There has been an incremental shift seen in older people as they are shifting towards using medical marijuana as a source of treatment. This may as well be seen as something of a drastic shift in perspectives, but in reality, it all depends on how well known these people are of the medicinal benefits that cannabis possesses. There is no doubt that there are numerous health benefits associated with cannabis. What is even more interesting is that most of these benefits are targeted towards the elderly.
Be it for pain management, getting better sleep, or tackling chronic pain, CBD and cannabis have been steering their way through. Rather than opting for an in-clinic visit to get a medical marijuana recommendation, going through a telemedicine platform like onlinemedicalcard.com is also more convenient and easy for this age group.
With more states legalizing the use of medical cannabis, the stigma associated with the plant is also weaning off. People are starting to accept it as a source of alternative medicine, especially older people. With the horrid side effects that some of the opioids and benzodiazepines they use, cannabis comes as a medical savior for them. In a recent poll too, 94% of Americans voiced their support for legalizing medical marijuana. To their joy, there are more than 30 states to have approved the medical use of marijuana.
The reason why so many people and especially older people are shifting towards medical marijuana is that –
Medical Cannabis helps with chronic pain
Medical marijuana is slipping into the mainstream and there are all sorts of deductions being made as to why there is a shift in perspective. According to a study, the result for the change is a pretty simple one, it is to treat and overcome chronic pain. The research was specifically conducted to see why and how people were using medical cannabis. The number of registered medical cannabis patients jumped about 150,000 from the year 2016 to 2017! The study also shed light on the fact that about 25% of people used medical marijuana based on shreds of evidence and anecdotal statements.
Among all the conditions, chronic pain stood out with 62% of users consuming medical marijuana to treat and manage pain. Now, there are painkillers to take care of pain or so we thought. The negative effects and death rates linked to opioids and benzodiazepines (the two most commonly prescribed painkillers) were far too severe to be taken lightly.
Pieces of evidence to support the use of medical cannabis also stem out from clinical trials that showed therapeutic benefits of the plant. It is seen to reduce pain associated with neuropathy and make patients feel better on the whole.
Synthetic Cannabinoids May Be the Answer to Cure Essential Tremor
Essential Tremor (ET) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that makes people get tremors and involuntary movements in their extremities, generally their hands. It affects a small percentage of the population, but the numbers get higher as the age gets higher too. This means that ET can possibly be inhibiting the already deteriorating movements of elder people, making performing daily tasks even more difficult for them.
Looking at what cannabinoids are and how they function, we see how they can be effective in helping with ET. As ET is a neurological disorder and cannabinoids affect the central nervous system via the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), researchers have developed a synthetic cannabinoid. Using a mouse model, the research suggests that the lab-made cannabinoid can reduce ET by activating astrocytes, cells that support the spinal cord and brain.
Medical Marijuana and ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the neurons in the brain and spinal cord. What makes ALS such a devastating condition is the neurons it targets, specifically the ones that control voluntary muscle movements. People diagnosed with the condition can have involuntary movements in the arms and legs.
Marijuana has been proposed to serve as a treatment option among many others. Medical marijuana fits in the cork almost perfectly, as it gives off effects that directly or indirectly are related to ALS. Muscle relaxation, appetite building, and sleep induction are a few problems faced by people with ALS and something that medical cannabis helps in. Apart from that, marijuana may also help in extending neuron cell survival, neuron cell death is a common byproduct of ALS.
Cannabis Reduces the Use of Opioids and Benzodiazepines
Opioids and Benzodiazepines are among the most common drugs used to relieve chronic pain and used for pain management. In stark contrast, the two prescribed drugs are also among the most abused drugs in the USA. What makes things worse is when the two are used in tandem, it increases the likelihood of physical dependency on the drugs. This addictive nature of the two drugs is what is the cause of concern for many. According to a report by CDC, more than 136 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. Things got worse when in 2019, 16 percent of overdose deaths involving opioids also involved benzodiazepines.
Cannabis is not only a nonaddictive alternative, but it also helps in recovering from the side effects of the aforementioned drugs. There is much research that hints at how medical marijuana can help people with chronic pain, downtrodden moods, and can help in minimizing the use of prescription medication. Nearly a quarter of the sample either comp[letely stopped or significantly decreased the use of prescription drugs. Not just that, there was another group, of about 30%, who stopped using benzodiazepines altogether. Importantly, more than half of the patients did not experience intoxication as a side effect of cannabis therapy. Greatly suggestive of how effective and promising medical cannabis can be.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Is a Nonaddictive Alternative
Of all the properties discussed so far, this encompasses them all. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundantly available cannabinoids in cannabis. CBD in itself is not addictive and the reason could be that it does not have any substantial intoxicating effects. Even the World Health Organisation stated in a 2017 report that through controlled experimental research, they had found CBD to be non-addictive and did not have any potential of misuse.
Incidentally, CBD has been studied to help reduce and manage substance addiction. Some evidence suggests that CBD might lower the chances of developing heavy drug-use disorders. It also suggested that CBD can help prevent relapse after sobriety.