Since legalization in certain states across the country, seniors have been flocking to CBD and low THC consumables. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that cannabis use in seniors increased almost 75%, from 2.4% to 4.2%, from 2015 to 2018. It’s a significant increase since 2006, when just 0.4% of older adults used cannabis. So why are seniors flocking to cannabis products?
Cannabis May Provide Pain and Insomnia Relief
Many users report that CBD and low THC consumables offer considerable relief from pain and insomnia. Cannabis may be able to act as a powerful pain reliever without a lot of the side effects that prescription pain medications can cause. In fact, clinical studies have shown that cannabis helped to relieve arthritis and nerve pain among study participants. Older adults often experience chronic pain, whether from arthritis, prior injuries, or just wear and tear on their joints. This pain can truly interfere with their lives. CBD and low THC products may be able to provide just the right amount of cannabinoids to help relieve that discomfort without causing negative effects.
In addition, older adults who often deal with difficulties achieve sustained periods of deep sleep. Sleep quality is important to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In the past, insomnia has been dealt with by prescribing sleeping pills. However, sleeping pills have a potential for dependency and cause a wide range of negative side effects. Instead, studies have shown that cannabis may help improve the symptoms of insomnia, such as helping to extend deep sleep and reducing the lighter and restless sleeping phases.
Many Users Report Experiencing Relaxing and Soothing Effects
Many users of CBD and low THC consumables also report experiencing soothing and relaxing effects that may help take the edge off symptoms caused by anxiety, PTSD, and depression. However, it appears that not all cannabis produces the same effects. One study found that at lower doses, cannabis may be able to help anxiety, but higher doses actually increased anxiety among participants in the same study.
Low THC products provide a low dose of THC in the hopes of providing relief, without the risk of consuming too much. On the other hand, other studies have found that even high doses of CBD may reduce anxiety. Research also has shown that CBD may be effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD. Seniors looking to find relief from these types of symptoms may turn to CBD and low THC consumables as an alternative to other types of cannabis due to the findings of this research.
Seniors Aim for Improved Quality of Life
Additionally, many seniors are turning to cannabis and CBD products to achieve an improved quality of life. Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine surveyed 274 older respondents about their cannabis use patterns. Users reported that they used cannabis to improve their overall health, quality of life, and day-to-day functioning. The study’s authors concluded, “The majority [of cannabis users] felt that marijuana use had an overall positive impact on their quality of life.”
Interestingly, a study in 2018 found that cannabis may actually be able improve cognitive functioning. This is believed to be due to improved sleep and pain control. Due to possible pain-relieving benefits, older adults who use cannabis may need lower doses of pain and sleep medications, which can also improve thinking.
Low THC Products Provide a Good Entry Point
Products that are low in THC, the substance that causes the feeling of being high, and higher in CBD, which is non-intoxicating, are the perfect entry point for seniors looking to avoid the psychoactive experience of marijuana. Low THC products contain less than 5 mg per serving. This low microdose not only reduces the risk of consuming too much THC, but it acts as a good entry point for new consumers.
New users can take it slow as they grow accustomed to how their bodies react to the new substance. Consumables also offer an easier entry point over smoking. According to MG Magazine, more than 60 percent of users who are new to cannabis say they don’t want to consume it via smoking and would rather choose another delivery method. Low THC consumables are easy to ingest (and often delicious as well) and allow users to know exactly how much of a dose they’re getting. It’s also easy to stack doses if users don’t achieve the desired effects from a lower dose.
CBD and low THC consumables are a great entry point for seniors looking to test the waters of cannabis to improve their quality of life. These types of products offer just the right microdose to avoid psychoactive or disorienting experiences and may even prove beneficial in relieving symptoms of pain, insomnia, and anxiety.