Seniors and Cannabis: How We Can Still Do Better
Some seniors still cling to the brain washing of their youth, but maybe this will help.
America recognized cannabis as a medicine until the late 1930s. After that, Reefer Madness buried its healing reputation under a pile of propaganda. It’s very likely that the cannabis education fed to the elder demographic was tainted by a prohibitionist agenda. The government blamed the “debauchery” of jazz musicians, the “laziness” of Mexican immigrants, and teens “going crazy” with urges to rape and murder, on “marihuana.” And unless people had the good fortune to be included in cannabis-positive social circles, their only exposure to this healing was very, very negative. This is why it has taken some momentum to bring seniors and cannabis together. The change is underway, but what can you do to help elders that are still hesitant?
Stigmatization and ignorance has heavily influenced the mindset of seniors today – to their detriment. For most of their lives, cannabis has been the demon cause of all vices. So, it’s understandable that they might be hesitant about trying cannabis.
Increasing Legalization, Decreasing Stigmatization
Legalization is spreading to more and more states, both for medicinal and recreational purposes. In fact, a majority of states now have legalized cannabis use in some fashion or another. Moreover, look to our north and you’ll see a country that recently legalized cannabis at the federal level. Again, look to our south and you’ll see a recently elected President whose government predicts that cannabis will be fully legal before the end of the 2019.
Through research, it has become obvious that there’s no reason to fear this plant. More significantly, cannabis is a medicine with a litany of scientific evidence to back up that claim. Seniors and cannabis is step toward better health as cannabis has shown great promise as a medicine for conditions that typically effect the aging population.
Elderly-Specific Treatment Options
For example, a 2015 study in Molecular Neurodegeneration examined the body of evidence that suggests cannabinoids as a treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers reported that “novel compounds with potent and specific activity for CB1, CB2, and TRPV1 receptors can be considered for treating PD”. Part of their research relied on a 1990 article that was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry that showed that cannabis treats tremors from Parkinson’s disease.
Cannabis is a well-known pain treatment. In fact, it can often replace opioids. A 2012 study in The Open Neurology Journal looked at evidence of cannabis treating chronic pain. Researchers cited numerous studies. But of particular importance, it showed that “THC produced modest but significant analgesic effects compared to placebo, in a sample selected for failure to respond to conventional therapy”.
Increased Quality of Life With Seniors and Cannabis
Furthermore, aside from being a medicine, cannabis may help improve the quality of life for senior citizens. By inducing euphoria and peace of mind, cannabis not only heals our bodies but also our minds and spirits.
Cannabis can help your body feel more relaxed and pain-free. It can help your brain feel younger. Overall, cannabis can increase your quality of life. It may also be able to decrease the number of pills that seniors take. After all, seniors tend to be over-prescribed medication. They take prescription after prescription to deal with the side effects of the pill that came before. Cannabis is typically able to treat multiple conditions without adverse side effects.
Cannabis medicine is proving effective for a number of conditions that afflict seniors. Even better, it is working to heal at the root of the issue, such as reversing joint damage and arthritis or breaking up amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease.
Seniors and cannabis are a combination that can be life-changing.