7 Reasons Why More Grandparents than Ever are Using Marijuana
The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana across the country is changing the nation’s perception of what used to be a highly criminalized substance. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just millennials that are taking advantage of increased access to the drug – grandparents are, too. A recent study by Marist and Yahoo found that 52% of marijuana users are actually older than millennials. And within that, grandparents are the fastest growing group of marijuana users. Here are ten reasons why more grandparents than ever are using marijuana.
1. IT HELPS CUT DOWN ON DAILY PILLS
Americans aged 65 to 69 are given an average of 15 prescriptions each and that number increases with age: Americans aged 80 to 84 take an average of 18 different medications each year. Marijuana’s broad anti-inflammatory properties allow it to treat a variety of conditions that may otherwise be treated with separate pills, including high blood pressure, anxiety, and chronic pain. For many, using marijuana is a simplified version of their daily routine, one that is less of a hassle and produces fewer side effects.
2. IT FIGHTS CANCER
Cancer rates are increasing at exponential rates, with some studies placing the risk of developing cancer as high as 1 in 2. And 25% of all cancer cases are diagnosed in people aged 65 to 74, putting grandparents at a higher risk than other populations. Research suggests that marijuana can prevent cancer from metastasizing, as well as encourage cancerous cell die-off and tumor shrinkage.
3. IT FIGHTS ALZHEIMER’S
Marijuana’s active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), helps to prevent the build-up of toxic protein “plaques” that have been linked with the development of Alzheimer’s. This makes marijuana an attractive option for seniors looking to decrease their risk of developing the disease, which can cause severe memory loss and disorientation among other symptoms.
4. IT’S ACCESSIBLE
Twenty-nine states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized marijuana in some form. Seven states – Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington – have legalized recreational marijuana use, making the drug as easily attainable as beer or liquor. Acquiring marijuana, a process that once required risking jail time, is now as simple as going to the doctor or driving to a dispensary down the street.
5. IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR
Grandparents aren’t the only ones using marijuana – their children are using it too. A recent study found that 54% of adults who use marijuana are parents, many with children under the age of eighteen. The more widespread the use of marijuana in a family is, the more likely it is that other family members will join in. 41% of marijuana users report regularly using marijuana with other people. And in case you were wondering, most marijuana users who are parents report never using the drug in front of their young children.
6. IT MAY HELP RESTORE ARTHRITIC JOINTS
The pain-relieving effects of marijuana for arthritis patients have been proven by several studies. Researchers at a Canadian university are now embarking on a study to measure not only the pain-relieving effects of marijuana for arthritis patients, but the restorative properties as well. The lead researcher believes that cannabis may help repair nerve damage that leads to the (often) severe pain associated with the condition.
7. IT KEEPS YOU YOUNG
THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, has been proven to prevent age-related cognitive decline in mice, leading some scientists to hypothesize that marijuana use in humans can do the same. Marijuana can also foster social activity, which plays a large role in the mental health of seniors.