Seniors are All Over this Cannabis Thing
The most rapidly expanding demographic to turn to cannabis medicine is SENIOR.
With the spread of legalization and a rush to research, one demographic is positioned to extract the most advantage of all. Seniors. Whether they were once flower children of the 60s or are total noobs, elders are trading their prescriptions for the healing and pain-killing powers of cannabis like no one else.
How do Seniors Feel About Cannabis?
One of the most popular aspects of cannabis for seniors is CBD (cannabidiol), a non-psychotropic component of cannabis. CBD may offer relief from inflammation pain without inducing that “high” feeling. Those who have never tried cannabis before feel more comfortable with CBD than a whole plant solution. Interestingly, there is still a decent fraction of the older adult population clinging to the hippie stereotype, believing cannabis to be a street drug rather than a medicine.
It is impossible for us to ignore the effect that time has on our bodies. As we age, various mental, emotional, and physical complications arise to make life in old age more difficult. To reduce these aches and pains, most seniors rely on prescription drugs that end up negatively impacting other parts of their bodies. This has led to personal experimentation with cannabis to find out if it can supplement or replace most of these prescription drugs. This is especially prevalent for prescriptions used to mitigate pain, relieve depression, and combat insomnia.
There are many ways to take CBD and cannabis: edibles, oil drops, vaping, smoking bud, CBD cream and other topical, CBD oil, and tinctures. Finding the right method will depend partially on preference and partially on condition. Arthritic patients, for example, report doing well with a vape/toke in the morning followed by CBD oil for all day reduction of inflammation. The idea is that the vape/toke may take the edge off the pain and get you up and moving; the oil will kick in after about 90-minutes to target all day pain and inflammation relief.
An Alternative to Prescription Painkillers?
Many studies re underway to find out how and if CBD relieves pain, improves bone healing, enhances cognitive functioning, provides a calming effect, and increases energy. Seniors also seek CBD for help with sleep, which is needed for all aspects of health and quality of life.
Prescription painkillers put seniors at risk for addiction and over-dose. In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of accidental overdose-related emergency room visits from the elderly. This demographic is more likely to take multiple prescriptions and this can add confusion, ending in accidental overdose.
Cannabis, on the other hand, provides a safe alternative to the prescription drugs because it has minimal side effects and very low probability for addiction. In addition, cannabis use has led to no deaths or reported overdoses.
The advent of the Internet and easy access to information has helped many seniors to abandon their prejudice surrounding cannabis. In addition, legalization has increased awareness and access. It is hoped that future research will create science-based evidence for the efficacy of cannabis medicine.