Seniors are part of the fastest growing demographic of cannabis consumers. The growing population of older cannabis users find great relief in the natural benefits offered by cannabis, whether they choose CBD products or those with THC. It makes sense, as cannabis is a wonderful natural solution for many ailments that afflict the elderly.
According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, seniors use marijuana mainly for treating medical conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, and pain. “Surprisingly, we found that nearly three-fifths of cannabis users reported using cannabis for the first time as older adults. These individuals were a unique group compared to those who used cannabis in the past,” explains the study’s co-author, Kevin Yang.
“New users were more likely to use cannabis for medical reasons than for recreation. The route of cannabis use also differed with new users more likely to use it topically as a lotion rather than by smoking or ingesting as edibles. Also, they were more likely to inform their doctor about their cannabis use, which reflects that cannabis use is no longer as stigmatized as it was previously,” he adds.
Aside from that, cannabis use can also help you age gracefully. It can also be part of a holistic wellness regimen that will keep inflammation and disease at bay, or at least slow it down the way it works with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Whether you choose to get high or not, use it as medicine or for recreation, there are some things that seniors should keep in mind when using cannabis for the first time:
Research Your Preferred Consumption Method
There are so many ways you can consume cannabis these days. From smoking to vaping, edibles and more, the choices are endless. Just be sure to stay away from extremely potent cannabis such as concentrates, which should be reserved for young, seasoned stoners and is by no means suitable for seniors.
Seniors generally have more sensitive bodies, which means that consuming anything with THC or CBD may hit faster and quicker compared to younger consumers. Always start small and go slow during your first few sessions no matter what way you choose to consume. It can be extremely uncomfortable to be higher than expected for a senior who has never consumed cannabis before, so start with small doses.
Prepare The Environment
When consuming cannabis for the first time, it’s also important to set the right environment for your safety.
It’s always recommended to do so at home or with the company of a friend or family member, perhaps one that may be knowledgeable or has had experience with cannabis. Heck, this is a good time to give your grandkids a call and ask them if they’re up to toke with you!
Additionally, be sure that you don’t have to drive or operate machinery. It should be in a relaxed time and space, when there’s nothing else on your to-do list for the day. Even better if you’re about to go to bed.
While cannabis isn’t as dehydrating as alcohol, it can leave you feeling parched. Be sure to have water and sip consistently throughout your session. Water is a good tool for keeping you grounded in case you get too high if you consume THC, and it can help keep the anxiety at bay.
Have CBD Around
In the event that you do get too high from THC, have some CBD on hand. Anxiety and paranoia can be common among first-time users especially seniors who are already prone to this. CBD softgels, sublinguals, or edibles would be the perfect antidote to this. It has been known to relieve the paranoia effectively, and it can also come in handy calming you down if the THC gives you palpitations.
Many seniors consume cannabis to enjoy the increase in appetite. Loss of appetite is common among the elderly, but you do need food for the nutrition as well as for healing. When consuming cannabis, especially if it has THC, anticipate the increase in appetite by preparing healthy snacks that you can munch on during your session.
Get Clearance From Your Doctor
Last but not least, check with your doctor if it’s safe for you to consume cannabis. Your physician should know about all the medications you are taking, and if there may be any potential interactions that can lead to some side effects.
CBD as well as THC are known to have interactions with certain medications and may cause their efficiency to wane over time. These include blood thinners, pain medications, anticonvulsants, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives, and others. In some cases, starting cannabis consumption can even replace medications, but this is something that you should discuss with your doctor.
It’s also wonderful to have a physician who is knowledgeable about cannabis. These days, many doctors still don’t know much about its use even for seniors, so looking around for one who does is worth the effort. You’ll be able to get accurate medical advice about the best way to use cannabis for your specific needs.
No matter how old you are, cannabis is a fantastic aid that will help make the aging process much simpler for both men and women. Whether your doctor has prescribed it for medical reasons or you simply want to explore the wonders that you have read about (or that your grandkids have been telling you about!), preparation is key for an unforgettable time instead of one that will leave you feeling like you hadn’t in the first place.