How Cannabis Can Benefit Seniors and Their Quality of Life

How Cannabis Can Benefit Seniors and Their Quality of Life

Many senior patients may have grown up being bombarded with all the negative things about cannabis and, as such, may be reluctant to consider including cannabis-based products in their treatment. This can make it difficult for health carers to administer effective treatments to these patients if marijuana is involved.  Refusing these marijuana treatments, however, may result in these senior patients missing out on the benefits the plant has to offer. 

It is, therefore, important to clear up many of the misconceptions about this naturally-occurring treatment option. Here are some erroneous beliefs (myths) people may have about marijuana:

  • Myth #1: It has no real medicinal benefit.

A lot of studies today show that cannabis and its compounds have a lot of medicinal properties. Cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are known to have therapeutic effects. Not only has marijuana been found to be effective in treating a lot of diseases and their symptoms, but it has also shown positive results in relation to improving women’s health, assisting in skin and body care, as well as aid in medical treatments. 

  • Myth #2: Consuming any cannabis product gets you high.

The plant contains chemicals that give psychotropic effects. THC is the cannabinoid that is known to have the strongest psychoactive property, making it the primary cause of producing a high. However, you can purchase CBD isolate products, which means that they don’t contain any amount of THC. These cannabis-based products are best for people who are apprehensive about consuming other cannabinoids aside from CBD.

  • Myth #3: It is a highly addictive substance.

It is important to note that addiction is caused by the brain’s reaction to activities that cause the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that handles pleasurable rewards. In normal circumstances, this can motivate individuals to repeat pleasurable activities, including exercise, alcohol consumption, coffee, sex, smoking, gambling, video gaming, shopping, work and other behaviors that release dopamine. 

A person can get addicted to something when the need to do it takes over normal brain functions. Studies show that a mere 9% of marijuana- users are likely to get seriously addicted, while 32% of tobacco users tend to become addicted and 30% of the general population exhibit work addiction tendencies. Compared to genuinely addictive substances such as heroin (23%), cocaine (17%) and even alcohol (15%), marijuana has a relatively low rate of addiction. 

  • Myth #4: It is illegal to use and possess. 

There was a time when any consumption of this plant was illegal across the United States. However, recent developments in the scientific and medical community have paved the way for the legalization of this plant in many states. While the use of cannabis is not allowed at a federal level, many of the states are becoming more and more lenient when it comes to this plant and its compounds. In fact, 33 states have now legalized medical marijuana, making it available for treating chronic illnesses, debilitating diseases and incapacitating symptoms. Medical marijuana can be incorporated into the treatment of diseases such as cancer and epilepsy. Moreover, CBD with a regulated amount of THC that can be consumed in all except four states within the US.  These four states have a blanket ban on cannabis and any cannabinoids. 

How Cannabis Can Help Seniors

It is necessary to dispel these misconceptions if we are to encourage senior patients to incorporate this herb in their treatments and even their everyday lives. Check out how it can go a long way to improving the quality of the lives of seniors. According to scientific research, marijuana:

  • Relieves Pain

Cannabis is known to have an analgesic effect, making it an effective painkiller. This can aid in relieving pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Cancer patients can also benefit from this pain-relieving property as well as its ability to reduce vomiting and nausea. Aside from relieving the symptoms brought on by these chronic illnesses, cannabis has also been found to decrease joint pains, aided by its anti-inflammatory effects.

These pain symptoms can all be treated through the application of CBD topical products such as creams, oils, and ointments. Moreover, patients can take capsules that contain fixed amounts of CBD or, if they prefer, THC.

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

Research shows that consuming marijuana products can help lower blood pressure making it ideal for patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.  The marijuana plant Cannabidiol, known for its vasodilatory effects, can help to relax the muscles in the vessels, effectively widening the vessels and allowing a more efficient and unrestrained blood flow. 

  • Acts as Medical Aid

One of the reasons why medical marijuana was legalised in many of the US states, is because of its potential as a medicinal aid. In fact, some of the qualifying conditions to get a medical marijuana card involve treating various conditions that can be aided by cannabis-based products, including glaucoma, Hepatitis C, cancer, and fibromyalgia. This makes cannabis a valuable addition to medical treatments for these conditions.

  • Reduces Risks of Addiction

When treating various debilitating conditions, patients are often prescribed pain pills, many of which are extremely addictive, like opioids and morphine. Using marijuana as an analgesic, instead of these prescribed pain pills, can reduce the likelihood of the patient developing an addiction to them. 

  • Help Prevent Development of Some Diseases

Aside from treating cancer, epilepsy, arthritis, and such diseases, cannabis is found to have preventive effects on brain degeneration conditions too such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and dementia.  In fact, studies suggest that marijuana may even be able to reverse the brain’s aging process. 

Other conditions that cannabis can prevent include diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Conclusion

Marijuana can help senior patients by offering a natural treatment option for various diseases they may be prone to. From addressing agitation caused by Alzheimer’s and dementia to reducing suffering from arthritis and aging joints, cannabis can greatly benefit seniors. Moreover, it can improve the quality of their lives by minimizing the pain brought on by various conditions seniors are susceptible to. Overall, these patients do not have to worry about the legality of marijuana which has now been legalized in many states, with proven positive effects on health, body and skincare. 

If you are interested in getting medical marijuana for your senior patients, make sure to check your state laws and purchase your CBD products from reputable dispensaries.

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