Ok to start using marijuana in your 50s?

Most of the literature on the potential risks of marijuana focus on younger users and particularly the impact on the growing brain. The inherent risks of smoking any substance are, of course, well documented, and the dangers of driving or performing other tasks while high are self-evident.

But what are the downsides of becoming a regular marijuana smoker for the first time in your 50s?

Hypothetically, let’s say that I’m in my early 50s and recreational marijuana is legal in my state. I try it, like it, and become a daily user. It doesn’t affect my work or other responsibilities, it’s just what I like to do at home in the evenings while watching Netflix.

What should I be worried about, and can anybody point me to any reputable sources that discuss this? Almost everything I’ve seen is either channeling “reefer madness” warnings or saying it’s a miracle plant that cures all.

There have been contradictory studies on marijuana use and decreased testosterone levels in males. Last I read there was some evidence for decreased testosterone, but the levels for both users and non-users were within “normal”.

Smoking has it’s own inherent risks but you can consume marijuana in a variety of ways.

I’m not aware of any studies that looked at taking up marijuana in your 50’s.
I would say that I don’t see any reason for you to smoke it with the variety of edibles around. Smoking anything is harmful to your lungs.

You may begin to laugh uncontrollably while playing the piano.

This is normal.

And then, the munchies. Oh, the munchies could be a problem for a 50+ old person who’s a bit above normal weight anyway.

And you may become a hopeless heroin addict within a matter of days, pot being a gateway drug and all that. :dubious:

Are you looking for permission?

I’ll allow it.

(Here’s some advice: the experience is very much tied to the setting, so should a person decide to start in their 50s, it would be advisable to do so amongst friends - especially those with experience smoking - while in a secure and comfortable environment with access to one’s favorite music and snacks).

I think it was a joke, but one with a true core, especially if someone is inexperienced with marijuana.

I saw that movie!

Since you specify smoking:

Lung cancer

If you don’t have any family who would wish that you stayed on Earth longer rather than shorter, then I supposed go for it. You’re going to die of something, eventually. But otherwise, I’d give it a pass.

Other avenues of partaking may be good for you if you have a stress issue and if you take it on a schedule to produce increased relaxation while not gaining tolerance to the drug. Stress ages you faster. However, while it might help to keep you from stressing:

  1. Some stress is there to tell you that you’re doing something wrong in life. Fixing that is better than going off into a corner and getting high. Evading problems has a way of them coming back and making up for lost time.
  2. One does build up a tolerance if you take it regularly, implying that the benefit is relatively short lived with regular use. Your body will stop producing whatever is keeping you destressed, in favor of taking in something exogenously. On average, you end up about the same, but with a more spiky sense to how everything feels.
  3. Ultimately, it doesn’t reduce cortisol - the stress hormone that builds up as you age and makes you age faster. You might feel less stressful, emotionally, temporarily but it’s not taking the stress off your methylation cycles.

If you are in pain, cannabis might be a decent answer - from what people have said. If you just want to destress and experience brain fog, I’d suggest exercise, dietary levels of lithium, maca powder, and honokiol on days when you won’t be driving for a while.

Eating and smoking cannabis have completely different effects. One cannot be replaced with the other.

This big time. I smoke every day. I really enjoy it. If I get a phone call and have to do some serious business, I stop smoking and know how my return to normalcy will go.

I also have 20 mg capsules. I usually dose with two when I want to be high for a long time, but it’s a different high and it can be unpredictable.

I eat capsules maybe once a month, even though my capsule supply is basically free and limitless. I’d rather smoke flower (which I still call bud) even though I’m paying retail.

There are a few subreddits that might interest you. I’m active in r/MMJ and r/PaMedicalMarijuana. Recreational use is discussed in r/trees and r/weed. There are also subreddits about growing and about specific devices like r/oilpen.

Feel free to message me if you have specific questions, but please remind me about my offer, see there’s this short-term memory thing…

I may know someone who, decarbs around 4 grams in a instant pot for an hour and adds it to a 5th of Everclear. One shot is a perfect night cap. Comes on a lot faster than most edibles (30 minutes), but doesn’t go over the top.

This is particularly helpful advice, thanks. I did say “smoking” in my post, but edibles make more sense to me. I’ve done enough “personal research” to understand the different effects and duration of the edibles compared to vaping or smoking.

Frankly, smoking seems like too much work and you need equipment (papers, pipe, grinder, etc.)

Thanks to all of the others who offered answers here.

If you are in a legal state, don’t forget vape pens. I can duck into the men’s room, take my pen out of my pocket, take three good hits, and come back out in less time than it takes to pee.

I wholeheartedly agree. Vape pens are my method of choice now mostly for the convenience factor.