Medical Research News

Research Suggests Cannabis is Safe and Effective for the Elderly

Written by Lisa Rennie

A growing body of evidence exists highlighting the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis among the elderly. Yet, while medical cannabis is being increasingly used by the elderly, a stigma hurdle still exists among this particular demographic.

The global elderly population has withstood the longest stretch of hearing propaganda surrounding cannabis, and as such, their indoctrination has likely run deep. Given this, it may take much more education to get the elderly to see past the propaganda and understand the true power this plant offers.

Perhaps the latest research and findings on medical cannabis and its potential benefits in alleviating a myriad of commonplace ailments among seniors may convince them that cannabis is both safe and effective.

A recent prospective study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine looked at the characteristics of elderly people using medical cannabis and evaluated its therapeutic potential. [1] Among the study authors is Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli organic chemist and professor known for his role in isolating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary active component of type I cannabis.

The study included more than 2,700 patients over the age of 65 who received medical cannabis over a 2.5-year period. Participants were asked about the role cannabis played in alleviating pain and improving quality of life.

Two-thirds of the patients were consuming cannabis to treat pain, while just over 60% were applying it to their regimen to treat issues related to cancer diagnoses.

Following six months of treatment with medical cannabis, 94% of the study participants claimed to have experienced improvement in their condition and a reduction in pain. Just over 18% stopped using opioids or reduced their dose as a result of the improvements made by medical cannabis treatment.

Few patients encountered side effects: less than 10% experienced dry mouth and dizziness.

Overall, the study found that medical cannabis is safe and effective among the elderly population, and may contribute to decreased use of prescription medications, including opioids.


Image source: Steve Buissinne via Pixabay



[1] Abuhasira R, Schleider LB, Mechoulam R, Novack V. Epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly. Eur J Intern Med. 2018;49:44-50. [journal impact factor = 3.66; times cited = 160]

About the author

Lisa Rennie

Lisa Simoneli Rennie has been working as a freelance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content dedicated to informing consumers. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others, and in her spare time, Lisa enjoys trying funky new recipes, spending time with her dog, and of course, reveling in the joy of family.

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