Seniors peruse pot for pain

Discussion at the Evergreen Market on Monday covers how cannabis derivatives can relieve aches and pains

Bonnie Kosco discusses with Auburn senior citizen Joanne Harries, foreground, how a marijuana-infused lotion has helped relieve the pain of her arthritis. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

Sure, there are a lot of potheads and stoners out and about.

But deep-six the notion that today’s marijuana is all about, only about, getting high. So yesterday, dude.

As Eric Gaston, owner and co-founder of Evergreen Market, informed the handful of senior citizens from the retirement home Village Concepts Brannan Park who’d accepted his invitation to drop in Monday and learn about cannabis, today’s stuff is about so much more.

“The variety of products available in Washington state today is mind blowing,” Gaston said.

Indeed, cannabis in its capacity to relieve aches, pains and stress – all of those maladies of keen importance to senior citizens – can be found in skin creams, foods, pills, oil-based tinctures, mixers to make drinks with, smokeless devices, and everything in between.

None of which, Gaston noted, involve harsh smoke or the old roach clip.

Gaston is keen on educating people to whom marijuana is a great unknown. To that end, he has a special employee at each of his stores in Renton and Auburn called “the educator,” whose only job is to “deep-dive with customers” and help them learn about cannabis.

That’s what educators Elan Gratrix and Esther Wacheke did Monday, fielding questions, talking about products.

Bonnie Kosco, afflicted with arthritis, said she had endured painful cortisone shots in her fingers, which sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t. When her doctor told her, ‘no more shots, next time it’ll be surgery,’ she began looking for alternatives.

What she found was a lotion called “Dose,” which provides her with relief without any semblance of a high.

“I use it when it becomes painful, and when I need it, I reapply it … and it’s successful,” Kosco said. “I might also mention that because you might try it, and you might go, ‘I don’t know if that works,’ don’t give up. Go to another item, and you might find the success you’re looking for.

“The other thing that converted me was I’d never had a problem sleeping before, and then a couple of years ago, I’d go to bed for an hour, wake up, toss and turn for two or three hours, and it was just awful. I hated it,” Kosco said, noting another sans-buzz product that has provided her the sleep she needs without any lingering sensations in the morning.

Senior Joanne Harries wanted to know if cannabis could do anything for her bad knees, and if so, could she travel with say, a topical cream, without hassle from the legal establishment?

Bit risky, said Wacheke: one is only legally protected within the state of Washington.

“There goes my Canadian trip,” Harries said, throwing up her arms.

But Wacheke, keen to save Harries’ good times, volunteered that that same knee-pain relieving product can also be found in Canada.

“I’m not giving my good money away to the Canadians!” Harries objected to laughter. “I’d need that to get out of jail!”

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