More than ever, cannabis use is on the rise for seniors. Legalization has given seniors more access to information that has helped to soften their harsh views of weed and create curiosity where there was once only disdain. Yet, even with more material about cannabis becoming mainstream some seniors may still struggle to bridge the gap between their interest and their apprehension when it comes to actually going to a dispensary to buy cannabis for themselves.
It’s an issue that Sue Taylor, the executive director and founder of iCANN Berkeley, is very passionate about fixing. Older adults with little to no knowledge about cannabis require more patience, more education and more attentiveness than the average consumer because of their unique needs. She shared some tips on things seniors should consider when they’re visiting a dispensary for the first time.
Do Some Research
If you are completely new to cannabis, spend some time doing research about the different types of products available and all of the different ways to consume cannabis. Whether you’re interested in trying cannabis for personal or medical reasons, it’s helpful to look into all the things you can choose from so that you have a good idea about what your options are and what’s suitable for your lifestyle. You might be surprised by all of the variety.
Call and Ask Questions
Before visiting a dispensary, it’s okay to call and ask about what services are offered and if the staff will be able to help accommodate your needs if you have any specific medical issues. You can find out if someone there has in-depth knowledge of senior health and could offer special assistance as you learn the ropes. Some dispensaries even offer resources like classes, workshops and demos where you can learn more about cannabis for yourself.
Make Sure All Products Are Lab-Tested
Wherever you decide to go, it’s important to make sure that all of the products are lab-tested. It helps to ensure that you are getting safe, quality products and offers insight into the potency, cannabinoid content and terpene profile of what you are buying. Knowing this type of information is not only crucial to making an informed decision about what you’re consuming but it also helps keep tabs on what works for you.
Limit the Number of Products You Try
With so many options to pick from, it can be difficult to choose but less is more when it comes to picking out products. Taylor suggests limiting the number of products you try at once so that you can properly evaluate how you feel without any confusion. Low-dose, CBD-dominant products like tinctures and edibles are a good place to begin. Try using one or two products at a time for one week before increasing the dosage or switching to another product.
Bring Someone That Knows More
It can be a good idea to take a caretaker or advocate with you that has more cannabis knowledge to help ask questions you may not know to ask. While you may be focusing on when it will kick in and how long the effects will last, someone with a little more savvy can inquire about the finer points like whether a strain was grown indoors or outdoors or if a tincture is oil or alcohol-based. These small details can help when you are learning about your preferences.
A note: One important thing to remember is that although you might notice some positive changes in your health after incorporating cannabis into your regimen, you should not stop taking your medication. It’s important to consult with the doctor who prescribed the medicine and allow them to adjust things accordingly. Taylor believes that seniors who use cannabis can actually help educate medical professionals who may not know or understand how beneficial cannabis may be.
TELL US, are you a senior who is interested in trying cannabis?