Wondering how medical marijuana could transform the life of a senior citizen? While reviewing the list of diagnoses below, we encourage you to also consider how many of these conditions come with pain. For many, pain leads to restless nights and poor sleep patterns. Then imagine a night for you or your loved with not only reduces pain, but a better night’s sleep as well. Isn’t it worth trying?
- cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome when the condition or disease results in symptoms that seriously and adversely affect the patient’s health status
- cachexia or wasting syndrome
- severe chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s treating physician
- intractable nausea or vomiting
- epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder
- multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- painful peripheral neuropathy
- a central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms
- admittance into hospice care in accordance with rules adopted by the department;
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition approved by the legislature.
1o Things Seniors Should Know About Medical Marijuana
- Safer than many commonly prescribed medications
- Not physically addictive
- May reduce or replace prescription medications
- There are many different strains
- There are strains without “the high”
- There are alternatives to smoking marijuana
- Marijuana-infused ointments may relieve arthritis & neuropathy pain
- It does not lower your IQ
- It may help increase appetite
- The stigma is fading
Medical Use of Sativa for Seniors: Mental and Behavioral Issues like Depression and ADHD, Stimulates Hunger and is Useful for Patients with Certain Forms of Cancer, Relieves Headaches and Migraines, Relaxes Muscles and Relieves Pain, Acts as an Expectorant
Common Effects of Sativa: Stimulating Head High, Feelings of Well-Being and Ease, Energizing and Thought Provoking, Uplifting and Cerebral Thoughts, Increases Focus, Promotes Creativity and Boosts Your Imagination
Medical Use of Indica for Seniors: Chronic Pain, Muscle Spasms, Constant or Persistent Nausea, Specific Diseases such as Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, and Lupus, Sleep Aid for People with Insomnia, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Anxiety
Common Effects of Indica: “Couch-Lock” Body High, Reduces Nausea, Sleep Aid, Relieves Migraines and Head Aches, Relaxes Muscles and Relieves Pain
Is Marijuana a Healthy Option for Seniors?
Cannabinoid receptors were discovered only in 1987. They are also a part of our human bodies and part of our Endocannabinoid System in the brain that has a physiologic role in appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Although some associate short-term memory loss with “getting high” on pot, the Head of Neurology at Ohio State University, Dr. Wenk, has been following a group of Baby Boomers who use Cannabis for many years, and he finds that moderate users (one or two hits a day) actually have improved cognitive function and increased executive reasoning skills than those Baby Boomers who do not use cannabis at all. Dr. Wenk and many other researchers believe that moderate use of medical cannabis can help our brains repair naturally occurring damage to our brain cells caused by aging.
Does cannabis have side effects? Yes, because there are so many strains to treat a variety of medical conditions and symptoms, there can always be possible side effects. It is important to be candid with your dispensary patient service provider about your present condition to be sure they know how to prescribe the best medicine for your needs. As an example, if one is prone to anxiety and/or panic attacks, we would steer them away from any and all Sativa strains, which can keep us alert and engaged, but can also create anxiety or even paranoia among those who are already anxious. We would never allow a patient with schizophrenia to purchase a Sativa. If one has high blood pressure or other cardiovascular aliments, we would suggest Indica cannabis and once again steer clear of Sativa strains that might elevate one’s metabolism and heart rate a bit.
While Sativa cannabis is very popular for daytime use as it can give us energy and a clearer mind, Indicas are popular for relaxation, nighttime pain relief, and a very effective sleep aid. As a matter of fact, if someone is scheduled for surgery, we recommend avoiding cannabis for two weeks prior to sedation for surgery. Other possible side effects come from dosing cannabis in higher forms than are necessary for effective pain relief or for other medical uses. One can experience depersonalization and even Amotivational syndrome from doing too much too often. Our Patient Education material warns of MMJ abuse and addiction potential which can happen in 10% of our patients, but it is not a severe addiction to break, unlike opiates, which kill 16,000 annually (past ten-year average). Nobody has EVER been known to die from using cannabis in any form. Breaking a marijuana addiction is similar to stopping coffee cold turkey. Stopping a prescription drug opiate medication addiction is painful and potentially life-threatening.
Some additional articles we like…
The Seniors Guide to Medical Marijuana
An extensive page with information about seniors and marijuana…
8 Benefits of CBD for Senior Citizens
Pain Relief, Bone Health, Soothing Effects, Fights Glaucoma, Insomnia and Sleep Issues, Alternative to Prescription Medications, Stimulates Appetite, Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Marijuana May Boost, Rather Than Dull, the Elderly Brain
Instead of impairing learning and memory, as it does in young people, the drug appears to reverse age-related declines in the cognitive performance of elderly mice…
Seniors with Medical Marijuana Access Use Fewer Prescription Drugs
(Reuters Health) – Physicians wrote significantly fewer prescriptions for painkillers and other medications for elderly and disabled patients who had legal access to medical marijuana, a new study finds…