Safety Profile: Cannabis can be consumed with confidence since a fatal overdose is all but impossible. In over 5000 years there has never been a single death caused by a cannabis overdose. This is remarkably important information for seniors. In addition, it tends to interact well with most prescribed medicines which means it can be easily added to any treatment protocol.
Pain Management: Medical cannabis can be used for both acute and chronic pain management. When inhaled (via vaporization or spray) cannabis provides relief in less than five minutes. However, the duration of efficacy is at best only a couple of hours. For long term chronic pain management, ingestion (via edibles or capsules) is a better solution. While onset is longer (30-120 minutes), the effects can last between 4-10 hours. This may be of great interest to those who suffer from conditions such as arthritis and other common chronic pain conditions.
Insomnia: Getting a good night’s sleep is an important factor in good health. However this can be a challenge for many seniors. Cannabis can be a safe and effective alternative to prescription medications to assist in a full night’s rest. Having an edible or capsule before bedtime affords many hours of uninterrupted sleep time free of many of the common causes of insomnia such as anxiety, hormonal changes, depression, and some prescription drugs. Finding the right strain, dosage, and delivery option may require some trial and error since everyone responds differently even when given the same strain and dosage.
Controlling Delivery and Dosage: Cannabis can be consumed in a variety of ways. While smoking is perhaps the best known, it is difficult for many seniors (as well as doctors) to support the idea of smoking one’s medicine. Fortunately, a variety of other vehicles are available such as vaporizing which produces no noxious smoke or carcinogens, sublingual (spraying under the tongue), ingestion (either edibles or capsules), suppositories, and transdermal patches. The rapid onset of effect when inhaled allows the patient to quickly learn how much is required to achieve the desired results. Modern cannabis products will provide information about the THC dosage in the product. These range from a “starter” dose of around 5mg, to as high as 50mg, with 10-15mg considered as average. Concentrations of other cannabinoids (such as CBD) are less important because only THC produces the psychoactive effects. All new patients, including seniors, should be encouraged to keep a medical cannabis logbook to keep track of dosage, delivery, onset and duration of effect, adverse effects, etc.
Psychoactive Effects can be Minimized: While many people enjoy a feeling of euphoria when consuming cannabis, others find the psychoactive effects to be unpleasant. These can be avoided through the use of different strains (high CBD instead of THC), building tolerance slowly (start low, go slow), and different delivery vehicles (suppositories and topical cannabis-infused creams). Of course some seniors, like many others, may enjoy the mood lifting effects of cannabis. There is nothing wrong with altering one’s mood for the better.
About the Author
Jerry Golick, medical cannabis expert with over 20 years of experience. Jerry has been giving lectures on Medical Cannabis to Seniors for decades as well as assisting Physicians in developing educational programs for them. He has given seminars, lectures, and has his articles published by numerous noteworthy publications. For more details please contact Jerry directly at firstname.lastname@example.org