With cannabis legalization spreading and the stigma slowly but surely releasing, an unlikely demographic is rising to the top of the market: Baby Boomers.
The generation that led the peace and love movement of the 1960s and crusaded through the 1970s cannabis explosion are now turning back to cannabis for support with their health and wellness.
Whether this age group never stopped smoking, or dropped it all together with the arrival of kids and jobs, there is a huge surge in this generation loving cannabis, and for good reason.
This generation created the cannabis subculture that we know and love today, and they are also the ones keeping in going and helping to release the stigma that keeps cannabis out of the hands of those who could benefit from it most.
In February 2020, CNN reported: “In 2006, only 0.4% of seniors over 65 reported using marijuana products in the past year, they said. The newly published study found that by 2015, the number had doubled to 2.4%. By 2018, it had doubled again, with 4.2% of seniors over 65 using weed.”
Seniors are one of the most important age groups to help diminish the stigma around cannabis and show us, in real time, the long term medical benefits the plant truly has. Used both medicinally and recreationally, cannabis is showing great promise in the lives of seniors.
Many dispensaries are embracing this generation and are helping them get to and from the dispensary easier. A dispensary in California has a shuttle service that picks up and drops seniors off from retirement communities so that they can easily access their products. Affectionately named the “cannabus” this is a big deal for seniors who have relied on cannabis for decades, and for those who are just getting on the bus to try it for themselves.
CNN ran a story about these senior-friendly dispensaries and the cannabus that so many love and depend upon. Many are even showing up to dispensaries with shopping lists much like you’d create for the grocery store. For this generation in particular, the stigma is complete release and they are fully embracing the benefits of cannabis at this stage of their life.
Gone are the days of early morning meetings, potential drug tests at work, endless responsibilities, children running around the house, and a certain image to uphold. The uptick of interest and usage in retirement communities and among this age group in general is helping to show other seniors who could greatly benefit from cannabis that it’s not the demonized drug from Reefer Madness that so many believed for so long.
Why Seniors Love Cannabis
Many seniors are on multiple medications that can have side effects including loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and the list goes on. Additionally, many are dealing with arthritis and chronic pain, and the opioid epidemic is affecting them as well.
One bus rider and cannabis advocate for seniors from the CNN feature stated, “I think it is great. I think older people that have a lot of pain should use the marijuana, you know. When nothing else helps, then use it,” Diller said. “For me, nothing else helped me anymore, so I used the marijuana. It got a little better. It didn’t get much better, but it got better. So I can at least get some steps already, and I can walk. I could not even walk before.”
Organizations are also holding experiential workshops to educate seniors about cannabis use and even how to make cannabutter to cook with. The acceptance and availability of cannabis for seniors can make a huge difference in their lives, physically and emotionally.
From edibles for sleep, topicals for localized pain, tinctures for chronic pain, and joints for everything else, seniors are able to access medicine that helps them feel better without pumping their bodies with tons of pharmaceuticals.
Many seniors who never smoked in their younger years, and who never touched any illegal drugs, are now advocating for cannabis because they know it helps them and because it’s not legal. But in the states that haven’t legalized medical or recreational cannabis, seniors are forced to rely on western medicine that can have many terrifying side effects.
The availability of cannabis for seniors is making a huge difference in their lives, in the stigma around cannabis, and in the multiple applications and uses for the medicine in daily life. Seniors are charting a new path that will surely have a positive ripple effect for years to come.
Seniors Love Cannabis for Pain Relief
From topicals to edibles, cannabis is an incredible pain reliever. When you reach a certain age, getting out of bed with aches and pains is just a part of life. But with cannabis, those aches and pains can be dulled and pushed to the back of the mind, if not relieved completely, so seniors can be more mobile, more social, and more independent. Not to mention they can get a more restful sleep without nagging pain at night.
Seniors Love Cannabis for Better Sleep
Regardless of the reason for insomnia, many seniors are moving away from prescribed sleeping aids and choosing cannabis instead. Edibles and smoking/vaping are the preferred method to relax and get ready for restful sleep. Topicals can also be applied to “hot spots” before bed to ensure a pain-free night.
Seniors Love Cannabis for More Fun
There are many physical benefits of cannabis, but one of the most beneficial aspects of the plant is what it offers the mind. At this age, many seniors have lost multiple people in life, including spouses, siblings, parents, and children. This can be incredibly difficult to cope with along with physical ailments. An elevated mood and more desire to be social can make a huge difference in the life of an older person and help them enjoy more of life. Mental health support is a very real benefit of cannabis for seniors and they are surely taking advantage of it with more fun and laughs.
While cannabis is much stronger than it was in the 60s and 70s, and can have negative reactions with some medication, seniors are flocking to the dispensary in droves. If you’re of a certain age or are curious about cannabis for your elderly loved ones, stop into The Spot 420 and out professional budtenders can help you find the best solution.