More Seniors Using Medical Marijuana For Treating Pain and Arthritis, Reducing The Pill Burden

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 

The Increase of Seniors Using medical Marijuana

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.

medical marijuana increases laughter

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?

Leave a comment below to join the discussion!

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12 thoughts on “More Seniors Using Medical Marijuana For Treating Pain and Arthritis, Reducing The Pill Burden

  • September 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I worked as a hospice nurse for many years and MD’s often prescribed patient cannabis to relieve pain, improve sleep patterns and appetite. I agree that it is has been proven to have much fewer side effects than opioids and to promote the quality of life for many ill people

    • September 23, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Hi Olina and thanks for the comment.
      Except for people who have worked or are working in the medical field, and have had the opportunity to work with those patients who have been prescribed medical marijuana, are the ones who really are witness to the healing powers of medical marijuana. More so for those who are terminal and in hospice care.

  • September 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I could not agree more with this post. I am all for medical marijuana uses for seniors or not. But I can see the implications it has towards seniors. They seem to need more medical attention due to aging I find especially with common diseases like arthritis. I do not like how our society in the past had become so drug-dependent and gave marijuana a terrible reputation when it should have been the other way around. If only everyone knew the numerous benefits it has and the very very limited side effects compared to medication. Thank you for this insightful post.

    • September 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Welcome back Rob and thanks for the comment.
      With marijuana so much in the news these days, not just for legalization but more about the medical uses for conditions that were once thought incurable, it can only continue to be in the forefront and I myself am very excited to see further developments.
      My neighbor stopped this morning. She is a senior who is using a topical for her aching hips. We were talking about her using a marijuana topical, and she said that her pain levels have dropped so much in the last few weeks, that she is looking forward to being able to get out more now that she is able. This to me is great news. She is also a senior.

  • September 18, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Do you think that the “baby boomers” are more likely to use cannabis because of their time era? I am very much for the use of cannabis in place of prescription drugs so I really enjoyed this article. There are so many benefits if people would just give it a chance.

    • September 18, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Hi Lisa and thanks for the comment!
      Being a Baby Boomer and a Gen X myself(born in ’64) although far from being considered a senior-I think you’re right!
      Although drugs were available and used, it wasn’t talked about. The culture at the time was way more family oriented than it is today, and from a young age, children were taught that they were bad. Even in watching movies from that era, it is hard to find the mentioning of drugs of any kind!! And we all know the saying that a tiger can’t change his stripes.
      I think seniors acceptance of it today is based the availability of information regarding marijuana and just what benefits it may have medically besides just using it for getting high. I applaud them and will support them in any way I can.

  • September 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Oh, the benefits of cannabis! It’s amazing how something with such a bad rap can have so many positive uses. Unfortunately, this is still not an option in North Carolina, so dependency on traditional and potentially addictive and harmful pills continues far more than it should. Thank you for bringing more awareness to this, and hopefully one day, cannabis will be legal for anyone (even kids can benefit from CBDs, which don’t contain THC) to use for medication. Great post!

    • September 18, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      Hey Steve and thanks for the comment!
      Being the first of the G7 countries to legalize recreational, Canada is setting a president for the rest of the world. It will be legal here in July 2018. The news stories about the legalization dominate the news, and many countries are closely following. You can actually watch the live stream from the proceedings and many are!!
      I’m glad to see that some states have legalized marijuana in the US, but for you guys there is a long way to go before you see it federally recognized, which is too bad. makes research difficult to do. Maybe in 3 years a new attitude will be in office, and then recognizing will be more of an agenda.

  • September 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Cannabis is the miracle plant. It has the cure to so many current diseases that when people realize this magnificent plant as what it really is, they come into shock. It happened with my mother, ants, and some cousins. It is not only the medicinal properties that it has but all the other properties. This plant is multifunctional in ten thousand ways, It is simply the miracle plant.

    Excellent post indeed.

    • September 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Welcome back Handres and thanks for the comment.
      I agree with you so much. The research for uses of marijuana is still in it’s infancy. Not just for medical use but for so many other possible uses. Textiles, food stuffs, building materials-the list can go on. For a plant that 20-30 years ago was so reviled and persecuted, it has made leaps and bounds in acceptance. However, I think the best is yet to come!!

  • September 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I agree with your article. The use of prescription drugs is out of control! My own father takes a least 17 pills per day for everything from depression to high blood pressure. I’m sure all of these drugs must have some kind of interaction. The new information available about cannabis use is becoming less taboo. I hope that the drug companies don’t squash this important information!

    • September 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Leslie and thanks for the comment!
      I hear you on the overuse of prescription pills today. I have had back problems for the last couple of years, and I tell you, my cupboard was starting to look like a pharmacy!! So many pills. If one didn’t work, well then let’s try this one, and so on. I am sure, just like your father.
      But on this one, I think big pharma has been beat. Marijuana cannot be synthesized in a lab, and as far as I know, the only place they can acquire THC or CBD is from the plant itself. As far as I know. That’s not to say that perhaps one day, it may be done.
      But today, the marijuana growers are the one’s who control the market, and for now I think big pharma will have to work with them. Let’s see what happens. Won’t be long.


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