People in their 60s are discovering the benefits of medical marijuana, also known as medical cannabis. The baby boomer generation is well known to have used it recreationally as young people during the 1960's and 70's. Now, though, this aging generation is familiarizing themselves with the plant as an addition to their daily health regimen.
Over the past few years, there has been a steady rise in the number of adults, ages 50-69, who believe the use of cannabis is fine with a doctor's permission. The number of users within the baby boomer age group has also steadily increased.
Baby boomers are reaching for marijuana to help with general aches and pains. Because they grew up in a time of high popularity of cannabis, the baby boomer generation is more comfortable with the idea that marijuana can be an everyday part of their lives. Choosing cannabis over pharmaceuticals just makes sense to this aging population. When old injuries start aching in the evenings or at bedtime, you can find baby boomers going to marijuana instead of taking another aspirin or ibuprofen.
Baby boomers are also choosing cannabis as a treatment for more serious aches - those connected to arthritis. Specifically, studies have shown cannabis to decrease pain and suffering caused by fibromyalgia symptoms. Fibromyalgia causes joint pain, muscle fatigue and skeletal discomfort. Patients suffering from associated symptoms find that medical cannabis provides the most relief with little to no side effects.
Their generation really appreciates the relaxing benefits of marijuana. Baby boomers have worked their entire lives, leading stressful daily schedules. Often relaxing is difficult even during retirement. Doctors might suggest massages, yoga or meditation to help their client relax. However, there is information suggesting that in states where medical cannabis is legal, doctors are prescribing to the aging population in the hopes of relaxing their clients. Relaxation has been shown to help patients in a variety of ways.
As a person ages, their appetite may wane. Cannabis can be used to help a person's appetite. In fact, it is frequently used to combat anorexia - a disorder associated with the loss of appetite. There have been multiple studies suggesting the benefits of THC - the appetite-increasing chemical found in marijuana - among Alzheimer's and AIDS patients, as well as those with classic anorexia nervosa. Just a little THC can help stimulate the appetite, which in turn may increase enjoyment of a meal.
There have also been studies suggesting that smoking pot can benefit the aging mind. Aspects of the cannabis plant can be used to reduce inflammation within the brain. Reducing inflammation may allow for the stimulated growth of new brain cells. These cells can replace aging brain cells and possibly go on to help with memory loss and general mental function.
As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, it is expected that cannabis will continue to increase in acceptance. Because this generation is particularly comfortable exploring the benefits of the drug's medicinal uses, more and more state and local governments will consider legalizing cannabis.