It’s estimated that seniors are the fastest growing demographic in new cannabis consumers. Andrea, co-owner of Village Bloomery in Vancouver, explains her holistic approach to medical cannabis and health promotion for seniors. She sees herself as offering seniors an alternative treatment for chronic pain. Andrea says that the most common concern for senior clients are “arthritis, insomnia, and dependency on opiates. Most seniors have been prescribed a concoction of strong, ineffective pain medication for many years.
Factors contributing to the acceptance of cannabis is two-fold, “it’s a combination of children introducing their parents to the idea and parents realizing it’s time to take control over their health.”
“There’s a lot of openness. Seniors now in their 70’s, lived through the 60s when cannabis, experimenting with cannabis in their teens. Older generations have a little bit more stigma to overcome.”
Whether this trend is attributed to increased normalization and accessibility of the plant, or as a last resort from ineffective pills, inserts, and topical injections, cannabis has become “a viable option for people.”
Andrea introduces new members to less intense products such as tinctures for sleep and cannabis topicals pain, mentioning that the arthritis balm by Cannalife Botanicals is a top seller with seniors. “A lot of the time, if we can enhance sleep we can address a whole range of symptoms. We’ve had amazing success stories.”
Behind the cannabis conversation are published science-based resources from organizations such as Project CBD, providing consumers with palpable information and education on holistic and more mainstream approaches to cannabis.
Andrea encourages all of her members to look at the research, “If you see something in the published medical studies that triggers your curiosity, have a conversation with your doctor. Engage the medical system into the exploration that you do.”
“We assist by talking openly about a what is healthy for each individual and providing information for different options. These medicinal options haven’t been available for a long time so it’s important to engage in these conversations, especially with seniors who maybe haven’t consumed in decades.”
“Cannabis has been demonized as a gateway for influencing bad behavior” Andrea says regarding traditional taboos. “I’d rather let it be what it is… a plant. It has effects that are beautiful.”