As the boomer generation reaches retirement and beyond, quality of life becomes the main focus for many seniors. It is tough to enjoy those golden years when your health affects your quality of life in a major way. While cannabis can’t stop the clock on aging, we’re still waiting on Elon Musk to tackle that, it can go a long way towards helping seniors manage some of the most common complaints about getting older in general. Many seniors have to deal with a variety of health problems from sleep disturbances to aches and pains to cognitive function issues and cannabis health benefits for seniors help with all of these and more.
As we age the quality of our sleep declines. For some staying asleep is the biggest problem and for others falling asleep is a common complaint. The bottom line is that it is impossible to feel your best when you consistently have trouble sleeping. One night here and there is not a big deal but not getting good quality sleep most nights will of course begin to take a toll during waking hours with mood changes, trouble focusing and daytime fatigue being the biggest complaints from seniors who struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Cannabis can do wonders for sleep problems. Choosing the right strain is important and although a heavy duty Indica with a high THC percentage may sound like the solution, for seniors less really is more. Consuming an Indica dominant hybrid with a THC percentage between 15-20% seems to work best for seniors for both ease of falling asleep and sleeping more hours without waking.
Getting older is not for the faint of heart and even the healthiest seniors experience aches and pains from time to time and for some seniors with various types of medical conditions such as arthritis, dealing with aches and pains is an everyday occurrence. Cannabis health benefits for seniors who want to use cannabis to alleviate this type of pain, there are a few options. One is to try CBD, either in the form of a tincture or balm to spot treat problematic areas or soreness. Another option is to go with a 1:1 THC:CBD strain which so far seems quite popular and effective for seniors. Yet a third possibility is to go with a medium THC strain of cannabis of between 15-20% THC. The only issue reported with the third option is that mornings tend to be the worst time of day for seniors with aches and pains, that morning stiffness takes an hour or two to dissipate and if the cannabis strain makes you sleepy, it’s tough to have a productive day after consuming cannabis in the morning for some seniors.
A common challenge for seniors is a decreased appetite. This is due to several reasons including a slower metabolism and the fact that taste buds are not functioning as well as we age so eating in general loses some of its appeal. Not eating enough can lead to low energy and a vulnerable immune system so keeping a healthy appetite is crucial for seniors. The right cannabis strains can stimulate the appetite for seniors. In general Indica dominant strains are more likely to increase the appetite than Sativa cannabis strains so consuming cannabis about an hour before dinner is an excellent way for seniors to ensure they are getting the proper amount of food. Making healthy food choices is also an important element for everyone, not just seniors and unfortunately there is no specific cannabis strain that can help with that. Goals for 2021!
Yet another reality of aging is a decline in overall cognitive function. This can present itself in a variety of ways including a decreased ability to learn new things and memory issues as well as dementia. THC has been found to supply the body with cannabinoids that decrease over time as we age, keeping cognitive function at a higher level without any negative side effects that are so common in pharmaceuticals, especially for seniors who tend to take more medication than their younger counterparts. Additionally cannabis health benefits for seniors have been shown to improve the links between nerve cells and the brain. This benefit can help seniors learn more easily and also help with memory retention which is paramount to learning over the long-term. Although cannabis cannot transform the brain of a 65 year old into the brain of a 25 year old, it can still go a long way towards maintaining healthy cognitive function well into the golden years.