As society's perception of cannabis continues to evolve, so too does our understanding of its potential benefits and implications for different age groups. In this article, we delve into the compelling topic of how cannabis, when used responsibly, can affect senior citizens who choose to incorporate it into their lives. Join us as we unravel the layers of research, anecdotes, and expert insights to gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential impact and unique considerations surrounding cannabis use among our esteemed elders.
Rising Cannabis Use in Senior Citizens
The demographic experiencing the fastest growth in marijuana use in the United States is adults aged 55 and older. A nationwide estimate indicates that approximately nine percent of individuals aged 50 or older have reported consuming cannabis within the past year. Notably, between 2016 and 2018, self-reported cannabis use among individuals aged 65 to 69 years old nearly doubled, reaching 8 percent among men and close to 4 percent among women. The percentage of all US adults aged 65 and older who reported cannabis use within the past year has also doubled in recent years, reaching 4.2 percent.
In a representative sample of US adults aged 50 and older residing in a legal state such as Washington, 38% of men and 25% of women acknowledged cannabis use in the past year. Furthermore, among a nationally representative sample of US adults aged 65 and older, the percentage of older adults who believe that occasional cannabis smoking poses significant risks to physical and overall well-being decreased by nearly 20 percent between 2015 and 2019.
How Senior Citizens Can Use Cannabis
Using cannabis can offer several potential benefits to senior citizens. Here are some ways in which cannabis consumption may be beneficial:
Seniors often experience sleep disturbances due to various factors, including pain, anxiety, or insomnia. Certain cannabis strains with relaxing properties, such as indica-dominant strains, may help promote better sleep by reducing anxiety, aiding relaxation, and improving sleep quality.
Mood and Mental Health
Cannabis has been reported to have mood-enhancing effects, potentially alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. It can help seniors unwind, find moments of joy, and potentially reduce feelings of isolation or loneliness, improving overall well-being.
Loss of appetite and weight loss can be prevalent among senior citizens, leading to nutrient deficiencies and other health concerns. Cannabis, particularly strains high in THC, may stimulate appetite and improve food enjoyment, thereby aiding in maintaining a healthy weight.
Reduced Dependency on Prescription Medications
Cannabis may provide an alternative or adjunctive therapy to certain prescription medications. Some seniors have found that cannabis helps them reduce their reliance on opioids, muscle relaxants, or other pharmaceuticals, potentially mitigating the risks associated with long-term use of these medications.
It's important to note that individual responses to cannabis can vary, and the potential benefits should be weighed against any potential risks or contraindications. Seniors considering cannabis use should consult with healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable about cannabis and their medical history to make informed decisions about incorporating it into their wellness routines.
How Seniors Can Safely Consume Cannabis
When considering cannabis treatment for older adults, it is crucial to acknowledge the associated risks, which differ from what was previously believed. Dr. Doug Burgess from University Health highlights that certain factors are more prevalent in older individuals. Confusion, an increased risk of falls, and sleep disturbances are common challenges seniors face. However, cannabis use can potentially worsen these issues. It is particularly concerning when considering interactions with medications such as blood thinners, seizure disorder medications, antidepressants, and anxiety medications commonly used by elderly patients. Doctors emphasize the importance of starting with low doses and gradually increasing as needed.
Their primary recommendation is to engage in open conversations with healthcare providers. The risks and individual considerations should be carefully evaluated in collaboration with healthcare professionals when exploring cannabis as a treatment option for older adults. Seeking professional guidance can help navigate the complexities of cannabis use and ensure safety and appropriate treatment.
CBD and Seniors
For seniors who are considering cannabis but may be hesitant about the psychoactive effects of THC, CBD (cannabidiol) can be a suitable starting point. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis that offers potential therapeutic benefits without the "high" associated with THC.
Seniors have a range of CBD (cannabidiol) product options available to them. Here are some different forms of CBD that seniors can consider using:
CBD oil or tinctures are popular options. They usually come in small bottles with a dropper for precise dosing. Seniors can place a few drops of oil under their tongue, hold it for a short time, and then swallow. This allows for quick absorption into the bloodstream.
CBD capsules offer a convenient and discreet way to consume CBD. They contain pre-measured doses of CBD and can be taken orally with water. Capsules are easy to incorporate into a daily routine and allow for consistent dosing.
CBD-infused edibles include gummies, chocolates, candies, and baked goods. They offer a tasty and enjoyable way to consume CBD. Edibles have pre-dosed CBD content, making it easy to control the dosage. However, the onset of effects can be slower compared to other methods due to the digestion process.
CBD topicals include creams, lotions, balms, and salves that are applied directly to the skin. They are primarily used for localized relief of muscle soreness, joint pain, and inflammation. Topicals are non-intoxicating and provide targeted relief.
CBD-infused beverages, such as teas, coffees, or water, provide a refreshing way to consume CBD. These ready-to-drink options are available in various flavors and can be easily incorporated into a daily routine.
When choosing a form of CBD, seniors should consider factors such as their desired effects, ease of use, personal preferences, and any specific health considerations. It's recommended to start with low doses and gradually adjust as needed while closely monitoring individual responses. Consulting with a healthcare professional experienced in CBD use can provide additional guidance and personalized recommendations.
Seniors and E1011 Labs
Here at E1011 Labs we think our CBD-rich products and easy to use battery make a great pair for seniors looking to try out CBD products before, or in lieu of, THC cannabis. Our elon® device uses heat-not-burn technology to heat the flower to the optimal temperature for inhalation and allows users to avoid the toxins associated with combustion and traditional smoking methods.
Our stelo™ products were created to be used with our elon device and come prefilled and predosed with full spectrum CBD flower. Knowing the weight of flower in each stelo helps us make sure you are getting just the right amount whenever you use the product. To use the stelo, simply insert the side of the stick with the arrow into the device and wait for it to heat up. Our plug and play system creates an experience that is not tainted by hard to open products, a long preparation time, and the need for extra accessories, like a lighter. With E1011 Labs, It’s truly as easy as plug and play!
We even offer a variety of flavorings, allowing users to find the right one, or ones, for them. New users can even bundle and save with our current Starter Bundle that comes with all you need to start your own CBD journey. If you have any further questions on general CBD knowledge or our products, our E1011 Labs team can be reached via email or through our chatbot!
Seniors and Cannabis Use
In conclusion, cannabis consumption can have both positive and negative effects on senior citizens who choose to smoke it. While it may offer potential benefits such as pain relief, improved sleep, and enhanced mood, seniors must approach cannabis use with caution and consider their individual health conditions, medications, and potential risks. It is crucial for seniors to have open and honest conversations with healthcare professionals to ensure that cannabis is used safely and effectively.
Additionally, exploring alternative forms of cannabis, such as CBD products, can provide therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC. Ultimately, informed decision-making, responsible use, and personalized guidance are key when it comes to cannabis consumption for senior citizens.