Is Medical Cannabis Right for Seniors?
If you are a Baby Boomer or a member of Generation X, you may be wondering if cannabis offers any medical benefit to older Americans. In fact, it does. Not only does marijuana alleviate sleeplessness and treat depression, cannabis products may help manage several painful conditions that are commonly experienced by those who are middle-aged or older.
Novice or not
If you grew up in the 1960s or ’70s, there’s a good chance that you experimented with — or even became a devoted aficionado of — marijuana in your younger years. Now that you’re a fully grown adult, you may find yourself experiencing aches and pains that you didn’t notice before.
Like it or not, physical discomforts are typical of human bodies as they age. This doesn’t mean you have to accept them, however, especially if medical cannabis is legal where you live. Inexperienced cannabis users are cautioned to start slow and increase the dosage only after they understand how cannabis affects them personally. This is doubly true with edibles that take longer to reveal their potent, long-lasting effects.
What the experts say
Dr. Igor Grant heads the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego. A long-time cannabis researcher, Grant told CBS News that marijuana is an affordable, effective alternative to opiates that may be used to treat a variety of ailments, including diabetic neuropathy and nerve-generated pain. Other painful conditions that often respond to medical cannabis include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle spasms
Cannabis strains that treat pain
Most seniors who use cannabis medically agree that the best strains for pain relief are high in both THC and CBD. When combined, the two cannabinoids seem to work better to alleviate chronic and acute pain, reports Analytical Cannabis magazine.
Top 5 Marijuana Strains for Pain Relief
1. White Widow
A hybrid of Indica strains from India and Sativa strains from South America, White Widow offers superior pain relief as well as a beautiful buzz that is both euphoric and energetic. Watch out for the munchies, though, as this hybrid is known to increase appetite in a big way.
2. Blue Dream
Another horticultural hybrid, Blue Dream, combines the finest features of Haze Sativa and Blueberry Indica. Rich in THC, Blue Dream also offers a hefty serving of CBD, explain reefer researchers at Marijuana Break magazine.
3. Bubba Kush
Seniors seeking effective pain relief along with a good night’s sleep find a dream come true in Bubba Kush. Heavily Indica, this delightful domestication of Hindu Kush addresses chronic pain with ease.
Proficient at pain relief, AK-47 is the result of the careful hybridization of at least four cannabis strains from Afghanistan, Thailand, South America, and Mexico. Highly energizing, it’s not the best marijuana to enjoy at bedtime, but AK-47 is sure to cure what ails you in the morning.
5. Jack Herer
Named in honor of esteemed marijuana activist Jack Herer, this remarkable hybrid offers the energizing effects of Sativa while relieving chronic pain and depression. Always rich in THC, Jack Herer should be on every senior’s go-to list of pain-relieving cannabis strains.
You don’t have to have a significant medical condition to reap the myriad benefits offered by cannabis, most notably if you live in a state where medical or recreational marijuana is allowed. Once forbidden by law, recreational marijuana is entirely legal for adult use in numerous U.S. states, including Colorado, California, and Oregon. Medical cannabis is available by prescription in more than 30 states across the nation. Be sure to check your local laws before exploring the benefits of medical cannabis for seniors.
About the Author
Kaanii P. is a long-time medical and recreational marijuana proponent. She volunteered with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to radically change Colorado cannabis law. Today, Kaanii lives in and writes from the San Francisco Bay Area where her eldest son was one of the first medical marijuana patients under the care of the late Dennis Peron.