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5 Reasons Why Cannabis is Great for Seniors

Fudge, hard boiled sweets and questionable driving – the things we associate with the older generation. However that’s not all, seniors are quickly becoming the fastest growing demographic of medical marijuana users in the US.

As the medical potential of marijuana is researched and more and more science starts showing its efficacy, many older people are starting to use it for their own conditions. It may seem a little unconventional to share your cannabis with Grandma, but like many others, seniors are benefitting from this natural medicine 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? Before you know it you’re taking more pills to counteract the side effects of the others. Many older people who start using cannabis find that they stop needing to take anything more than the most important medications.

Few people realise that constantly taking pills has a psychological impact on patients. They often have to be taken daily and at appropriate times. Taking several pills can wreak havoc on the body, especially when trying to control side-effects. Constantly swallowing pills can also become a bit of a chore, and eventually become difficult depending on the symptoms. Cannabis has the potential to lessen the burden of heavy dosage.

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 when they’re in pain. Seeing them fall prey to addiction makes the situation even more depressing, especially as many of these pain medications have a high risk of overdose.

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.

3. You Don’t Have to Smoke It …

… You can vape cannabis, eat it, drink it. Those who are avoiding combusting the plant and inhaling the smoke have plenty of ingestion methods to choose from. Those who wish to reduce inflammation in a localized area (e.g. common in those suffering from arthritis or neuropathic pain) can even apply a cannabis-based topical to the affected area, if they want to avoid the psychoactive effects.

4.The Potential Wonders of CBD Oil

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).

5. Increase Your Appetite

One of the worst things about getting older and becoming more susceptible to illness is that the appetite tends to reduce. This can lead to weight loss, problems with the immune system and depression, as well as a general lack of energy. This problem is compounded when taking huge amounts of pills with a number of different side-effects. 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.

Download Your Guide to Medical Marijuana & Seniors.
Written by
Dr, George Gavrilos, Chief Pharmacy Officer, - Black & White Photograph
Dr. George Gavrilos - Chief Pharmacy Officer

Dr. George Gavrilos is a practicing cardiac critical care pharmacist, specializing in mechanical circulatory support. He is adjunct faculty at schools of pharmacy in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa, and currently serves as Director of Post-Graduate Year 1 Residency Training at the hospital where he is on staff. His particular cannabis-related research interests include the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of cannabis and enzymatic drug-drug interactions.

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