Why More Active Adults Are Using Medical Marijuana to Maintain Quality of LifeWritten by Chris Weatherall on Jan 7, 2019
For a person over the age of 55, reconfiguring a life plan for the future is a strange mix of hopes, dreams and “How do I get around that health issue”. And the that can be anything from the expected aches and pains that come with the aging process or various illnesses and disease that not only cause discomfort and pain, but diminished quality of life.
In addition, the cost of healthcare has made many older Americans forego a necessary trip to their doctor and, for some, deny themselves treatment for what ails them.
With these real life situations, it’s no wonder that the United States’ aging population and active adults are using medical marijuana to maintain quality of life for physical and mental wellbeing. But is it working?
International Studies Support Cannabis for Healthcare Initiatives
While researchers state-side are just beginning to get the green-light on the study of marijuana and how it can impact medical practices and the treatment of health conditions, clinical assessments have been ongoing in other parts of the world including Europe and Israel. The results from these findings are more than promising and we can only hope that the Federal Drug Administration tightens their grip on what is an obvious Godsend to many seniors who currently suffer without resolve.
A 2017 article shined a light on how medical marijuana is a preferred method of relief for seniors. The details are based on a study conducted in Israel from 2015 through October 2017. Participants were all over 65 years of age and amidst treatment for pain with medical cannabis via product from the largest medical cannabis supplier in that country. Of the 1186 patients in the study, more than 60 percent had been prescribed cannabis to treat pain associated with cancer and other medical issues.
Once patients began the study, they were assessed by a nurse practitioner after 30 days and then again after 6 months on cannabis treatment. Participants were also asked about the level of pain experienced before they embarked on the marijuana study and also provided details about their former regimen for pain management, health conditions and symptoms, demographics and more.
Challenges in Measuring Efficacy and Dosage Come with Age
A common issue for many traditional and holistic health practitioners is in determining how much and how often a senior should take medication. This concern is due to scientific fact as to what happens to the body and the brain as we age.
Metabolism slows and our ability to process food and supplements changes. Kidney and liver function are lessened, compared to how they responded in earlier years, making medication intake more difficult in determining what is right for individuals as they get older. Figuring out the right levels of efficacy in marijuana is no different.
Like many older Americans, they aren’t merely prescribed just one medication. There are often multiple drugs that are meant to treat multiple conditions. How various drugs comingle and interact is also of consideration. Nonetheless, patients who received medical marijuana expressed significant benefits from use.
Medical Marijuana Effective for Pain Management in Seniors
Quality of the life increased in 60% of study participants.
Medical marijuana for seniors study, 2017.
After the initial six-month period of the study, more than 93 percent of patients revealed that their level of pain went from an average ‘8’ to a ‘4’ (with excruciating pain at ‘10’ and no pain at ‘0’). In addition, many reduced or eliminated their intake of prescription opioids. The most common side effects noted were dry mouth and dizziness – no doubt not exclusive to senior and active adults. We’ve all got our own stories about cotton mouth.
There’s New Meaning to the Term ‘Field Trip’
How active adults manage their own healthcare is in constant change (or flux when things get crazy). People, out of financial necessity and elevated mortality risks in prescription drugs and new regulations on prescribing them, are now owning their health.
Senior citizens and their adult children are feverishly searching for more answers, more noninvasive ways, to treat medical conditions and emotional-induced mental health symptoms due to stress.
In the states that have adopted the legal use of medical marijuana, aging adults are heading to dispensaries in droves.
For example, in California, assisted-living and senior centers often provide field trips to their residents as the means to get out, stay social and keep the mind and body active. Visits to local marijuana shops are part of the itinerary.
Different Strains for Different Pains
Active adults are quickly becoming the biggest advocates for cannabis. In addition to the cost advantages in medical marijuana, the variety of strains and delivery systems make it more desirable than prescription drugs that carry a heavier burden of side effects and the risk for codependency.
Medical Marijuana Enhances Quality of Life for Active Adults and the Elderly
In addition to providing people relief from the discomfort of cancer and chemotherapy, cannabis is readily available for use through smoking, vaporizing, teas, cannabutter, edibles, topical creams, pills, sprays and oils.
Alternative Treatments for Pain, Physical and Mental Illness
- Digestive Disorders
- Chronic Pain
- Mental Clarity
Whether you’re part of the active adult community or know someone who is, rethink how to treat what’s ailing you or them. Start up a conversation and find out if medical marijuana is a healthier option. If not, it might be worth a try.