The use of medical marijuana is becoming more and more accepted as a viable treatment option for a variety of conditions and diseases. Medical marijuana offers health benefits for seniors and those of most ages. While it is most associated with treating chronic pain, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests it can also be effective in treating other conditions common in seniors, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, arthritis, and even cancer.
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that causes memory loss, confusion, and eventually death. The early signs of Alzheimer’s disease may be mild and go unnoticed. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more severe. Eventually, people with Alzheimer’s require complete care.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, and currently available treatments only address symptoms, not the underlying cause of the disease. However, recent studies have shown that medical marijuana may help to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by reducing inflammation and protecting nerve cells from damage.
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was able to reduce the activity of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, which are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Additional studies are currently underway.
Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember. A person with dementia may have trouble remembering recent events, speaking clearly, or making sound decisions.
There are many different types of dementia, and the symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another. Dementia is not a normal part of aging, although the risk does increase with age. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases.
There is no cure for dementia, but there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms. These include medications, therapies, and lifestyle changes. Like Alzheimer’s disease, there is no known cure for dementia, but medical marijuana may be able to help by improving mood, and sleep quality, while reducing inflammation in the body.
Medical Marijuana and Arthritis
Arthritis is a common condition in seniors that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. While there are many conventional treatments available for arthritis, they often come with a host of unpleasant side effects, such as stomach ulcers and liver damage. Medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for arthritis pain with few side effects.
Marijuana contains active compounds called cannabinoids that bind to receptors in the body and provide relief from pain and other symptoms. There are many different strains of marijuana, and each one contains a different mix of cannabinoids. Some strains are more effective for pain relief than others.
In general, indica strains are more relaxing and are better for pain relief, while sativa strains are more energizing and may be better for mood disorders. However, there is a great deal of variation within these two categories, and it is ultimately up to the individual to determine which type of marijuana best suits their needs based on the symptoms they are trying to alleviate.
Marijuana and Cancer Treatment
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in seniors, and traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy, can be extremely harsh on the body. Medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective way to relieve cancer-related symptoms, such as pain, nausea, and vomiting. It may also help to improve the quality of life for cancer patients by reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality.
Some studies have even shown that marijuana can shrink certain types of tumors, which could be a game-changer for treating cancer. While more research is needed in this area, medical marijuana is a promising treatment option for cancer patients.
Medical marijuana can be taken in a variety of forms, including capsules, tinctures, oils, topical creams and ointments, edibles, and patches. It is important to work with a medical professional to determine the best form and dosage for your individual needs.
Medical Marijuana has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of other serious health conditions that affect seniors including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and glaucoma.
Medical Marijuana and Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s own immune system attacks healthy tissue.
In people with MS, the immune system attacks myelin, the protective coating that surrounds nerve cells in the CNS. When myelin is damaged, nerve signals slow down or stop altogether. This can cause a wide range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, coordination problems, balance issues, vision problems, and fatigue.
Medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, such as muscle spasms, pain, and fatigue. Some studies have even suggested that medical marijuana may help to slow the progression of the disease.
It is not clear exactly how medical marijuana helps to treat multiple sclerosis, but it is thought that the active compounds in cannabis, including THC and CBD, interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system is involved in a variety of physiological processes, including pain perception, inflammation, and muscle control. By modulating these processes, medical marijuana can help to reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
There are several clinical trials currently underway investigating the efficacy of medical marijuana for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The results of these trials will provide more information on the potential benefits of this therapy.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes recurrent, often unpredictable seizures. It is one of the most common neurological disorders, affecting an estimated 65 million people worldwide.
Anecdotal evidence and small studies have suggested that medical marijuana may be an effective treatment for seizures associated with epilepsy. One study found that a combination of THC and CBD was effective in reducing seizure frequency in a group of adults with treatment-resistant epilepsy.
The active ingredients in marijuana, known as cannabinoids, bind to receptors in the brain and nervous system to achieve a variety of effects. Cannabinoids are thought to modulate the activity of neurons by increasing or decreasing the flow of neurotransmitters. This modulation of neurotransmitter activity is thought to be the mechanism by which cannabinoids produce their anti-seizure effects.
Overall, the available evidence suggests that medical marijuana may be an effective treatment for seizures associated with epilepsy. More research is needed to confirm these findings.
Medical Marijuana and Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects the ability to control muscle movement. It occurs when there is a loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, a chemical that helps regulate muscle movement.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can include tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with balance. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person.
Medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremor and muscle stiffness. Although there isn’t a lot of data currently, the results look promising so far.
In a small study of 30 people with Parkinson’s disease, those who were treated with medical marijuana had a significant reduction in their symptoms compared to those who were not treated with marijuana.
The researchers concluded that “medical marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.” A larger study is currently underway to further investigate the potential benefits of medical marijuana for people with Parkinson’s disease.
Medical Marijuana and Glaucoma
Glaucoma, which affects people more as they get older, occurs when the pressure in your eye becomes too high. This extra pressure can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is important because it sends messages from your eye to your brain. If untreated, glaucoma can get worse, and you could lose your sight.
Medical marijuana can help to slow the progression of glaucoma. THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana, has been shown to be highly effective in reducing pressure in the eye. In addition, medical marijuana can help to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with glaucoma.
In a study done on rats, scientists found that THC lowered the pressure in the eye by up to 30 percent. This is a significant reduction and could potentially help people with glaucoma to keep their vision for longer.
There have been a few small studies done on humans as well. These studies have shown that marijuana can indeed lower the pressure in the eye. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Summary of Medical Marijuana Health Benefits
In summary, medical marijuana can be an effective and safe treatment option for seniors with a variety of medical conditions. In some cases, medical marijuana is even more effective than conventional treatments. Seniors who use marijuana for medical purposes are also less likely to experience negative side effects than those who take prescription medications.
If you are a senior citizen suffering from any of these conditions, or any other condition not listed here, talk to your doctor about whether medical marijuana might be right for you.