Using Cannabis as We Get Older
Many of us 50 and over have at least tried marijuana (or cannabis, weed, pot – there are so many names). And every day, we’re hearing about the incredible wellness benefits of the plant. As a result, we’ve seen almost a 60% increase in use by the 50 and older crowd since 2006.
Yet there’s still some concern about its effects, especially for those of us who haven’t used it in a while. What’s important to keep in mind is that some types of cannabis, like any drug, can interact with alcohol or pharmaceuticals and cause adverse effects. And many of us are probably on multiple medications. So if you’re considering trying it, you need to get the get the facts about how your pills will mix with cannabis.
There’s another side to this that is now just beginning to be discovered. Cannabis has been shown to decrease the need for other medications. In some cases, it’s replacing other common pharmaceuticals like sleeping pills, opiates and anti-inflammatories, along with anti-depressant or anti-anxiety meds. This is something you should talk about with your doctor or get connected with one of our doctors that specialize in medicinal cannabis.
While the plant is considered safe to use, especially CBD-rich strains, it’s very important to find the right delivery method and dosage (see Dosage and Ways to Consume). Generally speaking, cannabis is safer than most prescription medications. Contrary to the negative stereotypes, research has shown that using it doesn’t lower IQ or cause other cognitive problems.2 Some studies even suggest that cannabis may actually improve brain function in older folks.2 See our section on Risks of Cannabis to learn more.
The bottom line is that there is an overall lack of information about effectiveness and safety of cannabis in older adults, which is now changing due to the legalization of the plant. As the medicinal marijuana movement grows and more testing results become available, Three Wells will be here to provide you with clear and unbiased information. Our goal is to help guide you to find what works best for you as you explore the incredible wellness possibilities of cannabis.
- 2 https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/twins-study-finds-no-evidence-marijuana-lowers-iq-teens
- 2 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/marijuana-may-boost-rather-than-dull-the-elderly-brain/