The CBD counterculture movement isn’t reserved for just millennials and baby boomers. Senior citizens are quickly becoming hip to the newest medicinal trend: cannabidiol.
They say you should always respect your elders because of the wisdom they can bestow upon us; the same rings true for CBD. Despite plenty of efforts to deny seniors their sweet-leaf relief, they are banning together and fighting the flawed system.
How are seniors using CBD?
Between the years of 2006 and 2013, cannabis consumption among people over the age of 65 increased 250%. It’s safe to say that senior citizens are reaping the rewards of the stigmatized oil. And although CBD contains none of the psychoactive THC component, seniors must still get creative with their usage.
“People don’t really believe you’re not getting high if you take it,” said retired art teacher Marcia Dumetz. At first, she was very worried about what other people would think of her newfound “drug” use. “It’s got a stigma,” Dumetz shared — and she’s got a point. Fellow senior citizen community resident, Ruth Brunn, who got down with dope at the ripe old age of 100, says CBD has been a miracle worker. “I don’t feel high or stoned. All I know is I feel better when I take this.” Wise words from an even wiser woman.
CBD in the retirement home
With an increasing number of states relaxing laws, retirement facilities are finding ways to provide relief. Current president and CEO of RiverSpring Health, Daniel Reingold, got to see the healing effects of CBD in his own father, who was dying of cancer in 1999. Reingold took his experiences and turned them into a reefer reform of sorts.
The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, located in the Bronx and is operated by RiverSpring, wants to challenge the current perception about CBD in nursing homes. A new medical policy implemented by medical director Dr. Zachary Palace offers alternative options that comply with federal regulations. The nursing home can recommend and monitor CBD use, but residents are responsible for purchasing, storing, and administering the products themselves.
While Hebrew Home looks to challenge the senior stigma, other communities simply operate under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Since it is illegal on a federal level, staff members face the potential of committing a crime. And at federally-funded nursing homes, they face the possibility that Medicaid or Medicare could take a significant hit. This is simply a risk that many places are not willing to take.
“If residents are taking it, they are taking it undercover without the staff knowing so it’s not part of their care plan. I think that creates a safety problem,” said Dr. Cheryl Phillips, the senior vice president for public policy and health services for LeadingAge, an industry group that oversees and represents more than 2,000 nursing homes. But with no federal changes in sight, nursing homes are going to have to continue operating under the cannabis cloak.
Why is CBD hard to get for seniors?
It seems counterintuitive to continue denying seniors relief when they have statistically shown that CBD can help alleviate a multitude of painful symptoms. And while it may not be for everyone, allowing seniors to choose which form of relief best suits their needs is the very least we can do.
With the opioid crisis growing, what better way to combat painkiller addiction than with all-natural relief the way Mother Nature intended? “Everybody’s so worried about these opioids and people are dying… but here you have a product that’s been around for probably centuries and they won’t allow study on it,” said Oregon’s self-proclaimed CBD advocate Judy Fisher. “We seniors have to get out of the closet about this.”
How can CBD help seniors?
While so many federal agencies continue to make it nearly impossible to get your hands on CBD, the fact remains that it can help with a wide range of symptoms, especially for the elderly. When it comes to pain management, CBD oil works directly with our internal systems to emit its beneficial properties. CBD can work directly with pain-related synapses to suppress those feelings we experience with pain.
CBD oil can also help with bone fragility which affects a lot of seniors. Studies have revealed that it can work with the bones in the body and help heal breaks and fractures, common ailments among older people. Seniors can also experience stress with aging and CBD is a great way to relax those who may be suffering from anticipated anxiety.
CBD oil can help seniors sleep for those who have insomnia or other sleep-related issues. In addition, CBD helps get users off of harsh pharmaceuticals. Most are well aware of the prescription medicine problems we have in this country, and seniors are no different. Their daily regimen is usually filled with different time slots for different pills and CBD has the power to alter that schedule and offer those in need a more holistic and natural way to healing.
CBD: The natural answer for seniors
With so many accepted uses, CBD has the power to change how the elderly, and everyday people, heal naturally. There will always be those with money in mind that wish to suppress the information that is coming out about the immense benefits of CBD. But as public outcry continues to mount, they will soon have to answer to the fact that Mother Nature has a cure that no lab or Big Pharma farm can possibly recreate. And maybe, just maybe, with the help of some CBD-relieved, able body seniors, we’ll finally send Reefer Madness off into retirement.