In a recent article titled “Cannabis is Having a Senior Moment,” CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta talked about the increasing rates of marijuana use among older Americans. People aged 65 and older are now the fastest growing group of marijuana users in the country, Gupta said, dubbing the trend a kind of “senior moment” that has left him quite surprised.
America is currently home to a massive state-level medical marijuana industry that serves millions of patients and generates hundreds of millions of dollars per year in medical cannabis sales. Surprisingly, a significant portion of medical marijuana patients are older individuals, belying the idea that cannabis in all its forms is a young man’s game.
Unlike younger, more liberal generations who grew up after the war on drugs, seniors spent their formative years in a world that criminalized cannabis as harshly as cocaine and heroin. They experienced anticannabis sentiment for the majority of their lives and were inundated with messages about the personal and societal ails associated with consuming cannabis.
This generation is now adopting cannabis in surprising numbers, Gupta said, with recent studies indicating that more seniors are using cannabis to address age-related issues such as pain from arthritis and poor sleep. In many cases, seniors prefer to use cannabis in place of prescription opioids, antidepressants and sleeping pills, Gupta noted.
The growing trend of cannabis use among America’s senior population encouraged Gupta to begin working on his most recent documentary, “Weed 7: A Senior Moment.” Gupta notes that cannabis could have “tremendous implications” if it could replace the pharmaceuticals many American seniors take on an almost-daily basis. Prescription pharmaceuticals have a myriad of side effects that can significantly diminish the quality of life of seniors while cannabis doesn’t seem to exhibit severe side effects.
Incorporating cannabis into treatments for seniors could also result in major cost savings as the United States spends close to $600 billion of its annual healthcare budget on pharmaceuticals alone.
With Gupta estimating that more than 30% of seniors take at least five pharmaceuticals per day, overall prescription pharmaceutical medication use may decrease if seniors transition to using cannabis as an alternative medication in mass.
Close to 40 states currently allow their residents to use medical marijuana to address more than 20 medical conditions. These conditions include chronic pain, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and PTSD, to name a few.
This medical use of marijuana lends credence to the efforts by companies such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) to develop FDA-approved formulations from cannabis targeting different disease conditions, such as chronic pain.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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