Cannabis for Seniors
New work caters the cannabis message to an older population.
OF US KNOW SOMEONE over
die age of 65 who could benefit from the effects of
cannabis, but who doesn't because of apprehensions
about taking the (perceived) plunge. Maybe they had
a bad experience with edibles in their college days,
or maybe they were
brought up to think that cannabis would
turn them into raging lunatics — for
whatever reason, they simply don't trust the herb.
people are the target audience of Dr. Beverly
"Docpotter" Potter's new book, "Cannabis for
Seniors." The book is essentially a large-scale (and
large-font) list of FAQs; any curious senior citizen
(or newbie of any age, for that matter) is likely to
have their basic questions answered in the book's
200 pages. Although at times vague, "Cannabis for
Seniors" nevertheless delivers a comprehensive
overview of cannabis and its effects, particularly
as they pertain to an older audience.
longstanding life coach, public speaker, writer and
psychologist, Potter brings a holistic approach to
her writing, mixing in elements of social psychology
and dieting to compliment her observations on
cannabis. Throughout "Cannabis for Seniors," she
consistendy breaks down the different variables of
the cannabis equation — ailments, strains of
cannabis and the user's lifestyle — to deliver a
message to an audience that may need a little
example, before explaining how cannabis could
provide relief from a particular
condition, she details
the applicable information about the ailment itself
— anything from sleep apnea to chemotherapy, anxiety
statistics, visualizations and graphs. Only then
she begin explaining
it is about cannabis
approach is a bit repetitive; she reminds her
readers throughout the book about the difference
between sativa and indica, for instance, or the
speed with which different forms of cannabis take
effect. But while anyone with experience may find
this repetition agonizing, for a newbie, it's likely
One of the most compelling chapters of the book focuses on the ongoing opioid epidemic, one of the greatest threats to today's senior population. Potter points out some alarming statistics: The rate of adults between 45 and 85 being hospitalized for opioid abuse has grown by 500 percent since 1993 and the rate of ER \isits for prescription -drugs rose by 78 percent between 2006 and 2012 — and half of those patients were over 75.
quite troubling that 40 people die each day as a
result of opioid overdoses," she writes. Potter's
case for using cannabis as an alternative to
prescription opioids is sound, thought out and
well-reasoned. She cites a handful of persuasive
studies, including one in which three quarters of a
group of opioid addicts were able to shake their
addiction after employing cannabis therapy, and
another in which nearly half of participants reduced
their opioid intake.
not all of "Cannabis for Seniors" is so compelling.
For seniors on the fence about experimenting with
cannabis, or who may associate the plant with
brain-dead stoners, Docpotter's use of cartoonish
and awkwardlv-placed photographs jeopardizes her
ability (and b}~ extension, the cannabis industry's
ability) to be taken seriously by some of the people
who stand to benefit the most.
As Docpotter herself points out, the market for senior citizens in cannabis is growing every day. Convincing seniors will require more than quality information, it will require a sense of legitimacy — something that "Cannabis for Seniors" could use more of. Despite this, the book stands as a good resource for seniors who desire to learn the basics about the plant and its effects.