This is obviously an interesting conundrum and a paradox: a baby boomer is the best person to become a stoner?
While that might not necessarily be the case, especially when you have angry 80-year-olds calling poison control for having consumed CBD, it’s no wonder then that older folks are prone to calling dry herb “devil’s lettuce”.
All jokes aside, loose leaf probably does have the best use case for older adults because of its huge medicinal use but also because the recreational benefits can help improve someone’s quality of life as well. Ranging from helping people with neurological disorders to helping people enrich their heart and brain health to allowing people to preserve their memories by getting “Oh lord I have the munchies and can’t move from my couch” high (that’s a joke, don’t hold us accountable) and letting people save their vision; there’s a lot of good that loose leaf does, and while we know that, we want to convey the same to the elderly without offending their sentiments, which might not be as easy as some expect it to be, so let’s get into it.
Should my grandpa/grandma really use dry herb?
It depends, obviously, but there’s a lot of things for which loose leaf can really benefit the elderly. However, what’s more important here is to make sure that your relative (could be a grandparent/parent or an uncle or something) is comfortable with the idea of using loose leaf, regardless of whether its for medicinal or recreational use. A lot of older people have a bit of a mental block for loose leaf, after years of being told (and in some cases also having or seeing poor experiences with loose leaf) that marijuana is a horrible thing to indulge in and that it should be avoided at all costs.
The elderly have for a long time been told that loose leaf is a very bad substance and that they should stay away from it, so convincing them about its health benefits might be tough
It’s equally as important to look into what does or does not work for people. Loose leaf requires a lot of fine-tuning for each person and their specific use case and pre-existing conditions. For example, one of the side effects from some forms of CBD medication is it causes liver issues, so if someone has a fatty liver, for example, then CBD might not be the best option for you. This is just one of several examples of specific health history being pertinent, so when or if you do suggest loose leaf to an elderly relative, be sure to take this into consideration.
Okay, but what are the benefits of loose leaf for older people?
While there aren’t particular medical health conditions that affect the elderly that loose leaf will tackle, the magnitude of difference it makes for people and their road to recovery is very high (no pun intended!). For any and all health conditions around pain management, THC and CBD are a godsend, with conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis being issues that loose leaf can handle quite effectively.
The biggest benefit of this is that in many cases, people get hooked onto opioids that are prescribed to mitigate some of the pain that comes with such conditions, which is not something one needs to worry about with loose leaf.
Opioids are easy to get hooked onto, leading to a spiral of addiction and self pain that is very difficult to get out of. The current opioid crisis in the US takes thousands of lives each year, and it’s not something that can seemingly be dealt with easily.
From helping everyday mood to improving sleep and from treating glaucoma to multiple sclerosis, loose leaf has some amazing healing properties that’ll specifically help the elderly
This is something more and more doctors and people in the medical and even legal field are reporting: a huge burst in people hooked onto opioids and painkillers, which has seen a significant increase in the elderly getting loose leaf prescriptions in states where medical marijuana has been legalized.
Most people get medical marijuana prescriptions for nervous system based diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), or arthritis, for example. Other diseases and health conditions that overwhelmingly affect the elderly include glaucoma, for example, however, the number of older people using loose leaf has been pegged by the guardian to be around 4%, which aside from being abysmal is also a 150% jump in about two years, which just highlights how poor marijuana adoption is among older folks, which while not surprising, is a sad state of affairs.
How does loose leaf help with glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a degenerative disease that affects our vision. We have nerves in our eyes that are connected to the brain called the optic nerve. This transmits all the information collected by the eye to the brain and vice versa. In the case of glaucoma, the fluid in the nerves develop more pressure, which affects vision significantly because the mode of transmission of info is hit.
This is known as intraocular pressure, and it slowly makes the person lose their eyesight. With medical marijuana but particularly THC based loose leaf, the intraocular pressure on the optic nerve is greatly reduced, which makes loose leaf a great option to treat glaucoma.
Glaucoma tends to affect people older than 50 and is therefore considered a treatment option that will benefit the elderly.
Loose leaf plays a huge role in reducing intraocular pressure on the optic nerve, which is one of the main causes of glaucoma
However, there’s some drawbacks that need to be considered. For one, loose leaf tends to reduced intraocular pressure for only 3-4 hours and in most cases, it needs to be smoked for it to be effective, with oral methods being less effective.
So one needs to constantly be high for it to be effective, which many will not prefer. Also, THC seems to be the only compound that seems to work and CBD in fact tends to increase the pressure, so strains with higher levels of THC will be more effective.
The harmony with treating Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
There was a time when being diagnosed with MS used to mean a significant drop in the quality of life along with a drop in a person’s life expectancy, which is expected given that it’s a muscle wasting condition that inhibits a person’s daily functioning: things like walking down the stairs or even being able to walk, talk or see properly can also become impaired.
This does depend on how severe a person’s individual case of MS is, but from the research conducted on treating MS with loose leaf, it indicates that symptoms of pain such as pain behind one’s eyes (that’s not creative writing, people with MS have eye pain), tremors, nausea, dizziness and a host of other issues.
And while loose leaf doesn’t help treat all of them super effectively, it’s a much better treatment option than opiods that can be addictive and can cause organ damage as well, something that loose leaf doesn’t really cause.
A balanced ratio of CBD and THC has proven to significantly help a large number of MS disease symptoms and has been cited as a replacement for opioids, which are addictive and have side effects
Most loose leaf based medicines that are sold for MS (which are few) have an equal ratio of CBD and THC, which makes it cover the treatment of the large number of symptoms of MS pretty well. The only “side effect” that people report is that it alters mood and makes the person feel high, which is fair if someone is not entirely comfortable with it but it also enhances one’s life significantly, so this seems like a no brainer for most.
What about Arthritis?
Arthritis is perhaps one of the most common conditions being treated with loose leaf medication due to its neuroprotective properties and its capacity to provide effective pain relief. Rheumatoid Arthritis is treated very effectively when the person is given some CBD oil to apply in the worst affected areas, and that’s actually pretty much it.
A higher proportion of CBD and lesser THC strains have shown to help with the pain management that comes with arthritis without having to worry about horrible side effects
You take some CBD, put it where you need to and your pain reduces. It’s that simple but good luck finding widely available medication that includes THC, which we’ve known works for arthritis for literal generations.
What strain should I get?
Strains like Harlequin are known to be extremely effective for treating arthritic symptoms. The sativa leaning, 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC strain helps you relax as it takes away the paint from your muscles. The good thing about this strain is that it also helps you avoid some of the brain fog associated with THC heavy strains.
Researching the right strain makes all the difference
Similarly, AK-47 literally shoots your anxiety and depression away with its sativa heavy hybrid strain which has a nice soft touch of a rose scent along with an alert head high that makes you take in all the good times!
This brings us to our main (and final) point: Is loose leaf perfect?
Certainly not, but it being shunned by the medical world continues to be a puzzling, frustrating and angering piece of legislation that we must work night and day to overturn. Perhaps the Biden legislation might do that, but we’ll reserve political discussions for other blogs!