Lighting up in your golden years

Lighting Up In Your Golden Years, A Changing Generation

According to the New York Times, people over 50 are the fastest group of cannabis users in the United States.

Cannabis in the United States has undergone a turbulent history starting as early as the 1910’s, where marijuana was beginning to be banned for public sale. Later the Marijuana Tax Act was created in 1937, decreasing how much hemp could be cultivated in the United States. The stigma increased as Richard Nixon signed into legislation the Controlled Substances Act, which would put cannabis on the same list as hardcore drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

A slow change started to occur in the 1990’s, starting in California where the many medical benefits of cannabis were being discovered. It would take another 15 years for cannabis to become legal for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington State. Fast-forward to 2019 and there are 33 states that have put forth legislation that makes medical marijuana legal. All have passed.

Older Population and Cannabis Use

With all the opposition that cannabis has faced in the United States, one would think that the older generation would still be opposed to marijuana since many grew up in an environment where marijuana was demonized.

Nothing could be further from the truth, if you believed that young people are the only ones causing the rise of cannabis consumption, you would be wrong. In fact, according to the New York Times, people over 50 are the fastest group of cannabis users in the United States. It makes sense for senior citizens to use cannabis since they are more susceptible to ailments that CBD can help alleviate. Below is a small list of diseases that are exacerbated with age:

  • Dementia
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s
  • CBD is twenty times more powerful in anti-inflammatory properties than aspirin and twice as powerful as steroids

Studies Outside of the U.S.

These claims cannot be supported by studies on people since cannabis is illegal on the federal level. However, this is not the case for Israel, according to the Jerusalem report. Three thousand patients were reviewed in a peer reviewed study. The conclusion was that cannabis is effective and safe for older people and can result in less use of opioids and prescription meds.

According to the European Journal of Internal Medicine, a staggering ninety four percent of patients reported their pain level decreased by fifty percent along with improvement in the condition that they were suffering from.

Which Segments of the Elderly Population is Using Cannabis?

There seems to be two different camps of older people who are turning to cannabis. The first group are first timers who are attracted to the touted health benefits. The second group belongs to the baby boomers of the sixties and seventies who smoked weed but then gave it up after they put more focus on their careers and began raising a family.

A good number of seniors have no desire to get high. Oils, topical creams and tinctures are a common product among this group, from treating ailments from anxiety to arthritis. It’s also reassuring to some older customers that they can purchase cannabis with low to no traces of THC.

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The treatment of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a tragic diseased that effects older people at an alarming rate. According to a pre-clinical study conducted in 2014, published In the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, THC was closely studied to find out if the chemical had any therapeutic effects on Alzheimer’s.

The study concluded that THC could help slow down the growth of beta-amyloids, which are one of the main indicators of the existence of Alzheimer’s in a patient. There are no official research studies that prove that marijuana can eliminate dementia due to stringent federal laws which prevent clinical trials from being conducted since marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance.

Strains That Treat Ailments that Effect Seniors

Senior Citizens that are looking for relief to common ailments may benefit from certain strains that are formulated to produce the best results for whatever they are suffering from. Below is a list of 5 strains that deliver different effects:

Green Crack - This strain is popular for the way it efficiently helps users with fatigue. It’s Sativa heavy and helps the user with focus and energy throughout the day, without making them crash.

Harlequin - This strain proves beneficial in assisting arthritis. This common condition is suffered by a whopping 54 million adults. For those sick of pain killers, glucosamine supplements or gels - since they don’t efficiently help with pain and inflammation - harlequin steps up to the plate. This 75/25 sativa strain helps with inflammation that’s caused by arthritis.

AK-47 - For those suffering from depression and anxiety, this strain can help you get out into the world and socialize, which is vital for our mental and physical wellbeing as we get older. AK-47 is a sativa dominant hybrid that encourages users to be mentally alert and eager to partake in social activities.

Blue Dream - Everyone feels pain throughout the day and senior citizens are no exception. If it’s not from ailments that they’re already suffering from, the aging process and the deterioration of bones can be enough to inflict daily pain. This is where the ostracization of THC needs to be put on the backburner. This sativa dominant hybrid strain is high in THC which makes it an incredible weapon when it comes to decreasing pain. The bonus effects are relaxation of the body and gives you a small boost of creativity. For the elderly who seek pain relief without the heavy sedation feeling; Blue Dream is a dream come true.

Cheese Quake - Cramps can be quite painful; anyone who has had a torturous menstrual cycle or athletes’ cramp can attest to that. Cramping is something that inflicts the elderly quite often and is attributed to the effects of old age which causes poor circulation or overexertion of the muscles beyond what the body is capable of. This strain is very popular for fighting cramping and pain.

Get Rid of the Stigma

As cannabis become popular nationwide; senior citizens should not hesitate to give it a try. The opioid crisis has tragically taken the lives of many. Let’s get rid of the outdated stigma and take a dose from mother nature. Cannabis has proven to be safe, but always err on the side of caution. Consult your physician if you plan on taking cannabis for different conditions to make sure you don’t have any health condition or are taking any medication that could have ill side effects.

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