Here are 7 benefits of marijuana for seniors.
Cannabis for seniors has been a subject of controversy, with questions being raised about the safety and efficacy of the herb in addressing health issues in this age group. Unlike the younger population stigma is still an issue with the older population. Even with that recent research has shown that increasingly more seniors are turning to cannabis for various reasons.
Seniors can derive several benefits from cannabis products. These benefits are linked to the action of cannabinoids as they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are present in cannabis plants; they have been shown to influence the endocannabinoid system.
There are over 140 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, though only a handful has been investigated for therapeutic effects. The most popular cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Other cannabinoids include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabidiol (CBDL).
Cannabinoids interact with endocannabinoid receptors that are spread in various parts of the body. In this way, cannabinoids play a significant role in ensuring that the ECS is functioning optimally.
Cannabis is made up of over 500 different compounds that are clustered into these categories:
- Other nutrients
Phytocannabinoids and terpenes have a significant number of therapeutic benefits that can be harnessed to promote health and wellbeing.
Which Cannabis Products Are Suitable For Seniors?
Seniors can use any full-spectrum cannabis products that are in the market for as long as it offers them maximum comfort and ease of use.
Cannabis wellness products mainly come in the form of sublingual oils and tinctures, capsules, gummies, edibles, and topical applications.
Other forms of cannabis products include oral and nasal sprays, vapes, and concentrates.
Beginners usually prefer oils, tinctures, edibles, or capsules because they are easy to consume. Capsules are easy to dose and work particularly well at the start. They are also good for discretion. Cannabis edibles are very good and can be easily made at home. With some expertise, seniors can learn to decarboxylate cannabis and make their own cannabis infusions at home. Different foods can be infused with cannabis for as long as one gets the recipe right. On that note, we have several cannabis recipes that you can try. This removes from the monotony of taking tinctures or capsules daily.
For skin conditions such as dry, itchy, or inflamed skin cannabis patches are perfect.
Smokable forms of cannabis require expertise and smoking equipment which may not be favorable for seniors, but of course there are exceptions to this.
Cannabis products contain essential phytocannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and other phytocannabinoids.
THC and CBD are the most popular phytocannabinoids. CBD is probably the poster child because unlike THC it does not cause that typical marijuana “spacey feeling” when ingested.
Cannabis products may also contain terpenes. These are the essential oils that are responsible for the different scents in plants. Examples of terpenes include:
Myrcene– has an earthy/ herbal aroma
Limonene- has a citrus aroma
Linalool- has a lavender-like aroma
Caryophyllene- has a spicy aroma
Cannabinoids interact with receptors of the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for maintaining a state of homeostasis in the body. This profound system regulates vital functions in the body such as pain, moods, appetite, reproduction, memory, immunity, inflammation, anxiety, and sleep among others.
Benefits of Full-Spectrum Cannabis
Cannabinoids acting independently can support the endocannabinoid system. However, their significance is better appreciated when they are working together with other compounds found in the cannabis plant- the full spectrum. This includes:
Terpenes- the aromatic essential oils such as myrcene, linalool, and limonene
Flavonoids- the pigments in cannabis such as anthocyanin
Nutrients such as vitamins and fatty acids
Full-spectrum cannabis products allow symbiotic interactions between the compounds in cannabis to increase the strength and durability of the healing effect. This is whole plant therapy for the full expression of hemp genetics.
THC is the compound that causes cerebral stimulation and euphoria in marijuana. Studies have shown that CBD displaces TCH from endocannabinoid receptors and in this way it mitigates the psychotic effects of THC.
Pinene is a common terpene with a piney scent. Alpha-pinene enhances short term memory by preserving acetylcholine which has been implicated in memory formation. THC, on the other hand, harms short term memory formation. When working together in a full-spectrum extract, alpha-pinene counteracts the effect of THC on short term memory.
Terpenes also promote sleep, analgesia, relaxation, appetite, and memory among other health benefits.
A study led by Dr. Mechoulam demonstrated cannabis synergy in a very direct way. When CBD is administered on its own, the healing effect tapers off after some time; more CBD has no added therapeutic advantage. The healing effect from full-spectrum extracts is not only enhanced in magnitude but it is also sustained.
With that background, let’s get to the seven points that you have been waiting for.
1. Helps To Boost Concentration
Cannabis products trigger mental stimulation and clear-headedness. This, in turn, helps to sharpen focus.
People who have incorporated cannabis wellness products into their daily routine have reported an increased ability to concentrate on tasks at hand while shutting out distractions.
By quelling anxiety and distracting thoughts, cannabis wellness improves mental acuity and sharpness.
2. Helps To Improve Skin Vibrancy
The skin is richly endowed with endocannabinoid receptors which provide a base for the interaction of cannabis wellness products with the endocannabinoid system.
When applied to the skin, cannabis wellness products will fight skin inflammation and help to restore vibrancy and youthfulness to the skin.
Seniors who have used cannabis products for the skin have reported younger-looking skin with improved elasticity.
3. Maintains Homeostasis In The Body
Homeostasis is the state of physiological balance in the body. When this balance is in place, the body is in a state of near-perfect health. And conversely when this system is in disarray ailments creep up.
People who have incorporated cannabis wellness products that are targeted at restoring balance have reported an improved state of well-being with improved physical, psychological and emotional output.
4. Offers Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Recent studies have pointed to inflammation as the underlying trigger for many chronic diseases such as diabetes type 2, obesity, coronary artery disease, and cancer among others.
Cannabis wellness products address the root cause of these chronic illnesses by fighting off inflammation. Patients suffering from such illness have reported an improvement in symptoms after taking cannabis wellness products that relieve inflammation.
5. Improves sleep
Most seniors suffer from insomnia which can lead to several severe complications.
Cannabis products offer multifaceted relief for sleep disturbance. This includes reducing the active phase of sleep that involves dreaming- REM sleep. As much as this phase is essential for proper development, long phases of REM sleep are responsible for insomnia and other sleep complications.
Cannabis products also relieve other factors that may be contributing to insomnia such as pain, inflammation, fatigue, anxiety, and stress among others.
Seniors suffering from insomnia have reported improved sleep and better rest after starting on cannabis products.
6. Calms Aching Muscles
Topical cannabis products are superb for relaxing and calming aching muscles that are common in advanced age. CBD and linalool work together to reduce pain and inflammation and promote muscle recovery and sleep.
Seniors who have incorporated cannabis products into their daily routine are able to enjoy significant relief from muscle aches.
7. Helps To De-Stress
The elderly are prone to stress and depression. CBD has calming effects on the body and mind. They can be taken routinely at the time of the day that is most stressful to provide a sense of calm. Taken regularly CBD causes the release of endorphins and promote a state of eustress.
Extra Tips For Saving Money When Buying Cannabis Products
Cannabis is beneficial for seniors and a good number of cannabis dispensaries will offer discounts to seniors. . Here are three additional ways to save money when buying cannabis products.
Look for discounts, offers, and coupons.
They are usually advertised on the company’s website or related websites.
Buy in bulk
Most dispensaries will offer discounts for bulk purchases.
Refer to others
Most dispensaries offer discounts for referrals.
That wraps up the essential marijuana benefits for seniors, we hope that the information has been helpful to you.