An Israeli nursing home outside of Tel Aviv administers medical marijuana to its Israel’s elderly every day. The medicine a helps them to forget hauntingly painful memories of the Holocaust. Along with post-traumatic stress disorder, marijuana can also be prescribed in Israel for Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, cancer and many other debilitating conditions.
Moshe Rute, 81, is one of the earliest patients to receive legal cannabis after arriving at the Hadarim nursing home in 1988. Since 2009, the number of patients with licenses has skyrocketed, due to the groundbreaking research that is being done by the country.
Recently, nineteen residents of Hadarim between the ages of 69 and 101 took part in a study that required them to take cannabis three times a day. After a year of the treatment, the researchers observed reductions in muscle spasms, stiffness, tremors, pain and PTSD flashbacks as well as improvements in sleep and weight.
The study also discovered that not only did participants experience dramatic physical results, including healthy weight gain and the reduction of pain and tremors, but Hadarim staff saw an immediate improvement in the participants’ moods and communication skills. The patients were also able to reduce their reliance on prescription pills by taking cannabis instead.
The use of cannabis is now encouraged at Hadarim along with many other Israeli nursing homes across the country. It has made a world of difference for both the senior residents and the staff that care for them.
“We know how to extend life,” said Inbal Sikorin, chief nurse at Hadarim, “but sometimes it’s not pleasant and can cause a great deal of suffering, so we’re looking to alleviate this, to add quality to longevity. Cannabis meets this need. Almost all our patients are eating again, and their moods have improved tremendously.”
Meanwhile, Rute, the Holocaust survivor, says nothing can change his past, but cannabis makes it easier to accept. “I’ve been a Holocaust child all my life. I’m now 80 and I’m still a Holocaust child, but I’m finally able to better cope.”
Note: The above post is reprinted from information provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Information may be edited for content and length.