Cannabis and the Third Age: How Can Older Adults Benefit From This Plant?

Image from Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

This guest post is written by Bojana Petkovich. 

Cannabis (also known as marijuana) has suffered a fair share of stigma throughout the history of humankind. Even though plenty of its medicinal benefits have been known and tested for a long time, most of the world’s countries still keep cannabis illegal. Fortunately, Canada is not one of them any longer.

The Silent Generation and Baby Boomers clearly remember cannabis as illicit and all the stigma that went with it. One would think this mindset is perhaps the most difficult to change when it comes to fully embracing cannabis products, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Why Are Seniors So Attracted to CBD-Based Products?

The answer is rather simple: older age comes at a price — your body is not the same as it used to be when you were younger, and cannabis helps a lot. Your skeletal, nervous, and muscular systems have aged, and there are several age-related diseases seniors are prone to. 

Some of these diseases can, however, be mitigated and battled using cannabis and its major constituents, cannabinoids (CBD). Such substances are diverse, and thus can help with plenty of symptoms and negative side effects.

The main reason a lot of older people lean toward cannabis and its products is that it is not like other heavy prescription drugs. It has hardly any worrying negative effects on your body, and it can benefit you greatly. These products do not harm your gastrointestinal tract and your nervous system, as opposed to prescription drugs for various pains, inflammations, and diseases.

Still, cannabis is also offered as a prescription drug and should be treated as such; this means that its abuse can result in cannabis use disorder that leads to severe side effects.

The National Cannabis Survey conducted by the government of Canada revealed that there has been a rise in cannabis use in seniors. Statistically, just over 40,000 people aged 65 and older used cannabis in 2012. As of 2019, the number rose to more than 400,000 people from this age group who consumed cannabis.

Age-Related Diseases and Cannabis

Diseases such as arthritis, glaucoma, dementia, osteoporosis, and adult-onset diabetes are some of the most common ones that come with old age. Cannabis is, however, known to help with all of them and many others.

Osteoporosis and bone-weakening diseases are some of the most common ones for older adults. They cause severe pain, limited activity and mobility, and overall weakness of your bones. Cannabis use is especially helpful when it comes to such diseases, as it speeds up the healing process of your skeletal system through osteoblast stimulation. These cells act as rebuilders and repairers of your bones, making them up to 50% stronger once the CBD treatment is finished.

Dementia is difficult to deal with, both for the one suffering from it and the person’s loved ones. Other than forgetting crucial things about your life, such as close family members and places, many people with dementia experience severe agitation, aggression, depression, and similar. The neuron cells saturated by excessive amounts of amyloid protein get inflamed, causing this vile disease. Luckily, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is there to reduce the amount of this protein, while inducing calmness. 

Diabetes is a problem for a growing percentage of the world’s population, especially in adults and the elderly. Diabetes statistics show people who use cannabis have around 16% lower fasting levels of insulin compared to those who do not use it, and type two diabetes is rather uncommon in cannabis consumers.

Pain is linked to many diseases and is the most common symptom. Cannabis is known for its ability to reduce different types of pain. Factually, 62.2% of cannabis users choose this plant and products based on it so they can relieve chronic pain.

Arthritis, a disease that attacks joints, tends to trouble 1in 2 older people. The feeling of stiffness and pain, followed by fatigue and swelling are some of the most noticeable symptoms. A 2018 study from the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry reports a strong bond between arthritis and depression, and seniors have been using cannabis to fight this disease. Not only that, but in 2018 they were up to 20 times more likely to admit they used marijuana in comparison to statistics from 1984. 

Bottom Line

As we enter an era where many symptoms, illnesses, and diseases are becoming a part of a blurry past due to technological advancement, older people can finally start experiencing a painless and easy day-to-day life. Cannabis is already making a massive change, as people opt for CBD-based products more and more every year, and we cannot wait to see this plant’s full spectrum of benefits in the future.

 

About the author: Bojana Petkovich is always on the lookout for new adventures and creative drives. Bojana is currently mesmerized by the fast-paced cannabis industry and providing the internet community with valuable information via LoudCloudHealth. The information on LoudCloudHealth is backed up by scientific studies. The articles on diseases and conditions treated by cannabis or CBD have sources to scientific research in their links. The statistics pages have their sources listed at the end of each article.

How to Manage Arthritic Pain and Stiffness – A review of Genuine Health’s Fast arthritis pain relief+

image

Genuine Health FAST arthritis pain relief+

I have been living with osteoarthritis for the past 20 years or so. I come by it honestly, as my grandmother had a bad case of it. Arthritis is a condition of inflammation of the joints. It affects one in six Canadians over the age of 15 and is the number one cause of disability in women (and third in men).

Arthritis, like all diseases and conditions, affects people in different ways. For me, the pressure and stress over the years has resulted in sacroiliac (SI) joint and lower back (lumbar vertebrae) issues. The SI joints  are used to transfer movement from the upper body to the lower body and are especially important when you turn over in bed (see diagram below).

There have been times when I wince in bed, with that dreadful reminder that my SI joints are inflamed. There is usually no specific trigger. Sometimes I think it’s the weather – other times I blame hormones.

I was approached by The Publicist Group to see if I was interested in trying out Genuine Health’s FAST arthritis pain relief+ or one of their other products (FAST joint care+ and FAST pain relief+) The claim was it would help relieve pain in five days (hence, the word FAST in the title). They had other products too, but this one seemed to speak to me. I had used Aleve, Advil and Tylenol in the past. I have also purchased a Lumbar Brace and Tens and an ice pack to help when my SI joint is aggravated.

I have also been to physiotherapists in the past. I have been prescribed exercise programs and the main treatments for my problem is core strengthening and stretching. Yoga has also been recommended. Walking, cycling, gentle exercise on the elliptical, weights, calisthenics and stretches are activities I try to do at least twice weekly. I say “try” because sometimes this isn’t a priority in my life – at least not as big of a priority as I know it should be. When the pain is really bad, I usually find laying down for 10-15 minutes helps relieve my pain.

So, I agreed to try out FAST arthritis pain relief+. I was given a complimentary bottle of 60 tablets. The directions say to take two caplets daily. Information on the bottle states:

image“How does FAST arthritis pain relief+ work?

It contains phytosterols from AvoVida®, a research-based ingredient designed to stimulate the body’s production of joint tissue to improve mobility. It also contains BiovaFlex® natural egg membrane and bromelain to reduce inflammation and improve pain and stiffness in the joints associated with osteoarthritis.”

I found the study the company did and it showed favourable results by an impressive number of people who had tried out the product. I noticed they did not have a placebo group (a group of people who thought they may have been taking the product to be tested but were given a fake pill). There is a certain amount of placebo effect whenever you are given a treatment. If you believe a treatment will help you, the power of the mind will help you achieve the desired results. This is in fact a phenomenon that is currently perplexing to scientists and we have a lot more to learn about the power of the mind and the placebo effect.

imageI decided to document my experience by recording my level of pain each day on a scale of 1-10 (1 being no pain, 10 being excruciating pain).

I knew this may take a few days to take effect, so I was prepared to focus on this for at least a week. I also decided (as in the study) not to take any other pain-relieving medications during the time I took the easy-to-swallow caplets (although there were days I wanted to!).

Overall,  it took me 7 days (not 5 – this product is “research-proven to work in only 5 days”) to feel pain relief. Over the next couple of weeks I had a couple of times where my arthritis flared up and I had to take some Advil to help alleviate the pain. I probably won’t continue to take this FAST on a regular basis, unless I find a huge change in my arthritic pain once I have completed my 3o-day trial.

I would say the FAST caplets are worth trying out. I have seen the cost for this product at $62.00 – 79.99 for 120 caplets (a two-month supply). Sold on Amazon (see links below) and available at other locations.

Here are some other tips on how to cope with arthritis:

  • Ensure good ergonomics when sitting at the computer
  • Take frequent short breaks when sitting at the computer such as getting up to get a glass of water or standing up and stretching (every 15 minutes or so)
  • Massage can help bring needed blood flow to the area, and loosen and stretch the muscles surrounding the joints. However, avoid aggressive massage such as what is offered in a massage chair can aggravate inflamed joints
  • Chiropractic adjustments may help
  • Laying down for 10-15 minutes can provide much-needed relief
  • Gentle stretches can be helpful (see a physiotherapist for exercises and stretches) or try this SI Joint Stretch
  • Walking and gentle exercise can help provide relief and stretching can keep joints limber
  • Voltaren emulgel can help relieve pain
  • Ice and/or heat can help relieve the pain
  • A warm shower or bath can also provide relief
  • Housework can cause a flare-up (haha)

Check out these resources for more information on how to manage osteoarthritis:

Genuine Health – Natural pain relief proven to reduce inflammation. Find where to buy the product on this website (in stores and online).

Top 3 Tips for Osteoarthritis by Eugene Sims, a physiotherapist

The Arthritis Society – Information, resources, tools and expert access

Buy Now from Amazon:

FAST ARTHRITIS RELIEF+

Genuine Health fast arthritis pain relief+ 60 capsules

Age well, my friend!

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

purple-swirl-separator-hi

Angela G. Gentile, M.S.W., R.S.W. is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and two adult children. For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com