Check in with yourself: do you have quality of life issues for which you’d like to find non-addictive solutions? If not, you may be just where you need to be. But if you answer yes, read how to experiment with cannabis if you're a senior in Humboldt.
1. If possible, talk to your kids and grandkids about trying cannabis. They are informed.
2. Go to a licensed dispensary (CApotcheck.com). In Humboldt County, dispensary staff are well educated and some, like Humboldt Patient Resource Center, have a nurse on staff.
3. Start with a salve or tincture.
4. Make sure the product is manufactured from cannabis grown in Humboldt County, where farmers have decades of experience growing superior quality cannabis organically and sustainably. You will also support local businesses.
5. If you’ve never experimented with cannabis before, start with a product that is mostly CBD (for example 20:1 which is 20 parts CBD to 1 part THC).
6. Ask the consultant for dosage recommendations. START SMALL AND TAKE REGULARLY.
7. Keep a journal for the first week. Every day, set aside 10 minutes: sit down, take a deep breath, and ask yourself: “How easy is it to breathe? How comfortable am I just sitting here? How does my mind feel?” Jot down your answers. As you adjust the dosage over several days, observe how your answers change.
Lynda Cesaretti was 55 when she first used cannabis. “I studied the history and science of cannabis. Then I tried, and I felt like I’d had a brain fog and now it was lifted,” she explains. “My body felt better, my mind was clearer. I did a 180.” She’s far from alone. Seniors are the fastest growing group of cannabis users and they want quality of life, pain management, good sleep, and non-addictive ways to deal with health issues.
In Humboldt, many baby boomers are encouraged by their children, grandchildren and doctors to seek relief through the responsible use of cannabis. Further research is actively conducted to establish scientific findings on the medical effects of cannabis. Anecdotally, pain patients use less opiates and experience fewer side effects when cannabis is available. According to a July, 2019 study by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, opioid prescriptions fell by 6.38% in states where cannabis has been legalized.
In the 1990s, scientists discovered that thousands of species, including humans, have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which interacts with cannabinoids-the 144 different compounds that work together with over 100 terpenes found in the plant--and which plays a vital role in the body’s wellness.
Humboldt Patient Resource Center (HPRC) incorporates cannabis in its holistic approach to wellness. “We have a nurse on staff, we sell only pesticide-free products, and we offer free classes and workshops at The Connection,” notes Mariellen Jurkovich, Director of HPRC and herself a senior. Providing a place for people to connect is especially helpful to seniors who want to feel comfortable taking the time to get educated. HPRC cannabis consultants go through a rigorous 4-week training course to learn how to pair the right cannabis product for a client’s need. For baby boomers, it may be a salve or a tincture to start with, and there is no reason to buy big.
Lynda finds that CBD oil relieves her sore hands and feet after a long day’s work at her cultivation site, ABC Farms. Her CBD oil is 21:1 (i.e. 21 parts CBD to 1 part THC) produced from cannabis grown organically through regenerative farming techniques. It’s a whole plant extract: the compounds interact synergetically to create an ‘entourage’ effect that enhances therapeutic impact. She takes a dose sublingually once or twice a day, and she also rubs it on her hands and feet.
Every person is different and there is no one single solution to wellness. Children and youth are still in development--the frontal lobes are not fully developed until age 25 or so and cannabis is generally not advisable in the earlier part of life. But it may be helpful as part of a larger wellness approach for seniors.
“When you use cannabis medicine you are doing more than just treating your symptoms, you are helping your body get back into balance, homeostasis, good health,” says Lynda. “Cannabis can do that without the potential side effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Why not try it, what have you got to lose?”
--by Nicole Riggs, Founder of Manifesto Synergies and Chief Marketing Officer at Humboldt Community Business Development Center (HCBDC)