Why Are More Seniors Using Marijuana?

Marijuana has always been a young person’s drug. It was always the drug of choice for young adults to relax and chill out. And its use was predominantly linked to certain classes of people. But this is all rapidly changing as more and more awareness is generated in relation to weed and its acceptance becomes more widespread. The demographics are rapidly changing as weed is no longer seen as a drug for delinquents but as an excellent medical and recreational tool.

Seniors and Marijuana

But the demographics of weed seem to be changing as times goes by. Seniors seem to be consuming more and more marijuana. Seniors are now more accepting of marijuana usage and are more likely to imbibe the substance, especially those who are suffering from certain ailments. weed is proving to be a perfect alternative to pain killing medication and has proven quite effective in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions. There are numerous anecdotal wonder stories as well as a plethora of studies and factual evidence which proves that marijuana is useful for the treatment of conditions including glaucoma, nausea, cancer, chronic pain, anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD, ADD, Bi-Polar, Parkinson’s, Autism and much more. Elderly people cannot afford to let stigma and misinformation get in the way of a possible cure to life threatening conditions.

The statistics are showing that elderly people are more on board with weed usage. As per the latest survey completed by the National Survey on Drug use and Health, there has been a 250% increase in the number of elderly people who have reported the ingestion of marijuana between 2006 and 2013. This is a huge increase. The data gathered did not represent the differences between weed that was ingested recreationally and marijuana that was ingested medically. For the purposes of the study an elderly person is one described as one over the age of 65.

Marijuana and Pain

It is not the only study to report these figures. Other studies are showing that 53% of elderly people experience chronic pain, and marijuana is most often prescribed for this condition. Cancer and glaucoma are two otherfrequently cited uses of marijuana. The studies are revealing that most elderly people want to turn away from standard pain killers as on some level they seem to be aware that it is not the solution, and that organic and holistic remedies are more effective over the long term. As such, weed is the perfect alternative. People who are too old for surgery may also look to marijuana as a substitute for their conditions. For those who are still too conservative to try marijuana,there are many oils and tinctures available. There are pure THC concentrates and cannabis topicals. And it is possibly to simply take weed in a smoothie to avoid the THC, though this will reduce the painkilling qualities somewhat. Another option is CBD strains which have no psychoactive effects but have wonderful therapeutic properties.  The options are endless given how versatile weed is, the difficult lies in removing decades of misinformation and stigma from the plant.

For many, marijuana is an add-on. Up to 39 percent of people with an opioid painkiller prescription for long-term use also use some form of marijuana. The dangers of painkillers are becoming more and more apparent day by day as more research comes out. The withdrawal symptoms are not pleasant and people can die from painkiller overdose. Among people older than 65 who signed up for the Colorado medical marijuana program, nearly 90 percent listed pain as a problem, according to a research paper by public health researchers at the University of Iowa. Numerous studies have reported that marijuana use decreases the addiction to opiates. This runs counter to the common argument that marijuana acts as a gateway drug to harder substances. This is one of the core arguments of Attorney Jeff Sessions in his claim that marijuana use will lead to more crime and more serious substances.

Not the Whole Story

But this is not quite the whole story. weed is not a cure-all for elderly patients. It is more of a assistance to help deal with chronic pain. And it will usually not target the core disease causing the condition, which often ties back to exercise, sleep, relaxation, toxin exposure and diet. As more than a few health professionals have pointed out, many elderly patients may not respond well to weed . Many healthy and robust individuals have adverse reactions to some strains of marijuana. High levels of THC may trigger anxiety and psychological conditions for those who are already susceptible to these tendencies. Elderly patients are not in the best condition and the particular strains prescribed have to be given with care, expertise and caution.


Geez, there seem to be a lot of people named Ann who write marijuana blogs. Well, that’s my name too, and when I asked my mom why she decided to give me such a mundane label she explained that the name Ann meant God has favored me. My name took on a whole new significance and I no longer thought it boring. And God has favored me – he gave me the gift of the gab and he smiled his approval when I decided to move to San Francisco. I love this city, I love the people, and most of all I love writing about marijuana.

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