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  • Writer's pictureAaron Killion

Best Medical Cannabis Strains for Seniors

If you're looking for the best strains for seniors, you're not the only one. The proportion of over-65s using cannabis since it was legalized in many parts of the United States and Canada has grown more than any other age group, according to a 2023 article published in PloS One.

Seniors may turn to medical marijuana for any number of reasons, especially when conventional medications don't provide what they're looking for. For seniors in Arizona with a qualifying condition, medical marijuana may be able to provide an alternative or complement to conventional therapies.

The Best Strains for Seniors

The best cannabis strains for you will depend on many factors, such as your condition, your symptoms, and personal preference. Knowing where to start when choosing a strain may seem overwhelming at first, but much of the time it's simply a case of experimenting.

Green Crack

Green Crack is a mix of Skunk #1 and an Afghani landrace strain. This strain offers uplifting effects that leave you feeling more awake and alert. Green Crack may offer benefits for senior citizens who suffer from fatigue caused by one or more of AZ’s qualifying conditions.

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is an indica-dominant strain with a moderate-to-high level of THC and a balanced mind-body high. This could be a good option for seniors who suffer from debilitating symptoms in both body and mind.

There is evidence to suggest that high-THC strains can help relieve pain by dulling pain receptors in the body. Scientific evidence also suggests that high-THC cannabis reduces nausea, making Blue Dream a good option for seniors who struggle with gastrointestinal distress.

Harlequin

Harlequin is a sativa-dominant strain that may help to alleviate pain in older adults caused by arthritis, other debilitating illnesses, and injuries. Harlequin is said to be effective in reducing inflammation and joint pain as well as offering an energizing high that motivates throughout the day.

Afghani

Like Northern Lights, Afghani contains high levels of myrcene as well as limonene and pinene. These terpenes work with the strain's relatively high level of THC to offer pain-relieving effects. Afghani can also be used to stimulate appetite and send the consumer into a long and peaceful sleep. Afghani is best taken in the evening as its soothing effects may make your couch or bed look that much more appealing.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights is a famous indica-dominant strain with a fairly high THC level. This strain produces full-body relaxation and is widely known for its pain-relieving effects. Northern Lights is also known for its sedative and sleep-inducing effects thanks to its high concentration of the terpene myrcene.

Sativa Strains vs Indica Strains

Your local medical marijuana dispensary will have indica and sativa strains on offer as well as hybrid strains that contain a mix of the two. Generally, people who consume cannabis report that sativa strains tend to be uplifting and are better for daytime use while indica strains offer calming and analgesic effects and are better consumed at night.

Benefits of Cannabis Products for Seniors

As we age, we grow more susceptible to conditions that limit our quality of life. This includes joint pain as a result of arthritis, problems with mental health, or neurological problems like dementia. There is evidence to suggest that cannabis use can improve sleep, increase appetite, and improve energy levels.

Though the medical use of marijuana offers several potential benefits for senior citizens, consult your physician to ensure that cannabis is a good option for you, especially if you take other medications. 

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Arizona

To be eligible for a medical marijuana card, you must have a qualifying condition recognized by the state of Arizona. Qualifying conditions are diverse and include things like Crohn’s disease, the agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder. MMJ is also commonly used to treat certain health problems that could be caused by different conditions. These include:

  • Severe and chronic pain: Marijuana can be used for pain management related to old injuries or conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

  • Severe nausea: MMJ can be used to alleviate nausea from chemotherapy or related to other conditions. Some suggest that ingesting indica reduces nausea and helps increase appetite after surgery. Patients suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms may benefit from the best strains for nausea.

  • Seizures: The best strains for epilepsy may be a good starting point if you have a condition that causes seizures.

Medical marijuana doctors and the budtenders in your local MMJ dispensary will be able to suggest specific products to try, depending on your symptoms and goals. It’s best to start with a very small amount and see how you feel before having more.

How CBD-Only and High-CBD Products Can Benefit Seniors

The cannabis plant contains two main cannabinoids: THC and CBD. While THC is intoxicating, producing the feeling of being "high" that we often associate with marijuana, CBD is a therapeutic cannabinoid that doesn't offer any mind-altering effects. This makes CBD products appealing to many seniors who don’t wish to get high.

Those considering buying CBD oil in Arizona will find many different options and many different ways of consuming CBD including tinctures, oils, edibles, creams, and vapes. CBD offers a great alternative to whole-plant cannabis for people who are struggling with a debilitating health condition but don't want to smoke marijuana or get high.

Health Benefits of CBD Products

There is both anecdotal and scientific evidence to suggest that CBD can offer various health benefits. The potential benefits include:

  • Decreased anxiety: Chronic or terminal illness can cause depression and anxiety in older adults. CBD may go some way to alleviating these feelings.

  • Chronic pain: Various studies suggest that CBD may lower pain and inflammation caused by arthritis when applied topically.

  • Insomnia: Some studies suggest that CBD may help with falling asleep and staying asleep.

Cannabis Can Provide Relief

MMJ can offer a great alternative (or complement) to conventional medicine for patients from all walks of life. Because seniors can become more susceptible to conditions like chronic pain as they age, cannabis consumption in this age group is growing.

Medical doctors and trained budtenders in medical marijuana dispensaries can provide guidance on the most appropriate cannabis products for the symptoms you are looking to relieve. Remember that it’s essential to consult a medical professional if you already take other medications and to monitor the effectiveness of the product(s) you are taking over time.

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