For decades, cannabis has been portrayed in movies, TV, and music as an illegal drug that is used by dopey people to get high. Media depicts cannabis users as drug addicts and hippies who seek to sneak away from reality. As more countries around the world continue on with the trend of legalizing the plant, the negative associations with cannabis and its culture are starting to be proved wrong.
Seniors grew up during a time when marijuana was illegal throughout most of the world and people had to travel to places like Amsterdam to see what it was like on a legal level on the big stage. As more research and studies unravel, it might be interesting for seniors to get caught up with what the cannabis culture looks like in the 2020s. Not only has the cannabis culture shifted, but so have the convenience of which to buy it as well. The cannabis retailer Online Dispensary Canada has seen an uptick in orders in 2020 that it largely attributes to the ease of ordering marijuana online during the pandemic. Not only that, but the largest growth sector has been from the 50 year old plus population.
Here are a few things seniors may not have known and should now know about marijuana, in both the THC and CBD forms.
Marijuana can be a safe alternative to a lot of prescribed medication
A lot of seniors take prescription drugs on a day-to-day basis. The side effects of cannabis, both in the THC and CBD forms, have much harsher consequences compared to over-the-counter drugs. If you need any more convincing, consider that nobody has ever died from a marijuana overdose. Studies have shown that in order for marijuana to be lethal, a 140 pound person would have to consume four pounds of marijuana in one sitting to reach toxic levels that could possibly be fatal.
Cannabis has a powerful antioxidant that provides relief for an array of disorders including liver inflammation, irritable bowels, Hepatitis C, and liver damage.
Cannabis is not addictive
The common trope with cannabis is that it is a ‘gateway drug’ and people often associate smoking marijuana to unravelling down a wicked road of drug use. Smokers can use marijuana and then stop whenever they want. There are no addictive properties like that of alcohol or tobacco, more specifically nicotine. Arguably, stopping cannabis would be easier than cutting out coffee.
Cannabis is a valid substitute for prescription medicine
A common annoyance with prescription drugs is that one pill causes negative side effects that need to be remedied with another pill. Cannabis has healing properties that target various different disorders and ailments (inflamed joints — no pun intended — headaches, high blood pressure, chronic pain, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and depression). If as a senior, you’re becoming a bit too skeptical of the side effects of over-the-counter drugs, you might want to consider making the full-time leap to cannabis.
There are a bunch of different strains of marijuana
Like with any type of plant, each strain of marijuana has its own effects and personality. Think about it like growing different types of tomatoes in a garden. Some strains are known to help chronic pain and others can help disorders that are more mental. Some strains can make you laser focused, some can make you more lethargic, and some can help you sleep. It’s all about knowing which strain you want based on what you want it to do.
Some marijuana strains don’t even get you high
Some strains of marijuana can offer all the same health benefits without getting you stoned. That alone should be enough for seniors to consider how much things have changed. Some people smoke cannabis to intentionally not get high – pretty far out, huh? A strain of cannabis called CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a strain of weed that has zero psychoactive effects and still reduces inflammation, eases pain, aches, anxiety, and increases a smoker’s mental focus.
There are various other ways to use cannabis
Without needing to smoke marijuana from a joint, its most common form, seniors could consider taking gummies, honey, candies, edibles, pills, or cream to be able to reap all of marijuana’s proper effects.
Cannabis-infused ointments are very effective
Topical creams that are made from the cannabis plant are effective in soothing pain and aches from the body’s muscles and joints. Again, the creams are made out of cannabis so you don’t have to worry about getting high from it.
Marijuana doesn’t lower your IQ
A common misconception with cannabis is that smoking can lower your IQ and cause long-term brain damage. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana, especially in the THC form, can encourage new neural pathways inside your brain and has not been proven to ever destroy brain cells.
Cannabis increases your appetite
A dangerous thing for seniors is a loss of appetite. Obviously, food acts as the primary nutrient to make sure the body continues to run effectively and if you’re not eating, it can be detrimental to your health. What’s great about cannabis is that it increases your appetite. If as a senior, you need to put on some weight, cannabis is a great aid to get you eating. Think about the cannabis trope of having ‘the munchies,’ it triggers your stomach to want to eat. Sometimes some crazy concoctions.
The stigma around smoking weed is fizzling
Because cannabis is being legalized much more frequently around the world, the stigma of being a ‘stoner’ is fading. Cannabis is a naturally grown compound that comes from the ground and more people are starting to understand its effects instead of manufactured drugs and alcohol. You’d have to figure that when things grow out of the earth, it’s usually okay to consume. Consider that eating parsley from your garden is beneficial and not outrightly negative, right? What’s the difference between a plant that only takes 90 days to grow from seedling to harvest? There’s no added chemicals and it’s ready to smoke as it naturally grows.
As the cannabis culture continues to grow (literally) around the world, hopefully the negative connotations that come with smoking marijuana can start to fade, especially amongst seniors. Marijuana isn’t the same as it was some five decades ago and it’s seeming all the more likely that cannabis will become a major player when it comes to medication and the age of people who start to consume it.