If you’re a weed smoker, no doubt you know the medical benefits it has. After all, look at the way many states have legalized medical marijuana, and some have legalized it for recreational use. Now, depending on where you are in the human age spectrum, you are either into the THC-laden bliss as a millenial, or you’re a bit older, perhaps in your mid-to-late-30s, with parents who came of age around 1968 or ’69, or a bit before. If your parents never smoked weed, or stopped doing so out of fear, here are reasons why they should get into it, either for the first time, or have a second passing of Marley’s holy sacrament “’pon the left hand side.”
Given the health issues facing many people across generations on either side of the Pond, there are plenty of reasons why cannabis is being looked at quite seriously, especially when it comes to things like cancer and glaucoma. But cannabis is more than just a green, leafy aid for treating diseases that most older people develop.
Just read the list, and you’ll see what might go down with your parents if they noshed a hash brownie or struck a light for a spliff—or used whatever method they prefer for a decent flight.
1. Lowered Stress
If there is one thing we can’t ignore about the benefits of the bong, it’s the ability that weed possesses to diminish the anxiety and panic that come with PTSD, aka Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. War veterans, for example, don’t just come in the old-school WWII or Vietnam variety anymore. We have people coming home from recent tours of duty with all kinds of mental health issues. Seriously, people: war messes you up, no matter how old or young you are. How many combat-weary folks can we save from the dreaded final path of suicide if we offered them a spliff or two? The U.S. government itself recently approved a proposal to look seriously at weed’s potential to come to the aid of suffering soldiers, so the notion’s really a no-brainer.
Naturally, PTSD isn’t just for war vets, though. Survivors of other various emotional and physical abuses suffer from the disorder, and therefore might benefit from not just gentle verbal counseling, but of weed’s tender THC ministrations—and again, weed has way fewer nasty side effects than what Big Pharma usually has on offer. A certain anti-anxiety drug that starts with “A” has the tendency to make a person addicted. Weed’s potential for addiction is but a fraction of that.
2. Pain Management
Recently, it’s been discovered that weed’s properties don’t just aid glaucoma and cancer patients. In a study centered around rheumatoid arthritis, older patients were given something called “Sativex,” a cannabinoid-based medicine that reduced pain and inflammation and aided quality of sleep, something that you’d gain from actually smoking a joint. So if you don’t want to see your parents pay for yet another prescription, offer them a joint to pass between them, or bake them some hash brownies, if they’d rather have their cake of weed and eat it, too.
3. More to Connect With Your Kids About
Make marijuana multigenerational! If you’re reading this and you’re in your senior years, you’re likely no stranger to weed’s capabilities of bringing people together. So why shouldn’t it do the same for your family? If you passed on your own laid-back attitudes to your kids, they’ve likely taken up the toke-torch, and are modeling their own version of non-violence complete with the holy sacrament of cannabis sativa. Not only does this promote the good vibes of being with blood family, if you invite your weed-smoking buddies from years ago and have a big ol’ get-together, there’ll be all kinds of creative wisdom sharing. Especially if someone’s brought a guitar. Good times, man!
4. Positive Outlook & Creativity
While it’s true that weed tends to temporarily short-circuit short-term memory use, it allows the other parts of you, like your creative self, to emerge more fully. Have you ever wondered if your parents’ favorite artists (like say, Jon Anderson of Yes, or the Beatles) ever smoked weed because their lyrics were so out there? It’s because they did!!! Where did you think the whole “Yellow Submarine” song came from?
While it’s not specifically considered a physical health benefit, there is a mental health and creativity benefit, because weed has this tendency to allow you to form new concepts, make new connections between seemingly unrelated things and ultimately form new ideas. And new ideas about life overall tend to make people feel good. So, weed just might launch a second, golden-years career for your 60-something parents. And about those new ideas you come up with: that is so totally anti-establishment. Your hippie elders would be proud! They might even join you!
5. When Has Weed Ever Destroyed a Family?
Sadly, being arrested for weed possession is still a real thing in many states, and can put an unnecessary mark on your record, but that’s just because the federal government’s still not really all that “hip” to the peaceful benefits of weed, even after 45+ years!
If you need some inspiration to preach from Brother Bob Marley’s Good Bong, try this on reluctant relatives: When you think of how many families are truly torn apart by alcohol, domestic abuse, and even addiction to the hard drugs like meth, crack, heroin, among other uncool, and unmellow happenings, weed use actually keeps people laid back, putting hot tempers on ice and keeps things chill, overall. Your family will be more likely to lie back and navel-gaze together when flying high on creativity-inducing cannabis. That is not the recipe for unhappiness. That’s the recipe for recreating peace, love and Woodstock in your backyard.
6. Helps Appetite Management
This benefit has mostly come to light because modern medicine has applied the “marijuana munchies” side effect to helping cancer patients fight chemo-related nausea and gain back their appetite for food, which they need in order to battle cancer in the first place. Also, as an added benefit, weed helps cancer patients wave bye-bye to the cancer in the first place (see item 9).
7. Glaucoma Treatment
The eyes have it when it comes to saying ‘aye’ to voting for medical marijuana, simply because the two main chemicals in cannabis have a positive effect on the intra-ocular pressure behind the eyeball in glaucoma patients. It’s reputed to slow the progression of the disease, preventing blindness. For this eye condition alone, they should give the marijuana joint an additional name: “Bogart,” in honor of Humphrey Bogart’s character in Casablanca who says, famously, to Ingrid Berman’s character (you know, that famous airport scene): “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!” It would inspire younger viewers to watch a classic and allow older folks to reminisce.
8. Lowered Blood Pressure
It’s known that relaxation and modes of de-stressing (such as purring cats and meditation) are good for lowering blood pressure, so why not weed? It’s known, in this case, that weed helps you have a better state of mental health, and in holistic circles, it’s thought that the mind affects the body. So, smoke a spliff and see your stress-related blood pressure drop. Suggest this to your former hippie parents and help them get off those expensive Big Pharma pills—which should also help their blood pressure drop because they won’t be stressin’ about whether Medicare will cover their prescriptions. Win-win for weed, right?
9. Stops Cancer From Spreading
Whether Gramps and Gran know it or not, one of the two main chemicals in their favorite hippie-days grass has been recently touted as a cancer-stopping superhero. (Insert famous movie hero theme music here!) Cannabidiol, the chemical that does not produce a high, has been shown to reduce, or even eliminate cancer cells, according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s documentary “Weed.”
In essence, you can think of cannabidiol as the bouncer to Club DNA, turning off the gene that allows cancer to develop. How this really truly works on a down-deep level, scientists have yet to discover, but that’s why we need to bring back the 1960s-and-70s-style protesting back, right? Peace, health and weed, baby!
10. Weed Slows Down Alzheimer’s
It’s sad and kinda bogus that many of us have to watch our elders deteriorate from the effects of Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, a study done in 2006 by the Scripps company says that THC helps destroy amyloid plaques in the brain by blocking the enzyme that promotes their growth. Which is really good, because even if your elders seemed kind of strict at times (no video games till after homework!), when they get older, you’re going to want them to light up. Because you always want to go where every elder in your family knows your name, and Grandma’s still up and about going “Are ya hungry dear?” every time you walk in the door for the holidays.
It must be noted that the marijuana that’s often mentioned is actually of better, higher quality than the stuff grown in the 1960s-through-1980s. The water quality is far superior as are the ingredients and other cultivation conditions, and thusly, you won’t get the bad headaches or the “hay-like” taste that likely prompted your elders to quit the stuff in the first place.