Decoding the Myths: Unveiling the Truth About Medical Cannabis for Seniors

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Times have changed. Today, more seniors than ever have started consuming marijuana, despite the typical stereotype of its irresponsible use by the youth. In fact, seniors are the fastest-growing audience for medical marijuana in the country. Citing the growing demand of marijuana products for seniors, several big brands have introduced cannabis products for better sleep, chronic pain management, and even bone strengthening to target this demographic. Walk into a dispensary, and you will find aisles full of marijuana products for seniors.

Over the past few years, people have understood the therapeutic benefits of the marijuana plant. It is no longer regarded just as a substance to get high. Medical marijuana is legal and you require a recommendation from a licensed medical marijuana doctor in Minnesota to access the herb in your state. Let’s now dive a little deeper into this and debunk the myths surrounding medical marijuana for seniors.

Cannabis and Arthritis Pain

One of the worst things to see is older individuals becoming “zombified” due to opioids (especially codeine) or hypnotic drugs prescribed to alleviate arthritis and other conditions. On top of that, some of these prescribed medications might exacerbate arthritic pain in the long run.

Many patients given opioids for chronic pain end up misusing them, and some develop an addiction. Cannabis can assist seniors in avoiding or discontinuing such prescription drugs, except in the most severe cases.

Cannabis’s ability to alleviate pain can be attributed to two significant factors. One is that phyto cannabinoids contribute to pain relief through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) rather than directly affecting the body’s opioid receptors, leading to a substantial reduction in addiction potential.

Cannabis and Cancer

Cancer instills fear in many, if not everyone. That said, with the assistance of cannabis, seniors can not only combat it but also take preventive measures. Medical marijuana proves effective in treating various cancers affecting the brain, lungs, uterus, breast, prostate, mouth, skin, and more. Also, cannabis smokers experience fewer instances of cancer, reducing the likelihood of developing certain types, such as those affecting the head and neck, even while enjoying the euphoric effects. 

Medical cannabis contributes to the fight against cancer through multiple mechanisms, including slowing down the reproduction of cancerous cells, impeding their spread. It also prompts the natural death of cells without the need for chemotherapy and radiation, thereby preserving the surrounding healthy cells.

Cannabis and Sleep

While there has been only limited studies conducted on marijuana, several have suggested that cannabis can enhance sleep quality for individuals. The potential sleep-related advantages of cannabis are often linked to CBD, which has the capacity to induce a sense of calmness in some people. That said, it’s important to note that not everyone experiences relaxation with CBD, and in some cases, individuals might feel more energized, particularly with low doses of CBD and minimal to no THC. While there is also a group of users who have reported a sedative effect resulting from THC combined with the myrcene terpene.

CBD products infused with melatonin, the hormone regulating the sleep-wake cycle, may offer specific benefits for sleep. Over-the-counter sleep products containing CBD are accessible without a prescription, but possessing a medical marijuana card expands your access to a broader range of cannabis options that could potentially aid with insomnia.

Cannabis and Bone Strength

Osteoporosis and osteopenia, degenerative bone conditions, predominantly impact older individuals, particularly women. Studies indicate that cannabis consumption is associated with the potential reversal of bone loss. It’s crucial to clarify that cannabis isn’t a cure for osteoporosis or osteopenia, but rather it may contribute to strengthening bones and reducing the risk of fractures.

On the other side of the coin, some research suggests that extensive, daily cannabis use could have adverse effects on bone density. However, scientists have yet to establish a definitive link between moderate or occasional cannabis use and a decline in bone density. Before considering medical marijuana for conditions like osteoporosis, it is advisable to consult with your doctor.

Summing Up

Not many people realize the significant psychological impact that constant pill consumption can have on older patients. Managing multiple medications can create challenges in controlling side effects, ensuring correct dosages, and effectively managing symptoms. Cannabis, in this context, can alleviate the burden of a heavy pill regimen or, at the very least, provide relief from pain, muscle aches, and anxiety.

As ongoing research and scientific findings increasingly support the medical potential of marijuana, many older individuals are becoming more receptive to the idea of medical cannabis. If you or a senior loved one is interested, you can apply for a medical marijuana card and get access to quality marijuana products in the state.

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