Categorized | Technology

Cannabis and Sun Salutations Combine to Help Seniors Relax Their Way to Better Health

The woman with I Love Lucy hair looked like a deer in headlights, then placed her finger over her lips, signaling the other lady to be quiet.

A woman wearing a sassy, bright-yellow jacket chimed in, “You can go around the corner into the other parking lot and sneak a few bites, and then come back. No one will know—and we won’t say anything.” She shot a glance at the lady wearing sunglasses.

But it was time for class to begin. “Let us come together to celebrate the gift of movement,” the instructor said. “Through the breath, we control the mind, and the mind is what controls the body.”

The instructor led us through three sun salutations—all while sitting in chairs. We raised our hands toward the sky and stared at our fingertips. After inhaling fresh oxygen, we swooped our arms downward and placed our hands on the floor, releasing the breath we’d taken. From there, we lifted half way up, putting our hands on our shins and maintaining a straight back. With another forward fold, we lifted our hands back to the sky. “As women, we are the givers of life,” the instructor said to the group. “The universe is within us.”

As someone who does yoga regularly, I was impressed at how warm my body was from a seated sun salutation. In fact, after doing three salutations followed by a chair pose (while actually sitting in a chair, which is more difficult than it sounds), I was moderately out of breath and needed to remove my shawl. “This is too easy for me,” remarked the woman next to me. “I enjoy my kundalini classes.”

Apparently, I’m a wimp.

Bud and Bloom’s Cannabis and Senior’s Education Series is a brilliant program for a couple of reasons. Seniors are often overprescribed harsh pharmaceuticals when cannabis would suffice. And cannabis needs to be normalized through all generations—not just the younger ones. Baby boomers were beat over the head with the Reefer Madness stick, so unless they’re open to trying new things or have always used cannabis, they need the education. Plus, they get to hop on a bus and take an outing to one of Santa Ana’s most aesthetic shops.

Walking around the showroom, it seemed as though most of the chocolate edibles were gone, specifically Défoncé Chocolatier‘s bars. A woman and her friend huddled around the chocolate drawer as they tried to figure out which they wanted. “Have you tried the Défoncé chocolate before?” I asked her.

“Yes it’s really good,” she said.

“I agree. They’re strong, and you can’t even taste the cannabis in it. Is this your first time here?” I asked in a friendly attempt to keep the conversation going.

“Why are you asking me so many questions?” she replied defensively. After I explained I’m a cannabis reporter from OC Weekly, she responed, “Well, you should’ve told me who you were. You’re being intrusive to my experience, and I have to go.”

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I really didn’t know what to say next. Seniors are my favorite age group of people, and I’ve never had problems chatting with them. So I awkwardly smiled and stared at her.

The experience triggered a flashback to a time when I was at a McDonald’s in Dana Point. I wasn’t much older than 3, and I saw a little girl around my age and her older sister running around and having (what looked like) the best time ever. I obviously wanted to have the best time ever, too, and I thought I could massively contribute to the fun. So I approached them in the middle of the yellow crawl-space tunnel and asked them if they wanted to be friends. They looked at each other and said no, which was beyond my comprehension. I was devastated to the core. I immediately left the play area to find my dad, who was confused as to why I was bawling my eyes out. He explained to me that not everyone will understand my spirit, but that people who don’t want to be my friends are lost inside.

Back in the present, the lady walked away from me, appalled. I remained by the edibles, confused as to what had happened. Although I wasn’t bawling my eyes out, I felt just as weird as I did at 3 years old.

“It’s okay, dear,” her friend said to me. “She just hasn’t had her flower today.”

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