Is CBD for Aging a Potential Fountain of Youth?

Old man with beard against black background

Could CBD for aging be the next age-defying panacea? According to scientific research, CBD certainly appears to halt or slow down many aspects of the aging process, but there’s still much more to be learned. In this guide, we’ll pass on everything we know about the benefits of CBD for aging, and we’ll share some of the most exciting scientific research supporting this simple cannabinoid’s anti-aging effects.

History of CBD for Aging

Ever since human beings gained self-awareness, a central question has dominated the development of culture and civilization: Is aging inevitable, or are there ways you can slow down or even stop this process? Over the years, various treatments and lifestyles have been promoted as age-defying, but the vast majority of these approaches to anti-aging have been debunked as mumbo-jumbo and snake oil.

At the same time, scientists have learned much more about what causes human beings to age. With the advent of industrialization, the average global lifespan has increased exponentially, but it’s natural to feel that life is still too short. By leveraging the latest scientific breakthroughs against what we know about the beneficial properties of CBD, it’s possible to develop a cohesive hypothesis for why CBD might succeed where so many other supposedly anti-aging treatments have failed.

CBD nug surrounded by heart-shaped drops of CBD oil
Scientists say that CBD is more powerful than vitamin C or vitamin E

CBD as an Antioxidant

Since the discovery of this cannabinoid, scientists have been stunned by the apparent antioxidant properties of CBD. While “antioxidant” is a familiar phrase to anyone who has spent any time on alternative health sites or visited a natural foods store, the science behind how antioxidants help slow down or prevent the aging process is worth looking at in detail. Along the way, we’ll explain exactly how CBD’s impressive antioxidant profile might make it an ideal anti-aging treatment.

1. What Is Oxidative Stress?

As its name suggests, “oxidative stress” has to do with the behavior of oxygen in your body. Your body is filled with oxygen atoms, and microscopic organelles (cell organs) called mitochondria use these atoms to make water, carbon dioxide, and other substances that contain oxygen.

As a result of this natural cellular process, however, some oxygen atoms end up without full valences of electrons, which are the subatomic particles that surround atoms and provide electrical balance. Atoms that have been stripped of electrons, called free radicals, will seek to steal them from surrounding atoms, which reduces cell integrity. Cells that have been hounded by free radicals experience reductions in overall health, and they die more easily.

Ideally, the body’s natural antioxidant mechanisms would be enough to keep the levels of free radicals in your system balanced. Free radicals are, after all, an integral part of your body’s metabolic mechanisms; you certainly don’t want to eliminate all the free radicals in your system. However, environmental stresses and a variety of other factors can increase the levels of free radicals in your body beyond safe limits, which leads to cell death and systemic aging.

2. Oxidative Stress Shortens Your Telomeres

In recent years, “telomere” has become a buzzword in scientific and health-conscious circles. Telomeres1 serve as caps on your chromosomes that protect them from damage. Every time a chromosome in your body replicates, it sheds or “truncates” its telomeres, and the telomeres that grow at the ends of the new chromosomes are slightly shorter.

While telomeres can be regenerated by an enzyme called telomerase reverse transcriptase, if the telomeres on your chromosomes become too short, the cells containing these chromosomes will become unable to replicate. This inability to replicate cells leads to senescence, which is the scientific term for the process of dying.

Intriguingly, recent research has determined that oxidative stress shortens your telomeres2. By returning the balance of oxidative stress and antioxidant activity in your body to homeostasis with potent antioxidants like CBD, therefore, it is apparently possible to slow down telomere damage and allow these chromosome caps to be replenished by telomerase reverse transcriptase.

3. The Antioxidant Profile of CBD

All this leads us to a thorough examination of the antioxidant effects of CBD. First, let’s review what we’ve covered so far:

  • Oxidative stress reduces cell integrity and leads to cell death
  • Telomeres, which are necessary for cell replication as you age, are harmed by oxidative stress
  • Therefore, antioxidants should be able to protect your cell integrity and promote telomere regeneration, which would slow down the aging process, fight back against senescence, and promote homeostasis

One of the first indications that CBD may be a powerful antioxidant emerged in 1998 in a paper that was presented at the National Academy of Sciences. The authors of this study contended that, despite this cannabinoid’s practically unknown status at this time, CBD has potent antioxidant properties3 that deserve closer examination. According to these pioneering CBD researchers, cannabidiol is more powerful as an antioxidant than either vitamin E or vitamin C, which are some of the most potent antioxidants known to science.

Since then, further research has confirmed that CBD has a potent antioxidant profile. For instance, a landmark 2011 scientific review4 discussed the efforts that are currently ongoing to better understand the effect of CBD on oxidative stress and inflammation.

This wide-ranging review of the evidence determined that prior studies had already fully established CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The authors discussed the chemical mechanisms of action of CBD and closely examined the potential benefits of this cannabinoid for “rheumatoid arthritis, types I and II diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, the [sic] metabolic syndrome, ischemia-reperfusion injury, depression, and neuropathic pain.”

4. Implications of CBD’s Antioxidant Effects

These results strongly indicate that the reported antioxidant properties of CBD may be able to slow down the aging process and promote homeostatic cell reproduction. In addition to preventing dangerous diseases that can reduce your longevity and quality of life, CBD appears to target the mechanisms that facilitate the aging process itself.

Some scientists believe that aging is essentially no different than any other medical condition; far from being an inevitable aspect of being alive, bodily decay and senescence culminating in death may be as preventable as typhoid or polio with the proper medical tools. While it’s clear that all things in life are impermanent, it’s also reasonable to assume that avoidable environmental toxins and preventable free radical activity also cause senescence prematurely. CBD may be a powerful tool for promoting proper cell replication, preventing senescence, and improving longevity and quality of life in advanced age.

We’ll conclude this section with a brief discussion of the inflammation theory of disease. According to prominent researchers, inflammation may cause every type of disease and bodily imbalance5. Given CBD’s strong anti-inflammatory profile, this increasingly popular theory simply reinforces this substance’s potential as an age-defying panacea.

Women in bright field with hat and white dress
Can CBD make your skin healthier and reduce the visible signs of aging?

CBD and Skin Health

We’ve covered how CBD appears to reverse the underlying causes of aging, but it seems that this non-psychoactive cannabinoid may also be able to reduce the visible symptoms of aging in your face and the skin tissues that cover the rest of your body. Combined, this duo of internal and external CBD effects appears to approach the problem of aging from every conceivable angle to deliver impressive results.

1. Topical Benefits of CBD and Aging

There are a variety of ways you can ingest CBD to improve your skin health. For instance, research suggests that any CBD that you orally ingest, vaporize, or apply sublingually will promote antioxidant action throughout your body. This antioxidant activity is, however, spread throughout your system when you apply CBD via a non-topical administration route, which means that it is relatively diffuse and low-dose by the time it makes any impact on your skin.

Topical administration of CBD, however, directly targets the application site. While a small percentage of topically-applied CBD will pass on through the rest of your body via your bloodstream, the vast majority of CBD that you apply to your skin remains in the area of application.

Not all topical CBD administration methods are equal. To effectively penetrate your skin, CBD, which is a naturally hydrophobic compound, must be paired with a water-based topical solution. Water-based topicals facilitate transdermal absorption, which is the process by which active ingredients, such as CBD, are carried through your skin’s barrier and into the underlying tissues. Oil-based topicals, however, tend to stay on the skin, and the benefits of CBD applied topically with an oil-based formula will remain localized to the surface of the skin.

Topical administration allows the reported antioxidant benefits of CBD to directly impact your skin without being processed by your digestive system or diffusing throughout your organs and tissues. While it’s not possible to calculate the exact potency difference between various methods of CBD administration, it’s likely that applying CBD topically delivers at least 10 times the effectiveness at the site of application than oral CBD ingestion or any other application method.

If you want to utilize the reported antioxidant benefits of CBD specifically to reduce signs of aging in your skin, such as wrinkles, sagging, or hyperpigmentation, topical application of this cannabinoid will drastically improve its effectiveness. Keep in mind, however, that topical administration of CBD will limit the ability of this cannabinoid to perform other disease-preventing antioxidant activities throughout your body.

2. CBD for Skin Conditions

Skin conditions can promote oxidative stress, damage your tissues, and cause permanent scarring that increases the visible effects of aging. Prevention of skin conditions from an early age, therefore, can decrease both the visible symptoms of aging and the underlying oxidative damage that contributes to telomere degradation, cell replication issues, and senescence.

According to a systematic review of the evidence available on the topical effects of CBD6, researchers concluded that this cannabinoid has the potential to treat “ a variety of skin conditions, including acne vulgaris, allergic contact dermatitis, asteatotic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, Kaposi sarcoma, pruritus, psoriasis, skin cancer, and the cutaneous manifestations of systemic sclerosis.”

Important to note among these findings is the potential of CBD to treat acne and skin cancer. Acne vulgaris, which leading scientific research identifies as an inflammation-dependent condition7, can severely damage your skin and lead to premature aging. This condition is also usually indicative of an underlying hormonal imbalance or a similar medical issue, so treating acne with CBD by both topical and internal administration routes may be warranted.

If left untreated, skin cancer tumors, known as melanomas, can metastasize and spread throughout your body, which causes serious system-wide damage and significantly curtails your life span. Even if you survive skin cancer, this condition’s contribution to the visible symptoms of aging can be severe.

3. Implications of CBD’s Topical Benefits

Trying to cover up the underlying causes of aging with limited topical improvements is like putting lipstick on a pig. However, the most popular methods of dealing with the visible signs of aging, such as Botox injection, facelifts, and heavy makeup application, do nothing to alleviate the underlying causes of aging symptoms. The only way to stop the symptoms of visible aging is to treat oxidative stress in the skin and prevent skin conditions that contribute to the aging process.

While further research must be done to fully substantiate topically-applied CBD’s apparent anti-aging properties, it certainly appears that CBD offers substantive anti-aging benefits by treating the underlying causes of visible aging. Even though CBD treatment seems to proactively address the causes of visible aging instead of suppressing them in appearance only, it would still be wise to combine the application of topical CBD for aging with the administration of internal CBD products to address the symptoms of aging from every conceivable angle.

Analog scale made out of cannabis leaves
Which type of CBD is best for anti-aging?

What Type of CBD Should I Use for Anti-Aging?

As you’ve researched the basics of CBD, you’ve likely noticed that there are a variety of forms of cannabidiol on the market:

1. Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

Full-spectrum hemp oil is hemp extract that’s naturally rich in CBD. While some people also refer to this substance as full-spectrum CBD oil, this term more commonly refers to hemp oil to which extra CBD has been added.

In addition to CBD, full-spectrum hemp oil also contains CBN, CBG, CBDV, and dozens of other beneficial cannabinoids. While this type of CBD does contain up to the legal limit of 0.3% THC, it also contains beneficial terpenes, such as limonene and beta-caryophyllene. Altogether, CBD works with the other components of full-spectrum hemp oil to manifest a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, which is a type of synergy in which the combined components of full-spectrum hemp oil provide benefits that far exceed the sum of their parts.

2. Isolate CBD

Isolate CBD contains nothing but the cannabidiol molecule itself. All other components have been stripped from isolate CBD, which solves the legal issues that the presence of THC may pose under rare circumstances.

While some research indicates that isolate CBD may lose efficacy at extremely high doses8, this type of CBD is nearly as effective as full-spectrum CBD at the doses most users enjoy. Isolate CBD is also less odorous and has a milder taste profile than full-spectrum hemp oil, which some users might find preferable.

3. Broad-Spectrum CBD

This type of CBD is the latest addition to the CBD family. For years, cannabis producers have attempted to produce full-spectrum hemp oil while eliminating the trace amounts of THC present in this substance, and after seemingly endless experimentation, these attempts have been met with success. The resulting substance is called “broad-spectrum CBD oil,” and it has all the benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil without containing any THC whatsoever.

Cannabis researchers are, however, not entirely certain how removing THC from hemp oil will impact the entourage effect. Since THC is only one out of more than 100 cannabinoids present in hemp, it’s likely that removing this psychoactive and legally-complicated cannabinoid from the equation won’t significantly reduce the effects of CBD-rich hemp oil. However, not enough research has been done to prove that removing trace amounts of THC from hemp oil doesn’t reduce its effectiveness.

Where Can I Get CBD for Aging?

There are a few places that you can get CBD in your quest to push back the effects of aging, but some sources are better than others:

1. Recreational or Medical Cannabis Shops

Many state-sanctioned medical and recreational cannabis facilities now offer CBD products to individuals who are 21 years or older or have medical marijuana authorization. While some states demand rigorous testing for CBD products, others do not, which may result in quality control issues. Additionally, most CBD products sold at medical cannabis stores also contain high levels of THC, which you may not find to be desirable.

2. General Market Retailers

As CBD has exploded in popularity, it’s become easier to find CBD products at general market retailers like gas stations, natural food stores, and vape shops. The amount of information you can find on CBD products at general market retailers, however, pales in comparison to the information on CBD that’s available online, and the selection of CBD products at even the most robust general market retailers is highly limited.

3. Online at CBGenius.net

The internet is the most competitive arena for CBD sales, which has historically promoted increased product innovation. Today, the internet is the premier marketplace for high-quality, unique CBD products, and it’s easier than ever to purchase CBD products online. Here at CBGenius, we offer the most science-based CBD products on the planet, and we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have about our cutting-edge products or CBD in general.

CBGenius logo
Shop with confidence at CBGenius.net

Why CBGenius Offers the Best CBD for Aging

Here at CBGenius, we understand that all the smooth-talking marketing jargon in the world isn’t worth half as much as cold, hard scientific research. We believe that the benefits of CBD speak for themselves, and we simply serve as vehicles for spreading knowledge of this impressively beneficial cannabinoid far and wide.

This dedication to scientific principles extends far beyond how we conduct the marketing side of our business. We also offer the most rigorously-tested, tailor-engineered CBD on the market, and our background in the hard sciences has uniquely equipped us to deliver the benefits of CBD without all the salesmanship.

At the helm of our company is Dr. Kevin Marchitto, the leading cannabis researcher credited with over 100 articles and patents. As the head of one of the most prestigious cannabis testing labs in the United States, Dr. Marchitto knows the good from the bad when it comes to CBD, and he’s dedicated to helping consumers safely enjoy everything cannabidiol has to offer for a fair price.

Here at CBGenius, we’re engineering the next generation of CBD science, and we’re developing revolutionary products that will shake the CBD industry to its very core. Already, our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Tinctures, CBD-Infused Hand & Body Lotions, and CBD Bath Bombs are shattering preconceptions within the CBD industry and setting new benchmarks for excellence, and the story of CBGenius is just getting started.

CBD for Aging: The Bottom Line

The evidence supporting the efficacy of CBD as an anti-aging treatment is profound. With a combination of topical and internal antioxidant effects, CBD may be able to reverse the aging process and bolster critical mechanisms that support cell reproduction and integrity. More research needs to be done to fully establish the benefits of CBD for aging, but here at CBGenius, we’ll always be at the front lines of developing science-based CBD solutions that may one day even stop death itself.

Sources:

  1. Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging
  2. Oxidative stress shortens telomeres.
  3. Cannabidiol and (−)Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants
  4. Cannabidiol as an Emergent Therapeutic Strategy for Lessening the Impact of Inflammation on Oxidative Stress
  5. The inflammation theory of disease
  6. Cannabinoids in dermatology: a scoping review.
  7. The Role of Inflammation in the Pathology of Acne
  8. Overcoming the Bell‐Shaped Dose‐Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol

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