As the world’s attitudes toward cannabis use continue to shift, an increasing number of older adults are exploring the potential benefits of this plant. While there are still many misconceptions surrounding cannabis, recent research has shown that cannabis can be a safe and effective tool for managing a variety of age-related conditions.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits and potential risks of cannabis use in older adults, as well as some important considerations to keep in mind before deciding to use cannabis. We always advise speaking to a doctor and going through the correct channels for medicinal use.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant that contains hundreds of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, responsible for the “high” that many people associate with the plant. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and has been shown to have a variety of potential health benefits.
Benefits of Cannabis Use in Older Adults
There are many potential benefits of cannabis use for older adults, including:
One of the most well-known benefits of cannabis use is its ability to relieve pain. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years to treat pain, and recent research has shown that cannabinoids can be effective at managing chronic pain.
Inflammation is a common problem among older adults and can lead to a variety of health problems, including arthritis and heart disease. Research has shown that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties and may be effective at reducing inflammation throughout the body.
As we age, many of us experience changes in our sleep patterns. Cannabis has been shown to have sedative effects and may help older adults fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer.
Reduced Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are common problems among older adults, and traditional treatments can often be ineffective or have unwanted side effects. Cannabis has been shown to have anxiolytic and antidepressant effects and may be an effective alternative treatment for these conditions.
Improved Cognitive Function
Research has shown that CBD may have neuroprotective effects and may help improve cognitive function in older adults. This is especially important for those who are at risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Potential Risks of Cannabis Use in Older Adults
While cannabis can be a safe and effective tool for managing a variety of age-related conditions, there are some potential risks that older adults should be aware of.
Cannabis can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and antidepressants. It’s important to talk to your doctor before using cannabis if you’re taking any prescription medications.
Impaired Balance and Coordination
Cannabis can cause impairment of balance and coordination, which can increase the risk of falls and other accidents. Older adults should be especially careful when using cannabis and should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence.
Smoking cannabis can cause respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. Older adults who have a history of respiratory problems should avoid smoking cannabis and should consider using alternative methods of consumption, such as edibles or vaporizers.
Considerations Before Using Cannabis
Before deciding to use cannabis, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:
Cannabis is still illegal in many parts of the world, so it’s important to research the laws in your area before using cannabis.
Because cannabis is still illegal in many places, there is a lack of regulation in the industry. This means that there can be significant variations in the quality and potency of cannabis products.
About the Author
Our deep love of plants and fascination with Cannabis has enabled over 25 years of successful small-scale Marijuana cultivation from indoor hydroponics, greenhouses, and outdoor growing set-ups.
As Cannabis laws around the world change, *we support the movement toward freedom of choice for responsible, consenting adults who wish to experience the joy and wonder of growing a Cannabis plant.