Many senior citizens that grew up in the thick of reefer madness and the war on drugs may not be as knowledgeable about cannabis. From the intoxicating delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound to the non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD), cannabis has a variety of therapeutic compound that has provided relief for many individuals including seniors.

Now that cannabis, and CBD in particular, are legal in many states and countries, seniors are open to incorporating CBD into their daily lives. Some seniors prefer to take the non-intoxicating route with CBD-based oils, capsules, salves, edibles, and other high-free products.

If you’re a senior or know someone who can benefit from CBD, here’s a concise and comprehensive guide on everything CBD, from understanding what it is to figuring out dosing.

What’s CBD?

CBD is a trending buzzword that has all but lost all its meaning. If you can look past the hype, you’ll learn that CBD is one of the two most popular cannabinoid compounds, which act on the body’s endocannabinoid system of cell receptors found throughout the body. Inhalation, ingestion, and dermal application of CBD interact with these receptors.

Will CBD Get You High?

Seniors that don’t want to experience the drowsiness or altered sensory perception associated with THC can handle the non-intoxicating CBD. Pure CBD products will not produce any semblance of a high. CBD is, however, psychoactive, meaning that it has an effect on brain function. Generally, CBD affects mood and cognition making users feel relaxed and calm.

Is CBD Legal?

No matter what age, no one wants to go to jail, especially for something as harmless as buying or using CBD. CBD’s availability depends on its source. If it’s made from industrial hemp, you may find it in most states, although, some local laws prevent the sale of CBD.

If a CBD product was made from cannabis-derived CBD, you’ll only be able to buy it at a licensed retailer in a state with medical or recreational marijuana laws. In medical states, you’ll need a medical recommendation or card to purchase marijuana-derived CBD.

How Does CBD Interact With THC?

As we know, THC can get users “stoned.” Low-THC strains and products can provide a mild buzz for first-time or low-tolerance seniors. When taken in conjunction with THC, CBD has been shown to mitigate the negative side effects of THC like paranoia and anxiety. In essence, CBD works by indirectly improving the effectiveness of THC on the human body.

Understanding CBD Ratios

Ultimately, how a THC and CBD-containing product affects a person depends on a variety of things, including the ratio of CBD:THC included in the product. A 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC has been anecdotally shown to provide balanced effects. The higher the CBD:THC ratio, the less psychotropic effects you will experience. For example, a 20:1 product won’t leave you incapacitated. Instead, you may feel a clear-headed experience with a noticeable mood boost.

Where to Buy CBD

CBD is available online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Stop by major drug stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid in select cities to pick up CBD creams and salves. You can also buy CBD from licensed dispensaries with an ID in recreational states and a medical card in medicinal only states.

Don’t just buy any CBD product. Testing on CBD is still in the works, so consumers run the risk of buying bogus products with a less-than-advertised concentration of CBD. Always check for independent laboratory certification to ensure you know what’s in your weed or weed-infused product. You’ll be able to know its cannabinoid concentration and have peace of mind that there are no harmful contaminants in the product.

How to Use CBD

I’ve discussed CBD in the broad sense of the term. In fact, there are countless CBD products and delivery methods that can work for all seniors. Don’t want to smoke CBD flower? Try edibles. Need localized relief? Go with topicals. Each product has a unique set of ingredients, concentrations, and effects. What works for one person may not work for the other.

Flower and Concentrates

CBD flower strains like Charlotte’s Web, Cannatonic, Harlequin, and ACDC have as much as 20% CBD with less than 1% THC. One hit of this in a glass pipe or a dry herb vaporizer can produce nearly instantaneous effects that can last for a couple of hours. Concentrates, however, boast 70% and above CBD concentrations, perfect for seniors that need big relief.


Edibles can be CBD-infused chocolate bars or CBD tea. Any food or drink infused with CBD goes through your digestive system, which can delay the onset of effects. Expect effects to start one to two hours or more after ingestion. These effects can last for multiple hours and can range in potency and THC content, if applicable.


Don’t want to inhale or ingest CBD? Give CBD topicals a try. CBD lotions, salves, bath bombs, and lubricants have been used to provide localized relief for skin conditions, as well as muscle, joint, and nerve pain. Consumers report rubbing a bit of salve on their temples to relieve a headache, but topicals have also been shown to improve arthritis and other skin lesions.

Seniors are one of the largest growing demographics who are benefitting from cannabis-derived compounds like CBD and THC. It can be intimidating to introduce a new drug into your treatment plan. Before beginning any serious CBD regimen, consult your doctor to ensure it’s safe to take CBD based on your medical history.


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