INCREASE IN CANNABIS USE AMONG THE ELDERLY: WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS

  • January 19, 2021
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  • Last modified on January 26th, 2021 at 5:27 am
Marijuana for seniors/ ElderlyResearchers are finding that older populations are using more cannabis than ever before. The data also show that many older people use cannabis for medical purposes. Despite this, most doctors are still reluctant to prescribe cannabis to older people. Cannabis use among adults and middle-aged people is steadily increasing. In the state of Colorado, where marijuana was legalized in 2014, adults over 65 are one of the fastest growing populations of cannabis users. Although doctors are still reluctant to prescribe cannabis, older people take it upon themselves to treat themselves with it. It is believed that advances in marijuana as a reliable medical treatment have contributed significantly to the recent increase in cannabis use among older people.

MORE AND MORE OLDER PEOPLE ARE USING MARIJUANA

A 2018 study at New York University suggests that more and more middle-aged and older Americans are using cannabis on a regular basis. According to data for 2015-2016, 9% of people aged between 50 and 64 and 3% of people aged 65 and over have used marijuana in the past year. The so-called “baby boomers” generation, which accounts for a large proportion of today’s elderly population, were confronted with marijuana for recreational purposes in the 1960s and 1970s. For this reason, experts believe that these people have far fewer problems with cannabis use than older people of previous generations. The same NYU study revealed that almost 93% of people aged between 50 and 64 who have used cannabis had first used marijuana before the age of 21. The researchers believe that some of these people have used marijuana regularly or occasionally throughout their lives and into old age.

OLDER PEOPLE USE MARIJUANA FOR THE FIRST TIME

When Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2018, many believed that teenage use would increase sharply. However, statistics show that the opposite has happened. According to a recent Statistics Canada survey, half of the people who tried cannabis for the first time in 2019 are over 45 years old. Furthermore, the number of first-time cannabis users almost doubled between 2018 and 2019.

MEDICAL CANNABIS

Many older people use cannabis for medical purposes. Clinics and medical practices have seen an increase in the number of older patients seeking a marijuana prescription or information. It has been clinically proven that medical marijuana can help relieve a wide range of conditions, from neuropathic pain to anxiety disorders. As general awareness of medical marijuana has grown, more and more older people have considered it as a possible treatment option. However, experts warn that most older people are not well informed about modern marijuana. Many are recommended by friends or acquaintances and lack the information needed to navigate the complex modern cannabis market. Doctors also warn that the use of cannabis in older people has not been sufficiently researched and that the issue of safety is problematic. As a result, many health professionals do not know what to expect from older people and how to deal with it.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS

Medical experts also warn of potentially harmful side effects for older people. For example, as the ageing brain is more sensitive to psychiatric drugs, older people are advised to be cautious when using THC. This is why some doctors recommend that older people try cannabis varieties with high CBD content, not THC. These varieties provide the desired pain relief without causing euphoria or discomfort. Moreover, patients suffering from certain medical conditions or who have to take certain medicines are advised not to use medical marijuana. For example, patients with lung disease should not smoke at all. Meanwhile, experts also warn that marijuana can impair the effects of blood thinners, so affected patients should also refrain from using marijuana. Conversely, some research suggests that medical cannabis can actually help lower blood pressure and balance cholesterol levels, two major problems that affect the ageing population. Moreover, figures indicate that many old ones who are open to cannabis also use alcohol. Medical experts warn against combining these two substances because they can affect memory and motor skills, which can be a problem for seniors, especially if they are prone to slipping or falling.

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Mr. BC Seeds is an over educated old school hippy who has been involved in the cannabis industry since the 1970's. He is one of the most experienced marijuana breeders in Canada if not the entire world. He was the first to use the most advanced breeding techniques in 2008 to create 42 of the world's strongest cannabis strains. He has been writing in-depth articles about cannabis in Canada for decades and looks forward to continue bringing you cutting edge cannabis strains for the decades to come. Mr. BC Seeds uses a "pen name" because he still travels the world collecting cannabis strains and continues researching cannabis in laboratories of non-legalized countries.
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