There’s a reason they’re called the “golden” years. In your sixties and beyond, you most likely have figured out exactly who you are, know what does and does not make you happy, and have some amazing stories and advice to share. For some, though, aging means being further away from family, friends and colleagues, and moments of joy are possibly fewer and far between. With its various effects from relaxation to euphoria, cannabis could be the key to a brighter outlook on life.
61-year-old New Yorker Jyl Ferris, the Creative Director at Tikun Olam, the first medical cannabis supplier in Israel – shares her thoughts about cannabis consumption for those 60 and over, a group that’s had a much different relationship to cannabis than millennials.
How long have you been a cannabis consumer?
Since I was 14-years-old.
How does it increase your sense of joy?
First of all, I am a creative person. When I was a teenager, it was fun getting high with friends but I loved using cannabis to open my creativity, expand my mind, and help me concentrate. I use it similarly, to this day, even with work projects. I find cannabis helps me to relax, let go of the day, and be present in the moment. It enhances social interaction. And I love using cannabis during sex because it helps to keep me enjoying what’s happening in the moment and therefore heightens physical reactions.
Do you enjoy consuming with friends and what’s that like?
There’s a communal process in using cannabis recreationally. We pass it like a peace pipe. Help each other enjoy the experience and share our goodies. It’s a pleasure being around like minds when you’re pleasuring your mind.
Do you see yourself enjoying cannabis into your seventies and eighties and why?
WHY NOT? Actually, I will use cannabis until I die. I’m putting it in my living will. Especially because of all of the medical discoveries that are being made about cannabis being beneficial for almost every ailment out there. Why not increase my health by continuously feeding my endocannabinoid system?
How have you seen the stigma around cannabis use decrease over time, especially recently?
I am a NYC child of the 60s, and cannabis use has been a part of my life – it was always normal to me. I’m not sure if I see the stigma really decreasing as much as me becoming very open about my use. I speak to my physicians about it. My response, on an intake interview, to the question, “Do you take any medication” is “Yes, I take cannabis for…..” I’m also very fortunate to be in the industry and work for Tikun Olam USA, a medical cannabis company. I am able to spout information about medical testing and talk about quality of life improvements of tens of thousands of patients. I’ve had doctors ask me questions about cannabis.
What suggestions do you have for other mature users?
There are many people who used recreationally when they were younger and are returning to cannabis use for medical purposes instead of relying on pharma. It’s stronger than it was decades ago. Go slowly. Make sure to stay hydrated. Even having a healthy meal before you consume is a good idea to avoid cravings for junk food. It might make you dizzy or slightly drop your blood pressure, so consult a physician if you have those concerns. Cannabis is natural medicine. It cannot be prescribed like pharmaceuticals. There isn’t one strain for each ailment. So you need it to be an integral part in your treatment if you use it for medicine. You might have to try a few different strains, combinations of, and/or a few different methods of ingestion.
Any recommendations for those who are newer to cannabis?
I would give anyone old or young, the same advice. Besides the above tips for older users, it’s really a good idea to read as much information as you can to stay educated about your own health.
Story by Anicée Gaddis
Illustration by Elena Boils
The preceding is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to condone the use or consumption of cannabis. For more information, please refer to our disclaimer.