Thanks to the natural benefits CBD offers, senior citizens are turning to cannabis use at a faster rate than any other demographic in America.
One of the few certainties in life — for those lucky enough to reach their golden years — is some form of pain. As the body ages, muscles naturally break down, bones become more fragile, and the years of wear and tear add up.
In years past, senior citizens traditionally had to turn to prescription medications and, unfortunately, the many side effects that came with them.
But that trend is quickly changing now that 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana (as of 2018). Recreationally, 10 states and D.C. have legalized cannabis use.
On the medical front, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah were the latest states to join this past year.
With 66% of the states having legalized medical marijuana — including Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah this past year — access to and education on cannabis has exponentially increased.
Also increasing is the number of senior citizens who have adopted cannabis, both medically and recreationally, as a natural remedy to their aches and pains. Seniors are actually turning to cannabis at a higher rate than any other demographic.
According to a recent study, senior citizens are providing “an unprecedented population“ of cannabis users.
From 2006/07 to 2012/13, there was a 57.8% relative increase for adults 50-64, and an incredible 250% increase for adults 65+.
Nursing homes are even helping to educate their members, with some facilitating the adoption process. The Laguna Woods Village retirement community is just one example, where seniors like Shirley Avedon, 90, are able to take a free bus ride from the nursing home to the local dispensary.
On this particular morning, about 35 seniors climb on board the free shuttle — paid for by Bud and Bloom, a licensed cannabis dispensary in Santa Ana. After about a half-hour drive, the large white bus pulls up to the parking lot of the dispensary.
Avedon suffers from severe carpal tunnel that debilitates both of her hands with sharp pain. To help, she uses CBD (cannabidiol), the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that will not get you high. CBD can be consumed in a variety of manners, including smoking and oil, which is the purest way to take CBD.
A condition like carpal tunnel is just one of many ailments that cannabis and CBD can help to alleviate. Cannabis and CBD naturally respond to our body’s endocannabinoid system, which enable them to address pain and inflammation.
And Laguna Woods Village is not the only nursing home partaking in this. Another nursing home in Seattle also conducts field trips to a local dispensary for its seniors.
According to the CDC, 75-85% of elderly suffer from chronic pain, and nearly 50% of seniors suffer from arthritis.
Given those numbers, and CBD’s proven ability to treat those conditions, it’s no wonder that seniors are providing the fastest rate of growth among cannabis users in the United States.
Layla Sabet, 72, is newly introduced to cannabis. She’s educating herself on the benefits cannabis and CBD provide to ease her pain, give her better sleep, and reduce the amount of prescription medications she’s taking.
“I’m taking so much medication to sleep and still I can’t sleep,” Sabet said. “So I’m trying it (CBD) for the back pain and the sleep.”
Early studies even show that CBD could be effective for treating multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that attacks the central nervous system and disrupts the flow of information between the brain and body.
“Short-term use of oral cannabinoids improves patient-reported spasticity symptoms” for adults suffering from multiple sclerosis.
In addition to relieving pain associated with diseases, CBD doubles down by providing strengthening and increasing the health of bones. So not only do the properties of cannabis help to alleviate pain, they also help build up immunity within the body to prevent further pain in the future.
The benefits cannabis and CBD provide reach far beyond just physical pain too. CBD has proven positive in helping mental health, insomnia, and even heart health, such as reducing high blood pressure and cardiac inflammation through its natural antioxidant properties.
Because of CBD’s ability to help with mental and physical health, seniors are even more able to live actively in their golden years.
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