How CBD Promotes Longevity
How CBD Promotes Longevity
Over the last few years the attitude towards CBD has changed significantly. There has been a societal acceptance of the many health benefits to come from the use of CBD and as a result stores have rushed to line their shelves with CBD products.
While there are still hundreds of lingering questions on how CBD can benefit our modern society, one of the topics of focus has been how CBD impacts longevity.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
To understand how CBD affects longevity, it is important to understand what the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is and how CBD impacts it.
The ECS is an internal override system that helps the body maintain a natural, balanced state called homeostasis. The ECS can help modulate a wider-variety of physiological processes like mood, memory, appetite, stress and anxiety through the production of endocannabinoids.
As we get older the ECS is less effective and produces less endocannabinoids. CBD contains phytocannabinoids, which can help supplement or even replace endocannabinoids as we get older and throughout our entire lives.
Health Benefits of CBD
In addition to supplementing endocannabinoids, CBD also provides a whole host of health benefits, all of which promote increased longevity.
The endocannabinoid system helps regulate physical reactions to stress. Since the phytocannabinoids that are found in CBD work with the ECS to help regulate cortisol production, CBD will help reduce the physical effects of stress. In fact, one study out of the University of Washington found that CBD can help reduce stress and anxiety no matter the dosage (Stoner, 2017).
While stress is not directly related to a premature death, it is linked to a host of health issues that are. For example, stress has been linked to cardiovascular issues along with the encouragement of unhealthy habits like overeating and drug abuse.
Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common problem among adults. An increased blood pressure puts additional strain on your heart and blood vessels, which may ultimately lead to kidney and cardiovascular issues or even a stroke.
A study done in 2017 found that just a single dose of CBD can help reduce blood pressure (Jadoon, 2017). While more research is necessary, CBD might be a great alternative to blood pressure medicine as it will not produce the negative side effects that some of these meds do.
As you get older, your bones get more brittle and break easier. A broken bone might be the gateway into a whole host of health issues. In fact, according to American Bone Health 30% issues from falls are the leading cause of death in adults over the age of 65.
According to a study out of Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University, regular consumption of CBD can help strengthen bones to prevent breaks and aid in the healing process should a breakage occur (Kogan, 2015). Therefore, CBD could help address the issue of bone health in the elderly and greatly expand life expectancy.
Prevent Memory Loss
According to the Alzheimer’s Association one in nine people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Additionally, it kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
While little is known about the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, early studies have shown that CBD has a positive effect in managing the symptoms of the disease.
The thinking is that CBD is effective in managing the symptoms of the disease because of its ability to reduce neuroinflammation. However, recent studies have demonstrated that the Alzheimer’s disease causes the endocannabinoid system to work strenuously. Therefore, CBD might be involved in a potential treatment or even cure of the disease.
A Look into Studies on the Effects CBD on Longevity
While CBD has positive benefits in preventing issues that cause a pre-mature death, it also has been shown to extend longevity without considering its effects on other aspects of an individual’s health.
While the studies are few and far between there have been some significant findings to come out of CBD studies regarding its effects on longevity in the past couple of years.
A Real-Life Example: Bama Yao
Bama Yao, a remote village in the mountains of Southern China, boasts one of the highest life expectancies in the world. In fact, Bama County, where Bama Yao is located, has 73 centenarians (people over 100 years-old) with a mere 300,000 citizens. Their secret? Hemp oil.
The people of Bama Yao consume a broth made from hemp seeds and oil called Houmayou twice daily. This broth contains a whole host of health vitamins, nutrients, amino acids, and healthy fats. Additionally, the broth contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lower cholesterol, improved brain function and better overall health in general.
While there may be other environmental factors in play with Bama Yao village’s outstanding life expectancy, it is clear the nutritional benefits provided from hemp have at least had a positive impact on their overall health.
C. Elegan Worms: A Look into the Future?
A study completed by the Canadian company Canopy Growth demonstrated that the use of CBD oil throughout the entire two-week lifespan of C. elegan worms extended the lifespan of the worms by 8% and showed a 206% increase in late life activity.
These results are extremely promising; however, there are some limitations. Since C. elegan worms share 60%-80% of their genes with humans they offered a good comparison, but only administrating the CBD over a two-week period does not demonstrate how the cannabinoid could impact us over the long term. While this study leaves us with a lot of lingering questions, it is a good entry into how CBD may impact longevity.
An Inconclusive Zebra Fish Study
A study in April 2020 looked to see how early CBD exposure impacted the longevity of zebra fish (Pandelides, 2020). While the study hypothesized that exposing zebra fish larvae to a single dose of CBD would negatively impact their longevity and behavior, it actually found that the exposure had no significant impact.
The societal shift to acceptance of the use of CBD products has provided science the freedom to explore all the possible benefits of CBD. While there is still much to learn, the early results and endless potential make for an exciting time in CBD discovery.
Jadoon, Khalid. A Single Dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight. 2017 Jun 15; 2(12): e93760. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/
Kogan, Natalya. Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Pyschotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2015 March 19. https://asbmr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jbmr.2513
Pandelides, Zacharias. Developmental exposure to cannabidiol (CBD) alters longevity and health span of zebrafish. GeroScience. 2020 Apr; 42(2): 785–800.
Stoner SA. Effects of Marijuana on Mental Health: Anxiety Disorders. Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, June 2017. URL: http://adai.uw.edu/pubs/pdf/2017mjanxiety.pdf.