When you asked people a couple decades ago to describe who they thought was the archetypal stoner, they would probably describe a young guy in his early to mid twenties, with longish, kinda scraggly hair and either some Birkenstocks or some Vans. Nowadays when you ask someone to describe who they picture as the typical stoner, their answer might be very different. Who can say who the typical stoner is today, because now you see people of all types enjoying cannabis. One of the newest groups that is discovering the joy of the herb is probably a demographic that you would least suspect, or perhaps they would be the most likely. I’m talking of course about the trend of cannabis use among seniors.
Seniors Love Sativa!
As cannabis is legalized in increasingly more states across the US, there has been an uptick in the number of seniors enjoying the herb. It’s not hard to see why. Cannabis has been shown to be beneficial in dealing with a number of medical conditions that are especially prevalent among seniors. These include conditions such as chronic pain, diabetes, memory loss, among many others.
All Aboard the Cannabus!
To take a closer look at the trend, let’s check out the chartered bus that takes the residents of Laguna Woods Village to go see their friendly neighborhood budtender each month. The Cannabus, as it is colloquially referred to, is operated by Bud and Bloom, a dispensary located in Santa Ana in Orange county California. Bud and Bloom specifically caters to seniors who are using cannabis for medical use.
The seniors who board the cannabus look forward to their monthly trip the way children look forward to Christmas. They all suffer from various medical conditions and were turned on to cannabis use either by their other friends, or their children or grandchildren. CNN spoke with some of them at the end of April. Christy Diller, who uses cannabis to treat her back pain used to rely on prescription pills to treat her condition. She said that she always “felt like a zombie” when she was on her pills. Now she eats a cannabis brownie roughly two hours before going to bed and has never slept better. When asked about her cannabis use Diller said, "I think it is great. I think older people that have a lot of pain should use the marijuana, you know. When nothing else helps, then use it.” Diller says she doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her cannabis use. "For me, nothing else helped me anymore, so I used the marijuana. It got a little better. It didn't get much better, but it got better. So I can at least get some steps already, and I can walk. I could not even walk before."
The Bud and Bloom Cannabus is hardly the only chartered bus that takes regular field trips to the local dispensary. Other chartered buses in legal states all over the country are doing the same thing, and because of this the ravages of age are not what they once were.
Why is Cannabis Use so Popular with Seniors?
It’s not hard to understand why cannabis use is so popular amongst senior citizens. Most conditions brought on by old age have been shown to be treatable with cannabis. This includes one of the most common health problems suffered by seniors, arthritis. Used to be that this condition would prevent those who suffered from it from being able to participate in even the most basic physical activity. Now that they’ve tried cannabis, seniors suffering from arthritis can do the activities that they once enjoyed.
So, how popular is cannabis use among seniors? Last year’s survey conducted by the National Survey of Drug Use and Health showed that cannabis use has increased 250 percent among people aged 65 and older between 2006 and 2013. Keep in mind that during this time cannabis was not legal. Expect this to increase exponentially as more states across the US begin to legalize.
Featured Image Source: dudegrows.com
Are you a senior who uses cannabis for medical reasons? We want to hear from you! Tell us about your experiences in the comments!