By Jim Windle
SIX NATIONS — “The marked rise in senior cannabis use is because they are the demographic who can benefit from it most,” says Colorado marijuana researcher and columnist. “In fact, there are many ways cannabis therapy can help seniors live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.”
But it is also the demographic the is most animate against it. That is because of the anti-marijuana campaigns that have sprung up from time to time since the 1930’s. That is when, as a public service, movie theatres and schools were showing the film, “Reefer Madness”, an over the top warning against its consumption of pot in any form.
The campaign was so successful in was shill showing in schools and some theatres up until the 1970’s. The only real research into its use was funded with the mandate of finding what harms it can cause and not its medicinal and psychological benefits. In the United States, when President Nixon’s government in the 1960’s declared it a schedule no.1 drug, equivalent to heroin and LSD, it galvanized the popular opinion of the day against the use of marijuana. That was followed by Nancy Reagan’s “War on Drugs” which turned up the anti-pot messaging even more to that generation.
The stigma is a hard one to get over for seniors especially, but now that its use is no longer illegal, doctors and researchers and policy makers are seeing the much maligned weed in a different light.
The list of benefits continues to grow as more research is being done and data is collected from University medical research labs around the world. And ironically, the age-group that are hardest to convert can benefit the most from its positive attributes are seniors.
It’s benefits and be categorized is basic groups. Arthritic pain, sleep disorders, the pain of diabetes, and can even help in certain cases of altzhimers disease, relief from nausea caused by chemotherapy, and the list grows weekly.
Many seniors targeted publications and news releases have changed their minds about its use as well.
Recent specifically seniors’ oriented articles list some of the benefits research has discovered about this use of CBD oils, the medicinal compound, and THC oil, the psychoactive ingredient. It can be used as a topical lotion, or simply with a few drops under the tongue for a widening variety of ailments and disorders.
Safety is always a concern when medicating for any ailment. But the latest findings from research labs and test user groups have gone a long way in giving marijuana a complete facelift.
Today’s understanding of marijuana is much different than that of even 10 years ago. To date, the discovered benefits are listed in Seniors Directory website include:
1. Marijuana use is actually safer than many prescribed medications. Most seniors take prescription drugs on a daily basis. The “side effects” of marijuana are insignificant in comparison to the side effects of many prescription drugs, and not a single person has ever died from a marijuana overdose. An ongoing 30-year study found that a person weighing 140 pounds would have to consume over 4 pounds of marijuana in one sitting to reach toxic levels, and that still would not be a fatal dosage. The powerful anti-oxidant effects of marijuana can provide relief for many disorders including liver inflammation from Hepatitis C, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other serious medical conditions that all involve inflammation and oxidative damage.
2. Many seniors fear that if they start using marijuana they will become addicted. People can use marijuana daily and then stop “cold turkey”. Discontinuing the use of marijuana has much the same response as quitting the consumption of coffee. Many people who seek welcome and effective respite from chronic pain, anxiety, and stress use marijuana as a daily medicine.
3. Marijuana can reduce and possibly replace many prescription medications
A major complaint of seniors regarding their daily medications is that the first pill often causes side effects that the second one is supposed to “fix.” “Marijuana’s healing properties target various conditions such as inflamed joints, high blood pressure, chronic pain, digestive disorders, constipation, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, cognitive awareness, and more Marijuana has the potential for accentuating the effect of many commonly prescribed drugs.” For example, opiate based painkillers are typically enhanced when marijuana is used concurrently, often resulting in a reduction of pharmaceutical medicines.
4) Many strains
Because marijuana has such a complex molecular structure, variations of strains are almost limitless as research shows hybrid mixtures of beneficial elements can pin-point certain health and wellness issues. This is a brand new field of medical research that could bring relief to millions who suffer from chronic pain or certain mental disorders. Great strides are being made it its use to significantly reduce tremors brought on by Parkinson’s Disease, reduce epilepsy episodes as well as many psychological disorders, under doctor’s care.
5) You don’t have to get high
Harvest cultivators have developed and are currently producing potent CBD genetic strains that have minimal psychoactive effect. CBD, or cannabidiol, is tremendous for inflammation, eases pain, stimulates bone growth, suppresses muscular spasms, reduces anxiety, and increases mental focus. Harvest currently carries liquid extracts that have no “high” at all. These have proven extremely successful for persons suffering from arthritis pain, nausea, and muscle spasms.
6) Ways to use marijuana other than smoking it. One common misconception among aging adults is that they have to smoke marijuana to gain the medicinal benefits. Harvest of Tempe provides liquid extracts, infused honey,candies, baked goods, and other products to choose from. Marijuana can be added to just about any regular recipe in the form of marijuana infused butters or oils. This opens up so many options for your medicine.
7. Marijuana-infused ointments can be very effective in alleviating arthritis and neuropathy pain
Locally made, medicated creams are very popular for sore joints and muscles and back pain. They are very effective, smell nice and give a you no “high” so you can feel comfortable using the products throughout the day.
8. Marijuana does not lower your IQ or cause brain damage
Another common misconception aging adults have with marijuana is that can lower intelligence or cause brain damage . There is no documentation that shows that marijuana reduces or “kills brain cells.” Studies with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients indicate that marijuana gradually encourages new neural pathways, allowing those with impaired brain function to potentially halt further degeneration and even encourage brain function.
9. Marijuana can help increase your appetite
One of the most dangerous health risks among senior citizens is the loss of appetite, leading to weight loss. Marijuana has been extremely successful in alleviating nausea and as an appetite stimulant. That being said, A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds an intriguing connection between marijuana use and body weight, showing that rates of obesity are lower by roughly a third in people who smoke marijuana at least three times a week, compared with those who don’t use marijuana at all.
10. The stigma around medical marijuana use is fading
Seniors are the fastest growing population of new medical marijuana users. There is no other reason for this other than it is working work for them. If you are in discomfort or chronic pain and would like other options. Those options consist of an organically and locally grown herb that is 3rd party tested, legal in the state of Arizona and can be purchased from a conscientious and responsible business that will provide you with friendly service and education. Medical marijuana can be a valuable tool in your “wellness toolbox”.
There is a downside to watch out for however.
According to a National Post report, some people can get manic or paranoid on pot, so be careful, but the benefits still far outweigh the negatives.
“Cannabis — marijuana — has been very good to me,” the founder and former director of the Drug Policy Alliance said at a McGill conference last year.
“While there may have been moments when it made me dumber, I think (there were) other moments when it made me smarter, and helped me enjoy life,” he said.
At 61, Nadelmann is is 61-years-old and is now finding edibles (common baked goods infused with marijuana) “profoundly enjoyable.”