Cannabis is now so widely accepted as a product with some form of health benefits that users are incorporating it into their daily diet. Innovative chefs and CBD enthusiasts have embraced cannabinoids, seeking new ways to include the weed in recipes to enhance flavor and taste.
A recent survey by Ohio home designer Lisa Cini regarding marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) use by baby boomers and older adults showed surprising results about who is using it. The survey revealed that 83 percent of the 11,000+ respondents who participated in the project are using some form of cannabis, either for medical, recreational purposes or both.
"The results frankly shocked me, and I believe they will generate some much needed dialogue about aging, senior living, and what it means to have the freedom to be our best selves as we age," says Cini, a senior living expert and author of multiple books focused on seniors aging on their own terms. "Seventy four million baby boomers in the U.S. today, don't just want freedom as they age; they consider it oxygen for their soul. We can't avoid factoring in that recreational drugs were part of how the boomer generation grew up, and when it comes to marijuana, quite a few have either never stopped partaking or have resumed doing so when no longer having to maintain a career or raise children."
In recent years, laws legalizing medical use have been enacted in 31 states, and recreational use in nine states plus D.C. In Nevada, both medical and recreational use are legal, and consumers over age 50 are lined up to buy products from the various dispensaries licensed in the community. These changes have brought a major new multibillion dollar industry into being. So, what does all this mean for those who are dedicated to making lives better for seniors? There's a great deal more to marijuana than just getting high, especially for seniors battling health and comfort challenges.
"Marijuana use is a reality that we can't just ignore," adds Cini. "It's time to get over our fear of discussing it because it's part of the daily lives of so many. Do we now need to think about senior friendly tools for using marijuana? Are there implications for designing seniors' living spaces? What about marijuana using seniors who live with family members who don't use, including grandchildren? Let's address these questions in honest, open forums."
The survey, conducted between July and August of 2018, spread like wildfire among over 15,000 boomers, with more than 67 percent completing the survey, translating into more than 11,000+ legitimate and complete responses. Eighty percent of survey respondents were baby boomers, 17 percent were borderline boomers aged 50 - 53, and 3 percent were over 72 years of age.