More seniors are turning to medical marijuana to ease their pain. The National Council on Aging says from 2006 to 2013, cannabis use among seniors increased by 250%. One Hawaii dispensary told KITV4 it’s not surprised.
Medical marijuana for pain and PTSD is what Waikiki resident Ron Van Clief uses. “When I leave the gym, I’m always sore. Medical cannabis helps with soreness,” says this very fit senior.
Van Clief is a martial artist who keeps up his skills daily. At 76, however, he says the workouts hurt.
He also needs cannabis for post traumatic stress disorder. “I also have PTSD. I did two tours in Vietnam. I was a gunner in the helicopter. I manned an M-60 machine gun. I have a lot of bad memories from that,” he says. Van Clief, a customer at Noa Botanicals, says he’d rather smoke cannabis than take prescription pills.
He’s not alone. Noa Botanicals CEO Brian Goldstein reveals, “We see a lot of our patients using cannabis to help the aging process.”
He says a growing number of those customers live in care homes. Goldstein says, “We are working with one of the larger care homes in the state to help educate their staff.”
He clarifies that Noa Botanicals can only offer to educate staffers about substances their residents may be using; it’s against the law for the staff to help residents administer cannabis products.
State law bans smoking in or near the buildings, so Noa Botanicals says its patients who live in a care home ingest it via edibles, tinctures, or apply a topical. Goldstein describes, “The most common complaint is pain, usually chronic pain. Pain that can keep people from sleeping.”
Article by Diane Ako
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