Ever wondered why grandma kept a special jar of cookies hidden away which she never shared with anyone? Well, it might sound surprising, but those might just be cannabis infused cookies she was hiding.
We get it. The idea that seniors and elderly people use and enjoy cannabis does seem ridiculous, but it’s perfectly true.
And who can blame them?
After all aging is not easy.
Sure, everyone goes through it and has to deal with it at some point, but only those who are suffering can ever understand the complexities and problems that come with it.
Even when you leave aside the increased risk of infection and disease, aging is nearly always accompanied by an influx of general pains, inflammations, anxieties, and even depression. It seems as if your body hates you, and is punishing you for no reason whatsoever.
Yes, it is true that there are a number of orthopedic drugs present to combat this, and they work too. Unfortunately, they also bring a number of side-effects and complications to the table.
But don’t worry, for cannabis is here to help. As more and more places begin to legalize cannabis, research done in its medicinal benefits is also increasing. It turns out that cannabis can be quite helpful for senior citizens trying to cope with the complications of aging.
But why are seniors turning to cannabis?
Is it safe? How can it help them?
These are just some of the questions you might be thinking about, that we will be answering today.
So let’s get right down to it.
But why are seniors turning to cannabis?
Cannabis has many effects. Some are enjoyable and uplifting, while others are euphoric and energizing. And it is safe to say that both are loved equally by younger users.
However, seniors on the other hand use cannabis for entirely different reasons. A recent paper published in april 2020 in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry by researchers at the university of California has explored the reasons why older people are turning to weed. The findings were quite interesting.
In the 6 months leading to its publication, the survey found that the number of reported cannabis users among older adults had increased by more than 10%, with the vast majority using it for medicinal reasons.
The most commonly reported reasons for cannabis usage included pain, problems sleeping, anxiety, and inflammation.
This is hardly surprising, considering that these are extremely common problems which are faced by many older adults. The study further showed that around 43% of older cannabis users for more than one condition.
But how does it work? And what are the conditions that cannabis can help seniors cope with and overcome? Let’s take a look at that next.
How can cannabis help seniors?
As more and more research is conducted in it, medicinal cannabis is slowly but surely being recognized by most health organizations as a useful drug. The following are just some of the conditions that cannabis is commonly used for, by both older and younger adults.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of medicinal marijuana is its ability to help cancer patients, especially when they are going through chemotherapy. Numerous studies have shown that smoking marijuana can help with vomiting and nausea which is caused by chemo in more than 60% of patients.
Similarly, studies have also shown that smoking or vaping certain strains of cannabis can also help treat and significantly reduce the neurological pain caused by damaged and strained nerves.
2. Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Did you know that around 10% of all seniors suffer from some form of Dementia or Alzhiemers? It is perhaps the fact that we still don’t have an actual cure or effective treatment for these which has pushed people towards experimental treatments like cannabis.
However, in 2014, a preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicated that THC ( an active compound commonly found in the cannabis plant), could prove to be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s. The found that THC helped slow the advancement of beta-amyloids clumps, which are basically clumps of proteins which build up on the brain and are the leading signs of Alzheimer’s.
3. General Pain
One of the most commonly reported benefits of medicinal marijuana is that it can help combat different forms of chronic pain. And as almost all adults begin experiencing mysterious forms of pain in their later years, it only makes sense that cannabis might be able to help with that.
What’s even more interesting is that you don’t really need to smoke marijuana to avail this benefit. In fact, you don’t even need to ingest it through an edible, since there are a number of creams and lotions which will seep right through the skin and focus on a small area of pain.
But whether it is smoked, consumed, or applied, cannabis works in the same way. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD found in the cannabis plant attack the cannabinoid receptors already in the body, activate them, and help the body relieve and numb different forms of pain.
4. Anxiety and Mental Health Disorders
Similarly, Cannabidiol or CBD found in most cannabis strains has a lot of medicinal benefits. Numerous studies have shown the compound’s ability to treat conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic attacks, depression, and general anxiety. No wonder so many seniors are pursuing CBD based medications.
Additionally, recent research has also proven that medicinal marijuana is far less addictive than other prescription and non prescription drugs. In fact, some researchers are even claiming that the drug can be used as an exit drug, and really help people trying to escape from opioid and narcotics addiction.
5. Eating Disorders
Not many people know this, but eating disorders are extremely common among seniors. Nearly 80 percent of all the deaths among the elderly occur because of Anorexia.
Why? Because aging makes people lose the desire to eat. This can be because of personal decisions, but is mostly caused by psychological and health reasons. In any case, marijuana can help people eat more and avoid more serious complications.
Numerous studies have attempted to explain how cannabis is able to induce hunger. Only recently have we found out that the answer lay in the Endocannabinoid system, which is severely underutilized or impaied in people suffering from eating disorders.
Cannabis can help stimulate this system, and motivate the brain into accepting food as a reward, and not a burden.
So there you have it, weed is not only getting increasingly popular with elders, it’s actually good for them!
Shop some of our favorite grandma friendly strains here today!