Cannabis for Seniors – Book Review
Author: Beverly A. Potter
Genre: Health, medical marijuana, aged
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Release Date: Published 20th March, 2017 by Ronin Publishing
Format: Kindle, 200 pages
What did I think?
There are some issues with this Kindle book. I’ve got to say that right off the bat. But it’s got some good information in it too (hence three stars). I’ll break it down for you.
To clarify there are various products and ways of taking cannabis from those that get a person high to those that have almost no THC (the active ingredient for recreational use) but high levels of the other cannabinoids which have a variety of health benefits. The book is not suggesting that THC does not also have benefits for some people, I’m simply pointing out that therapeutic cannabis use, as I’ve read about in the media and now in this book, is not all about the street drugs and “getting stoned”.
Here’s what was great:
• It describes the main ways of using cannabis from inhalation to eating it in foods along with the positives and negatives.
• It explains the basic varieties of cannabis, along with what they are most useful for.
• A variety of illnesses and symptoms are discussed in terms of how cannabis may help.
• Potter talked about some myths surrounding cannabis use. The forgetful stoner, that cannabis and alcohol are similar – they’re actually very different animals – and the old chestnut that “it’s a gateway drug”.
• I would agree with the author that alcohol presents the user with more dangers, including death, alcoholism and interacting with prescription medications. People do not die from cannabis poisoning, but Potter did well to clearly point out the importance of not driving while affected.
• The information on establishing a baseline for judging the effects of usage on your particular illness and/or symptoms was excellent. It will not help many people in Australia right now because medicinal marijuana here is just getting up and running and is still highly restricted. But in countries that are further down the track, it’s very useful information to have.
• Relaxation, mindfulness and visualisation get a mention which I think is useful because our psychological state has a large effect on our physical state. Pain is a great example, and it’s explored well in this book.
Here’s what needs work:
• The formatting needs a lot of work. It’s readable but very unprofessional.
• The information contained could have been organised better to be more streamlined and understandable and to prevent repetition (of which there was some…).
• The interactions between cannabis and other prescription medications could, and should, have been elaborated on. I felt Cannabis for Seniors glossed this over.
• I would have appreciated elaboration on problematic side effects that can come with cannabis use, particularly as they apply to seniors. The easiest example to give is the unsteadiness that they might feel with (not all, but) some strains of cannabis. Seniors are already at risk of falls, and the repercussions of having a fall are greater for the elderly. I feel compelled to point out that other prescription medications can also increase the likelihood of falls (like the commonly prescribed opioids! – if you’d like to know more about the synthetic opioid crisis see my review of Fentanyl Inc. ) it makes little sense to say ‘well, just don’t do it,’ or ‘cannabis isn’t useful medicinally.’ It’s more complex than that, and so I wish that Potter had given it the time it deserves.
• The forgetful stoner myth also wasn’t explained fully. Not beyond there being “some truth in it” but then talking about research showing THC (a cannabinoid) helps remove plaque in the brain, which might therefore help Alzheimer’s. It’s also well known for its effects on creativity, of course, but the memory thing I think is important to discuss because seniors are already at risk.
Overall, I’m glad I read this ebook. I may not be senior yet (though hey, we’re all heading there, aren’t we?!) but I know some seniors and I would like to think Australians (and others) will have more options for dealing with the specific challenges and pains of ageing in the future. This book could use some re-organising, and definitely some formatting work but it was a fair introduction to therapeutic and medicinal cannabis use.
Thank you to the publisher, Ronin Publishing, Book Buzz on Net Galley, and the author, for my copy of the book, given in return for an honest review.