U.S. Adults Spark Up More Than Ever Before
by Gabrielle Caravetta
Credit: Hannah Critchfield, Tampa Bay Times
“I never, never, ever even thought about marijuana when I was growing up — never in college, as a young adult or as a middle-aged adult,” said Rene Yeoman, 71. “It was just not even something that was on my radar.”
Rene and her husband Marvin, 74 reside in Saint Petersburg, FL where they both underwent major surgeries. Confronted by chronic insomnia and unwanted side effects from prescription medications, Rene discovered the brighter side of pain management: cannabis edibles.
When they go to the dispensary they see more elderly consumers than any other age group, according to Marvin.
According to the 2020 National Survey of Drug Use and Health adults 65 and older who reported recent cannabis use jumped by 18% from last year. More adults also reported using marijuana at some point in their life reflecting the shift in mainstream culture; adults are willing to be more transparent about their past.
Medical marijuana patients in the state of Florida are legally allowed to purchase THC products throughout the state. Despite the expense of renewing marijuana licenses, both Rene and Marvin have their own card.
Choosing cannabis unlocks the freedom for Rene to cut out many prescription drugs she once ingested daily. She expresses her love for marijuana’s medicinal versatility; the plant’s ability to ease many ailments in one is probably it’s most magical component.
One treatment relieves her of her migraines, insomnia, and body pains all in one.
Tampa Bay cannabis company Trulieve offers a 10 percent Senior Sunday discount to patients 55 and older across all 19 dispensary locations. A Trulieve spokesperson said, “seniors represent a large percentage of registered patients in Florida” and that in the past few years the company has seen an “upward trend in cannabis use among seniors”.
Researcher and professor of neurology at the University of South Florida, Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos, reiterates research that has proven cannabis to be beneficial in reducing symptoms like insomnia and irritability in Alzheimer’s patients. Cannabis is also proven notorious for diminishing arthritic pain, treating sleep disorders, and improving motor function in patients challenged by Parkinsons.
Despite this data, Ramos classifies cannabis as the second alternative if traditional approaches fail to perform. “This is basically an alternative treatment for when individuals aren’t doing well with the standard pharmaceuticals,” he said. “In some people, it may actually be much better, but it isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.”
The Yeomans are over the moon with their results and encourage people that are suffering from chronic discomfort to give cannabis a whirl!