Cannabis Use in Senior Living Communities: Debating the Benefits and Risks
May 19, 2023
Cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana, has grown in legal and medical acceptance throughout the United States in recent years. As the debate over the potential benefits and risks of cannabis use continues, it’s increasingly important to consider the potential implications of cannabis use for the senior living community.
The potential medical benefits of cannabis use for seniors are numerous. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has pointed out that cannabis has long been used to improve conditions like pain, nausea, and loss of appetite in the elderly. These benefits have been further backed up by research studies, including a 2014 study that found that cannabis can effectively reduce neuropathic pain in seniors.
At the same time, it’s important to consider the potential risks associated with cannabis use. These risks can include:
- Changes in behavior
- Impaired thinking and memory
- An increased risk of developing psychotic disorders
- An increased risk of addiction
- Impaired driving and legal issues
Given the potential benefits and risks associated with cannabis use for seniors, it is essential for senior living communities to develop clear policies regarding cannabis use. In this way, seniors can be assured of a safe and healthy environment in which to live and enjoy their golden years.
It is also important for senior living communities to provide education and support to seniors who may be considering using cannabis. Education and support can help ensure that seniors are using cannabis in a safe and responsible manner, and can be beneficial in helping seniors understand and make informed decisions about the potential risks associated with cannabis use.
Ultimately, when it comes to cannabis use in senior living communities, it is essential for communities to consider the potential benefits and risks associated with cannabis use, and to develop clear policies and educational resources that can help seniors make informed decisions about the potential use of cannabis.