Fudge, hard-boiled sweets, and questionable driving – these are just a few of the things we associate with the older generation. It turns out that seniors have something in common with younger folks too; their love of cannabis! It might surprise many, but seniors are quickly becoming the fastest-growing demographic of medical marijuana users in the US.
As the medical potential of marijuana is researched and science proves its effectiveness as a medicine, many older people are coming around to the idea of medical cannabis. While it may seem a little unconventional to share your cannabis with Grandma, the fact is that this natural medicine is providing much-needed relief from a plethora of ailments.
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Here are our five reasons why seniors could benefit from medical marijuana.
1. Fewer Pills to Pop
Have you ever had to take several pills in the morning, then again in the noon, and then again at night? It can be a massive headache for both the person themselves and their caregivers remembering what needs to be taken, when each pill needs to be taken and being forced to alter meal times to accommodate meds.
Before you know it you’re taking more pills to counteract the side effects of the other pills, which might not even be doing a good job of treating the initial ailment. That’s why many older people who start using cannabis find that they can reduce the amount of medication they need daily. In fact, studies have even linked cannabis use with reductions to overall prescription drug activity on average so it’s a safe bet to say cannabis can help you reduce the number of pills you’ll need per day.
Few people realize that constantly taking pills can have a major psychological impact on patients. Taking several different medications can wreak havoc on the body, especially when trying to control side-effects, get dosages correct and manage symptoms Constantly swallowing pills can also become a bit of a chore, and eventually become difficult depending on the symptoms you might experience. Cannabis has the potential to lessen the burden of heavy dosage, or at least be able to take the edge off when it comes to pain, muscle aches, and anxiety.
2. Pain Medication
Quite possibly one of the saddest things to see is a person becoming “zombified” due to the harsh opioids prescribed to patients to help them manage pain. It’s even sadder when you take into account that every single day 128 people die after overdosing on opioids. Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids to deal with chronic pain go on to abuse them, and between 8 to 12 percent of them get addicted. In a nation where 191 million opioid prescriptions are written every year, those abuse numbers are especially troubling.
Cannabis can help seniors avoid or get off such medications, except perhaps in the most serious of circumstances. There are two good reasons for cannabis’s ability to treat pain. One is that phytocannabinoids can be used to treat pain via the endocannabinoid system (ECS) rather than the opioid receptors in the body, meaning the addiction potential is reduced significantly. The other reason is that one of the main causes of pain is psychological stress. Reduce the stress, and you can reduce the pain – one of the reasons why antidepressants are often used to manage pain. And we all know how effective cannabis can be used to reduce stress and manage anxiety.
3. You Don’t Have to Smoke It …
Cannabis has evolved over the past twenty or so years. It’s not just some buds in a baggy anymore. You can vape cannabis, eat it and drink it. It even comes in the form of a dermal cream or oil you can rub into your skin. For anyone whose medical conditions prohibit them from smoking or dislike smoking cannabis specifically, there’s a million other options to consider. Those seeking pain or anxiety relief looking to avoid any psychoactive effects can even get strains that don’t have any THC or use CBD instead. There are a million different options for cannabis users everywhere.
4.The Potential Wonders of CBD Oil
Speaking of CBD, let’s talk about CBD oil, an often overlooked and rapidly growing segment of the medical cannabis market. CBD oil has lots of potential for being an extremely effective anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and neuroprotective. The older we get, the more likely we are to suffer from degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. CBD can not only help prevent such conditions from taking too much of of a hold on a person’s life, but may actually help repair the nervous system after a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
On top of its effect on the nervous system and brain, CBD can have a fantastic impact on the rest of your body too. CBD is great for taking the edge off of chronic pain, muscle or joint soreness caused by issues like arthritis, and can help ease symptoms and physical effects of anxiety, PTSD, and other stress disorders and even help you get a good night’s sleep.
5. Increase Your Appetite
One of the worst things about getting older and becoming more susceptible to illness is that the appetite tends to slow down. This can lead to weight loss, issues with the immune system and depression, as well as a general lack of energy. This problem is compounded when taking huge amounts of prescription pills with a number of different side-effects, some of which might compound the issues listed above. Cannabis can stimulate the appetite and help prevent these issues from occurring.
Have you, or someone close to you successfully used cannabis to help overcome one of the above (or indeed any other) problems or conditions? Then please #TellYourStory and help to spread the good work of medical marijuana. As cannabis gets more and more normalized throughout the country and world, more and more people of all ages are going to turn to cannabis to help with their various issues. At the moment, the biggest problem when it comes to seniors and cannabis is convincing them to try it in the first instance!