CBD in Palliative and Hospice Care: How Does it Help?

By Nikolay Stoyanov

If your loved ones are under palliative care or hospice, you’re probably trying to find the best ways to help them. This is a difficult period for everyone as you have to watch your family member slowly perish. 

People who are under palliative care or hospice go through enormous amounts of stress. Anxiety and depression are commonplace, and there is very little that can be done. However, in the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about CBD as a potential relief.

In this article, we will talk about palliative and hospice care and CBD and how this substance can help your loved ones. Check it out!

What is CBD?

A lot of people use cannabidiol for its soothing properties. It can bring relief to mind and even affect the body. Most people use it to improve their sleep and reduce stress. While the substance cannot do anything about the underlying issue, it can bring peace of mind to those who are struggling the most. 

CBD or cannabidiol is a substance that is extracted from hemp. Although most people think that CBD products need to be smoked, you can administer them in various ways. For example, they come in the form of a pill, oil, cream, various edibles, etc. 

So, even if your family member is unable to smoke medicinal hemp, you would still be able to administer the substance. This is especially important for people who have limited movement or are not lucid enough to administer the product themselves.

Besides CBD, most of these products have various other chemical compounds such as vitamins and minerals. That way, you get a wholesome impact when using cannabidiol items. 

What’s even more important is that these products are generally safe; they won't get you high like cannabis. If a person does experience side effects, they might come in the form of dry mouth, dizziness, loss of appetite, or some other minor side effects. There are very few cases where users suffered serious side effects when using medicinal hemp.

However, given that most palliative care patients use other drugs, it is very important to talk with a doctor before using cannabidiol. Although the substance is regarded as safe, the user may experience issues due to a combination of substances. 

How does CBD work? 

Our knowledge of cannabinoids is somewhat limited. The main issue is that we’ve discovered CBD in the last century (1940, to be precise). Although this seems like a lot of time, scientists still have numerous questions regarding its internal mechanisms. 

One of the potential problems comes from the fact that hemp has more than 100 active substances. It is full of cannabinoids, minerals, vitamins, and other substances, which makes an analysis that much harder. 

Each one of these substances has its own set of traits, but they also interact with each other. One of the theories is that CBD products create an “entourage effect." In other words, it is much better when you use all these chemical compounds together, as found in their natural state.

Although we need to learn much more about CBD, CBG, THC, and other cannabinoids, anecdotal evidence should be enough to make a certain presumption. A lot of people have tried smoking hemp, and they can all tell you that this plant creates a soothing experience. It is often used to improve sleep, reduce stress and muscle tension, hydrate skin, etc.  

How does CBD help palliative care and hospice patients?

At this point, there is only one drug based on the hemp plant. It is called Epidiolex, and it is meant to treat certain types of epilepsy. According to the US FDA, this substance shouldn't be used for any other medical treatment, nor should it be promoted in such a way. 

But, that doesn't mean it is illegal. According to federal law, CBD products are available to everyone as long as they have less than 0.3% THC (intoxicating substance). Keep in mind that the laws are a bit different on a state level, as some of the American states have yet to legalize these products. 

Oftentimes, medicinal hemp is used by people who have no other option or in cases where traditional drugs do not help. CBD can be administered to anyone, regardless of their age. 

Given that there is only 1 drug based on hemp, CBD products are generally viewed as wellness items. You can use them to restore natural balance to your body and reduce stress. Here are some ways cannabidiol can help palliative care patients:

  • Reduces stress

  • One of the main reasons why people use cannabidiol is because they want to relax and unwind. In fact, this is why a lot of individuals smoke recreational marijuana in the first place. However, unlike recreational marijuana, you won’t experience any drawbacks when consuming CBD products. You will just be able to relax and put your mind at ease without experiencing any psychedelic effects. 

  • May improve sleep

  • According to studies, palliative care patients can experience improvement of sleep when using these items. Generally speaking, CBD may prolong your sleep and prevent disturbances during the night. It cannot, however, put you to sleep, nor can it be used for insomnia. CBD's impact on better sleep makes sense, given that the substance is also great for stress.

  • Can help with discomfort

  • If you're suffering from mild discomfort or mild muscle tension, CBD may provide the necessary solution. This chemical compound has a positive impact on muscles and may help you alleviate a bit of that soreness that you're feeling. Because of that, it might be a good solution for hospice patients who want to find to unwind a bit and spend their last days unburdened by their therapy. 

    As you can see, there are lots of ways patients can benefit from these products. Keep in mind that cannabidiol is mostly a wellness substance, and it is not meant to replace your regular therapy. Instead, you should only use it as a way to restore natural harmony to the body and mind.

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