The cannabis conversation is ramping up all over the U.S. and around the globe. As a senior citizen myself, I’ve become curious as to how seniors think and talk about their use, how they overcame the “reefer madness” myth and where cannabis fits in their lives now. Is there a new open-mindedness about cannabis, or is there still a lingering cloud of secrecy and mistrust? The answer depends on whom you talk to and where they live.
Simone and Daniel (early 70’s) spoke to me about their transition to cannabis use, declaring in unison, “We’re happy to be in Colorado.” For Simone, her first exposure to the plant was in college; She remembers being paranoid during the war on drugs, when a joint could put you in jail. She didn’t smoke for years afterward, as she felt it would interfere with her productivity. Now, she enjoys a relaxing evening puff and appreciates the relief it gives to small aches and pains.
Both she and Daniel report better sleep with cannabis. They try to be discrete and respectful with their consumption, and try to gauge others before bringing up the cannabis subject. They are not “in your face” people, and often have a smoking area in another room when they entertain.
Like many seniors, Simone and Daniel are interested in learning more about the health and healing benefits of cannabis and are fascinated with current scientific studies going on. Daniel mentioned that he has tried CBD creams for pain and swelling, but was ultimately disappointed. He found them too expensive and not very effective; For now, he’ll stick with over the counter mainstream pain relief.
Ben (73) is a successful businessman, combat veteran, realtor and entrepreneur. He told me he has enjoyed cannabis his entire life, then asked, “Do I look or act like a stoner?” A long-time vegetarian and yoga practitioner, Ben is a health-conscious individual and a vocal advocate of the benefits of cannabis. He’s been growing and experimenting with his own tinctures and salves for years and he’s happy to talk with anyone about the plant. “It’s one of the best medicines on the planet”, he said.
Ben works with veterans with and PTS (he say to leave off the D, as it is not a disease, just plain post traumatic stress). He has watched fellow vets transition from heavy pharmaceutical pain drugs to CBD products, and is inspired to help vets and others enjoy optimum wellness and live life to the fullest with CBD.
Recently, one of my yoga instructors said “the cloud has lifted,” and that’s true especially if you live in a state or country where cannabis is legal. Finally, a powerful healing plant gets to hold its head up and start to do the work it was put on the planet to do. Letting go of the stigma and false beliefs of “reefer madness” is a cultural challenge. As many of us who enjoy cannabis look forward to finding new ways to incorporate it into our daily self-care, we can help make the shift if we chose to, by being up-front and truthful about our own use. In fact, I get the feeling that some seniors with dated views about cannabis are still interested to learn about the plant, but don’t know how and where to look. Well here we are!