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Talk To Your Grandma About CBD

February 11, 2019 @ 8:13AM

If your family knows you’re a cannabis user, there’s a chance that your parents, grandparents, or one of your other relatives will ask you about CBD (short for cannabidiol) at some point. CBD products are becoming a hot topic among adults in their golden years, especially with increasingly commonplace discussions about CBD on daytime TV shows like Today and Dr. Oz, and on websites like aarp.org and oprah.com. Granted, your family might never take your word over Oprah’s, but it’s good to have a practical understanding of CBD products and to be prepared for situations where you get to educate your elders about cannabis at the dinner table.

Before we get into the different types of CBD products that might help bubbie with her joint pain, consider reading our article on CBD ratios then keep the following in mind:

  1. CBD works better with THC. Both cannabinoids provide value on their own, but CBD and THC have a synergistic effect when taken together.
  2. As of this writing, all CBD products sold at Washington dispensaries are required by law to contain at least 0.3% THC.
  3. Any ratio less than 10:1 (ten parts CBD to 1 part THC) will likely give the user a slight buzz.
  4. The “CBD only” companies that “ship to all 50 states” don’t currently adhere to the same regulations as the rest of the cannabis industry, so you should always ask these companies where their CBD is sourced from, which pesticides they use, and if they’re able to provide a COA (certificate of analysis) to demonstrate the quality and safety of the product (namely residual pesticides, potency, and the presence of heavy metals).

Bearing the above bullet points in mind, there are a variety of CBD-rich products on the market that our older customers tell us are useful for relieving symptoms of age-related illnesses like arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, pain, and insomnia.


CBD rich topical products are cannabis infused gels, balms, lotions, and salves that can be applied directly to your skin. Topicals are non-intoxicating and won’t cause a high— even if the product contains THC— so they’re popular among seniors seeking localized relief from pain and inflammation. 

At our pot shop, we see new seniors every day who want to buy topicals for themselves after having a good experience with their friend’s Solace cream or Flow gel. Though we can’t legally make any sort of medical or therapeutic claims about cannabis topicals, we have multiple state-certified Medical Marijuana Consultants on staff who can help patients and customers find the topical product that best suits their unique needs.


Another effective and smoke-free way to consume CBD is by using tinctures: cannabis-infused coconut oil or avocado oil that can be absorbed sublingually (under your tongue), or by using the accompanying eye dropper to put it in a drink. Taken sublingually, the effect of a tincture may take as little as 20 to 45 minutes to kick in. However, when a tincture is dropped into a beverage, the effects may take longer to feel as it will need to absorb through your digestive system: it could take 30 minutes to 2 hours before Nonna can expect to feel its effects.

We carry myriad tinctures at our Seattle dispensary ranging from high CBD, high THC, 1:1 ratio, flavored, unflavored, and even special formulas to help with sleep and stress.

Edibles & RSO

Grammy and pappy are probably familiar with pot brownies, but nowadays there are a great deal of edible options aside from just brownies: there are capsules, hard candies, soft candies (like fruit chews and “gummy” type products), chocolates, cookies, sodas, and even cannabis-infused sugar that you can bake with or add to your coffee.

A CBD product that’s especially popular among seriously ill customers is RSO. Short for “Rick Simpson Oil,” RSO is a fully activated and extremely potent cannabis extract made using ethanol. Under Washington’s cannabis regulations, RSO is technically classified as a “marijuana infused extract for inhalation,” and though we can’t legally sell or market RSO as an edible product, we also can’t deny that most everyone who buys RSO does so with the intention of eating it. To that point, some of our customers like to add RSO to a sweet treat to try and mask the strong taste, and our Purchasing Manager eats RSO with dark chocolate because it compliments the natural bitterness and earthy flavor.

Vape Cartridges

Pre-filled oil cartridges and vape pens are a rapid, discreet, and convenient way to administer CBD that are perfect for older folks seeking immediate relief. Used in conjunction with a rechargeable battery, vape pens heat refined cannabis extract (hash oil, for all intents and purposes) to a temperature just below the combustion point, thereby producing a therapeutic vapor for inhalation.

Vaporized cannabis oil might look like smoke at a glance, but it goes down more smoothly and doesn’t give off the pungent, skunky odor associated with smoking weed. Most importantly, vapes travel better than cannabis flower and they don't produce the same harmful toxins found in smoke.

Like many processed CBD products, vape cartridges can come in a variety of ratios, thereby enabling the user to benefit from the synergistic effects of THC and CBD without sacrificing more mental clarity than they’re comfortable with.

Buds & Joints

Last, but certainly not least are CBD flower and prerolls. Though it may not be an ideal means of consumption for someone with sensitive lungs, baby boomers still have the option to administer CBD the old fashioned way: roll it up and smoke it.

When CBD rich cultivars of cannabis first emerged about 10 years ago, there were very few varieties available, and of those few, almost all of the CBD rich strains you could find at a dispensary had a 10:1 or 20:1 ratio (meaning they only had 1% THC). Thanks to the hard work of marijuana breeders all over Europe and North America, we now have many varietals of CBD flower, including some with equal parts of CBD and THC (1:1 ratio).

A Few Tips

  • If you can’t get Nanna to the dispensary, pick something up and bring it to her at home.
  • Alternatively, if Gran is able to join you on your next bud run, be sure to ask for a Medical Marijuana Consultant so we can help explain the benefits of various CBD products in greater detail; we’re here to help answer questions and always have patience for patients.
  • Never trick your relatives (or anyone) into consuming something they don’t want or don’t expect; let them decide for themselves, and hope that your gentle persuasion proves effective.

. . . . .

There’s a lot of great information about CBD online, and we certainly aren’t the first or the last to blog about it; we just wanted to write something short and sweet to help Granny realize she has options aside from opioids. We hope that this article (or the talking points within it) serve as a helpful jumping off point that you can feel comfortable sharing with your older relatives. If you’d like more details about CBD research, we recommend visiting ProjectCBD.org.

Finally, please let your grandma know that we offer a 10% senior discount all day everyday for seniors 60 and older!

Article by Ramsey Doudar; an in-house marketing and social media strategist at Herbn Elements. His perspective is influenced by 2 years of budtending, 5 years as a cannabis industry marketing professional, and 10+ years of being a super picky medical patient.