- The paper explored the potential of cannabidiol (CBD) as an anti-aging compound.
- The paper suggests CBD could have beneficial effects for several age-related diseases.
- CBD possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and autophagy-inducing properties that may extend lifespan and healthspan, but further research is needed.
A new paper by Chinese researchers puts a positive light on CBD’s potential to promote healthy aging. In their comprehensive review, the scientists examined the multiple roles of CBD in several aging-related biological processes. They identified three key beneficial anti-aging effects of CBD:
- Antioxidant: Oxidative stress is a major contributor to aging. CBD has a potent antioxidant capacity (stronger than vitamins E & C) and appears to protect against oxidating stress through several mechanisms.
- Anti-inflammatory: Aging is accompanied by dysregulation and descending function of the immune system, leading to chronic inflammation, which accelerates aging. CBD has many anti-inflammatory effects, including suppressing the NF-κB pathway.
- Autophagy-inducing: Autophagy is an important process that can help slow down aging by cleaning out cells and recycling damaged parts. CBD activates autophagy through several pathways that could extend lifespan and protect against age-related diseases.
CBD Benefits for Aging-Related Disease
The study also delved into the potential benefits of CBD in managing age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension, diabetes, skin disorders, cancer, and osteoarthritis. The researchers noted that:
- In rodent studies of Alzheimer’s disease, CBD reduced β-amyloid plaques, improved spatial learning, and provided other benefits.
- In rodent studies of Parkinson’s disease, CBD reduced cognitive and behavioral disorders.
- CBD has shown positive effects on cognitive decline, showing improved verbal episodic memory in healthy participants and benefits in aging mice brains.
- CBD has demonstrated beneficial effects in studies of hypertension.
- CBD has been shown to have anti-diabetic effects, improving blood glucose, and protecting against high glucose-induced oxidative stress and inflammation.
- In skin disorders, CBD has been found to prevent blue light-induced skin aging, promote wound healing, and have other benefits.
- In cancer, CBD has displayed tumor-suppressing activity in several cancers.
- In osteoarthritis, CBD has been shown to block the acute inflammatory response associated with the disease and improve pain and physical function in patients.
Longer Lifespan and Healthspan
According to the paper, CBD could potentially extend not just lifespan but also “healthspan”: an increasingly popular idea that refers to the length of time a person lives in good health, free from chronic diseases or disabilities of aging. With healthspan, it’s not just about a longer life but living longer in good health where you can remain active and independent.
However, the study also emphasized that research on CBD’s anti-aging effects is still in its early stages. Further studies are needed to understand its mechanisms fully and clarify CBD dosage for optimal anti-aging effects. For certain age-related diseases, a high dosage of CBD (300 mg or more) may be required when used in its pure form. If combined with THC (another compound found in cannabis), the optimal dose and ratio still need to be explored.
The researchers concluded that “CBD could benefit healthy longevity” and that “further studies should be designed to clarify the mechanism of CBD in antiaging.” This study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting CBD’s potential health benefits.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.