Older American adults are turning to marijuana to relieve joint pains and symptoms of other health conditions that come with age.
Marijuana Use Among Senior Citizens
Over the years, the use of medical marijuana has soared among seniors citizens. In fact, industry experts agree that people aged 65 years and older are the fastest-growing segment of marijuana users across the country.
"I would say the average age of our customers is around 60, maybe even a little older," stated Kelty Richardson, a registered nurse at the Holos Health clinic which provides physician-recommended cannabis.
A study published last year claimed that the number of baby boomers, age 50 and above, who smoke weed or consume cannabis products have doubled in the past decade. For seniors age 60 and above, the use of the drug increased sevenfold.
Marijuana is becoming more popular among the older population because it addresses conditions that many seniors face because of old age. The drug promises to alleviate issues such as joint pain, muscle spams, anxiety, insomnia, and loss of appetite. It also has been proven effective for chronic pain.
Ron Atkin, 76 years old, told Los Angeles Times that he turned to marijuana out of "desperation." Although his doctor never recommended it, he tried marijuana when his prescription opiates stopped working to treat his painful spinal stenosis.
Another senior, Adele Frascella, takes marijuana in the form of gummy candies to prevent arthritic pain. She said she does not like to take an opioid to cure her ailments.
Advice On Senior Use Of Marijuana
Little is known about the effects of marijuana use among the older populations, but medical experts cannot deny its potential benefits. A group of professors from the University of Washington released recommendations to prevent any harm from the use of marijuana.
"Start low, go slow," stated Zach Marcum, an assistant director of research at the University of Washington's School of Pharmacy.
Those who are using medical marijuana for the first time should begin with one-quarter to one-half of the recommended dose.
Senior users should also consider the CBD-THC ratio to avoid experiencing the psychoactive effects of the drug. Experts recommend opting for topical and transdermal products.
Lastly, they must only buy from reputable sources. They should not purchase marijuana products over the internet or on the streets.