Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Almost one in five adults over 50 use some form of CBD product.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-euphoric cousin of THC that may reduce pain from inflammation, improve memory in Alzheimer’s Disease, reduce seizures, improve insomnia, relieve anxiety, impact chronic pain, and relieve arthritis. You do not get high off CBD.
Seniors are particularly interested in this promising new supplement and many claim that CBD has worked wonders for their ailments. And, as a sign of the times, you may now purchase it in CVS pharmacies, Walgreens and even online.
In addition, recent legislation has legalized hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant from which CBD can be extracted.
CBD Legality in Assisted Living
The laws surrounding CBD vary from state to state and add to confusion mainly due to Federal waffling about its stance on CBD dosages and safety guidelines relative to testing and labeling.
CBD is legal in Michigan, but federal laws still maintain that it is not legal to ingest in edible or supplement form yet. This creates a difficult situation for senior living facilities who still must follow federal law despite CBD’s growing popularity in a state where it is legal to use it and sell it.
What many senior living facilities do is embrace the issue realizing that CBD is a popular self-administered supplement and have set forth policies that allow family members to bring the CBD in to their loved one, keep it in a locked container and have the resident or family members administer it.
Because Assisted Care residents must follow health professional orders, residents should consult with their health care provider before taking CBD and work with the care team to have it entered in their care plan consistent with facility policies.
CBD and Improved Quality of Life in Senior Living
It would benefit all senior living facilities to adopt proactive policies and procedures sensitive to the changing legislative seasons to reflect an adoption of CBD use among its senior population.
A recent Gallup poll portrayed seniors who used CBD as expressing an increased quality of life 51% of the time as opposed to 31% of non-users. (See https://www.kathyshattler.com/post/navigating-the-endocannabinoid-system for more information on how CBD works to increase quality of life).
Yes, CBD is here to stay, and we might as well embrace the concept, draft supportive policies and keep our seniors safe and happy.
Contact me at for more information, resources, available product descriptions and recommendations.
CBD- It’s Coming To A Senior Near You, Let Me Help You Be Prepared!
Kathryn J. Shattler, MS, BS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist