Marijuana is typically associated with the younger generation, and recreational use. As the medical use of cannabis grows with ongoing research, so does the age group that is using the plant.
The ‘boomer’ generation of ageing seniors is increasingly turning to weed for a wide variety of benefits. Shown by the fact that the age group had the most significant increase in use, amongst all cannabis users in Canada in 2019.
Not surprising since weed is showing to help common medical ailments that affect these ages – like arthritis, chronic pain, wrinkles, Alzheimer’s, and other age-onset diseases. So here we’re exploring the ageing world of weed, how medical marijuana can help the ageing community and more facts about the group’s rise in use.
How Seniors are Using Medical Marijuana
Now that doctors are able to prescribe full-spectrum goods to Canadian citizens, it seems that the senior citizens are catching on to the benefits it can provide. Prior to this breakthrough moment, Canadian doctors were only able to prescribe a synthetic THC prescription, Nabalone or Cesamet. Like any prescription, even this THC based medication came with its own side effects which everyone as a whole is attempting to steer clear of.
This shift could be causing a rise in seniors turning to cannabis as a treatment, more and more. Even though some may still be using to kick back and have a relaxing or good time. Recently, Statistics Canada reported that 10x more citizens 65 and older are using cannabis now, than when surveyed in 2012. But, the survey didn’t just stop there. It also concluded the following –
- Nearly half of seniors reporting use, report using for medicinal purposes.
- 400,000 citizens 65+ had consumed cannabis in the 3 months prior to the study being conducted.
- 24% of seniors reported recreationally consuming cannabis for recreational use.
Although, the survey also concluded that seniors weren’t more apt to be consuming daily in comparison to other age groups. The Nation is obviously riveted by the findings, which is why another recent study of 100 Canadian seniors has also emerged.
Canopy Growth along with Spectrum Therapeutics is in the midst of a trial that is exploring the benefits of cannabis for seniors citizens, in Ontario long-term care homes. The study is designed to test how cannabis can affect ageing ailments and the effectiveness of cannabinoid doses. So far, the results are promising but the final conclusion has yet to be determined.
Medical Marijuana & Aging Ailments
So just why all the interest in cannabis from seniors? As researchers explore the inner-workings of medical marijuana, and exactly how CBD and THC work, they’re finding more about how it can directly target common conditions. Even those of the aging. Here, we compiled the top ways that science is proving medical marijuana can help for issues that arise when aging.
In 2014 the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease conducted a study showing THC was therapeutic for Alzheimer’s, and side effects of the condition. Alzheimer’s is a common issue for the aging community, that affects a person’s memory. What experts have found is the condition is most likely caused by beta-amyloids that build up in the brain. This buildup causes symptoms of Alzheimer’s symptoms to increase. This specific trial proved THC stimulated the progression of these beta-amyloids, which in turn, improved the condition’s symptoms significantly.
Dopamine is directly connected to Parkinson’s condition, and medical marijuana too. Parkinson’s is said to arise due to levels of dopamine, and irregular communication of the nerves. How does medical marijuana connect? CBD and THC influence nerve communication via the endocannabinoid system. Including dopamine receptors, too. Many studies, like the ones published by the Parkinson’s Foundation are showing that cannabis can help improve the activity of neurons, to help address the symptoms of the condition.
Huntington’s Disease is another nerve-related and progressive disease that is onset between the ages of 30-40. Hence, its classification as a ‘progressive’ condition – meaning, symptoms get worse over time. Huntington’s directly diminishes nerves, which makes them function less than optimally. But, it just so happens that CBD is neuroprotective in nature, which is proving successful at helping the ageing condition. So much so that the FDA is currently in trials for a cannabis medication to serve as a prescribed treatment.
CBD and THC’s anti-inflammatory effects are also helpful for another common ageing condition – arthritis. Or, the general swelling of any joint. One Toronto study explored the connection and found that nine out of 10 patients using cannabis for relief, reported cannabis was highly effective for healing.
Seniors can endure chronic pain from many activities, since aches are more common with age. But it’s been long-know that cannabis is able to effectively target chronic pain. Especially since its anti-inflammatory traits, are quite similar to other common medications like Advil. Cannabis is able to directly influence neurons that signal pain. In fact, the body’s internal cannabinoid receptors are actually responsible for regulating pain signals, altogether. Meaning, the interaction can be quite beneficial due to medical marijuana’s soothing effects.
For seniors worried about their appearance, and aging skin – CBD’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory traits are proving to help. CBD is able to internally reduce free radicals in the body, which are what responsible for fine lines and creases. Free radicals diminish collage, that is necessary for plump, smooth and glowing skin.
Growing Old with Cannabis
Cannabis is seemingly breaking stigmas left and right, and certainly so with the growth in senior use. The more legitimatized that research becomes, and the more access of products that become available, the more consumers in this age group grow. As you’ve seen a plethora of studies are proving the benefits that cannabis can provide to senior citizens.
Now, with easily accessible online dispensaries like MMJDirect, the ageing community is able to peruse the descriptions of each product, choose wisely, and have their purchase conveniently delivered to their door. So, send grandma, grandpa, or mom, and dad our way – it’s likely, they’ll be happy you sent them for premium goods and quality effects.