Cannabis for Seniors: What Florida Users Need to Know

Golden agers are looking for alternative ways to improve their quality of life. We see this by the way they’re looking for warmer places to live and investing in alternative health care, among other trends.  They’re also discovering the medicinal benefits of cannabis, such as relieving pain, assisting with menopause symptoms, improving sleep, treating high blood pressure, and even boosting their mood. 

So, what do you have to know as an older adult looking to consume cannabis? Learn why seniors are getting into cannabis for the first time later than younger generations, what to know about modern cannabis, how to choose and consume cannabis as a senior, and more.

The Trend of Late-Start Cannabis Use

Cannabis has come a long way since the days when it was heavily stigmatized. Now, many countries are legalizing or decriminalizing its use, contributing to the destigmatization of the plant. Yet, because of the “war on drugs” era during which many older adults grew up, a large number of seniors are only trying marijuana products now to improve quality of life and even implement a “plant over pills” lifestyle. 

While a lot of seniors trying cannabis are finding it’s a perfect fit for their needs, there are special considerations to take into account when approaching cannabis at a later age. These include thinking about health conditions, medication, and dosage. First, here is what you should know about modern cannabis compared to that of a few decades ago.

What to Know About Modern-Day Cannabis As a Senior

In 1995, dried cannabis, used for smoking, had about 4% THC, the cannabinoid in marijuana that gives you that “high” feeling. Now, it averages 15-20%, which is why when trying it for the first time, it’s vital to try moderate amounts. 

Dispensaries in Florida offer a wide variety of cannabis products, including topicals for aches and pains as well as skin and hair, edibles, vaporizers, pre-rolled dried cannabis, and more, all using different strains. 

The type of strain you should look for, and the consumption method to try as a senior depends on your needs and wants from the cannabis experience. 

What Are the Benefits of Cannabis for Seniors?

There aren’t specific strains of cannabis that work for different ages, but rather strains that will produce a desired effect. As older adults, what you want from cannabis may be different than what, say, a young adult wants. There are endless strains of cannabis to check out. If you want a longer list, here are some strains to consider.  

So, what are some of the benefits of cannabis for seniors?

Helps with Sleep

Many older adults approach cannabis for the first time when they start experiencing insomnia, whether it’s difficulty falling asleep or having interrupted sleep due to aging.  Animal butter, a hybrid strain of Animal Face and Peanut Butter Breath, has a relaxing effect and can help users sleep better and longer. It’s an Indica strain, meaning it will leave you relaxed and allow for better sleep.

Eases Menopause Symptoms

Cannabis provides symptom relief for a lot of people going through menopause. The cannabinoids in marijuana can function like your naturally-produced endocannabinoids supplementing those levels and restoring balance in the endocannabinoid system to ease symptoms like mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, pain, hot flashes, and low libido.

The following are some great strains for menopausal symptoms

  • Super lemon haze
  • Durban Poison
  • Avikedel
  • King Dosi
  • Sour Diesel

Treats Fatigue and Inflammation

Current treatments for seniors experiencing inflammation are often associated with internal bleeding, renal issues, and cardiovascular side effects. As a result, it’s no surprise that many seniors want to replace them with cannabis.

Tikun Olam Alaska has a refreshing taste, leaves you energetic and uplifted, and can help fatigue. Because of its THCV content, it can also help battle inflammation.

There are many more benefits of THC for seniors, including help with nausea and vomiting for those going through cancer treatments or other illnesses, PTSD, and even dementia. 

How Does Cannabis Affect Older Adults?

The effects of cannabis for you depend partly on the way you consume it. While you might be approaching marijuana thinking that you have to smoke it, you’re in luck. There are plenty of ways to use marijuana, and you can have your pick of what is more comfortable for you, depending on your condition and needs. 

Here are the main ways to consume cannabis and how they can affect you as an older adult. 

Side Effects of Smoking/Vaping Cannabis for Seniors

Perhaps the most well-known way to use cannabis is to smoke or vape dried cannabis. You inhale the marijuana. However, smoking and vaping aren’t exactly the same. 

Vaping gives you a cleaner vapor to inhale, while smoking creates more contaminants, especially when mixing with tobacco.  You’ll usually feel the effects of inhaled marijuana within a few seconds to a few minutes and continue feeling them for four to eight hours. Start with one or two puffs to try out how it feels for you.

Regularly smoking Cannabis can cause a sore throat, coughing, wheezing, and other breathing problems. If you have asthma, breathing, and lung conditions, or heart problems, it’s best to consider other ways to consume cannabis and talk to your physician.

Side Effects of Tinctures for Older Adults

Tinctures are smoke-free, odor-free ways to consume cannabis. Tinctures started as alcohol-mixed extractions, which you can still find, but there are mostly oil-based tinctures that you can use in different ways. 

You apply the tincture under your tongue for fast-acting results, mixing it with food or drink. As long as you’re dosing and storing correctly, you should have no issues with tinctures, but always consult if you have questions.

Side Effects of Edibles for Seniors

You can now consume cannabis in food, including chocolates, cookies, gummies, and more. Capsules and CBD drinks are also available, but all of these methods take much longer to take effect, with some taking up to two hours.

If you’re taking edibles, remember not to stack them, that is, to take another after a short period because you’re not feeling anything. This can result in too high of a dose and strong effects like paranoia, heart palpitations, anxiety, and more. Additionally, if you have a heart condition, it can be better to start with a very small dose and consult a professional.

Side Effects of Topicals for Older Adults

Topicals are a great way for seniors to use cannabis because they tackle pain and inflammation. CBD oil is ideal for inflamed joints from arthritis or injury. Other benefits of topicals include muscle spasm relief, chronic pain relief, and more.  Topicals are cannabis creams you apply to your body. They are absorbed through the skin and are great for aches and pains in the body. 

Common Medications Seniors Take that May Interact with Cannabis

As an older adult, you’re likely on daily medication. As such, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctors before introducing any other substances, including cannabis. The following medications are some that can interact with cannabis consumption:

  • Pain medication
  • Heart medication and blood thinners
  • Anxiety and depression medication
  • Allergy, cold, and flu meds
  • Heartburn medication
  • ADHD medication
  • HIV/AIDS medication
  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Sleeping Pills

Whether you’re using cannabis for medical or non-medical purposes, you should still double-check before use, especially if you’re trying to switch pills for plants.

Find More Benefits of Cannabis for Seniors

Now that you’ve learned the basics about cannabis for seniors, get ready to embark on your new journey. Talk to a cannabis professional in Florida or consult with your doctor and start planning which type of product you want to start with. Discuss your needs and preferences, and together you can plan which type of product is right for you. Don’t hesitate to take the first step toward a more natural and informed wellness experience!

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