Twice as many Americans over 65 smoke marijuana or use edibles than 3 years ago. It may ease their pains, but addiction expert Dr. Jason Powers of Positive Recovery says it's not the same stuff they remember from 50s and 60s years ago.
"Marijuana plants that are grown today have 5 times the amount of THC in marijuana strength that it did at the Height of Woodstock." Powers also says mixing pot with their current prescriptions is especially dangerous. "There's going to be drug interaction and side effects with unregulated potent drugs. Seniors are prone to falling and dizziness and that's not good - especially if they are cognitive-declined to begin with."
The possibility of senior paranoia, anxiety and extremely high heart rates that could send them to an emergency room are also high. Seniors aren't just going to pot. They are abusing prescription opioids and alcohol in record numbers.
Most senior users say it helps them ease their aches and pains. Dr. Powers says there are other sides to consider. "The flip side of that is that people can get paranoid and anxious. They can have extremely high heart rate that could cause emergency room visits." It may help with their insomnia or knee pain, but bigger problems could follow.
"We see a lot of this with the edibles because there's a huge amount of THC in them, which is not all that regulated. Because of the absorption, they might become physically addicted and then there is withdrawals from it."
But still, the popularity grows. They even have their own Facebook communities.