams and aging to prove the many claims out there? Unfortunately, contrary to what you might read on many health and wellness blogs about CBD, there are no direct studies of CBD for aging.

However, there are many studies on CBD and inflammation, or CBD and oxidation. For example, CBD is proven to have powerful antioxidative qualities, stronger than Vitamin A or Vitamin E. If you’ve taken a glance through the beauty product aisle, both Vitamin A and E are often appear in anti-aging creams. One could easily assume CBD may eventually make an appearance here as well, given more research.

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There is also a large section of research on CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is the root cause of many common diseases and illnesses, from asthma to Parkinson’s Disease to arthritis. There are many studies now demonstrating CBD reduces inflammation in these areas and many more. Arguably inflammation is an increasing issue as we age. So, there may be a place for CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties in the future.

The final area of interest surrounding CBD and aging is the way the compound may protect the brain. Many of the compounds found in cannabis, including CBD, can demonstrate a profound ability to protect the brain from age-related inflammation. Cannabidiol is specifically undergoing intense study for consumption as a hypoxia-ischemia protection for Huntington’s Disease and Parkinson’s. In many cases, the acute administration of CBD seems to delay the onset of symptoms and slow down their progression.

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The Entourage Effect

When CBD combines with other cannabinoids, like THC, it may be even more powerful. This interaction goes by the name the entourage effect. In a recent study — published in the European Journal of Pain Supplements (2016) — on aging and cannabis in mice, the lab results were quite astounding. When researchers supplied cannabis to mice throughout their short lifespan, they had measurably younger brains as elderly mice, than their counterparts.

The conclusions of the study showed that when supplied with THC, elderly mice had better social recognition, orientation, and biologically younger brains than the control group. This theory is in the very early stages of study. But the results have exciting implications for neurodegenerative conditions.

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Is ‘CBD a Fountain of Youth’ Fake News?

We may never uncover a real fountain of youth. However, that doesn’t mean the research into the benefits of CBD oil is all for naught. Cannabis and its many cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, each play a different role within the human endocannabinoid system. When taken as one aspect of a more holistic health and wellness plan, CBD could ultimately become a powerful, all-natural, supplement.

Until there is conclusive proof about the therapeutic value of CBD, it’s a bit of a stretch to say CBD keeps you young. It is clear, however, that CBD is a safe medicine, and may prevent age-related brain and joint degeneration. But it is not likely to reverse the aging process.

Jessica McKeil
Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She is lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where the cannabis industry is exploding. When not writing, she spends much of her time exploring in the coastal forests.

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