One demographic of people that can often get overlooked in the medical cannabis realm is our senior citizens; often it seems they are overlooked because of an assumption of their mindset toward medical cannabis. But many seniors are rethinking medical cannabis, what it really is, and the health benefits it actually offers.
What has made and continues to make seniors skeptical and oftentimes completely against the idea of medical cannabis? What stumbling blocks of misinformation are out there that directly affect the senior population? And what kind of benefits are senior citizens experiencing who take the leap and try medical cannabis for their own personal health?
The Spread of Cannabis Misinformation
So much false propaganda was created in the 40s, 50s, and 60s regarding cannabis in general.
Some of the propaganda was created by threatened business tycoons. As marijuana was under scrutiny, hemp–a different but related cannabis plant–came under scrutiny as well. Business tycoons of the cotton, paper, lumber, and other industries began realizing the threat that hemp was to their businesses, so they started to look for ways to overpower the hemp industry. They were successfully able to get unfair tax laws passed that made it extremely difficult for hemp farmers to grow and sell their crops.
And some of the propaganda created was fear-mongering. With the influx of marijuana pouring over the border of Mexico, the media began to demonize cannabis across the board as a substance that would get people “high”, making no distinction between marijuana and hemp. Cannabis, in general, was now being associated with things that were against social norms, claiming that marijuana was a dangerous gateway drug, would turn an individual into a no-good, unproductive member of society, and that it had no medicinal use whatsoever. And the public believed every word of it without any kind of research of their own.
Ultimately, cannabis was added to the Controlled Substances Act. None of these events helped to inspire confidence or even present accurate information before people regarding the natural medicinal benefits of cannabis. It only criminalized it. These are the kinds of misconceptions that many of our seniors still hold onto in regards to medical cannabis.
But some seniors are rethinking medical cannabis now, and there are a few reasons for that.
3 Reasons Why Seniors Are Rethinking Medical Cannabis
Seniors and Medical Cannabis
1) Seniors and CBD–An Improved Health Life
One medical cannabis option that has been popular with seniors has been CBD. The cannabinoid compound that carries so many health benefits but no psychoactive “high” has been a very popular option in the last few years for those who want to take advantage of cannabis’s health benefits but don’t want to experience the altered state of mind. And this definitely goes for senior citizens.
Remedy Review did a survey of 1,047 seniors ages 54 and older to see what kind of CBD experience they had if any.
They found that 9% of those 1,047 seniors had tried CBD in some capacity. When asked about their quality of life before trying CBD, only 31.1% of those surveyed said that they experienced a good quality of life regarding their health. But that number went up significantly to 65.6% of the same seniors saying that the quality of their health life improved after trying CBD.
These were the overall results that Remedy Review saw in their senior survey.
2) CBD Has the Potential to Treat Ailments That Can Be Specific to Seniors
Because of how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, different studies have shown that CBD could have the potential to bring significant natural relief to ailments like inflammation and chronic pain, insomnia, arthritis, anxiety, mental conditions like depression and PTSD, and chronic medical conditions. Many of these things are normal ailments to experience as our bodies age, and these are many of the reasons that seniors are rethinking medical cannabis.
The benefits that this group of seniors found in relieving many of these ailments and more were definitely noticeable. 61.1% said it reduced pain they were experiencing, 45.6% said it improved the quality of the sleep they were getting, and 30% reported reduced anxiety and stress.
Overall, 78% of the senior citizens that tried CBD for health-related reasons said that they were satisfied with the results they were experiencing, and 89% of them said they would recommend using CBD as a natural health supplement to their friends and family. That’s a pretty big deal for the generation who was warned to stay away from any kind of cannabis at all costs.
3) Seniors and Medical Marijuana–Taking Things To Another Level
While many seniors might feel more comfortable with the non-psychoactive components of medical cannabis, there are still a lot of potential health benefits to medical marijuana for those in the senior category.
According to The New Yorker, “Since cannabis is federally illegal, none of his [Joseph Cohen, D.O., the founder of Holos Health, which advises people on medical cannabis] claims—or those made by any other clinician—can be supported by double-blind studies on humans, the gold standard in medical science. But in February a peer-reviewed study of almost three thousand patients in Israel, the first of its kind, showed that cannabis can be safe and effective for seniors, and lead to decreased use of pharmaceuticals, including opioids. In the study, published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, almost ninety-four per cent of patients reported improvement in their condition, with their pain level reduced by half.”
The opioid epidemic in the United States isn’t limited to just the younger generations. It expands past that into our seniors as well. And even on a lesser note, being able to find a natural substance with mild, short-term side effects in comparison to the more serious and long-term side effects that accompany many pharmaceutical drugs could be a much better, safer option to achieving the natural health results that seniors are looking for.
The natural health benefits of medical cannabis aren’t limiting themselves to the younger and middle-aged generations anymore. Many people in the senior category are starting to see and understand the health benefits that they could reap as well.
Are you one of the seniors that are rethinking medical cannabis? Do you still have questions about how it could potentially help you or still have reservations about medical cannabis in general? Leave your questions in the comments below and we can try to help answer them!
And always remember to discuss any changes in your healthcare regimen with your doctor. They will be able to point you in the right direction in regards to introducing medical cannabis into your healthcare routine, what products are best for you, and how to best get you started on that road if it’s one that you want to go down.
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