More senior citizens are reported to be using medical marijuana to help with ailments like arthritis, insomnia and general pain. Statistics show that the number of Americans using medical marijuana age 55 and up has steadily increased over the last few years.
One California senior, Sue Taylor, is advocating the benefits of marijuana to groups in her community. Sue Taylor is known as “The Weed Lady.” She is 68 and is a fan of gummy bear-like edibles. Sue said, “It has the consistency of a gummy, and I use it for sleep and pain when I need to.”
Taylor actively speaks to aging Americans on the benefits that medical marijuana has in lieu of many pharmaceuticals, CBS News reports. Physicians are more on-board with medical marijuana now than they used to be.
Dr. Igor Grant has received a federal grant to help continue research for more benefits of marijuana. Dr. Grant said, “First of all, there is increasing evidence that cannabis is helpful in the management of certain kinds of pain. And it’s the kind of discomfort experienced by seniors, like sharp pains felt by nerve damage, caused by things like chemotherapy or diabetes.”
Those in the 65 and older age group are prescribed roughly 30-percent of all prescription drugs, including opioid painkillers. Dr. Grant also said, “An interesting question is, if people are prescribed cannabis, does that have then an opioid-sparing effect? Because again, for chronic pain we do use opioids – Vicodin and drugs like this.”
Grant believes that marijuana can replace and/or decrease the usage of opioid painkillers.
A California marijuana club president said, “We caution, especially with the seniors, to stay away from edibles, and really start slow. We start with a low dosage, we start in the early evening, telling them not to drive, not to mix alcohol. There’s a lot of cautions, a lot of education that goes along with it.”
Taylor concluded her thoughts with, “Seniors don’t want to get high; they want to get well. And the cannabis helps.”