Medicare and CBD for Seniors

Reviewed and Updated by Kelsey Davis,

Studies suggest that seniors are more likely to get addicted to prescription drugs than other age groups. More than 30% of people over the age of 65 take more than five prescription drugs each day. CBD is a natural, non-addictive alternative that can offer relief for conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, glaucoma, and arthritis.

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural compound that is found in the cannabis flower. Medicine has used this flower for thousands of years. In more recent years, CBD has been tested and confirmed by scientists around the world to ensure it is safe and non-addictive. CBD is closely related to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that cannabis is most known for and provides the “high.” Both THC and CBD can provide therapeutic benefits, but unlike THC, CBD does not get you high and is completely legal in all fifty states.

Medicare and CBD Coverage

Medicare does not cover CBD because even though it is legal in all fifty states, it is not legal on a federal level. Cannabis is considered a Schedule I drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. These drugs are banned from receiving federal or state funding. The process to get approved can take years and requires extensive studies.

Unfortunately, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans will not help cover the cost of CBD either. Even though they are sold through private insurance companies, they are still regulated through the federal government and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Is CBD Oil Covered by Medicare?

There are many different ways to take CBD. You can inhale, ingest, or apply it directly to your skin. Medicare does not cover any type of CBD, including oil.

If you’re looking for other ways to practice a healthy lifestyle, Medicare Advantage plans offer several additional benefits beyond Original Medicare, like hearing, dental, vision, non-emergency transportation, and group fitness programs like SilverSneakers®. One of our licensed agents can help you find a plan in your area. Click here to give us a call at 844-431-1832.

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Health Benefits of CBD for Seniors

There are several health benefits of CBD for seniors. The most common include:

Pain Management: Nearly 85% of older adults suffer from chronic pain. Fortunately, CBD can help lower inflammation and reduce pain from conditions like arthritis, joint pain, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Bone Health: As you age, you may develop a condition known as osteoporosis. This is when your bones lose vital minerals and become fragile and brittle. Alongside reducing inflammation, CBD can promote cell repair and even help strengthen your bones.

Improve Sleep: Sleep disorders like insomnia are more common as you age. To alleviate these issues, many seniors will turn to sleep medications. However, prolonged use can have negative impacts on your body. CBD can help combat stress, anxiety, and other imbalances in your body. This can lead to a better night’s sleep without the need for potentially harmful sleeping medications.

Addiction: Older adults are often prescribed several medications for various health conditions and illnesses. It’s easy to develop a dependency on your drugs, and some people may even get addicted. CBD can help alleviate the pain from several health conditions and combat the dependency you may have for your prescription medications. Plus, CBD can help alleviate the withdrawal and relapsing behaviors that can arise from certain drugs.

Heart Health: Heart disease is one of the most common conditions for older adults and is one of the top leading causes of death for Americans. Recent studies show CBD may be effective for lowering blood pressure and reducing cardiac inflammation. This can improve overall heart health and even act as a preventive measure against potential heart conditions down the road.

Mood: Mental health is increasingly important as we age. Seniors can easily feel disconnected, neglected, isolated, or lonely. CBD can interact with receptors to help alleviate stress, calm the mind, AND improve cognitive function.

Safe Ways to Take CBD

When you first start exploring CBD, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the abundance of options. It’s important to understand the different ingestion methods available so you can find what works for you.  

Inhalant: This should only be used for those who do not have throat or lung issues. Smoking CBD is not advised, but is still an option. You can purchase CBD flowers and smoke them like you would marijuana without the side effect of getting high. You can also purchase CBD-specific vape cartridges that can be used in vape pens. This allows you to inhale with vapor instead of smoke. This method allows the CBD to go directly in your bloodstream which can take effect faster than other methods. This is a popular choice for managing anxiety or insomnia.

Ingestible: There are several types of CBD products that can be taken orally. These include gummies, tinctures, gel gaps, pills, drinks, and chocolate. Ingesting CBD provides the same relief without the potentially harmful effects of inhaling smoke or vapor. The CBD will not enter your bloodstream as quickly, but it is easier to control dosage.

Topical: Topicals are a favorable method of CBD. You can apply it directly to a joint or area and reduce swelling and inflammation. This lowers the risk of potential reactions through inhaling or ingesting the product. Topical CBD balms, lotions, and oils are non-psychoactive, meaning you won’t get high.

Is CBD Addictive?

CBD is not addictive. Addictive substances will release dopamine into the brain, and the body can become dependent on that over time. CBD does not produce an excessive amount of dopamine, and since it can’t get you high there is no “euphoria” that is common in other opioids or nicotine. CBD helps balance the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, and there are no withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it.

How to Get CBD for Seniors

If you’re interested in purchasing CBD, you can purchase it online or at a dispensary. You do not need a doctor’s prescription to purchase CBD. If you choose to purchase online, be sure to do your research and read reviews.

CBD is a great alternative for several prescription drugs, but some of your medications simply cannot be replaced. If you have high out-of-pocket costs for your prescription drugs, you may benefit from a Part D plan. To learn about plans in your area click here or call us at 844-431-1832.

Holistic and Natural Healthcare with Medicare

CBD is considered a natural medicine. Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover any type  of holistic or natural healthcare like acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, or naturopathy. Fortunately, some Medicare Advantage plans may cover some types of holistic care like acupuncture or massage therapy. However, this will vary by plan. If this benefit is important to you, our agents can help you find any available plans in your area. Click here or give us a call 844-431-1832.

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