The benefits of medical marijuana use for seniors

Published Mar 26, 2019 09:08 a.m. ET

Let us take a look at medical marijuana benefits for seniors:

  1. Cannabis is safer than prescription drugs that most seniors are prescribed to take on a daily basis. Some of these prescribed drugs can cause unpleasant side-effects. To date, no person has died from the use of marijuana as a substitute for prescription drugs. Powerful antioxidant effects of cannabis use can assist in providing relief to disorders like Hepatitis C, Lupus and liver inflammation. The benefits are also extended to irritable bowel syndrome and all medical conditions that involve inflammation and possible oxidative damage.

  2. Medical marijuana is not addictive. Contrary to what many seniors believe marijuana we can be stopped with no adverse effect. The stopping of using marijuana would be similar to the ceasing of coffee use.

  3. A common complaint of seniors is they worry about the side effects of the medicine that their health provider has prescribed for them. Often the medication given to the senior for the initial complaint requires a second pill to address the side-effects of the first complaint. Marijuana targets specific complaints such as hip joint, chronic pain, blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia. Marijuana can also enhance opiate-based painkillers, thus enabling to decrease in the number of addictive opiate pain-killers used.

  4. Seniors often claim that they do not want to use marijuana because of the “high” feelings that they perceive, they will experience from using marijuana. There are different strains of marijuana that will not evoke those “high” feelings. Some of those CBD high strains are beneficial for the use arthritis pain, muscle spasms, and nausea.

  5. Glaucoma which is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the sight of some elderly seniors. CBD works in pain management and the reduction of pressure behind the eye

  • Drugs to increase the appetite in the elderly can be replaced by marijuana. Loss of weight is a common medical condition that can be present with aging and can cause tissue weakness. CBD is known to increase the appetite of users of CBD. This can prove beneficial to the aging senior.

  • Marijuana and fatigue can be attributed to the strain of marijuana that you choose. Generally speaking, if you use an indica strain of marijuana, you will receive sedative effects. This type of strain should be used in the evening when you are relaxing and have no specific tasks to undertake. Using an indica strain during the day may provoke feelings of fatigue among seniors.

    The Cambridge Council on Aging is a useful forum for seniors to learn about cannabis use, though unfortunately, it is specific to that township. The goals of this council are to bring awareness of the concerns and needs of seniors and older adults in Cambridge Ontario, Canada. The group advocates for positive changes that can occur in the community. The council holds open meetings and invites from the community, public health workers, pharmacy assistants, and social workers. The group's mandate is to educate the social group that they feel has been left out of the information cycle in the education of marijuana.

    Seniors appear to have fallen through the cracks regarding who has been targeted to receive information about marijuana. Seniors are a group that could greatly benefit from medical marijuana use. It’s good that this council has taken steps to teach seniors about cannabis use and with the inclusion of registered health practitioners, as they have a lot of ill-conceived ideas about cannabis use and have received a lot of misinformation. Hopefully, this effort brings attention to medicinal cannabis use in aiding seniors on a national level, and we’ll soon start to see more focus on helping seniors with more programs like this starting up throughout Canada.



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