The Elderly & Edibles: Should Older Patients Use Medical Marijuana?


Medical marijuana was first legalized in this country under Proposition 215 in California in 1996. Now there are a total of 29 states that have legalized medical marijuana along with Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. At this writing, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized its recreational use.

With these new laws came new methods for ingesting healthy doses of the chemicals in marijuana to provide comfort for some debilitating stages of diseases and aging. These methods range from baked goods to suckers, teriyaki sauce to salad dressing, and teas. There are so many creative ways to get the benefits of this natural herb.

With the youngest Baby Boomers all in their 50s, millions will be needing help to deal with occasional or daily pain without having to use harsh, highly-addictive opioid solutions. If you are in need of relief and don’t want to use other medications, or can’t afford the jacked-up prices of the pharmaceutical industry, we’ve answered the most common questions about how medical marijuana and cannabis products can help.

How Safe Are Edibles?

To date, there are no reports of anyone dying from edibles, but eating too much can cause discomfort until your body processes it. Experts usually recommend starting slowly with a smaller dose of 5 milligrams to see how your body reacts. Regular users will have 10 milligram doses and heavy usage is considered between 20 to 25 milligrams.=

What Conditions Can Edibles Help Ease?

Most seniors using medical marijuana are using it to improve their sleep and control their pain from arthritis or other conditions. Other conditions that may be causing difficulty sleeping in the first place.

Other conditions edibles can help seniors with are:

Chronic pain
Nerve pain
Mood disorders
Stress relief
Daytime Medicating
Detoxing from opioids
Stimulates appetite
Reduce seizures
Inhibits cell growth in tumors/cancer

Many patients have noted that edibles have helped ease multiple symptoms at the same time. Depression can be related to a lack of sleep or inactivity due to chronic pain. For some they are a lifesaver.

But before you try medical marijuana edibles or any other medication, discuss it with your doctor to be sure it is safe for use in your condition, or with any other prescription medications you take.

Is the difference between Indica and Sativa the same in edibles?

The two strains of marijuana are indica and sativa. Indica when smoked is known to sedate with a full-body high. Sativa, when smoked is known for an energized high creating a desire to get things done, or go out.

When they are processed into edibles the effects don’t always translate in the same way. This can be due to the separating and handling of the ingredients, how it’s cooked, how it interacts with other ingredients, and the strength of original ingredients. Sometimes there may be no difference whatsoever, and other times you may feel you’ve gotten more than you’re comfortable with.

This is the reason for the mantra, “Low and slow,” when trying new products. If you usually take 10 milligrams of one product, take 5 of a new one and then give it time to process in your body before you take more. If you need more, you can then move up to the next level. But stick to the same maker to make sure you get the dose you need. If your supplier switches to a new maker of suckers that you like, then start over with the, “Low and slow,” testing or you risk a less than optimal result.

In the words of Bette Davis, “Getting old isn’t for sissies.” But it certainly beats the alternative, and now with new medical marijuana laws, it’s becoming a little easier for everyone. Give it a try. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. But depending on what’s going on in your life, it may make a tremendous difference. Enjoy.