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Seniors Take Too Much Medication And Cannabis Could Replace Most of Them

Emily Robertson
Elder woman smiling and making heart shape with her hand

More and more seniors are choosing cannabis medicine over the fistfuls of pharmaceuticals that lock them into a vicious cycle of too much medication to treat the side effects of the previous med with a new med.

Medical cannabis medication and prescriptions are increasing dramatically, especially among seniors. The aging demographic is turning toward cannabis for their ailments wherever mainstream medicine fails. Many of the ailments they suffer from: cancer, arthritis, dementia, and Parkinson’s have no cure, but symptoms are effectively treated with cannabis.

It has been estimated that the average senior is taking 10 (or more!) different pharmaceuticals. Even more dismal, most of these are to treat side effects of the ones that came before.  It’s a vicious cycle – one that some elderly individuals no longer want to be part of.

Elder woman with a cane

So, when the study investigating the epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly was released, it was hardly a shock. It proved that cannabis can help to treat and relieve symptoms of the conditions most commonly found in elderly patients, including Parkinson’s disease.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

When people hear the word Parkinson’s they often think of Michael J. Fox, whose diagnosis in the 1990s opened the public’s eyes to the severity of the disease and brought it to the forefront of public concern.

But what is it? Changes in the brain’s dopamine levels cause parkinson’s. These lead to movement disorders manifesting as tremors, slowed actions, and stiff or inflexible muscles. These affect the daily functioning of an individual with Parkinson’s, which can then contribute to a variety of secondary symptoms including memory problems, insomnia, loss of sense of smell, lack of balance, and, like many other difficult physical conditions, depression and anxiety.

Parkinson’s affects 1 in 500 people across the world. Generally, people affected by Parkinson’s tend to be over the age of 50, however, 1 in 20 people do show early symptoms under 40 years old. To give you an idea, Michael J. Fox was just 29. If you think you are showing any of the symptoms above, regardless of your age, speak to your physician. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Elder Man Doing Push ups medication

What Causes Parkinson’s?

Unfortunately, a complete understanding of the causes of Parkinson’s is unknown. We do know that dopamine production in the brain is decreased by loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra region of the brain. Dopamine is crucial in proper movement control, and loss of dopamine contributes to the symptoms listed above.

While we know why Parkinson’s occurs. We don’t know why nerve cells disappear. Researchers believe that it may be a variety of environmental and genetic factors.

Elder and His son laughing together on the couch medication

How do we currently treat Parkinson’s?

As mentioned, Parkinson’s doesn’t have a cure at the moment. While research is ongoing, and scientists are trying their best to relieve the symptoms and find a cure, treatments generally fall short in terms of prolonging quality of life.

Treatments are generally ‘supportive,’  like physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and then also, medication. Lately, Parkinson’s patients are choosing cannabis as their medicine.

Cannabis Stops Tremors and Calms Dystonia of Parkinson’s

The study mentioned above proves that medical cannabis improve the quality of life for those with Parkinson’s. Cannabinoid medicine safely and effectively being relieves Parkinson’s patients of their symptoms. We know that cannabis helps many of the secondary symptoms, like insomnia and depression. It also helps the primary symptoms too. The only ‘negative’ side effect? Dizziness in a small portion of patients.

Emily Robertson

Emily Robertson has been writing freelance and contract work since 2011. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel writing of North America and the growing legalized cannabis industry across the globe. Robertson has a master’s degree in literature and gender studies, and brings this through in her writing by always trying to explore different perspectives. Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Robertson moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 2016 to undergo her doctorate in Scottish Literature. She lives in the West End with her dog, Henley.

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