When states started to legalize cannabis, the expectation among critics was that cannabis use among teens and young people would skyrocket and crime levels would rise exponentially. But so far, cannabis legalization hasn’t been accompanied by any surges in drug abuse or crime, and the most enthusiastic new cannabis users have not been kids, but rather their grandparents.
It’s not just an anecdotal observation: Statistics show that the fastest-growing group of cannabis consumers today is indeed seniors. This trend could become even more pronounced in the years to come. The number of Americans over the age of 65 increases by ten thousand every day, according to Pew Research, and more and more of them are seeking out cannabis as they age. But why?
For many, like Catherine McCormick, it’s to help regain the vigor and mobility they’ve lost over the years. After undergoing a knee replacement surgery, she exchanged her cocktail of medications for medical cannabis and saw a marked improvement. “I have more energy,” she told the New York Times. “I can walk. I’m not in pain. I feel so much better.”
She’s not the only senior to swap prescription pain drugs for cannabis — chronic pain is the most common reason patients are prescribed medical cannabis. However, some seniors are also using it for other reasons, like the 66-year old woman quoted in the same Times story who said she enjoyed cannabis because, “I think relaxing is healthy for you.”
Whatever the reason, the profile of the “typical” cannabis user is changing radically and seniors are playing a significant role in this change. But for those who want to stay active and upbeat, cannabis is only one of many options — here are some other ways to get the most out of one’s golden years.
Pure Hemp Relief Cream by Pure Relief ($55)
Made with 500 mg of full spectrum CBD (according to CBD lab experts and many consumers, this is the most effective type), this cream may provide localized, topical relief for sore joints and muscles. It’s also third-party lab tested for quality — the results can be found right on its product page.
Ladies’ Sneakers with Concealed Orthotic Arch Support by Vionic ($60)
These slip-on sneakers are made with leather and a podiatrist-designed footbed, which explains why they received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association. They’re also available in eight different colors, so style isn’t sacrificed for substance.
Eco Friendly Non-Slip Yoga Mat by Sacred Yoga Shop ($117)
Billed as “the world’s grippiest mat,” this is an ideal option for seniors who want to take advantage of yoga’s benefits for flexibility and relaxation. It’s made from 100 percent recycled materials and comes with a free carrying strap, too.
USB Rechargeable Book Reading Light by Dewenwils ($13)
For seniors who like to travel (and/or read a lot), this powerful, lightweight device can greatly reduce eye strain while not weighing down your book. Even better, it doesn’t require batteries or a charging cable, and it can last for eight hours on a single charge.
Folding Cane by Vive ($17)
One of the top-reviewed folding canes on the market, this model folds in four places so it can be easily stowed in a bag or purse when not in use. Its height can also be adjusted, and it can support up to 250 lbs.
Chronology by Buffalo Games
Also known as “The Game Where You Make History,” this is a great way for seniors to keep their critical thinking skills sharp and bring back fond memories at the same time. It can be played by 2-8 players, making it ideal for evenings at home or parties with friends.
Compression Socks for Men and Women by Laite Hebe ($17)
Poor circulation and fluid retention are problems that the vast majority of seniors face at one point or another, but high-quality compression socks like these can make a big difference. They enhance circulation, reducing swelling and pain, and come in a wide variety of designs and colors.
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