Cannabis: an Important Tool for Transitions in Elderly Life
Selling a home, losing a spouse, transitioning into a retirement community, and facing losing friends and relatives, and health challenges are just some of the large transitions that a senior citizen will have to face in their lives.
Despite being called the “golden years”, sometimes with the overwhelming emotions of transitions and change, a senior citizen can develop anxiety and depression. These years which are meant to be enjoyed, are anything but enjoyable.
Cannabis, particularly cannabidiol (CBD) is a powerful alternative to drug therapies that aim to reduce anxiety and depression in senior citizens in highly transitionary times, while helping to improve cognition and memory, stimulate creativity, and address major physical challenges.
Cannabis and Anxiety
There is a strong dialogue around cannabis and anxiety and the brain’s power to use cannabinoids to increase the effectiveness of the serotonin receptors that regulate mood.
Changing homes to move into a new retirement residence, or adapting to life after losing a spouse, or facing health concerns can put a lot of strain on an elderly person.
CBD has proven to be a powerful tool within the mental health and cannabis communities. Cannabinoids are inherent parts of our bodies, and sometimes a deficiency of cannabinoids can lead to effects in mood, manifesting in anxiety and depression. When CBD is introduced into the body, the CB1 and CB2 receptors distribute the CBD to the organs, including the brain. While ingesting CBD without THC doesn’t lead to a psychoactive state, patients using CBD report an elevated mood due to the increase of the effectiveness of serotonin receptors.
Elderly people going through major transitions can benefit from the non-psychoactive, yet elevating effects of CBD rather than relying on powerful prescriptions, that also try to replicate increasing effectiveness of serotonin in the brain.
Scientists are interested in the ways that CBD can improve and even repair the function of the brain’s hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for memory and cognition.
Loss of long- and short-term memory is something that elderly people struggle with, and in times of transition, memory recall becomes important. With the administrative changes to living situations, or losing a spouse, or having to go through medical tests, it is important that the elderly patient is an advocate for themselves and is able to rely on their memory and cognition.
When the hippocampus is repaired, cognitive function is improved, and memory recall becomes stronger. As life changes and people pass on, memory becomes a valuable tool for eternal warmth, and CBD can offer the senior citizen the opportunity to improve their memory and cognition.
Cannabis and Creativity
There is no better outlet for the emotions of life transitions than creativity. As author Brene Brown states, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change.”
Through major transitions, the senior may find value in painting, drawing, sculpture, theatre, music, writing, or any form of art that piques their creativity. One study showed that cannabis use can bring about “divergent thinking”, meaning that it can create an array of responses to a question, stimuli or ponderance, rather than just one response.
Robert Weiner in Creativity and Beyond said that “a cannabis-induced state of mind may lead to breaking free from everyday thinking and associations,” highlighting the psychological reasons people may turn to cannabis for creativity.
Cannabis and Physical Health
Medical cannabis is most importantly being recognized for its medical applications to relieve serious symptoms. A most common medical condition among the elderly is arthritis, with an estimated 54.4 people in the USA receiving a diagnosis. With arthritis affecting people as more commonly as they age, it can be disruptive, both physically and emotionally and especially when going through tough life transitions.
Common treatments are NSAIDs, which are tough on the gastrointestinal system and don’t address the underlying issue. Using cannabidiol can help reduce inflammation in the joints, reducing the pain associated with the inflammation of arthritis.
Cannabis has become crucial in the fight against the opioid crisis, with a need to find alternatives to the damaging effects of powerful prescriptions. Cannabis is proving itself to be a powerful antidote to pain as more Americans find solace in a medical cannabis prescription.
Obtain a Medical Cannabis Prescription to Ease Life’s Transitions
MyCannX is your guide to navigating medical cannabis. We understand that people are struggling through some of life’s biggest transitions, and we have thoroughly embraced the role that cannabis, and specifically CBD, has to play in making life a little more pleasant to live. Everyone deserves support, and MyCannX and the qualified cannabis doctors within our network are there to help through helping people get their medical cannabis card.