In recent years, a noteworthy shift has emerged among older adults in the United States, with a growing number turning to cannabis for potential medicinal benefits. Once a marginal percentage of seniors, the figures have surged from 0.4% in 2007 to over 8% in 2022.
This trend isn’t merely about recreational use; many seniors are seeking relief from conditions like insomnia, chronic pain, and anxiety. Some are exploring cannabis for the first time, driven by the desire to find alternatives to traditional medications with unwanted side effects.
Individual stories paint a diverse picture. Seniors, facing conditions like dementia or chronic pain, share experiences of improved sleep and reduced symptoms after turning to cannabis. Grassroots efforts are emerging, with seniors taking it upon themselves to educate their peers about the potential benefits and risks.
As cannabis gains legal status in more states, the number of seniors incorporating it into their wellness routines is expected to rise. However, this shift is not without its challenges. The lack of comprehensive research on cannabis’s effects on older adults makes it difficult for medical professionals to offer specific guidance. Seniors are advised to approach cannabis use cautiously, considering potential drug interactions, cognitive effects, and respiratory issues.
In response to this growing interest among seniors, companies are developing products tailored to this demographic. As seniors navigate this evolving landscape, there’s an emphasis on self-education, encouraging them to understand state regulations, visit licensed dispensaries, and make informed decisions about incorporating cannabis into their health and wellness routines.