Due persone anziane sedute sulla panchina.

Can cannabis light help the elderly?

The definition of the concept of seniority is rapidly evolving, in step with advances in medicine, new technologies and access to information. For example, if until fifty years ago a sixty-five year old man could be considered elderly, today he is not. A 65-year-old today is on average healthier, vigorous, informed and more active. And with a wider margin of life expectancy. Could older people benefit from using light cannabis? In this article we will see:

  1. The third age
  2. Drug consumption in old age
  3. CBD and its properties
  4. Some important examples


The third age

In essence , average lifespan has significantly increased . And by virtue of this, the range of years preceding "seniority" has been significantly extended. If by this term we mean a clear cognitive and physical decline. On the other hand, it is a declared objective of medicine: wanting to improve the quality of the last phase of life. The more complicated one, rather than extending life itself .

This is a good thing, especially if we consider that many countries around the world are grappling with the problem of the average age of citizens rising drastically. With the obvious consequence of a future large category of elderly people who few young people will be able to take care of. Today Italy does not escape this trend, with more than 13 million people over the age of sixty-five.

A figure that constitutes a worrying percentage of 22% of the population. Even if we currently tend to make the seniority threshold coincide with seventy-five years, we can say that a significant portion of our population has entered the phase of... the first possible ailments.


Drug consumption in old age

We know well that old age coincides with the age at which the first more or less disabling and more or less chronic disorders appear. With the consequent need to undertake therapies to counteract them . Sometimes they are rehabilitation therapies, but other times they are drug-based therapies. And here the problems begin.

In almost all cases drugs have side effects, and if taken for a long time the side effects can outweigh the beneficial effects. Not to mention cases in which an individual is affected by multiple pathologies, for which he or she must take multiple drugs of different types and whose cross-action can be harmful. Or even nullify the effects of the medicines themselves.

This is a typical problem for elderly people. Anyone with a grandparent or elderly parents knows the daily schedule well. Most of them have to follow, complete with a timer, a series of pre-established rules to avoid making mistakes in the order of taking the drugs.

Medicine has moved in multiple directions to counter this problem. One of these is the experimentation and research on therapeutic cannabis, in particular its two main cannabinoids: THC and CBD . With results that give rise to hope: cannabis could be a great ally in dealing with old age.

Cannabis light

CBD and its properties

Regarding light cannabis, for example, it was already known that the CBD contained in the inflorescences had relaxing, anticonvulsant, antidystonic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Which favored the restoration of regularity of sleep cycles and which constituted a valid relaxation against anxiety and panic.

However, large-scale testing of possible other benefits for pathologies linked to old age or typical of adulthood has long been frustrated by the demonization due to massive prohibitionism . And to the decades of distorted information to which the cannabis plant has been the victim.

The almost unanimous liberalization of the trade in light cannabis and the creativity of sellers, in designing a vast range of products that offered an alternative for those who did not want to smoke or vaporize it, have contributed to putting it back in the right light. Today CBD is legally marketed in the form of herbal teas, oil, biscuits, or in various formats to be taken directly: oil, crystals, capsules...

CBD is a powerful ally for relieving neuropathic pain and chronic pain, especially rheumatoid arthritis . At the current state of research it has the great advantage of not interacting with the action of any drug.

On the other hand, the prudent liberalization of marijuana for medical (and also recreational) purposes in some countries around the world has allowed its large-scale use and the first data collections.

Recently, a study published on a group of almost three thousand elderly people by researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel and published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine clearly highlighted the benefits of cannabis against chronic pain. In fact, after six months of treatment, more than 90% of those seniors reported significant pain relief and nearly a fifth of them gave up opioids or reduced their dose.

This last aspect is very important, especially in countries like the United States, which find themselves facing the real plague of American adults who have developed an addiction to opioids regularly prescribed as analgesics or sleeping pills . And - once again - the elderly are the group most affected by this drama.

light cannabis

Some important examples

Parkinson's is also a pathology that can affect the elderly , although not only them. We know that the patient's tremors and loss of balance are due to the progressive death of the cells responsible for the production of dopamine. Although the cause of this disease has not yet been found, it is known that among Parkinson's patients, marijuana users experience an improvement in their condition and a significant decrease in tremor.

Cannabis is also one of the few remedies known to combat glaucoma, which is a leading cause of blindness in people over sixty. Glaucoma is a disease caused by an irregular increase in eye pressure. To keep it under control, the patient resorts to expensive eye drops to be applied every day. A similar effect can also be had through doses of THC. In fact, marijuana lowers the pressure in the eyeball for several hours. The best way of taking this therapy is vaporization.

Marijuana is also proving to be a good ally against Alzheimer's disease as it slows down or even interrupts the production of toxic proteins responsible for the patient's neurological degeneration, delaying the onset of the most serious consequences.

Another affliction of old age is a progressive loss of muscle tone , also due to the natural decrease in appetite that some elderly people experience. In the most serious cases, the decrease in appetite can trigger even fatal anorexia: elderly people represent the category most affected by deaths from anorexia.

Now: anyone who has smoked marijuana knows very well how it increases the appetite, to a considerable extent! And therefore it can certainly help an elderly person get back on track with a more correct diet.

A similar discussion can be made for problems related to insomnia , which becomes more frequent as we age. It goes without saying that deep sleep is important for a healthy life and in the case of the elderly, also for speeding up recovery from illness or injury. Some types of marijuana are very suitable for inducing sleep and relaxation , and this is also a potential effect of CBD oil .

CBD can also help a lot as a mood stabilizer for those who suffer from anxiety attacks , and for the many elderly people who are starting to show symptoms of depression . For the latter, as long as they do not disdain its psychotropic effects, marijuana is also recommended, which certainly helps to have a good laugh.

Therapeutic use of cannabis can also help relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, including muscle and gastrointestinal pain, and has already proven to significantly improve the quality of life of people affected by this disease.

It is certainly important that new studies shed light on the potential uses of medical cannabis . Also to dispel those prejudices which for a small part of human history have weighed on a very useful plant. Our dearest friend for millennia.

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