Seniors Using Cannabis
As we grow older, more and more ailments seem to pop into our lives, adding up over time.
As we grow older, more and more ailments seem to pop into our lives, adding up over time. Many senior citizens have become dependent on prescription medications prescribed by doctors to treat such ailments, yet continue to suffer in some way that negatively impacts their life from day to day.
Cannabis has been found to offer a few solutions to senior citizens regarding their ease of life, both for those who are and are not currently using prescription drugs. A study just a few years ago found that there was a 250% increase in cannabis consumption among seniors spanning from 2006 through 2013, and that number has continued to grow.
This trend isn’t coincidence. If you look at the era today’s seniors have lived through, many grew up believing that cannabis was a harmful, illicit drug with no medical value. Once the push for medical legalization and early independent studies came to light, they began to see that the plant offers relief for an assortment of conditions and began to test their options.
One of the major problems seniors suffer from is pain, be it from arthritis, neuropathy or nerve damage, or from chronic illnesses such as cancer. There is substantial amount of anecdotal evidence as well as a few published clinical studies that support using cannabis as an analgesic. Instead of relying upon potentially addictive opiates, that pose some significant health risks, they can instead turn to cannabis that has been found to ease pain without risky side-effects such as severe nausea and dangerous risks associated with overdosing.
Numerous prescription medications can cause nausea or vomiting, especially those associated with treating cancer, such as chemotherapy agents. Cannabis may offer benefits when used in conjunction tih such medications by reducing nausea and vomiting, as well as by increasing appetite so an individual can continue to eat and get the nutrients their body needs to maintain health during difficult medical treatments. Even seniors who simply lack appetite can use cannabis to increase their hunger to eat and get vital macro and micronutrients to prevent frailty and waisting syndrome.
Most of not all diseases that cause inflammation can be treated with CBD oil, a major component in cannabis that’s been found to be an anti-inflammatory agent. Crohn’s disease is an illness that involves severe inflammation of the intestines and cannabis may offer help in treating this most challenging disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis may be especially beneficial to seniors suffering from a variety of inflammatory conditions.
Unfortunately, a growing population of seniors are developing Parkinson’s disease, and many have turned to cannabis for relief since current medications can often lead to a worsening of symptoms over time. There have been only a few studies linking cannabis use with relief of the disease’s symptoms, but the trend is that it can improve quality of life for most Parkinson’s patients by either reducing the severity or duration of tremors or by easing the anxiety and depression that often accompanies the disease.
When it comes to general health, we are falsely led to believe that certain illnesses are associated with the inevitability of getting older. In reality, many factors play a role is the disease process. Some factors are based on our life choices regarding how we treat our bodies, the environment we live in, and of course, in certain instances, our genetics. As we continue to advance our knowledge in the realm of preventative medicine, health, wellness and anti-aging, more people will have access to the data we accumulated studying cannabis and begin to decide how they want to use it to potentially improve their lives. Seniors are big beneficiaries of the cannabis plant, and we continue to see a trend of it being used among them.