Pot Parties for Old People Are a Thing and We Love Them
The recreational and medicinal appeal of marijuana knows no demographic barriers. If your grandmother isn’t a secret stoner by now, she’s increasingly got no excuse not to give it a whirl.
What might be surprising is that adults aged 50 and older is one of the fastest-growing cohorts using this wondrous plant and its derivatives. In the last ten years, the 50-plus crowd has increased their pot use by an incredible 71 percent.
And in a delightfully whimsical turn of events, it’s looking like “pot parties” for older folks might soon supplant Mark Kay and Tupperware parties as the go-to “living room social network” for adults.
Pot Parties for Old People: What Are They … and Why?
Maybe you’ve heard about the wild bacchanalian ragers being thrown in some of the less rigorously supervised nursing homes. But, while it’s obvious that our elderly population has every reason and right to spend their latter decades having as much fun as possible, “pot parties” for middle-aged and elderly folks aren’t just about recreation.
Pot use among teenagers is falling, but recreational drug use is actually rising among the older population, according to doctors. In part because it’s fun and in part because, unlike most forms of recreation, pot use stands a great chance at alleviating chronic pain and addressing many symptoms of stubborn conditions and diseases, including many primarily associated with the unforgiving aging process.
Indeed, cannabis for the older generations is now very much a booming cottage industry in parts of the country where the cultivation and use of this plant is legal and sensibly regulated. Startups in San Francisco and elsewhere, for example, market themselves squarely to the Baby Boomer communities by offering tinctures, salves and oils that promise relief from pain and other symptoms that make life difficult for the elderly. Smoking weed has few observable long-term side effects, but combustible cannabis products can be harsh on older or already-compromised lungs and respiratory symptoms.
And this comes not a moment too soon, too, because one of the few so-called “socially acceptable” alternatives for cannabis use when it comes to dealing with pain among the elderly is to self-medicate with heavy alcohol use. If you live in a state without legal medical weed, you yourself might know a Boomer who relies on alcohol for relief from the difficulties of growing older. This is neither a safe nor effective substitute and usually invites more harm than it remedies.
Pot Parties to the Rescue
So what exactly is a pot party? To be honest, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
Much like the Mary Kay, Avon and Tupperware parties of the past, pot parties are a way to socialize while trying new products. They also provide an outlet for those selling the products to make some extra cash on the side. Pot parties are also a great way, according to business owners who’ve met with early success, for the aging population to side-step the spectacle and the oftentimes overwhelming choices on display at local dispensaries.
How to Throw a Pot Party for Grandma
If you live in a state where pot is legal, you’ve already completed step one. If you want most of the work done for you, the next step is to find a company that facilitates pot parties. As we’ve mentioned, this is essentially a brand-new industry, so you might not find much in your area if you live outside the major cities in states with legal weed.
But if you’re feeling ambitious, you can definitely bring together your loved ones and their friends for a pot party of your own making. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Know what products are a good fit: Like we mentioned, there may not be a lot of smoking going on at a nursing home pot party. You’re better off narrowing your focus in most cases to products that are friendlier for aging bodies, such as oral drops and sprays, sublingual treatments, creams and salves, bath soaks, patches, edibles (candies and baked goods) and vape-ready products. If you’re not sure about what to look for, your local dispensary is sure to have some good recommendations.
- Have some fun with it: Now, even if you’re not here to inundate your partygoers with “cannabis culture,” that doesn’t mean you can’t have some cheeky fun with them. The selection of cannabis-related party decorations and additions — like pot-shaped ice trays, balloons and banners — is practically boundless.
- Prioritize comfort above all: It’s true that pot use is booming among the elderly, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always find yourself with an audience who’s 100 percent on board with the idea. Your primary job is to inform and to furnish a good sampling of products that might do them some good — not to push anybody into something they’re not ready for. To that end, you’ll want to create as welcoming an atmosphere as possible, including a thoughtful selection of music, soft and relaxing lighting and, of course, plenty of comfortable chairs for when things take a turn toward the contemplative.
Finally, remember to swing the focus back toward education. Nobody wants to sit through a 70-slide PowerPoint on the ins and outs of cannabis chemistry and how it acts on the body, but it’s also true that this is a new enough experience for many that you’ll want to make sure they have a good sense of the benefits and how it can help improve your partygoers’ health.
You can even include information on how they can secure their own individual doctor consultations afterward if they want to explore further. Pot party companies provide at least some educational material and you’re encouraged to do the same even if you’re, as it were, “rolling your own” party from scratch.