Baby boomers, pot and rolling bones

high-973678_640Hey, man: flash me the peace sign if you smoked pot in high school. Wink if you still do.

I’ll confess: I smoked occasionally in high school and college (yes, I inhaled); I even bought my own nickel bag once. I took a few tokes in my thirties and forties, and just last year, I tried an edible. Some of my friends even grew weed themselves, they had to use child proof weed packaging to make sure their kids didn’t get hold of it!!

But here’s the thing: I’ve never really enjoyed the high. Weed always made me feel, well, stoned—as in dull-witted and sleepy. My drug of choice is a nice oaky chardonnay—which makes me downright scintillating (well, at least I think so).

But to read some recent research about weed’s advantages for people our age, maybe I need to reconsider. In fact, according to an article in High Times, baby boomers and seniors make up the fastest-growing demographic of cannabis users—due in no small measure to all the documented health benefits it offers.

Various studies point to pot’s value in relieving arthritis pain and inflammation, repairing joints (no pun intended), alleviating depression, easing insomnia, and preventing and treating osteoporosis. The latter inspires this haiku:

Rolling a bone takes
on new meaning when you are

Cannabis also holds promise in battling Alzheimer’s disease and cancer—all conditions with which we boomers are becoming all too familiar. When it comes cancer, in fact, an array of research suggests pot has potential in treating brain tumors, lymphomas and cancers affecting the breast, uterus, cervix, prostate, lung, mouth, colon, biliary tract, thyroid, pancreas and skin. Notably, a 2009 study (published in Cancer Prevention and Research) found that long-term, moderate weed smokers had a 48% lower incidence of head and neck cancers than abstainers. Who knew?

In the 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) where medical marijuana is currently legal, it’s also being prescribed to manage symptoms associated with glaucoma, gastrointestinal disorders, AIDS, migraines, seizures, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis.

Plus, weed’s been shown to help you both gain and lose weight. It stimulates the appetite (remember the munchies?)—a boon to patients who are battling nausea and lack of appetite as they undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Conversely, it also helps people drop pounds and maintain a healthy weight. I kid you not! Scientists have found that marijuana users, despite consuming more calories overall, have smaller waists (1.5 inches smaller, on average), higher levels of “good” cholesterol, and are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t partake. So pot can help us shed our menopot!

It bears noting that using medically sanctioned weed to treat certain symptoms like pain, nausea or inflammation isn’t about getting high so you simply don’t give a crap about feeling sick. Instead, it’s about using the right kind of pot.

To explain: Pot contains over 60 active compounds called cannabinoids. THC is the one that gets you high. Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t; rather, it has a wide range of medical benefits. Companies such as CTFOCBDonline sell many CBD oil based products such as pain relief and body care products, as CBD can reduce nausea and vomiting, suppress seizures, and fight psychotic, inflammatory, neurodegenerative, and anxiety and depressive disorders along with tumors and cancer cells.

Using selective breeding techniques, cannabis cultivators are creating varieties with high levels of CBD and nearly nonexistent levels of THC for medical use. So picking the appropriate pot can be good for what ails you—without getting you stoned. There are many places where you can buy cbd online, as well as find out more information about how it works, and its medicinal uses.

On the other hand, if you do want to get high using a strain higher in THC, the decriminalization and legalization of recreational marijuana use in a growing number of states is making it a whole lot easier.

Attitudes toward pot are changing, too. In 1969, 84% of Americans opposed legalizing it. In 2016, 54% of Americans polled want it to be legal, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released in June.

The options for consumption are expanding as well. Passing a joint is almost passé these days; now there are electronic vaporizers, capsules, teas, tinctures, drinks and oils. Pot-infused foods go way beyond brownies and include candy, pasta sauce, pizza, popcorn and ice cream. Or you can choose from an array of cookbooks to make your own edibles.

Plus, entrepreneurs are jumping on the cannabis bandwagon in some interesting ways:

For example, Diego Pellicer is a company calling itself “the worldwide leader in property acquisitions and leasing in the emerging cannabis arena.” Targeting “the distinguished consumer with a passion for premium-grade cannabis,” they explain their “retail vision” thusly: “Diego Pellicer is where responsible marijuana connoisseurs and sommeliers gather to explore the world of premium marijuana.” Can you say high-falutin? is like the Google of ganja. The private equity-funded website claims to be the world’s largest cannabis information resource, making the process of finding the right strains and products “fast, simple and comfortable…whether you’re new to cannabis, a medical marijuana patient, or a seasoned consumer.” They have a mobile app, too.

You know those wine-and-painting classes that are all the rage? Well, at Puff Pass and Paint—with locations in Denver, Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon, attendees take a hit and pass a bone, bowl or bong while painting their masterpieces. The organizers provide painting supplies; customers (who must be 21 or older) BYOP (bring their own pot) along with their own munchies, beer or wine.

And in San Francisco, medical marijuana cardholders can open the Eaze app on their smartphones, choose a dispensary and place their order—and have it delivered to their door within 20 minutes. Easy-peasy!

The times they are a-changin’, huh? Until the day comes that I can’t drink, however, I doubt I’ll forego my chardonnay buzz for cannabis. But should I have a medical condition for which weed offers an alternative to pharmaceuticals with side effects, well—never say never, right?

So what do you say? What’s your stand on medical marijuana? What about recreational use? Do you just say no to weed—or do you say why not? Don’t Bogart that joint—or your thoughts…share!

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13 thoughts on “Baby boomers, pot and rolling bones”

  1. New York has very strict rules for medical marijuana. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the 15 conditions that would make me eligible.

    I have never taken drugs or even smoked a cigarette. My drug of preference is food. I have also enjoyed an occasional glass of wine or liqueur in the past. Unfortunately, I have to be careful with alcohol nowadays because of medications that I take. Yes, it spoils my fun. 😛

    Of course, being one of the oldest Baby Boomers (born in 1946), I knew people who did smoke weed, and I would often be at gatherings where a joint was passed around. These were the same kinds of parties where they would serve wine in paper cups and/or cheese fondue or cheese and crackers. It was kind of fun to watch everyone else get stoned while I remained sober as a judge.

    I kind of miss those wine-in-paper-cups parties. *sigh*

      1. Yes, the wine was cheap. We were poor students and we couldn’t afford the good stuff. We weren’t wine connoisseurs, anyway. Most of us were probably working-class kids. Drinking wine made us feel sophisticated. Adding cheese and crackers made us feel like we were at some kind of high-classed affair, even if a lot of us were dressed like hippies and half of us were sitting on the floor.

  2. I can’t smoke it (asthma), but I sure could use it for my arthritis! And when you mentioned the side-effects of pharmaceuticals, I’m rethinking my prescription usage. Thanks for the information!

  3. Hi Roxanne! Good article helping to explain the benefits. As you know, I agree because I believe that pot offers MORE benefits and is actually safer in many ways for our bodies than alcohol. The key, of course, is moderation. I am completely against smoking anything, but should the need arise I too will not hesitate to use it. It will be interesting to see what happens here in California next Tuesday and whether we make it completely legal like Washington and Colorado. ~Kathy

    1. Thanks for joining the conversation, Kathy. We’ve got a similar issue on the ballot here in Maine (to make pot legal for recreational use–it’s already approved for medicinal use). The times they are a’changing, indeed!

  4. Thanks, Cathy. I have a sibling with MS who finds great relief from muscle spasms with cannabis, and she’s in a state where it’s legal (for medical use). It’s also legal (for medical use) here in Maine, but on the ballot to make recreational use legal as well. Next week is going to be VERY interesting! I appreciate your commenting.

  5. Medical Marijuana is not legal in Pennsylvania yet. It made me so sad to see my brother-in-law suffer from MS for so many years, and all he wanted was some pot to make it better. The problem was, the pot from his friends had too much THC and caused other problems that just couldn’t continue to happen. I, like you am a fan of Pinot Grigio and Grey Goose! And I’m a lightweight anyway. Great article, Roxanne!

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