Google the phrase “Seniors and Cannabis” and you’ll find all kinds of articles — from publications like the New York Times, AARP Magazine, NPR and more — all written over the past few years. You can read about cannabis aiding in sleep, increasing appetite and decreasing nausea from chemotherapy treatments, relief from arthritis pain and just plain creaky senior hips and knees. Researchers and advocates are working to re-classify this from a drug to overcome obstacles for more medical research; As of now, 33 states have legalized medical cannabis, 10 states have legalized recreational cannabis use, and public support is trending towards nationwide legalization for both.
So, what about millions of American seniors who smoke, use edibles, creams, patches and tinctures for fun and relaxation, reminiscent of the phrase “It must be 5 o’clock somewhere!” I interviewed a cross-section of men and women, working and retired, from all over the country and asked why they partake of cannabis, how they use it and what works for them.
Joy (70) is a retired boutique owner who told me that cannabis has helped her live up to her name again. She likes to use a vape pen several times a week, as it makes her feel more relaxed and gives her more energy to enjoy music and nature. She says she feels more sensitive to her own and other’s feelings and enjoys the present moment more. While Joy smoked cannabis in her 20’s, she was too busy raising children and working to partake. She began to smoke again about 8 years ago when on vacation in Costa Rica and now finds that many of her friends enjoy cannabis regularly.
Jon (67) is a consultant and travels several times a month between the US and Canada. He describes himself as a Type A personality and has a hard time slowing down. He relaxes with a vape pen several times a week and said he enjoys “slowing down, getting out of his head and letting go”. His wife commented that he’s easier and more fun when he smokes cannabis — she winked and said they are enjoying more sex like the old days!
Rita (67) is a writer, artist and part-time college instructor. She and her partner feel that the world is so cluttered with apps, traffic, shopping and constant media input, so she segues back to “normal life” with cannabis cocktail hour each evening. She prefers an old fashioned joint while her partner enjoys chocolate edibles. Rita said that she is so happy recreational cannabis is legal in her state, as she can enjoy her cannabis without scrutiny.
Marie and Chuck are a retired couple in their mid 70’s. They enjoy CBD in a tincture form as they say it helps them sleep and alleviates pain from arthritis. They both have taken prescription and over the counter pain medications for years, and like that they have a more natural option for health and pain relief. They also feel less side effects from cannabis, and said that it much more cost effective.
It’s a whole new and brighter world now that cannabis is out of the shadows and we can enjoy it in so many forms. I’d be interested in hearing from you about your use of cannabis products. If you have something to add to this conversation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cannabis Consumer Institute. Here’s to Truth in Cannabis™ and health and happiness.