Growing old is a must, but growing up is optional. And while wrinkles will only go where smiles have been, we know that conditions and diseases that appear over the years can sometimes dim those smiles. Fortunately, cannabis could be a potential way to help you cope with some common conditions among older adults.
But, being that cannabis is such a wide universe, it is normal for some people to wonder which is the best strain to choose if you are a senior. If this is one of your worries, worry no more! Just keep reading, and you will find the answers you need regarding the best strain to choose according to your needs.
- In the last 15 years, the number of adults over 65 who consume cannabis has grown significantly.
- Cannabis may help seniors deal with issues like pain, appetite, inflammation, immune system strengthening, stress, and sleep.
- Elektra, Bubba Kush, and Bio Jesus are some of the best strains for seniors.
CBD Benefits for Seniors
The average age of cannabis users has changed significantly over the 21st century. Indeed, a CNBC report suggests that the number of adults over 65 who use cannabis increased tenfold between 2007 and 2017, and this isn't just because cannabis is the most abused illicit drug.
While THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, remains controversial and in a legal loophole, CBD and its derivative products, such as CBD oil, CBD gummies and other extracts, have been used as a remedy for a variety of conditions.
Although more studies are still needed to corroborate the wide range of possible medical benefits of CBD for seniors, these are some of the areas in which CBD could help:
- Inflammation and pain management: There is evidence to suggest that CBD could be effective in helping to manage acute or chronic pain in older adults. One of the most popular benefits of CBD is its incredible anti-inflammatory qualities, which can assist in managing pain and many conditions in which inflammation has some kind of connection. CBD is also being used to help treat back and foot pain.
- Sleep quality: CBD could improve sleep quality since it naturally promotes calmness and relaxation, often resulting in better rest. This suggests that CBD could be a potential natural alternative to deal with some people's problems, such as insomnia or sleep discomfort. However, one should consult an expert before trying to substitute previously prescribed sleep medications.
- Anxiety: There is preclinical evidence suggesting that CBD could effectively reduce anxiety-related behaviors and symptoms caused by various conditions, such as PTSD, OCD, and PD, among others. Some researchers even believe that CBD could change how our brains respond to serotonin, a neurotransmitter closely linked to mental health outcomes.
- Neurodegenerative conditions: There is evidence that points to CBD as a promising compound in the battle against various neurodegenerative conditions and that it could present incredible antioxidant and neuroprotective qualities that are effective against various conditions.
These are just some of the benefits of the long list of possible therapeutic uses that CBD could have. As we already mentioned, we still need more studies to verify the potential medical uses that this cannabinoid could have.
But in addition to the benefits mentioned, CBD could help with heart health, appetite stimulation, bone health, mental health, mood disorders, addiction, and dependency, among many other conditions. In any case, and despite all the scientific evidence that supports the benefits of CBD, it is best to consult your doctor before including CBD as part of the treatment of any condition.
Cannabis Oil for Pain in Elderly
Pain treatment is among the areas where CBD demonstrates greater effectiveness. In fact, CBD oil shows enormous potential as a non-addictive natural alternative to treat different types of pain.
Anecdotal data, user reports, and some preliminary research suggest that CBD oil may effectively relieve chronic and arthritis pain and reduce inflammation and muscle spasms, which can be quite painful in some cases. Some researchers even believe CBD could reduce pain by 30% more than traditional medications or THC-rich medical marijuana alone.
Sativa or Indica for Seniors?
Sativa and Indica are the two main classifications given to the types of cannabis according to the nature of the effects they generate and some physical characteristics of the plants as such. Sativa cannabis plants tend to have uplifting and energizing effects, while indicas have calming effects.
It is important to note that full-blown Sativa or Indica cannabis plants are currently hard to find, and many hybrid strains have a percentage of both. This is why some people began to refer to the types of cannabis more based on their cannabinoid content.
This led to the creation of the classification "chemovars" or "chemotypes," describing as type I the varieties rich in THC and low in CBD, type II varieties with a balanced content of THC and CBD, and type III varieties rich in CBD and low in THC. Nonetheless, we can still categorize cannabis as indica or sativa to give a descriptive idea of the nature of the effects that each cannabis variety can give.
If the question is whether Sativa or Indica plants are better for seniors, the honest answer would be that it all depends on the conditions of each person. This is because the effects of Sativa strains can be significantly different compared to those of Indica strains.
Knowing the starting point or conditions to treat is crucial to determining which variety is best for someone. That said, it is best to have a clear idea of the possible benefits of Indica strains and Sativa strains to more accurately determine which strain might be more suitable for treating determined conditions.
Is Sativa or Indica Better for Back Pain?
The answer to this question is relative to each patient's specific conditions. But the results of a survey conducted in 2014 found that most users prefer Indica strains for managing back pain, muscle aches, joint pain, sedation, and improving sleep, while those looking for improvements in mood and energy levels tend to opt for Sativa strains.
Nevertheless, these results come from a small, anonymous study in which users were asked to self-report their symptoms. Therefore, this data is insufficient to fully state whether Indica or Sativa strains are equally better for back pain in everyone.
Benefits of Sativas for Seniors
Being clear about the areas where Sativa strains could bring possible benefits can be the best tool to know if you should use this cannabis type based on your specific needs or conditions. These are some benefits that Sativa strains could bring to older adults.
Help Relieve Chronic Pain, Including Migraines and Body Pain
Cannabis, in general, appears to have an inherent ability to assist with pain management. But apparently, sativa strains, especially those with a balanced THC/CBD ratio, could help some people relieve chronic pain.
Studies suggest that cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, and a mixture of both, could significantly help ease the pain. For seniors with little tolerance for the psychoactive effects of THC, other cannabinoids such as Delta-8, which generates milder effects than traditional Delta-9 THC, could present a viable alternative to cope with several types of pain.
In this sense, products such as Delta-8 gummies could be an ideal tool to relieve chronic body pain or even headaches associated with migraines. However, before leaping to use any cannabis product to assist with pain management, it is best to consult a specialist.
Stimulate Your Hunger
Some sativa-dominant hybrid strains can be great for stimulating the appetite, especially THC-rich sativa strains. THC acts on the hypothalamus, a brain region responsible for regulating various functions, including appetite.
This is why some strains can stimulate the sensation of hunger, or what many people know as "munchies," which can significantly help stimulate the appetite in seniors with eating problems.
Assist with Behavioral Issues
One of the most prominent qualities of Sativa strains is that they can generally improve users' moods at the right dosages. This is due to the uplifting effects and the feeling of lightness that some of these varieties can generate.
Some Sativa strains and Sativa-dominant hybrids, especially those rich in CBD and some in THC in the proper doses, can incredibly increase focus and mental clarity. This is because these strains' lifting effects usually improve alertness and overall energy levels. An improvement in focus can often accompany this increase in alertness and energy levels.
Boost Imagination and Promote Creativity
The effects of Sativa strains are generally more of a cerebral nature and stimulate cognitive abilities. These qualities often cause the mind to "fly" in a good way, stimulating imagination and creativity in many individuals. This is why many cannabis-using artists generally have a natural penchant for Sativa strains.
Benefits of Indicas for Seniors
Indica varieties also generate characteristic effects that identify these subspecies, and certain particular benefits come with these effects. In the same way, we must remember that there are currently an innumerable number of hybrid species with different percentages of Indica inclination.
Therefore, the fact that a variety is mostly Indica may not be a determining factor regarding the effects that said variety could generate but rather refers to the possible tendency of the effects that a strain brings. Nonetheless, most indica-leaning strains could carry some of the following potential benefits:.
Help You Manage Anxious and Stressful Thoughts
Indica-dominant strains seem to have a natural ability to induce comforting states of calm and relaxation in both mind and body. This is why many medical cannabis users choose indica strains to manage stress and anxiety. In fact, some of the best strains for male arousal are Indica in nature since, in many cases, male arousal problems have some kind of link with anxious or stressful thoughts.
Help Improve Symptoms of Glaucoma
Some research suggests that cannabis might reduce glaucoma symptoms, especially those related to increased intraocular pressure. This is because some cannabinoids could reduce intraocular pressure. In fact, some of the best strains for eye pressure are pure Indica or Indica-leaning.
Additionally, the ability of some Indica strains to reduce pain could help manage pain related to some cases of angle-closure glaucoma or postoperative pain related to glaucoma. Nevertheless, there are conflicting opinions among researchers regarding the use of cannabis as part of glaucoma treatment. In any case, it is best to consult a doctor before using cannabis for glaucoma.
Help Reduce Seizures in Cases of Epilepsy
Cannabis appears to have a long history of use as an antiepileptic agent. Some Indica strains, especially CBD-rich strains, might offer some help in reducing uncontrolled seizures related to epilepsy. Not all people should consider medical cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy; each case is unique.
Nonetheless, people living with uncontrolled seizures report beneficial effects and a decrease in seizure activity when using Indica strains of CBD-rich medical cannabis.
Help Reduce the Pain Associated with Conditions such as MS and Fibromyalgia
Cannabis, in general, seems to help with the management of various types of pain. This is likely because some cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN interact with the endocannabinoid system in a way that modifies how our brain interprets pain signals sent by nerves.
But it seems that Indica-dominant varieties have a special ability to help improve pain related to multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. In fact, among the best strains for fibromyalgia recommended by experts, Indica varieties abound. There is also encouraging ongoing studies of the therapeutic benefits for CBD for arthritis in seniors. For more insights into great strains to use for seniors, watch the following video.
Best Strains for Seniors
And so we conclude with a list of the best strains for seniors so that everyone can choose based on their specific conditions and needs. Keeping in mind that some seniors may be cannabis veterans while others are just venturing out to try it, we've made a mixed list of Indica and Sativa strains, some high in CBD and some high in THC.
Daughter of the famous ACDC and a CBD version of the also popular Gorilla Glue #4, the energizing Elektra is a CBD-rich Sativa strain that could be a perfect option for daytime use thanks to its uplifting and electrifying effects. Elektra carries a delicious citrus and berry-like flavor and aroma profile and a CBD content of up to 16.9%.
2. Bubba Kush
A classic of classic Indica strains, the legendary Bubba Kush is undoubtedly one of the best Indica choices out there. With a flavor profile dominated by notes of chocolate and coffee, this CBD-dominant descendant of the infamous THC-rich Bubba Kush can have up to 18.3% CBD content. Without a doubt, Bubba Kush could be the perfect strain to ease the mind and body at the end of the day or to help with aches and pains before bed.
3. Bio Jesus
Bio Jesus is part of the Diesel strain family. This is a strain for seniors with a long history of cannabis use and a high tolerance for THC. Although its genetic origin is still a mystery, this strain can develop a THC content of between 25% and 28%, generating a high that can overwhelm inexperienced users.
The Bio Jesus high starts as a cerebral high but quickly makes itself felt in the body, numbing the lips and generating a couch-lock feeling that makes this strain perfect for night use or to help you rest better.
4. Sweet and Sour Widow
An indica-dominant strain with mild effects, capable of delivering the benefits of cannabis without much intoxication to its users. And with a balanced THC/CBD ratio, Sweet and Sour Widow is what you want for an evening puff.
This strain, a descendant of the popular pain reliever White Widow with an unknown Sativa-dominant strain, generates in its users a relaxation of body and mind and a soft euphoria that make it perfect for livening up the afternoons and relieving pain, insomnia, muscle spasms, and nausea.
5. White Berry
Also called White Raspberry, Blue Widow, and Berry White, this is a slightly indica-dominant hybrid strain that perfectly lets its Sativa effects feel. This descendant of the famous White Widow and Blueberry strains can contain between 16% and 20% THC, but its effects are manageable enough for enthusiastic users.
White Berry lives up to its name with a pleasant fresh berry flavor, and its effects are perfect for stimulating creativity, focus, energy, and productivity. White Berry is perfect for seniors looking for a little relief from nausea, anxiety, and migraines.
6. Sour Lifter
With sour flavors and uplifting effects, the name “Sour Lifter” certainly suits this CBD-rich Sativa-dominant strain from the original Lifter. Sour Lifter exudes aromatic notes of ripe grapes and lemon peel.
And with its 17% CBD content and energizing effects, it is undoubtedly one of the best strains to start the morning off on the right foot. So if you are looking for a good CBD flower strain to accompany your morning coffee or tea, Sour Lifter might be the perfect fit.
7. Green Crack
This strain gained worldwide fame and a new nickname after being tested by famous rapper Snoop Dogg. The originally called Green Kush comes from crossing a sweet leaf Indica with the famous Skunk #1.
The THC content of this cultivar ranges between 13% and 21%. Together with its Sativa-dominant hybrid nature, it generates uplifting and light-bodied effects, which is responsible for the new nickname Snoop Dogg gave to this strain.
8. Blue Dream
Most users who have used Blue Dream say that it is a perfect Sativa-dominant strain to help you lift your spirits and feel positive about life in general. This cross between Super Silver Haze and Blueberry Indica can reach up to 24% THC content.
It has a relatively mild onset of effects that make users experience a mild cerebral high. These characteristics make Blue Dream a perfect option for the morning or for the famous "wake and bake" many cannabis users enjoy.
If you are looking for a pure Indica variety rich in THC that will help you sleep better, Afghani is probably the solution. This landrace native to the Hindu Kush mountains deep in Afghanistan can carry up to 17% THC and could undoubtedly put more than one user out of business with its effects.
Afghani is the mother of other award-winning strains like Amnesia Haze and Northern Lights. Its effects generally involve an entire body high that comes along with a heavy sedation feeling that doesn't take long to kick in.
Harlequin is living proof that you don't have to get completely stoned to get the effects of cannabis. This sativa-dominant strain is the result of a cross between Swiss Sativa, Nepali Indica, Thai Sativa, and the popular Colombian Gold.
Harlequin has the peculiar characteristic of having an ideal 1:1 CBD/THC ratio, with levels of each cannabinoid ranging between 5 and 12%. This balanced ratio is perfect for experts and beginners alike, as it delivers a well-balanced high that’s not too overwhelming and feels just right.