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Why Seniors Should Consider Medical Marijuana

By Daniel Casciato

In the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic, if you’re a senior, you may be feeling a bit anxious or depressed. That’s perfectly normal but you may still want help alleviating your anxiety.

Medical marijuana, or cannabis, may provide you with the relief you need, according to Shelly Hutchison, also known as Nurse Shelly. Shelly is the founder and owner of Medical Marijuana Specialists which educates the community, patients, and healthcare professionals on all aspects of the medical marijuana certification process. 

“The majority of our patients are using it for chronic pain and to decrease their dependency on prescription medications,” she says.

Medical marijuana can be found in various forms and its health benefits is growing. Cannabis contains CBD, a chemical that impacts the brain, making it function better without giving it a high along with THC which has pain relieving properties. Some of the health benefits of cannabis include:

  • Relief from chronic pain
  • Losing weight
  • Fighting cancer
  • Treating depression
  • Alleviating anxiety

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program provides access to medical marijuana for patients with specific medical conditions such as: anxiety disorders, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and more.

Nurse Shelly and her team of highly knowledgeable staff of doctors and nurses will review your  medical record, educate you on the science and benefit of medical marijuana and thoroughly answer any questions you may have regarding your journey, and help you obtain your card.

The process to obtain your card is simple, Nurse Shelly explains. Anyone can get their Medical Marijuana ID Card in as little as one week and they can do most of the work.

“All you need to do is to provide one form of documentation of your diagnosis,” she says. “Usually, you can find that on your online patient portal through your health system. If you send us this documentation, we can take care of the rest. We can register you with the state and then get you certified. When you hang up the phone with us, you just have to wait for your card in the mail.”

Once you get the card, you can go into any dispensary in the state to get what you need.

Still unsure about taking cannabis? Here are three reasons why you should consider it.

  1. Cannabis is safer than most prescribed medications
    Most seniors take prescription drugs daily. The “side effects” of cannabis are insignificant compared to the side effects of many prescription drugs.
  2. Marijuana is not physically addictive
    Many seniors worry about becoming addicted. However, you can use marijuana daily and then stop “cold turkey.”  Discontinuing the use of cannabis is similar to quitting the consumption of coffee.
  3. Marijuana can reduce and possibly replace many prescription medications
    A major complaint of seniors is that the first pill often causes side effects that the second one is supposed to “fix.”  For example, opiate based painkillers are enhanced when marijuana is used at the same time, often resulting in a reduction of pharmaceutical medicines.

“We recommend that you start low and go slow,” says Nurse Shelly. “What we don’t want to happen is for you to take any cannabis product and not like how you feel, set it aside and say you won’t use it. Maybe it’s your first time and it’s not a good experience. You want to start with a low dosage and reach your sweet spot. This is the point where you’re finding relief from your chronic pain but not going overboard where you don’t like how you’re feeling.”

Medical Marijuana Specialists is now offering certifications and renewals via telemedicine to all Pennsylvania residents and a free nurse hotline for questions. People can call or sign up on their website and be connected virtually instantly with a professional.

For more information, visit www.GetYourIDcard.com.

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