What Are the Benefits of Marijuana for Senior Health and Wellness?

Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine conducted a study that found that 61 percent of individuals who had used cannabis for the first time had not done so until after the age of 60.  

Why would this be the case? Well, the stigma about marijuana being “bad” is slowly disappearing. In fact, “an analysis based on the National Survey of Drug Use and Health found that marijuana use in the prior year among people over 65 had jumped 75 percent from 2015 to 2018,” according to The New York Times. Moreover, this number is expected to increase sharply in the coming years.

Additionally, there is more awareness about the positive benefits of marijuana and how its use can improve overall wellness in aging individuals. As an independent senior living provider in Corunna, Michigan, our team at Fiddler’s Green is sharing some of these benefits.

Reduce Feelings of Anxiety

One of the most notable benefits of marijuana is its ability to relieve feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Many, if not all of us, experience stress or anxiety at some point. Stress can be good in small doses as it is the body’s natural survival technique. Unfortunately, prolonged stress, or chronic stress, can adversely affect our health, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Trying to relieve stress and anxiety can be a challenge. You may feel like there is always something that needs to be done, or you are constantly worrying about something, but getting your anxiety under control will improve your health and wellness in the long run. 

Research conducted at Washington State University, Department of Psychology found that cannabis significantly reduced ratings of depression, anxiety, and stress. In fact, the results reported that “medical cannabis users perceived a 50% reduction in depression and a 58% reduction in anxiety and stress following cannabis use.”

Improve Sleeping Habits

Our bodies go through natural changes as we age. One of these changes is to the inner circadian rhythm. Essentially, this is your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle; it is what signals your body to become sleepy in the evening and wake up every morning. However, as we age, the inner circadian rhythm shifts backward, causing us to get tired earlier in the evening and wake up earlier each morning. 

However, it is also common for older adults to experience trouble sleeping due to other factors such as pain or discomfort, insomnia, daytime drowsiness, or REM sleep behavioral disorder. The good news is that marijuana has been to improve sleeping habits.

According to the Sleep Foundation, “for people with certain conditions such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and multiple sclerosis, marijuana may help them fall asleep faster, wake up less during the night, and enjoy better sleep quality overall. A recent study also found that marijuana effectively relieves symptoms for people with restless leg syndrome (RLS).”

Limit Side Effects and Prescription Medications

Another one of the benefits of marijuana is that it does not cause any additional side effects. A common complaint among individuals regarding their daily medications is the side effects that they cause. For example, they are prescribed one pill for a condition that causes a side effect. So, the second pill is supposed to fix the first pill’s side effect, and the cycle continues. With marijuana, this is not the case.

Cannabis has healing properties that target specific conditions without causing additional side effects. While marijuana may not replace all prescriptions, it may be able to limit how many a person needs to take daily. 

However, before making any changes to your medications, be sure to talk with your doctor about what is right for you, your specific conditions, and your overall health and wellness.

Marijuana use continues to grow in popularity to improve health and overall wellness. While there are many options available, we advise you to use caution and consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your wellness plan. 

To learn more about Fiddler’s Green and what we have to offer in our independent senior living community in Corunna, Michigan, we invite you to contact a member of our team.