Why Seniors Are Turning to Cannabis
The recent recreational legalization of cannabis in many states along with increased news coverage focusing on both proven and anecdotal evidence of its medical benefits has dramatically increased the appeal of cannabis to seniors. More seniors than ever are now aware that cannabis can help relieve some of the most pressing issues faced by aging bodies.
Along with the typical aches and pains in joints and muscles, there are other problems seniors face. Reduced and less restful sleep, limited appetite and digestive issues and symptoms of more serious conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can be alleviated through the careful use of cannabis.
Here’s a look at just some of the benefits to seniors who use cannabis.
It’s safer than prescription medications and with fewer side effects.
Medication overdose is a very real problem for seniors. Forgetting a dose was already taken and increasing dosages to achieve better relief can lead to serious even fatal results. Cannabis in all its forms carries zero fatal overdose risk. While a person may get very ill from over-ingestion of cannabis, there are no documented cases of fatal cannabis overdose.
Cannabis also carries fewer side-effects than many OTC and prescription medications. Common side-effects of cannabis include euphoria, drowsiness, feelings of relaxation and increased appetite. Of course, these effects vary by strain and product.
Cannabis offers natural relief from symptoms of age-related conditions like Parkinson’s, arthritis and digestive issues.
Aging and genetics play a large part in the development of health conditions in seniors. The aches and pains that begin to appear in middle age are more constant and can be a drain both physically and mentally. Quality and quantity of sleep also tend to decline as we age, leading to more physical and mental problems. Seniors may wake up several times a night or have a hard time falling and staying asleep due to discomfort. Cannabis is widely used for both pain relief and sleep problems. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory that relaxes the mind and body leading to painless, deeper sleep.
Cannabis can also help reduce and control seizures, trembling and shaking, relaxing the muscles and helping with brain function making it a good option for controlling symptoms of conditions like Parkinson’s. And, while many people know cannabis relieves nausea in people undergoing cancer treatments, it’s also great for other digestive issues like Crohn’s Disease and IBS, easing digestion and relaxing the stomach and bowel.
It’s more affordable than many prescriptions that it can replace.
The cost of prescription medications is a burden even on households with two incomes. For seniors living on monthly stipends or retirement funds, the high cost can lead to financial problems causing them to reduce or even stop taking important medications.
Cannabis is an affordable alternative that can replace or supplement some medications (always check with your doctor before changing your medications and dosages). Seniors may be able to reduce or eliminate opioid usage, medications for digestion problems and sleep by using some form of cannabis. You can forget standing in line at the pharmacy, in California cannabis is available nearly everywhere and can even be discretely delivered right to your door!
You don’t have to “get high” to benefit from cannabis.
Many medical cannabis users opt for CBD-rich cannabis strains and products which don’t have psychoactive effects that make a person feel euphoria and “high.” These products still carry powerful benefits and are especially adept at pain control. With these products, you may feel relaxed, but you won’t experience any sense of mental impairment. There are also products that offer varying ratios of CBD to THC, like 10:1 or 1:1.
You don’t need to smoke cannabis, it comes in many forms from tea to topical rubs.
Some people object to smoking cannabis and prefer to ingest it orally or even apply it topically to the skin. Throat irritation and dry mouth may be an issue for seniors who use combustion methods like smoking a pipe or joint. Or, they may object to the taste or smell of cannabis flowers or concentrates when smoking or vaping. Whatever the reason, smoking is just one way to use cannabis.
Vaping, like smoking, heats cannabis (oil or flowers) to release its active compounds. Vape pens are affordable, long-lasting and easy to use. You can even purchase disposable pens that don’t require any charging, cleaning or switching of cartridges.
Some of the most popular delivery methods with seniors are edibles, concentrates, and topicals. Almost any food or beverage you can think of has been infused with cannabis and is available for purchase. Seniors with digestive issues might enjoy cannabis tea, but there are also sweets like infused chocolates and hard candies and baked goods like cookies and brownies to consider. Some dispensaries sell infused ingredients like coconut oil, butter, olive oil and sugar for those who want to bake their own edibles.
Tinctures are another oral option for ingesting cannabis. These concentrated products are applied under the tongue for quick and effective relief. Topical solutions offer the benefits of medical cannabis and are excellent for treating arthritis, joint pain, and muscle aches. You won’t feel any mental effects with topical products, and they can be applied discretely as needed.
Are you a senior who needs help getting started with cannabis? Come into OrganiCann or MendoCann and let our knowledgeable staff assist you and answer any questions you may have!