For effective, natural pain management, as well as assistance with other health conditions, people of every age are turning to medical marijuana. Florida seniors are seeing an improvement in their quality of life. A recent survey backs up these results. The survey was conducted by Northwell Health and showed the patients overwhelmingly had a reduction in chronic pain with medical marijuana use.
How does medical marijuana improve the quality of life for seniors? Are there side effects that they should keep in mind? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Are the Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Florida Seniors?
Florida seniors are using medical marijuana to treat a variety of health conditions. These include:
- Chronic pain. Chronic pain comes from a variety of conditions, including arthritis, previous injuries, and diabetic neuropathy. Medical cannabis can ease the pain and reduce inflammation without the potential for addiction that comes with other pain medications.
- Seizures. Medical marijuana is well established as an effective treatment for seizures
- Insomnia. Many seniors have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Medical cannabis can help treat both.
- Anxiety and depression. It is thought that CBD, one of the main chemical components in marijuana, helps to stimulate serotonin receptors in the brain. This can help with both anxiety and depression. Some marijuana strains have an energizing effect, which can also help with depression.
- Loss of appetite. Medical marijuana can stimulate appetite, ensuring that seniors stay at a healthy weight.
Medical marijuana can be an effective treatment for other health conditions as well. An experienced medical marijuana physician can evaluate your medical needs and make specific recommendations.
What Should Seniors Consider When It Comes to Medical Marijuana?
As with any decision regarding your health, it is important to make an informed decision. Seniors should consider potential side effects, the cost of medical marijuana treatment, and the methods of administration.
Prescription medications often have side effects, some of which can be severe or distressing. Medical marijuana can have side effects as well, although these can typically be minimized by appropriate dosing. Side effects of medical marijuana may include:
- Increased appetite. For many seniors, though, this is a benefit, and helps ensure they eat regular meals.
- Lethargy. Medical marijuana is well known for helping people feel more relaxed. This can be helpful for seniors experiencing insomnia or anxiety.
- Dizziness. Dizziness can be minimized by taking things slowly when you first begin using medical marijuana. Follow the dosing recommendations put into place by your doctor and take your time as you are getting used to it.
- Difficulty concentrating. This side effect can be minimized by following your doctor’s dosing recommendations. Using a different medical marijuana strain or using it at a different time of day can also help minimize the side effect.
The price of medical marijuana is a concern for many seniors, as it is not covered by health insurance. Seniors can lower the costs of medical marijuana in two ways. First, carefully research their medical cannabis doctor’s pricing model. Some medical marijuana doctors charge for every visit. Neurology of Cannabis in Sarasota takes a different approach, charging a simple, low annual fee that covers your initial visit and your re-certifications for a year.
Florida seniors can also minimize medical marijuana costs by checking prices at the various state-approved medical marijuana treatment centers. Prices vary depending on the method of administration and from treatment center to treatment center. You can research each treatment centers pricing online or by calling the treatment center and asking about their options.
Dosage and Administration
When you meet with an experienced medical marijuana physician, he or she will give you recommendations on dosing and administration. The primary methods of administering medical marijuana in Florida are vaping, liquids, and topical treatments.
- Vaping. Vaping is short for vaporizer. With this method of administration, plant materials are heated and turned into a mist that you can inhale. Because nothing is burned, it is much milder than smoking and does not have the unpleasant odor commonly associated with smoking.
- Liquids. Tinctures and syringes are both liquid delivery methods. You ingest the liquid by placing it under your tongue and absorbing it into your system or by mixing it with food or drink.
- Topical treatments. Lotions and creams are common topical treatments. They ensure that you do not experience any of the psychoactive side effects and can be helpful for treating localized pain.
An experienced medical marijuana doctor can help you decide on the right method of administration for your lifestyle and medical needs.
How Can Side Effects Be Minimized?
Although the potential side effects can be an area of concern for seniors, many find the improvement to their overall quality of life to be worthwhile. Side effects can be minimized, though. The advice that Dr. Daniel P. Stein often gives the patients is to “start low and go slow.”
If you start with a higher dose or escalate your dosage too quickly, you are more likely to experience negative side effects. Taking your time and starting with a low dose can minimize side effects and give you time to get used to medical marijuana. Slowly increase your dose and pay careful attention to how it impacts your health condition as well as any side effects. Many find it helpful to keep a journal or log of their medical marijuana intake and its impact on their symptoms.
Professional Medical Marijuana Advice for Seniors
At Neurology of Cannabis, we believe that everyone deserves a high quality of life. Dr. Stein provides personalized recommendations based on your medical needs and his 25+ years of practice experience. Our inclusive pricing model (with discounts for veterans) helps make costs predictable and affordable. Whether you are a permanent or seasonal Florida resident, we invite you to make an appointment and experience our professional environment and compassionate care. Contact us today.