As the population of North America ages, the need for improved treatment methods for medical conditions have become forefront, especially the need more for more options to treat pain without the use of opiods. This is no more apparent than for our senior population, who actively seek these options, and many of them are turning to and using medical marijuana as that alternative.
Even though many seniors had adopted the mentality of “Just Say No”, thanks in part to early campaigns in the 80’s to curb or eliminate the use of illegal drugs, that mindset has changed as the age of information exploded with the use of the internet, of which many seniors have embraced and have become quite tech savvy.
People want information, scientific studies and other evidence to back up claims, and they’re sharing their newly acquired knowledge with the simple click of a button.
This, of course, is great news for the marijuana movement thanks to the abundance of information about cannabis and its amazing therapeutic potential.
Such news is especially promising considering the recent rise in senior cannabis use because they are the demographic who can benefit from it most. In fact, there are many ways cannabis therapy can help seniors live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Prescription Drug Dependency in Seniors Can Be Reduced
As time marches on, the effect it has on our bodies is inevitable. Those aches and pains that were earlier tolerated as just bothersome or accepted as part of the aging process have now become major medical issues for many, affecting not only their well being, but for many seniors physical, mental and emotional problems arise (and compound) making life in the golden years less than satisfactory for many seniors.
To reduce the physical, mental and emotional burdens put on the aging body, seniors often find themselves stuck in a prescription medicine regimen that in and of itself can take a toll on the body.
Fortunately, cannabis can supplement or replace many prescription drugs including pain medication, anti-depressants, stimulants and sleep aids.
Seniors are more likely to take multiple prescriptions, too, and may abuse or misuse their medication for many reasons including forgetfulness, increased tolerance and worsening medical conditions.
This leaves older adults more susceptible to drug-related injuries (including fatality) as they attempt to juggle multiple medications at a time. By using cannabis to supplement prescription medication, seniors can help protect their bodies from a prescription drug cocktail.
Though causes of depression in seniors varies based on the circumstances (including decreased mobility or an increased awareness of mortality), the outcome is often the same: seclusion, loss of motivation and a rapid decline in health.
Treating Depression in Seniors with Marijuana
As we all know, the use of marijuana can elevate our moods through the laughter that cannabis can cause, the increase of “that good feeling” experienced by so many users, and the reason that many use in the first place. Some surprising benefits of laughter include increased immune system functioning, heart protection, decreased stress levels, decreased pain and relaxed muscles.
Research also shows that laughter increases life span which means that seniors who use cannabis will not only be happier, but will live longer to enjoy their happier life, too!
These effects are not only what the senior population requires to maintain an active, positive social life; they are actively exploring these benefits again by either researching on the internet, or talking to one of the many physicians that are educated in the use of medical marijuana and who prescribe medical marijuana as an alternative.
As the Body Ages, Health Problems Increase
The unfortunate result of this is an increased dependency on drugs and alcohol which can actually have a counter-effect on health, especially when these substances are abused. But cannabis use can be very beneficial to seniors, and many are starting to understand how profound these benefits are.
Though there is no clear reason for the increase in senior cannabis use, we can speculate that it’s due to factors like an increased acceptance of marijuana use, an abundance of pro-pot research and easier access to safe, affordable (and versatile) cannabis products.
Whatever the reason for the increase in cannabis use among the elderly, I’m thrilled that they have access to therapy that works in so many wonderful ways.
What do you think of cannabis use among senior citizens?
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