Friday, July 19, 2024

Key Information For The 60+ About Marijuana

It is a big summer for the cannabis industry – will Boomers join Gen Z in embracing marijuana?

It is the summer of cannabis with the potential for rescheduling.  Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) has recognized marijuana has medical benefits and is not a dangerous drug. The American Medical Association also recognized it can help patients and they and research show it is better for you than alcohol.  Gen Z has started moving away from alcohol (mainly beer) and embracing cannabis.  With all these changes – here is key information for the 60+ about marijuana in today’s world.

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There are two uses for cannabis – recreational (fun stuff) and medical. Even though a little high has never hurt anybody, you don’t have to get high to benefit from medical marijuana. Effective medicinal CBD strains contain small amounts of THC. These strains focus their efforts on the therapeutic side of the plant, producing little to no psychoactive effect.

The other interesting update is the days of smoking cannabis tends to be waning. it is used more by the aficionado and the old school consumers.  Today, most users have used a vape or a gummy. You can manage dosing better, they are discreet and you take it to events without the smell.  Gen Z has truly embrace the on-the-go aspect of today’s marijuana.

Study: Older Adults Are Using Cannabis At Higher Rates
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With aging, bodies start to deteriorate in every way, leading to some pain and discomfort. Seniors are more prone to experience inflammation, mental and bone health issues and high blood pressure. Evidence and studies show cannabis is a good way of providing some relief, especially in the chronic pain area.

One of the most common wellness ways cannabis is used is for sleep. Like most natural medicines, it needs to be taken occasionally, but enough to change your sleep patterns. With the correct dosage, it can increase total sleep time and decrease the frequency of arousals during the night.

Another key issue is anxiety. Some people use marijuana to cope with anxiety, especially those with social anxiety disorder. THC appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses and increase anxiety at higher doses. Studies has shown CBD appears to decrease anxiety at all doses.

In the fun category, marijuana is healthier than alcohol and can make experiences much more vibrant and alive. Science shows listening to music, watching a movie, or just looking at scenery is more vibrant.  Part of the reason is while on THC, is slows the “memory search part” of the brain and allows it to focus on the moment. Also, cannabis and cannabis creams can help in the intimacy department, sometimes reopening a door which might have been closed.

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There needs to be an awareness on the possible effect marijuana can have with common medications taken by older adults. A review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says that marijuana can interact with common heart medications, such as statin and blood thinners. Marijuana use can alter the time in which these medications have an effect and could also result in bleeding.

People should also avoid pairing marijuana with anti-seizure medications or any other substance that produces strong effects. If having surgery, it’s important for older adults to disclose marijuana use to doctors, even including the use of CBD. The compound has also been linked with altering the way in which the liver processes dosages in medications.

RELATED: Survey: Seniors In Pain Want To Try Cannabis, But This Is Preventing Them

Like alcohol, cannabis can make you a bit unstable on your feet. Using either could result in dizziness and in feeling out of control of your body. This in turn could increase the risk of falling and getting involved in all sorts of accidents. Falls pose serious risks for seniors, with 1 out of 5 resulting in a head injury or broken bones. The good news, if done right, cannabis makes you chill.

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Photo by Caiaimage/Trevor Adeline/Getty Images

According to a study published in the journal Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, like with alcohol, older marijuana users are more likely to experience depression than non-users. While it’s not know exactly why this occurs, it’s likely a combination of things; these users might be taking cannabis instead of seeking medical help, or maybe cannabis is interacting with the medications they’re already taking in ways that are not beneficial.


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