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Navigating the New World Of Marijuana For Older Adults: A Guide

"Boomerangers" are coming back to cannabis for its many benefits and uses.

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This story originally appeared on The Fresh Toast

Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946-1964, are circling back to marijuana, becoming known as “Boomerangers”. If this is you, you’re likely giving yourself permission to enjoy old and new ways of consuming cannabis, both recreationally and for the management of pain, anxiety and insomnia. But today’s cannabis products are undoubtedly more potent than the weaker “grass” you may have experimented with in their younger years.

RELATED: Silver Lining: Mature Cannabis Consumers Are a Fast Growing Market

Be prepared

Besides treading lightly to prevent potential anxiety, paranoia or physical instability, it’s advised you plan your cannabis experimentations when you’re free of other obligations and comfortable in your pleasantly prepared environment. Also, this may sound obvious, but it’s always recommended for those who’ve taken a long hiatus to avoid consuming too much their first time back in a crowded environment, such as a concert.

Photo by Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

Entering a dispensary in a legalized state can be like walking into a candy store. Find a high quality dispensary with a knowledgeable budtender, someone who speaks the new cannabis language, and can walk you through the wide assortment of choices and ways to consume the plant.

Know what you want

It helps to know what effects you are looking to experience, as well as ones you would like to avoid. “Indica” strains are often experienced as physically sedating, ideal for relaxing or before bed. “Sativa” strains tend to provide invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative endeavors. “Hybrids” are a blend of both.

  • Flower refers to the actual green bud of the marijuana plant, which can be consumed in a pipe, bong or joint. Most dispensaries sell conveniently pre-rolled joints.
  • Vaporizers do not combust the cannabis, but rather use lower heat to create vapor from the flower before inhaled. Portable vaporizers, which come in all shapes and sizes, have become popular for their ease of use, portability and discrete nature.
  • Concentrate pens or vape pens have pre-loaded cannabis extract. They come in a many flavors and offer various experiential benefits.
  • Edibles are an alternative to smoking or vaping, and the varieties of goodies are endless. Be aware of dosage; you can always take more but you can’t take less. There are food-based treats as well as sublingual edibles such as juices, tinctures and lozenges.
  • Concentrates, which can be much stronger than flower, are best in small doses. Methods of consuming concentrates include dabbing or applying topicals, non-psychoactive lotions that provide beneficial cannabinoids

RELATED: Millennials Or Boomers? A New Study Tells Which One Uses Marijuana More Frequently

Know what you're getting into

Metabolism slows with age, so you may feel high for longer. It is also important to take current medications into consideration; Xanax or Valium can interact with marijuana to cause intense lethargy, and mixing with Prozac can cause irritability and restlessness.

Marijuana is contraindicated for those with heart conditions, so consult your doctor before you consume any cannabis products.