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Use of Medical Cannabis Among Seniors Increases & Stigma Decreases

Article regarding Cannabis use with seniors

Cannabis use among seniors

Senior citizens & older adults are among the fastest-growing cannabis consumers. Medicinal benefits are some of the reasons this group is growing as consumers.

98682, VANCOUVER, CANADA, August 3, 2021 / -- Senior citizens and older adults are among the fastest-growing groups of medical cannabis consumers. Are you surprised? If one has experienced the medicinal benefits of marijuana, then they're probably not! This plant can be used to treat a variety of ailments, from helping people to get to sleep at night to easing chronic pain that is not even responsive to opioids, etc.

Studies have shown that the older adult population comprises the fast-growing group of new cannabis users. In fact, many conclude about a third of all users in Canada are senior citizens. Not to mention, the numbers reveal that about a quarter of all older adults who use cannabis are new users. Quarter after quarter since the historic legislation of October 2018, more seniors and older adults are discovering the amazing world of cannabis. Another significant finding was that people over the age of 65 were less likely to become daily users in comparison to all the age groups under 65.

CBD Products Are Also Popular Among Older Adults in Canada
The majority of cannabis use among older adults involves using flower or other products that contain the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is important to note that a lot of people in their older years enjoy the mellow body effects that are caused by cannabidiol (CBD). If you want to learn more about cannabidiol or CBD oil and its plethora of benefits, you can do so at our previous blog post here.

Medical Marijuana Use Opens Up the Discussion for Seniors
Many older adults are curious about marijuana use is because of medical benefits. Because medical marijuana has been legal in Canada for 20 years or more, this provides older people an environment where they can open up and ask more questions about cannabis. It provides comfort when they are able to weigh the risks vs benefits with a healthcare provider, and in the case of medical cannabis, the list of potential side effects are very few, which is in stark contrast to pharmaceutical options that are used to treat the same ailments, such as chronic pain, insomnia, neuropathy, etc.

Considerations For Older Adults and Cannabis Use
Marijuana is a natural plant, and it is true that no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose. However, that is not to say that there are not certain considerations that people, especially in the elderly population, take in about marijuana use.

Cardiac considerations. Cannabis can increase heart rate and, in some people, can also increase their blood pressure. If you have any existing cardiac issues, talk to your medical provider. It is not uncommon for people over the age of 65 to have multiple medications they are prescribed and take on a daily basis. If you are taking medications (especially blood thinners or anti-seizure medication), you might want to discuss with your healthcare provider whether medical marijuana could have any negative side effects or interactions. It’s important to openly discuss your cannabis usage with your doctors, especially if you have surgery. If you are a user of cannabis, they may need to make adjustments with your levels of anesthesia or take other important precautions.and the highly concentrated forms, such as extracts or high-dosage edibles. CBD is a safe bet and is not known to increase heart rate.

Cognitive considerations. Cannabis products that contain the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, can have an impact on your thinking. This can be a concern for older adults who are at risk for dementia or confusion. In order to avoid profound psychological effects, it’s better for seniors to stick with products that have lower levels of THC. CBD products in Canada are non-intoxicating and therefore may be preferred by seniors who want to experience the medicinal effects. Curiously, there is also research that suggests patients who use cannabis can improve their cognitive functioning, in part due to the benefits of pain control and improvement in sleep patterns. Further studies need to be conducted in order to confirm these findings.
In Summary

The use of cannabis among the elderly is definitely growing. Social acceptance and the reduction of social stigma are largely part of this trend, but it’s encouraging. Medical marijuana has been documented as an effective agent for patients who suffer from a myriad of health conditions, in particular chronic pain and insomnia.

While cannabis is a natural alternative with very few side effects and very little risk, if you are taking several medications or have a cognitive impairment, you should educate yourself about the benefits and risks. Talk to your healthcare provider or start out with very small doses of THC. Also, experiment with trying CBD or CBD oil alone and experience the other effects of cannabis.

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Tim Johnson
Naked Cabbabis
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