Cannabidiol (CBD) Use by Older Adults for Acute and Chronic Pain

J Gerontol Nurs. 2021 Jul;47(7):6-15. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20210610-02. Epub 2021 Jul 1.


Legalization of cannabidiol (CBD) products has ignited interest in clinical practice and research. One desired indication includes possible pain-relieving effects of CBD. The purposes of the current article are to (1) clarify terminology relevant to cannabinoids; (2) explain and understand the pharmacotherapeutics of CBD; (3) examine research of the current use of CBD by older adults for treating pain; (4) discuss safety considerations with using CBD products; and (5) provide best practice recommendations for clinicians as they advise their older adult patients. A review of the literature demonstrated mixed results on the efficacy of CBD in relieving pain in older adults. There is inconsistency in the labeling of over-the-counter CBD products that can result in safety issues and will require more federal quality control. Likewise, gaps in knowledge regarding safety and efficacy of CBD use in older adults are vast and require further research. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 47(7), 6-15.].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cannabidiol* / therapeutic use
  • Chronic Pain* / drug therapy
  • Humans


  • Cannabidiol