Unfortunately, the last number of decades have seen marijuana be conned as an illicit substance only used by druggies and hippies. With that, many have gotten the notion that there’s no way such a substance could possibly have any kind of medical benefit.
But the truth is, research has shown more and more ways in which cannabis can be used as a medical benefit. This is particularly true for senior citizens, who tend to struggle with more health complications than the rest of the population.
And the times are changing. More and more senior citizens are trying marijuana on a daily basis. This is partly due to the fact that it’s being legalized in many parts of the country and partly due to the evolving perspective on this plant.
Throughout this article, we’re going to look into ten ways in which medical cannabis can help senior citizens. At the end, we invite you to ask further questions.
1. Marijuana is Safer Than Prescription Medication
The majority of senior citizens have to take prescription medication on a daily basis. The downside to this is many of these prescriptions come with a long list of side effects.
However, what if you could use an all-natural alternative for your ailment that comes with little to no side effects?
Marijuana has proven to be extremely safe in comparison to many of the prescription medications doctors are handing out. In fact, it’s practically impossible to overdose on cannabis. Even if you were to consume 4 pounds of marijuana in one sitting (which is well beyond the normal limit) the toxicity wouldn’t be enough to kill you. ¹
The best part is marijuana has been found to help with a number of medical conditions the elderly are prone to. These include:
- Hepatitis C
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Oxidative damage
And this is just scratching the surface. The truth is, there are so many medical benefits to cannabis, we guarantee marijuana can help you in one way or another.
2. Marijuana Isn’t Physically Addictive
Is marijuana addictive? To some extent, yes. But that extent is very minimum.
Consuming cannabis is rather similar to consuming coffee. When we suddenly stop, our brains do have a reaction. However, this reaction is nowhere near the same level as harder substances, such as alcohol or opioids.
Marijuana can be used as a daily medicine without any risk of your body becoming physically addictive. This is primarily because most of marijuana’s medical properties work solely in the brain.
Admittedly, people who use cannabis daily and suddenly stop do report some minor discomfort. These generally include having difficulty with sleep or their appetite. ²
However, these minor discomforts are nothing in comparison to all the good marijuana can do when you consume it.
3. The Variety of Marijuana Can Help With a Variety of Ailments
There are so many different types of marijuana out there and each of these can help with a variety of ailments. In fact, each plant almost has its own personality when it comes to the effect it’ll have on you.
Some strains will give you a lot of energy and help you focus. Whereas, other will help you relax and get a better night’s sleep. The two most common strains are Sativa and Indica with a number of Hybrids (a combination of both) also being developed.
Each strain causes a different effect is because they are made up of a variety of different cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavanoids. These are the little molecules found within the cannabis plant that have a large effect on the human body and brain.
If you struggle with a particular ailment and are hoping to find a cannabis strain that can help with this ail, it’s highly beneficial to do a little research.
4. There Are Marijuana Products That Won’t Get You High
One of the biggest concerns many senior citizens have when it comes to cannabis is the “high” it produces. However, did you know there are marijuana products out there that don’t get you high and still provide the same medical benefits?
These products are commonly known as cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant that doesn’t cause psychoactivity, but still has a number of medical benefits, including:
- Easing pain
- Increasing mental focus
- Reducing anxiety
- Stimulating bone growth
- Suppressing muscle spasms
CBD can be purchased in a number of different consumption methods, including oils (sometimes referred to as tinctures), edibles, topicals, and even smokables. ³
5. You Don’t Have to Smoke Marijuana to Consume It
Another aspect of marijuana most senior citizens aren’t a big fan of is the fact that you smoke it in order to consume its benefits. However, there are actually a number of different ways to consume cannabis that don’t require smoking.
The most popular among the elderly has to be edibles. These either come in a delicious treat or a capsule form and are easily digestible doses of THC or CBD.
Consuming cannabis in this manner works all the same as smoking it. The only major difference is the effects usually take a bit longer to come on and will last longer as well.
6. Marijuana Ointments Are Already Helping People with Arthritis and Nueropathy Pain
However, one of the most popular cannabis consumption methods for senior citizens has to be topicals. These are THC or CBD infused creams and ointments that can be applied to the skin for almost immediate relief.
Cannabis topicals are most popular for those who struggle with sore joints and muscles and back pain. Particularly, those who struggle with arthritis and neuropathy pain. Topical application allows you target specific areas of the body and will offer some great pain relief.
7. When Taken Responsibly, Marijuana Has No Damaging Effects to the Brain
A big myth that tends to go around is that marijuana causes brain damage and can even cause lower intelligence. However, there is absolutely no proof of this claim nor is there evidence to suggest cannabis use inhibits brain cells.
In fact, some studies have found that Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients have promoted brain function while using cannabis. This is because cannabis molecules can gradually encourage new neural pathways. ⁴
8. Marijuana Can Help Boost Your Appetite
One of the biggest dangers senior citizens face is losing their appetite and, in turn, losing weight. Most of the time, such symptoms are caused by nausea from traditional treatment methods.
Marijuana is something that can help battle against this. Not only does THC alleviate nausea, but it acts as an appetite stimulant.
With this said, some may be concerned they’ll gain a lot of weight while using marijuana. Well, a study by the Journal of Epidemiology found that the rate of obesity in people use cannabis is about a third compared to those who don’t. ⁵
9. Marijuana Can Help Replace Addictive Prescription Medications
One of the biggest reasons people are switching to all-natural alternatives like cannabis is because they’re less addictive and much safer than prescription medications. In fact, many are attempting to get rid of prescription medication entirely by using substances such as cannabis.
Besides the fact that it’s safer, marijuana has the ability to heal multiple conditions all within the same time. These include:
- Chronic pain
- Cognitive awareness
- Digestive disorders
- High blood pressure
Some will even use marijuana alongside prescription medication in order to enhance the effects. For example, opioids are much more powerful when marijuana is consumed alongside it. In turn, this allows people to take less opioids than necessary.
If you plan on using marijuana alongside your prescription medication, it’s important you consult a doctor. Some prescription medication has been known to negatively interact with cannabis products.
10. The Stigma Behind Cannabis is Changing
Did you know senior citizens are becoming the quickest growing population for medical marijuana? More often than not, many have found that traditional prescription medication just doesn’t do it for them and are discovering their answer in this all natural alternative.
Still have questions concerning how medical cannabis can help senior citizens?
We invite you to ask them in the comments section below. If you have any further knowledge – whether personal or professional – we’d also love to hear from you.
¹ MedlinePlus: Marijuana
² Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology: Cannabis Addiction and the Brain: a Review
³ MedlinePlus: Cannabidiol (CBD)
⁴ Forbes: Cannabis for Parkinson’s And Alzheimer’s Diseases
⁵ American Journal of Epidemiology: Obesity and Cannabis Use: Results From 2 Representative National Surveys