Marijuana for Seniors: Benefits and Impacts of Medical Cannabis!

Home » Marijuana for Seniors: Benefits and Impacts of Medical Cannabis!
Garry Stewart
Written By Garry Stewart

July 5, 2023

Benefits and Impacts of Medical Cannabis on Seniors

There are mammoth research and evidence about the efficacy of cannabis in older adults. The older population may benefit from marijuana for various symptoms, including chronic pain, insomnia, agitation, nausea, vomiting, and reduced appetite. It can also be helpful in palliative care.

With its potential therapeutic properties and growing acceptance, this natural remedy garners attention for improving older adults’ well-being. In this blog, we will dive into the benefits of medical marijuana specifically tailored to the needs of older adults. We will also see the marijuana risk for older people.

The Benefits Of Medical Marijuana For Older Adults

Medical marijuana compounds like THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This interaction plays a role in pain modulation, inflammation control, and various physiological processes. Let’s explain how cannabis may help the elderly.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is among the most common reasons older adults use medical marijuana. As people age, they are prone to chronic pain. It can significantly impact their quality of life. Traditional pain management medications may carry dependence risks and adverse side effects, making medical marijuana an attractive alternative for many seniors.

Plenty of research shows that older adults are moving cannabis for their chronic pain. For example, the National Library of Medicine reported that 94% of legal medical marijuana users in Colorado indicated “severe pain” as a medical condition. In addition, there is evidence that older people are replacing conventional pain medications with cannabis. One recent study from a Michigan medical marijuana dispensary suggested that medical cannabis use in pain patients was associated with a 64% reduction in opioid use.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disease among older adults. Some studies suggest that marijuana may potentially treat Parkinson’s symptoms. The symptoms include pain, sleep disturbances, and muscle stiffness.

THC may help with symptoms such as pain and muscle stiffness. CBD does not have psychoactive effects and may have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

Sleep Improvements

Older adults often experience difficulties with sleep. A report by Oxford academics on older ages sleep complaints says almost 50% of people above age 65 complain about sleeping problems.

Sleep problems are among the most frequent complaints of cannabis withdrawal. The mind-easing effects of marijuana may help improve sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Certain strains of marijuana may help regulate sleep patterns and improve overall sleep quality. Improved sleep may also occur when pain is reduced from marijuana usage.

Regulate and Prevent Diabetes

The use of marijuana may help older people to control blood sugars, preventing nerve inflammation and lowering blood pressure over time. It will also help open blood vessels and improve circulation in older adults.

A study published in BMJ Open on diabetes found marijuana use reduces the risk of developing diabetes by 58%.

The Diabetes Council research says that CBD can effectively reduce the occurrence and delay the onset of the disease. Furthermore, the THC helps reduce the amount of insulin needed during treatment.

Mental Health Problems

Many older adults face mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. These mental health challenges can significantly impact their quality of life. Marijuana has shown the potential to improve mood and promote a sense of calmness.

CBD has gained recognition for its mood-enhancing properties. While THC can ease and relax your mind by providing high effects. Additionally, THC has shown the potential to stimulate mental health, which can benefit older adults.

Palliative Treatment

Medical marijuana is considered one of the valuable options for palliative care in older adults. It can offer a range of benefits that specifically cater to the unique needs of older adults facing end-of-life care.

What Are The Risks For Older People Using Medical Cannabis?

No doubt, marijuana has many benefits, but it’s essential to be aware of its potential health risks. These marijuana risks for seniors can vary from Psychological Effects, Cardiovascular Effects, Impaired Cognitive Function, and Respiratory Issues.

However, risks associated with marijuana depend on various factors, including frequency of use and underlying health conditions. Some of the marijuana risk for older people are:

Respiratory Disease

Smoking cannabis can disturb the respiratory system. This disturbance can lead to respiratory issues such as chronic bronchitis, cough, and respiratory infections. Additionally, it can expose the lungs to harmful toxins and carcinogens.

Impaired Cognitive Function

Long-term marijuana use may affect cognitive function, attention, memory, and executive functioning. These effects may persist even after stopping cannabis use. It can potentially impact academic and occupational performance.

Cardiac Health and Cannabis Use

Marijuana may increase heart rate and can increase blood pressure in older adults. At the same time, the increase in heart rate and blood pressure after marijuana use is generally temporary. The cardiovascular effects of cannabis can pose additional risks for older, especially those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

Medication Interactions

Older people are more prone to health conditions and may take multiple medications. Cannabis has about 600 chemicals that may interact with their Medicine.

This interaction can affect the effectiveness of certain drugs, potentially leading to unintended side effects or reduced efficacy of medications. Additionally, cannabis use can impact drug absorption rate.

The Science Behind Medical Marijuana

The Science Behind Medical Cannabis!

Scientific research has provided evidence supporting medical marijuana’s efficacy for various medical conditions. It can effectively treat PTSD, depression, nausea, anxiety, dementia, insomnia, etc.

The THC and CBD component mainly contribute to medical marijuana’s therapeutic effects.

THC and CBD interact with receptors within the endocannabinoid system, producing various therapeutic effects.

The endocannabinoid system in the human body helps regulate numerous physiological functions. It can regulate pain sensation, mood, etc.

THC binds to the CB1 receptors, which are found in the central nervous system, and produces psychoactive effects. THC provides benefits in managing chronic pain, neuropathy, and muscle spasticity.

On the other hand, CBD modulates the endocannabinoid system by interacting with other receptors, such as CB2 receptors. That is found mainly in the immune system. CBD may help reduce conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, depression, and anxiety.

Bottom Line!

Medical cannabis is increasingly considered an effective option for managing various medical conditions in older adults. It’s key to have an informed discussion with your doctor to weigh the safety risks, especially if you have cardiac issues, are taking multiple medications, or have cognitive changes due to aging.

3 Easy Steps To Apply For Medical Marijuana Card

Our Simple 3 Step Process For Medical Marijuana Card

1. Fill up your details in an easy 420 Evaluations form.

2. Get Evaluated by a Local MMJ doctor After Online Submission.

3. Get Approved and Receive your Recommendation In Your Email.

Looking To Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card?

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