For many seniors, a loss of appetite is one of the changes they have to go through. However, they need proper nutrition to maintain strong immunity and physical endurance. Thankfully, medical marijuana has appetite-boosting properties that may benefits seniors with appetite issues.
Why Seniors Experience Appetite Problems
Appetite issues in seniors can happen as their taste and smell change. With age, food can start to taste different than before. Also, medications can impact the taste of food. For those with mobility issues or without teeth, eating food becomes challenging. Major life transitions such as anxiety and depression, which usually result from a loss of a loved one or being separated from family members can reduce appetite. Lastly, appetite loss can happen because of chronic illnesses and their associated treatments.
How Medical Marijuana Can Help
Usually, cannabis medicine can stimulate appetite by changing the body’s anandamide levels. Normally, the hormone called leptin tells the body to stop eating when a person gets enough food. However, this hormone may also do the same even if the person has not eaten enough by suppressing the anandamide signals that make a person feel hungry. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that works with the cannabinoid receptors. Cannabis medicine sends compounds that counteract leptin.
Moreover, cannabis strengthens an elderly’s sense of smell and taste as well as improves their mood by increasing dopamine production. Dopamine creates positive feelings and associations in the brain. By using medical marijuana, a senior’s brain makes more dopamine, possibly offering positive reinforcement when the person eats. And as marijuana is known for offering relief to chronic pain, this is also one of the reasons it can stimulate the appetite of a senior who is in pain. Chronic pain can cause lots of negativity which includes losing interest in food.
Should Seniors Use Medical Marijuana to Boost their Appetite?
Medical marijuana can help seniors with appetite problems and they don’t have to smoke. They can use oils that can be put in teas and edibles available in the form of baked goods and candies. Also, they can choose from a variety of strains for different ailments. For appetite issues, Indica is the best strain for seniors. Also, it is important to pick a product with a higher concentration of CBD than THC. This might help an elderly feel hungry without getting their high. The different administration methods are especially beneficial for seniors with mobility problems.