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Advice for Baby Boomers Who Gave Up Cannabis Long Ago But Want to Give It Another Chance

June 17, 2015

Dear baby boomers,

I’m 60 years old and live in Washington state, where cannabis is legal. When I get together socially with my fellow baby boomers, hardly anyone smokes cannabis. Here’s the typical story you hear at these get-togethers:

“I used to smoke pot when I was young. Then I got a real job, got married, had kids. I’d try it every once in a while, but it would make me paranoid. It wasn’t fun any more, so I just stopped.”

It’s worth noting that the person telling such a story usually has a glass of wine in his hand, a telling reminder that he gave up cannabis but has chosen not to abstain from alcohol. These boomers still enjoy altering their consciousness, but despite the increase of successful legalization efforts, they’re staying away from cannabis. Why?

Here are the three reasons I hear most often:

  1. It’s too strong. A lot of today’s cannabis can have THC levels over 20%, so to a baby boomer that means one hit and you’re baked. Lots of people my age don’t like changing the channel so quickly and so markedly, so to speak.
  2. It’s a hassle to consume. Boomers aren’t so keen on cannabis stinking up the house nowadays, plus they think the smoke makes your eyes red and your mouth dry.
  3. It can make you lazy, uncommunicative, and paranoid. Boomers often equate cannabis to something you try when you’re young, but as soon as you’re older and saddled with responsibilities, it feels like something you have to grow out of.

Still, if we’re comparing ways to feed your head, marijuana has some real advantages over alcohol. For example:

Of course, none of those advantages overcome their objections (potency; hassle; laziness). But there are ways to address these concerns — for boomers who want to give cannabis another chance, here are some recommendations:

Buy a Vapor (“Vape”) Pen

Cannabis vape pen

I’m tempted to just end this article with that sentence. Modern society has made some impressive technological advancements over the past few decades, and a vape pen is one such achievement that’s wonderful in so many ways. It eliminates the hassle of rolling a joint or loading a pipe. (There are two kinds of vapor pens: the kind you can load with cannabis flower material and the kind that has a little cartridge of liquid cannabis concentrate. I like the ones that use concentrate, as for me it means less fussing around). It’s all self-contained, akin to an e-cigarette. Plus, a vape pen is discrete. It pretty much looks like…well, a pen.

The next big advantage is that there’s no fire and, consequently, no smoke. The way a vapor pen works is that it heats a small amount of cannabis concentrate enough to deliver the goods but without producing smoke. Take a puff and exhale an odorless vapor. It’s easier on the lungs, smoke doesn’t get in your eyes, and a hit or two off a vape pen does not get you baked. You’ll feel it, but it’s comparable to the degree of effect you get from a single glass of wine.

Buy the Right Strain of Cannabis Concentrate

Cannabis concentrate cartridges

A vapor pen consists of two parts that fit together: the electronic heating part and a little cartridge that contains the cannabis concentrate. Any dispensary worth its salt is going to have a choice of cartridges with concentrates derived from different strains of cannabis. As a general rule, strains that are classified as sativa provide a more uplifting, euphoric effect that is great for stimulating conversation, playing Frisbee, or enlivening otherwise mundane chores such as vacuuming the house. Concentrates derived from indica strains are more sedating and good for parking on the couch and doing a Sopranos viewing marathon. Many strains are classified as hybrids, which exhibit varying combinations of effects. The Leafly app or Leafly.com can steer you in the right direction, as can a good budtender at a dispensary.

In short: Use the right strain in a vaporizing pen and you may have reason to reconsider all the objections you held against using cannabis. (And you’ll probably have a good time in the process!)

  • *You may think using anything as an “aide” in life, somehow makes it an invalid experience…
    OK, what aide are we talking about? Marijuana, my glasses, my hearing aid, my meds that aid me with diabetes, cholesterol, stroke, heart attack, anti-inflammatory, headache, thyroid, antibiotics, depression, sleep, stress, allergies, colds, viruses, vitamins. I could go on with the list but first I would like to know what aid do I stop taking to make my life work better? Which one of the above aids come without a warning on the label? Prescribed or over-the-counter? None! They all have warning labels. ibuprofen has more warnings and long term negative effects than pot does…

    Pot, makes my life work better! I mean, why take all the other meds just to live a defeated life and then die? All the meds I take keep my body functioning well at 70… Pot gives me the passion for life and motivation to be able to enjoy my good health. It’s what gets me up each day with excitement and great expectations because I know it’s going to be a great day with motivation! Ya gotta keep movin or nature will begin the “death spiral” sequence… Pot makes you feel like getting off your butt! Just sayin!

    Find out what hybrid is tailor-made for you and your relationship. You may even want to use several different strains for different effects as I do. Between the weather, news, your “to do list” and everyday stresses, you find that your moods or needs can change at different times of the day. I personally have several strains (10 to 12) at the ready at all times. Why? I don’t ever want another bad day!
    If I can prevent a bad day… why shouldn’t I, why wouldn’t I, why couldn’t I, why can’t I?

    Now, I have a “say” in what I’m going through at the time. If my Lady or I don’t want to be a “mood’s victim”, we can change the mood with one of the 12 strains that allow us to pick the direction we want to go in for the rest of the day or evening. Being dialed in with your spouse at the end of the day is exactly where I want to be. Good moods equal longer, healthier life with fewer issue related to boredom, depression, stress and non-activity. Which are the primary causes of ill health and potential cancer issues.

    Just smoking grass isn’t like any other “stand alone” experience if you know what to do with it and use the right strain of pot to get the right results. After smoking pot for 50+ years, I’ve learned just how diversified cannabis is. When you consider sativa, indica and hybrids you’re looking at several hundred different strains and new hybrids coming out everyday. You learn what strain can make you anxious, and which one is the opposite with it’s relaxing, sleepy, couch lock, hungry effects. If you don’t want to get the munchies and couch lock don’t use pure Indica. If you don’t want to be edgy or shaky like an energy drink or too much coffee, don’t use pure Sativa.

    Hybrids find the sweet spot for each individuals desired effect. Don’t get me wrong, pure Indica and pure Sativa are very desirable… I just don’t recommend either for new users.
    If you don’t know what to expect and are determined to try pot, go with a recommended Hybrid first…
    one toke at a time, keeps you from, one toke over the line!
    Important note: You must not drink alcohol during this time. Alcohol will all but guarantee a bad experience. No other meds either, i.e.; aspirin, cold med, allergy med. No coffee, no energy drink. Don’t try if depressed or emotional.

    In my opinion, pot in a very positive way, can change your life, your marriage, your sex life, your health, your negativity and anger issues. It’s great for just being happy with a genuine sense of well being.
    For me, it’s just a healthier, happier and better way of life. Please don’t think I’m trying to encourage anyone to take any substance they don’t consider necessary. Remember, I’ve been using pot for over 50 years, for everything. So naturally, as a healthy 70 yo, it’s hard for me to see or understand how people, even today, freak out over the use of pot.

  • *You may think using anything as an “aide” in life, somehow makes it an invalid experience…
    OK, what aide are we talking about? Marijuana, my glasses, my hearing aid, my meds that aid me with diabetes, cholesterol, stroke, heart attack, anti-inflammatory, headache, thyroid, antibiotics, depression, sleep, stress, allergies, colds, viruses, vitamins. I could go on with the list but first I would like to know what aid do I stop taking to make my life work better? Which one of the above aids come without a warning on the label? Prescribed or over-the-counter? None! They all have warning labels. ibuprofen has more warnings and long term negative effects than pot does…

    Pot, makes my life work better! I mean, why take all the other meds just to live a defeated life and then die? All the meds I take keep my body functioning well at 70… Pot gives me the passion for life and motivation to be able to enjoy my good health. It’s what gets me up each day with excitement and great expectations because I know it’s going to be a great day with motivation! Ya gotta keep movin or nature will begin the “death spiral” sequence… Pot makes you feel like getting off your butt! Just sayin!

    Find out what hybrid is tailor-made for you and your relationship. You may even want to use several different strains for different effects as I do. Between the weather, news, your “to do list” and everyday stresses, you find that your moods or needs can change at different times of the day. I personally have several strains (10 to 12) at the ready at all times. Why? I don’t ever want another bad day!
    If I can prevent a bad day… why shouldn’t I, why wouldn’t I, why couldn’t I, why can’t I?

    Now, I have a “say” in what I’m going through at the time. If my Lady or I don’t want to be a “mood’s victim”, we can change the mood with one of the 12 strains that allow us to pick the direction we want to go in for the rest of the day or evening. Being dialed in with your spouse at the end of the day is exactly where I want to be. Good moods equal longer, healthier life with fewer issue related to boredom, depression, stress and non-activity. Which are the primary causes of ill health and potential cancer issues.

    Just smoking grass isn’t like any other “stand alone” experience if you know what to do with it and use the right strain of pot to get the right results. After smoking pot for 50+ years I’ve learned just how diversified cannabis is. When you consider sativa, indica and hybrids you’re looking at several hundred different strains and new hybrids coming out everyday. You learn what strain can make you anxious, and which one is the opposite with it’s relaxing, sleepy, couch lock, hungry effects. If you don’t want to get the munchies and couch lock don’t use pure Indica. If you don’t want to be edgy or shaky like an energy drink or too much coffee, don’t use pure Sativa.

    Hybrids find the sweet spot for each individuals desired effect. Don’t get me wrong, pure Indica and pure Sativa are very desirable… I just don’t recommend either for new users. If you don’t know what to expect and are determined to try pot, go with a recommended Hybrid first…
    one toke at a time, keeps you from, one toke over the line!
    Important note: You must not drink alcohol during this time. Alcohol will all but guarantee a bad experience. No other meds either, i.e.; aspirin, cold med, allergy med. No coffee, no energy drink. Don’t try if depressed or emotional.