The Beginner’s Guide to Medical Cannabis Use for Seniors

The Beginner’s Guide to Medical Cannabis Use for Seniors

If you still refer to marijuana as wacky tobakki, grass, dope, or reefer, this article is dedicated to you.

So you’re 65 and older, and ready to trade in the mahjong board for marijuana? You’re not alone. Seniors ages 65 and over are the fastest growing population of new cannabis users in the U.S.

A 2016 study conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention showed that from 2002 to 2014, cannabis use among those 55 to 64 years olds spiked from 1.1% of the population to 6.1%. For those of us who still need to use our fingers and toes when counting, that’s a whopping 455% increase. Alternatively, usage rates among 18 to 25 year-olds rose only 13%.

Despite the facts, it remains an unfortunate reality that many of the Baby Boomer Generation still hold extremely taboo and outdated stigmas towards cannabis. Maybe it’s because Boomers suspected that your son or daughter’s constant red eyes weren’t really caused by cat allergies like they claimed (even

though you didn’t even own a cat). Or maybe you still associate cannabis with the anti-establishment free-love period, but both times and attitudes have seriously changed towards the green goods. With a myriad of research continually being conducted on the plant, the endless stream of information about the positive benefits of cannabis for the body, mind, (and let’s not forget soul) are hard to ignore.

Trading in the prescription pad for plants

Are you one of the millions of seniors whose daily ritual includes taking more pharmaceutical pills and medications than are housed in most (non-U.S.) drug stores? Medical marijuana might just be the solution to many of the ailments that you’ve been treating with the ever-extending hand of big pharma.

The push to prescribe seniors pharmaceuticals is so big in America, a nickname has been coined for the practice, polypharmacy—the act of prescribing many prescription drugs. Although folks ages 65 and older make up 12% of the U.S. population, they account for a shocking one-third of all prescription medication prescribed, with most seniors filling between 9-13 prescriptions a year. According to the AACP (American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy), the health complications surrounding over-prescribing seniors is majority lucrative. The economic impact of prescription medical related problems is estimated at $177.4 billion per year.

Looking for a way to ditch the meds and opt for a safer, cheaper, natural, and perhaps more effective replacement? You might be interested in learning about the grooviest, greenest, and greatest alternative out there — cannabis.

A recent ground-breaking study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine and led by researchers out of Ben Gurion University in Israel found that medical cannabis treatment significantly relieves pain and improves quality of life for seniors — with minimal side effects. The same study found that the therapeutic use of marijuana is safe and effective for older patients who seek relief from chronic pain related to illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, glaucoma, arthritis, and a plethora of other disorders.

The first of its kind peer-review study examined nearly three thousand patients 65 and older over a sixth month period. Almost 94% of patients reported improvement in their condition, with their pain level reduced by half after using medical marijuana.

 “Clinical study out of Israel offers scientific evidence that the therapeutic use of cannabis can be a safe and effective treatment for elderly people and is often a factor leading to the decreased use of other drugs, including opioids.”

In addition to pain relief, the use of marijuana in senior patients can significantly decrease the use of other prescription medications, including all-too-frequently prescribed opioids which can prove dangerous, addictive, and pricey.

If you still think cannabis hasn’t changed much since the days of bells bottoms and bra burnings, you’re seriously mistaken! Medical and technological breakthroughs in cannabis research have catapulted it to new and improved, not to mention safer, heights. The major advantage of today’s cannabis is the added level of knowledge. While for decades folks never really knew what they were ingesting, there are now innovate tech solutions in the cannabis potency field to let you know exactly what you’re ingesting. Strain-specific cannabis is available for those turning to the plant to alleviate specific ailments or treat certain issues. For example, if you want to use cannabis to treat chronic pain without the psychedelic effects, you will want to select something with a higher CBD (which has 20x the amount of anti-inflammatory power as aspirin) count. If you are searching for a more serious painkiller, a strain higher in THC would be your best bet.

For those ready to start integrating cannabis into their lives, there incredible ways of accessing and consuming the plant. Folks looking to land some green no longer need to score from their friend’s cousin’s sketchy younger brother who carries with him the perpetual smell of Doritos. There are designated cannabis dispensaries and establishments with knowledgeable workers (cannabis sommeliers if you will) who can help you find the right strain of cannabis that works best you. In some parts of the States where cannabis regulations are less restricted, there are even marijuana clubs with comfy couches, good music, and great green — think of it as a coffee house for cannabis. You are also given the option of the way in which you want to ingest marijuana including smoking, vaping, edibles, oil, and even creams.

We know, an early retirement is suddenly looking quite appealing 😊


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