Cannabis Use and Baby Boomers

Cannabis use among baby boomers is on the rise. A growing number of people over 50 are discovering or thinking about exploring the use of cannabis as a viable option for pain, sleep, arthritis, stress, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, cancer, or any other number of medical issues.   Many have either never used cannabis, or are coming back to it for the first time in 20 or more years. It’s a different world from the ’60s, ’70s and even 80’s when many seniors may have last used cannabis, which was probably mostly recreational in nature.

While cannabis has been legal in California for two decades, until 2016, when Prop 64 was passed, it was largely unregulated and very often associated with street drug dealers who operated “pot shops”. Today, there are many professional options, but it can still be challenging for those new to cannabis to find a dispensary that is staffed with knowledgeable, professional and competent staff.

In addition, the stigma of cannabis use is largely associated with “stoners”, deadbeats, potheads and laziness. The reality is that much like the population of California, the majority of those who use cannabis are over 50, but most won’t admit it because of the stigma. It’s okay to drink alcohol or pop pills, but as a society, there is still a very negative attitude toward cannabis. The good news is that perceptions are changing.

Up until the 1940’s when cannabis was made fully illegal and removed from the US Pharmacopoeia, it was among the top three remedies prescribed by physicians and was primarily administered in a tincture form. When cannabis was made illegal for reasons of greed, politics and racism, the American Medical Association was blindsided and eventually forced to find other remedies for the hundreds of maladies for which cannabis had been previously prescribed to treat.

Today, baby boomers looking to re-engage or explore the world of  cannabis for the first time in their life, face unique challenges. Not the least of which is to find a dispensary that is reputable, educated, offers quality products, and, most importantly, has a patient and caring staff. The dispensary your kids or grand-kids use, may not be best suited for you. Here are a few areas to consider when choosing a dispensary:

Location, Location, Location
Brick and mortar  shops are nice, but can often be overwhelming. Delivery services are becoming more popular, but just like a storefront, it is hit or miss as to what level of service you receive. When choosing a cannabis delivery service, look for a professionally presented website, prominent phone number and simple methods for ordering.

Knowledge and Experience of the Staff
If you are looking to get a good night’s sleep or want to alleviate chronic pain, having someone in their early twenties describe a product as being “dank” may not be the type of advice you need. Having someone explain the various therapies (smoking is not the only option today), provide guidance about products that have worked for others with similar conditions/complaints, best practices for using the products, as well as providing clear dosing guidance is paramount to helping you achieve the results you seek.

Product Quality and Labeling
Where are the products coming from? How and where is the cannabis grown, where is it grown? Do the owners of the dispensary have personal relationships with the growers? Is it organically grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers? Are packaged products, such as edibles or tinctures, wrapped professionally and properly labeled? The state of California has very stringent requirements for labeling of cannabis goods.

Education and Social Programs
Find out if ancillary programs such as consulting, workshops, or general sharing of information among the client base available to you.

Learning about the new therapies, techniques, selecting the best products within a person’s comfort zone, and dosing is key to achieving desired results. All of this requires guidance from those experienced in these areas and who know how to communicate clearly with the baby boomer generation. Take the time to research, read reviews, and ask questions before choosing a dispensary. It may take a few attempts but you’ll find the place that is best for you.

For specific questions on  what cannabis products will work for you contact us to learn more.