marijuana

Effects of cannabis edibles for seniors

A lot of seniors are turning to cannabis edibles for various reasons. Sometimes the people offering these edibles forget to mention the negative effects on the body. When someone is feeling pain or anxious, all he/she wants is for it to stop. If cannabis edibles will stop it, then why not try it? They neglect the fact that it may have lead to other negative effects in the body. Effects of inhaled cannabis are felt within minutes but effects of edibles (which contain high THC amounts) can take long to manifest. They can take up to 12 hours and can be stored in fat cells for several months. Stored THC is released very slowly and unevenly  into the bloodstream. Cannabis edibles can have serious effects on seniors. Two kinds of people should be wary of taking edibles: 

People with heart condition 

Cannabis edibles should not be taken by people with heart conditions, such as, congenital heart disease, heart failure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarction, mitral regurgitation and dilated cardiomyopathy. People with cardiovascular disease who are under stress develop chest pains more quickly if they use edibles with high THC content. This is due to complex effects it has on the cardiovascular system. These effects are: dilating blood vessels, raising resting heart rate and making the heart pump harder. It can lead to heart attack or stroke and subsequent death. Therefore, people with heart diseases should be cautious about using the edibles. 

People taking other prescribed drugs 

Research on how cannabis edibles interact with other prescribed drugs is limited. However, one needs to proceed with caution. It may interact with the prescribed drugs to cause serious effects. It is important to research on prescribed drugs. Find out whether it is advisable to use them alongside other treatments. 

Other effects that may be associated with cannabis edibles for senior are: 

  • Loss of balance. THC disrupts functioning of the cerebellum and basal ganglia, brain area that regulates balance, posture coordination and reaction time. This can lead to fatal falls or accidents during walking and driving respectively.  
  • Memory loss. THC can lead to memory loss in as much as it helps Alzheimer’s patients. People who started using marijuana in their adolescent may experience memory loss if they use edibles in their senior. This is because the drug already affected your brain at a young age. Using it as a senior only spikes up the effects. The memory impairment occurs before THC alters how the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation, processes information.  
  • Distortion of reality. THC may cause hallucination in the user. It affects proper brain functioning especially when taken with other drugs.  

Conclusion 

People’s brains are wired differently. The effects vary from one person to another. Some seniors are affected negatively by cannabis edibles while others are not. Before opting for medical cannabis use, it is important to analyze your physical and mental health. Identify if you have any condition that will make the use of edibles harmful 

The other recommendation is to start with low doses. Increase the dose with time, especially if you’re cannabis naive. Taking high doses at once, is probably what leads to hallucinations, drowsiness and memory loss. Allow your brain to slowly process the edibles rather than bombarding it with high dosage at once. 

It is also important to seek advice from an expert medical practitioner or a cannabis edible user. A user is more likely to give detailed experience with the edibles. Seniors should take better care of themselves and only take cannabis edibles as a last resort. 

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