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Study: Cannabis Is Safe And Effective For Elderly Patients

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 7, 2018

    Medical marijuanaCannabis therapy is safe and effective among elderly patients diagnosed with chronic pain, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.

    Researchers from Hebrew University and the Ben Gurion University of Negrev in Israel assessed the use of therapeutic cannabis over a period of six months in a cohort of 1,186 patients above 65 years of age. The majority of patients enrolled in the trial suffered from pain or cancer. Under an Israeli federal program, over 32,000 citizens are licensed to utilize cannabis therapy.

    “After six months of treatment, 93.7 percent of the respondents reported improvement in their condition, and the reported pain level was reduced from a median of 8 on a scale of 0-10 to a median of 4,” researchers reported. The majority of respondents also reported “a significant improvement in [their] overall quality of life.”

    Furthermore, over 18 percent of the study’s participants “stopped using opioid analgesics or reduced their dose” – a result that led investigators to conclude, “Cannabis can decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.” Numerous prior studies, such as those compiled here, similarly show that pain patients typically mitigate or eliminate their opioid use during cannabis therapy.

    The adverse effects most commonly reported by participants were dizziness and dry-mouth.

    Authors concluded: “The older population is a large and growing part of medical cannabis users. Our study finds that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in this population.”

    Read the abstract of the study, “Epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly,” here.

    7 responses to “Study: Cannabis Is Safe And Effective For Elderly Patients”

    1. Gramps says:

      What’s that, Sonny? Speak up, and stop hogging the joint! Puff puff pass! Kids these days don’t know how to pass a joint!

    2. Julian says:

      Marijuana does have side effects:
      I have gray hairs poking out here and there. I’ve got crow’s feet growing out of the skin outside my eyes and I’m watching my children grow older. I feel happy, though. Because I see these effects on people much younger than I am who don’t consume marijuana and stick to pills and alcohol.
      Say, maybe all that refer madness was just madness?

    3. Sean says:

      I would love to see cannabis friendly elderly and assisted care facilities.

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