More customers are drawn to legal marijuana in California

SAN DIEGO — A bit unexpected in the emerging market for legal cannabis is increasing interest in the elderly.
Although most older people do not use marijuana, the population of older users is growing rapidly, attracted by the claims of pain relief, but beware of pot stigma.
when legal marijuana is new to California, cannabis is an old comrade of Lee, who declined to give her last name.
“I have been using since I was a junior in college, who, in 1966?”, said the 70-year-old real estate broker, of the navigation of the Torrey Holistics, a Sorrento Valley dispensary cannabis. “I never thought I’d live to see the day it was legal.”
Even before Jan. 1, when California legalized recreational marijuana, it has been enjoying a grey of the renaissance. Between 2006 and 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported a 250% increase of marijuana use by Americans age 65 and older. It is still a small number, from 0.4% to 1.4% of the population, but the clinics see a lot of money to the hair of customers.
“This is probably the most interested — and wariest — group,” said Lincoln Fish, chief executive officer of Outco, noting that the average customer to its Outliers Collective in El Cajon is over 58 years old.
the Older consumers, add a new aspect to the legal cannabis trade. Retirees tend to be less interested in getting high and more interested to get relief from pain, anxiety and insomnia. Many are reluctant to be identified as a user. (Lee and most of the other people interviewed for this story refused to be photographed or give their full name.)
“there is a stigma around marijuana use,” said Michelle Sexton, a naturopathic doctor to help with a medical marijuana study at the School of Medicine of the University of California, San Diego. “There’s all of this negative connotation. They think that they will be considered as drug addicts or hippies.”
in Addition, a mist of mystery clouds this subject. More research is needed in the cannabinoids, marijuana’s active chemical compounds, said Dr. Mark Wallace, president of the pain medicine division at UC San Diego Health. The effects vary according to the strains, methods of delivery — if it is smoked, eaten in brownies, and gummies, or administered in the dyes and the age of the users.
Wallace has no qualms about recommending medical cannabis to their patients. “I am completely comfortable that it is safe,” he said.
However, he noted that the purchase of products from a dispensary is a roll of the dice. The clerks are not health professionals, and elderly people often buy products that are too strong or ineffective.
Still, older users, like younger people, are not exclusively focused on therapy. Some just want to find the soft buzz of the youth.
“I smoke every night,” said Terri Graham, 61, a visitor from Wisconsin, who had stopped to admire the Cannabus, a black bus with tinted windows that goes from the Beach to the Ocean at a dispensary in the Bay Park. “Why not?”
“It is top!”
on a recent morning, half of the customers at Torrey Holistics were in their 60’s and 70’s. Some have attended a free Cannabis 101 class on how to marijuana products can combat insomnia. Others hoped to ease nagging aches and pains.
That the search can be complicated and frustrating. Beth, a 73-year-old Carlsbad resident, originally bought a vape pen to treat ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that targets the spine.
“It was too strong for me,” she said. “I don’t want to get high; I just want to be able to get out of the pain.”
It was his second trip to Torrey Holistics, and this time, she wondered about his edible offerings. “If this doesn’t work, I’m through,” she said.
the draft Law, 71 years old, had not purchased or used marijuana for 50 years. That streak ended this morning, when he bought cannabis-infused soda, brownies and gummies. He hoped that they could reduce the inflammation around the eyelids, a condition known as blepheritis.
The buttons green and sweet scent stirred old memories.
“It was difficult to go to the university in the ’60s, without the use of marijuana,” he said with a laugh.
It is not an exaggeration. In the 1960s and ‘ 70s, Gallup surveyed university students about the use of marijuana. Between 1967 and 1971, the number of students who admitted to trying the illegal substance extended from 5 to 51 percent.
For some, this has kindled a life-long passion.
Walking in the Urbn Sheet wearing a faded T-shirt with “Yellow Submarine” images, Kerry Durrell looked like central casting of an aging hippie. Now 61, she has been smoking marijuana off and on — “I went through phases” — since 1969.
“It helps me sleep,” she said, inspecting the buds at Urbn Sheet. “And this is a hobby.”
the Older people, even if generally frown on marijuana. In 2010, the Pew Research Center found that only 22 percent of Americans 65 years and older favored legalization of marijuana. This number had increased by 30% by 2017, but it is still a minority.
Among those who disapprove of the Bill of his wife. Although eager to treat his blepheritis with cannabis-laced soda, he should not expect his wife to take a sip.
“My wife is too conservative,” he said. “I don’t think she was going to deliver it.”
In a classroom at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, in the North of the Park, a dozen men and women formed a circle and reached out to each other.
“I put my hand in yours and together we can do what we could never do alone,” they said in unison. “There is a sense of helplessness.”
It was the night of Tuesday to Wednesday “Beginner’s Meeting” of Marijuana Anonymous, a 12-step program for people whose marijuana use has become a problem. Getting high, they say, has become more important than careers, relationships, and responsibilities.
The leader of the meeting was Henry, 58. Before touching the bottom, Henry said, marijuana was the center of his life. Some months, he spent his mortgage money on cannabis. He spoke of the Marijuana Anonymous to help him recover his self-respect and sense of purpose.
“I’ve been sober for eight years, four months and about 16 days,” he said.
Studies have not shown cannabis to be physically addictive, said Markus Roggen, a chemist and Outco vice-president of extraction. “But there may be signs of mental addiction,” he said.
When it is correctly dosed, UC San Diego Wallace said, cannabis is often a better choice than the more traditional pain relievers. “I see medical cannabis, a more conservative treatment than opioids,” he said.
At the level of the university pain clinic, he encourages patients to put away all the mental images of Grateful Dead concerts, or Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, tennis to in “Easy Rider.” Instead, he said, cannabis should be considered as another pharmaceutical.
It starts of the customers on “microdoses,” and then adjusts the amount. It is a gradual process, he said, because it is easy to over – and under-prescribe THC, a mood-enhancing and pain-composed of the marijuana.
“That THC increases, the pain will diminish, until you get too much THC, and then the pain will increase,” he said.
of the CBD, another cannabinoid or chemical compound in the cannabis, has a high popularity among the elderly, in part because it has no intoxicating effect.
“It is not a question of smoking a joint,” said Ruthie Edelson, director of marketing at Torrey Holistics. The business of the CBD-infused rubbing creams have been greeted by people affected by arthritis. “All our products have a high content in CBD and very low THC content. This is where you get the best medicinal”.
Because CBDs are also present in the hemp, products with these cannabinoids have been legal for years. San Diego, KB Pure Essentials sells CBD-rich massage oils, pain balms, dyes, deodorants and shampoos from 2015.
“We have a bunch of old lady clients,” said KB Pure Essentials co-founder Brooke Brown, who makes a CBD tincture with the prescription of drugs for control of epilepsy. “A lot of them use it for the inflammation of arthritis. Much to take each day as a supplement of well-being.”
Still Urbn Leaf head buyer Josh Bubeck advises customers that they will get the best results with products containing CBD and THC. And regardless of what seniors buy, he cautions to go slowly.
“The older consumer, some of them have not tried cannabis for the past 30 years,” Bubeck said. “They should start with microdoses. The five-milligram gelatin has been very popular with the older consumers.”

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