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Cannabis and Seniors

Since legalization, many seniors are now considering experimenting with Cannabis to increase their quality of life.  There are some good reasons why seniors are turning to Cannabis.  Some of these reasons include potential health benefits and as an alternative to prescription medication.  Seniors are the fastest growing demographic of Cannabis users, as these individuals are highly motivated to find solutions for their health-related concerns.

Health Canada reports that in 2013 two-thirds of the patients registered in the medical program took Cannabis to treat arthritis, which is a common condition affecting many adults and senior citizens.  These patients turned to Cannabis because the drugs they had been taking were no longer effective at treating their condition.

Cannabis for seniors can also be effective for treating other conditions like chronic pain, nausea and inflammation.  In some cases, Cannabis is often used to help patients who have Multiple Sclerosis and even Glaucoma.  As more clinical studies become available many more seniors will potentially try Cannabis as standardized dosing and protocols are developed.

Another reason some seniors consider switching to Cannabis is because of the lack of side effects compared to traditional medications.  The side effects of pharmaceuticals are never-ending and can sometimes have very serious consequences.  Some of the negative effects of Cannabis include unwanted drowsiness and dizziness, possible memory loss and potential respiratory problems depending on the consumption method used.  These are worthwhile considerations for this demographic to avoid unnecessary health complications.

Now that Cannabis is legal in Canada, many seniors will substitute recreational products for medical Cannabis for two reasons.  The first reason is access.  Obtaining Cannabis is less challenging through recreational channels compared to the medical program.  Secondly, as the stigma around recreational Cannabis use diminishes, more seniors will naturally begin to experiment.  Some of these users will be completely new to Cannabis and others will be returning consumers.

Some of the license producers here in Canada have been creating products with seniors in mind.  Most people have heard of ingestible oils but not everyone is aware there are pre-milled dried herb products available, which are made specifically for vaping.  It is not necessary to grind up this product before use, which can be hard for those with conditions like arthritis.  Both oils and vaping are recommended to avoid the traditional method of smoking Cannabis, which is another reason it is ideal for older individuals.

Whether seniors consume Cannabis for medical or recreational purposes it is having a positive effect on the quality of their health, particularly for those in the later stages of life.  It is empowering to have more options, particularly when these options are from mother-nature.  It is always recommended to start low and go slow.  We also recommend you get professional advice before starting or discontinuing any treatment plan.

Reference:  Comfort Life, CRNCC, and Vancouver Sun.

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