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Ten Things Seniors Should Know About Medical Marijuana


grandma marijuana senior seniors cannabis grandpaWe understand many senior citizens come to us without much information about marijuana as a medicine. Our goal is simple: we want to assist aging adults to improve their quality of life.  There are many misconceptions about medical marijuana, especially among senior citizens. The first step is learning about what we do and the products and services we provide. Harvest of Tempe offers a free new patient orientation class every month during which our medical director, Dr. William Troutt NMD, will discuss risks and benefits, realistic expectations and outcomes, dosages, and different ways of using marijuana (such as edibles, liquid tinctures, topical ointments, and smoking). Dr. Troutt will always make himself available to chat with you and address your specific questions and needs. You do not need a medical marijuana card to attend the orientation and we encourage family and health care workers to attend.

1. Marijuana is SAFER than many commonly prescribed medications

Most seniors take prescription drugs on a daily basis. The “side effects” of marijuana are insignificant in comparison to the side effects of many prescription drugs, and not a single person has ever died from a marijuana overdose. An ongoing 30-year study found that a person weighing 140 pounds would have to consume over 4 pounds of marijuana in one sitting to reach toxic levels, and that still would not be a fatal dosage. The powerful anti-oxidant effects of marijuana can provide relief for many disorders including liver inflammation from Hepatitis C, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other serious medical conditions that all involve inflammation and oxidative damage.

2. Marijuana is not physically addictive

Many seniors fear that if they start using marijuana they will become addicted. People can use marijuana daily and then stop “cold turkey”.  Discontinuing the use of marijuana has much the same response as quitting the consumption of coffee. Many people who seek welcome and effective respite from chronic pain, anxiety, and stress use marijuana as a daily medicine.

3. Marijuana can reduce and possibly replace many prescription medications

A major complaint of seniors regarding their daily medications is that the first pill often causes side effects that the second one is supposed to “fix.”  ”Marijuana’s healing properties target various conditions such as inflamed joints, high blood pressure, chronic pain, digestive disorders, constipation, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, cognitive awareness, and more Marijuana has the potential for accentuating the effect of many commonly prescribed drugs (blog.norml.org).” For example, opiate based painkillers are typically enhanced when marijuana is used concurrently, often resulting in a reduction of pharmaceutical medicines.

4. There are many different types, or “strains” of marijuana

Growing this plant is not terribly different from gardeners attempting to create the perfect rose or tomato plant.  Each plant has it’s own personality and effects. There are strains that are very helpful for chronic pain relief and strains Some strains can make one feel very focused and energized, while others can be relaxing and help with a good nights sleep.

5. There are marijuana strains without “the high”

“If I could get the medical benefit from the plant without the high, I’d consider it.” said many of the seniors we’ve spoken to.  Harvest cultivators have developed and are currently producing potent CBD genetic strains that have minimal psychoactive effect.  CBD, or cannabidiol, is tremendous for inflammation, eases pain, stimulates bone growth, suppresses muscular spasms, reduces anxiety, and increases mental focus. Harvest currently carries liquid extracts that have no “high” at all. These have proven extremely successful for persons suffering from arthritis pain, nausea, and muscle spasms.

6. There are ways to use marijuana other than smoking it

One common misconception among aging adults is that they have to smoke marijuana to gain the medicinal benefits. Harvest of Tempe provides liquid extracts, infused honey,candies, baked goods, and other products to choose from. Marijuana can be added to just about any regular recipe in the form of marijuana infused butters or oils. This opens up so many options for your medicine.

7. Marijuana-infused ointments can be very effective in alleviating arthritis and neuropathy pain

Locally made, medicated creams are very popular for sore joints and muscles and back pain. They are very effective, smell nice and give a you no “high” so you can feel comfortable using the products throughout the day.

8. Marijuana does not lower your IQ or cause brain damage

Another common misconception aging adults have with marijuana is that can lower intelligence or cause brain damage . There is no documentation that shows that marijuana reduces or “kills brain cells.” Studies with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients indicate that marijuana gradually encourages new neural pathways, allowing those with impaired brain function to potentially halt further degeneration and even encourage brain function.

9. Marijuana can help increase your appetite

One of the most dangerous health risks among senior citizens is the loss of appetite, leading to weight loss. Marijuana has been extremely successful in alleviating nausea and as an appetite stimulant. That being said, A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds an intriguing connection between marijuana use and body weight, showing that rates of obesity are lower by roughly a third in people who smoke marijuana at least three times a week, compared with those who don’t use marijuana at all.

10. The stigma around medical marijuana use is fading

Seniors are the fastest growing population of new medical marijuana users. There is no other reason for this other than it is working work for them. If you are in discomfort or chronic pain and would like other options. Those options consist of an organically and locally grown herb that is 3rd party tested, legal in the state of Arizona and can be purchased from a conscientious and responsible business that will provide you with friendly service and education. Medical marijuana can be a valuable tool in your “wellness toolbox”. The Harvest of Tempe is here to help.

For more information please visit our website www.harvestoftempe.com . Our events calendar will tell you when the monthly “new patient orientation” is happening. Harvest also provides and promotes other educational opportunities including our lecture series and resources to other activities such as yoga, dietary talks, etc.

Source: SeniorDirectory.Com


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Johnny Green


  1. Exactly, this is why they should smoke it at bedtime and get a good nights sleep. The right education needs to be put forth not reasons to not use it.

  2. What you believe what government tell you but not what actual users say?! You must work for them.

  3. blue republic on

    While medical marijuana can be very beneficial and this is good information
    for the uninitiated seniors (and everyone else) should also be alerted to the
    dangers imposed by the legal environment WRT guns and cannabis.

    Even if your state has decriminalized or legalized possession, even if your
    use of marijuana is entirely legal under state law, as far as *federal* law is
    concerned a user of marijuana is a “prohibited person” who is barred from
    possessing firearms or ammunition.

    Long and short of it: possess cannabis and a gun or ammunition and you
    are committing a felony under federal law.

    “According to a 21 Sep 2011 “Open Letter to All Federal Firearms Licensees” from ATF, holders of state-issued medical marijuana cards are automatically “prohibited persons” under 18 U.S.C 922 (g)(3) and “shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition” by a medical marijuana card holder is a violation.[5]”


    I’m not defending current federal law – it sucks and is grossly unjust. But changing it doesn’t seem to be a priority for cannabis activists and people
    should be aware what the legal environment is going into this…

  4. hank remember that Mr Green has a BA in Public Policy so excuse him for his his article. He’s recovering from his indoctrination, I mean education. Lol

  5. @hank remember that Mr Green has a BA in Public Policy so excuse him for his his article. He’s recovering from his indoctrination, I mean education. Lol

  6. Hank we know alchohal causes brain damage, sickness and death. Why is this drug legal. In the instance of damage to the body I’ll put canabis against anything all the time as being safer. Your talking to a chronic pain patient 25 years into this, and I know I can’t keep taking medicines like I used to. So what are people like me suppose to do. I am close to sixty and I’ll tell you. I’m going to enjoy my life as best. I can. Even if I have to move.

  7. Another factor which seniors should consider: repeated studies have shown a correlation between mortality and the amount of daily sitting time, for example in


    A person using marijuana feels a stronger inclination to sit rather than stand, so a senior using marijuana should make a conscious effort to resist that increased amount of sitting, if possible, while keeping in mind that balance while standing/walking will be somewhat impaired (better use a cane).

  8. Exactly! Growing is a great hobby that helps keep me in shape both physically and mentally.

  9. Correct. Pubmed is a resource to find research, not the actual funding for the studies. You’ll also find many pro-cannabis studies on it, though they aren’t published as heavily.

    This “study” has the same problem that other recent “studies” have had. They did one time MRI scans based on self reported data for under 50 casual users. They mention multiple times, with multiple citations, that alcohol is known to cause these same gray matter changes, but completely ignore it as a factor.

    Overall, they didn’t show any actual harm or problems, just possible gray matter volume differences. However, the gray matter volume differences cannot possibly be attributed to cannabis alone based on the gathered data.

  10. Oh wait.. they already have.? No, not again! But I trusted them. You mean that they knew cannabis cured cancer back in the 70’s and still persisted and even increased the rhetoric and the jail time? Round these parts we call that an unconscionable sin of omission. Or more despicable yet – a Bald Faced Lie – oh wait – I think I have one of those propagandists right here.

    ‘“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.” — Ronald Reagan


  11. ChristopherSawtell on

    Discontinuing the use of marijuana has much the same response as quitting the consumption of coffee.

    Quite honestly, this is simply not true. Doing a cold turkey from a long-term and excessive coffee habit (40 odd years at a kilo of beans a month) resulted in a week of searing headaches and a completely discombobulated sleep pattern. The next three months of very bi-polar mood changes and deranged sleep came to an end when swmbo came home bearing a kilo of the finest product available from Java. In contrast stopping consuming vapourised cannabis is as easy as falling off the proverbial log. A feeling of mild desire for a short week, but that is all.

  12. bobo willams II on

    “This article was so one-sided that it seems like propaganda”
    Lol says the person who provides a link from a “.gov” website

  13. I would love to hear it, after 40 years my mom is convinced, it’s medicine, this article is so good,

  14. I would love to hear it, after 40 years my mom is convinced, it’s medicine, this article is so good, cheers

  15. Hopefully seniors or all people w/pain can GET INFORMED and get off all that CRAP most doctors have them on,,,

  16. The article was so one-sided that it seems like propaganda. In #8 you state that “There is no documentation that shows that marijuana reduces or “kills brain cells.” Really? Here’s one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24633558 All powerful medicines have side effects, and marijuana is no different.

  17. My 80 year old grandmother eats pot brownies. The story of the first time she tried one is priceless.

  18. Excellent post. More info for seniors can be found at http://cannagramma.com. It’s a blog written from the heart by a medical cannabis experienced senior, specifically for folks who don’t have any marijuana experience at all.

  19. One other thing… it’s not as boring getting old when you have a nice selection of strains. I look forward to growing many more.

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