Feature Article: October 2021 – Cannabis for Aging Adults Can Help Treat Common Health Conditions

Cannabis for Aging Adults Can Help Treat Common Health Conditions

Crystal Willson

The word cannabis surrounds a lot of controversies, but it is considered quite a gem when it comes to its medicinal properties. Medical cannabis has been legalized for usage in appropriate quantities in several countries. Owing to the legalization, the herb is attaining immense popularity, especially among the older population.

It has been observed that people from the older age group have been using cannabis for symptom management and to treat several ailments like pain, insomnia, and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. There are several reports and studies to back up their case. However, it is essential to acknowledge all the aspects of cannabis consumption and do it the right way.  

Are you thinking of using cannabis as an aging adult? Do you wonder if the medicinal herb can help you? Read on to find further information on the same and learn more about using cannabis for your health.

Can cannabis help older people?

Medical cannabis contains certain compounds called cannabinoids, which have been found to act on the human body’s cells, including the brain. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the two significant cannabinoids that offer therapeutic properties.

Research published by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine published in the renowned Journal of the American Geriatrics Society claimed that out of the 568 older patients surveyed, 15 percent were utilizing cannabis to manage symptoms. Half of them reported its regular use for medical reasons.

The surveyed patients were observed for ten weeks, and the most commonly reported reasons for the use of cannabis were pain, insomnia, and anxiety. It was also seen that over sixty percent of the patients started its use after the age of 60 years. And surprisingly, three-fifths of these users stated that they started using new as old adults just for medical purposes.

Cannabis-based products are being extensively used topically as medicines compared to the conventional way of smoking or ingesting. Hence, the route of use also varies from patient to patient. It can be said that the use of cannabis is getting normalized and breaking barriers of common stigmas. People are more open to taking medical consultation about the same as well.

Given the recent changes in the rules, people have also started growing their cannabis to reap the benefits. If you wish to grow organic cannabis, you must look for the best indoor marijuana seeds to buy online. 

It has also been found that medical cannabis is equally and at times even more effective than opioids in curing pain and is reportedly less likely to be abused by patients as generally done with opioids. This creates a need for awareness about the several health benefits and how they can be inculcated in medicinal practices by replacing opioids or other risky supplements.

What are the health benefits of cannabis? 

There are numerous advantages of medical cannabis, and it can be carefully used for symptom management and to treat several disorders, especially in adults. Some of the vital benefits are mentioned ahead:

May offer pain relief:

The chemical compounds found in cannabis called cannabinoids have been found to aid in the relief of chronic pain. Hence, medical cannabis is widely used to reduce pain in patients and, most importantly, older people.

Can help in fighting cancer:

Studies have linked the use of cannabis with tackling cancer. It is observed that cannabis and its derived products help fight cancer or help alleviate the symptoms of chemotherapy.

Diabetes control and prevention:

It is found that cannabis has some kind of effect on insulin, making it an essential component in preventing and controlling diabetes. Research indicates that cannabis can improve blood circulation, low blood pressure, and stabilize blood sugar levels.

May aid weight loss:

With observation, it can be implied that cannabis users usually have a lower body mass. This benefit can be attributed to the ability of cannabis to regulate insulin levels which ultimately leads to the management of calorie intake of your body.

Can treat depression and anxiety:

Depression and anxiety are two significant emotional disorders that most people go through but feel hesitant to seek help. CBD present in cannabis interacts with the endocannabinoid system and maintains the level of serotonin which helps in controlling and stabilizing mood swings. It helps in treating emotional disorders with ease.

May control seizures

Reports suggest that CBD or cannabidiol can help to regulate seizures and control them. Even though few studies support this, enough evidence has been presented that shows how CBD helps treat epilepsy in certain groups of people who have not responded to conventional medical treatments. 

Can treat insomnia

Cannabis derivatives can treat insomnia through their relaxing properties and also result in improved sleep quality. It is better than other artificial medicine as the herb is not toxic at prescribed doses.

What must you keep in mind while using cannabis?

Even though all of these benefits might give you a perfect picture of cannabis, there are some aspects of it you need to keep in mind while it.

Cannabis should be taken in appropriate dosages. You should ensure that you have accurate information about the product. A suitable dosage is necessary to see good results and also to eliminate any associated risk with overconsumption.

Another thing to look for is the drug interactions of medical cannabis. While you are using medical cannabis, make sure to avoid drugs that may negatively interact with it. Take expert consultation to acknowledge this aspect.

Conclusion

The use of medical cannabis can be a revolution in medical practices if done correctly. However, due to the lack of evidence-based reports and studies, the use has been restricted. Thus, it calls for extensive research and a change of perception to normalize and legalize the use of medical cannabis. Before opting for medical cannabis, one should also seek expert consultation and be aware of the appropriate dosage and possible risks to ensure their well-being. Now that you are well aware of the benefits of cannabis, now is the time to enjoy its therapeutic properties and make the most of your old age.

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201007152815.htm 
  2. https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2020-10-07-study-finds-older-adults-using-cannabis-to-treat-common-health-conditions.aspx 
  3. https://www.aninews.in/news/health/study-finds-older-adults-using-cannabis-to-treat-common-health-conditions20201008095311/
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