Marijuana Use Becomes New Trend among Elderly People
A team of scientists from New York University School of Medicine led by Benjamin Khan got interested in the consumption rate of cannabinoid-containing foods by various age groups in the United States.
After processing data from the National Survey on Drug and Health from 2006 to 2018, the researchers found that the use of recreational marijuana had increased tenfold in the group of elderly Americans – respondents aged 65 and older. In 2006, it was 0.4%, and in 2018 it grew to 4.2%. The intermediate date was 2015 when the gradual legalization of products containing cannabinoids began in the United States - 2.4%.
Why More and More Older People Begin Using Cannabis
Cannabis use is independent of social status, marital status, education, and income. Many elderly people take cannabis products with an increase in age-related chronic diseases. Such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, joint pain, chronic pain, epilepsy, mental and neurological diseases, depression, to increase appetite and reduce nausea after chemotherapy and so on.
But some people use marijuana without being sick. Most of those who were born in the fifties and sixties of the XX century tried cannabis at least once in their youth and did not consider it harmful.
Why More Research on Cannabis Use by Elderly Is Needed
During the National Survey, the question of the causes of cannabis use was not asked. Doctors, when receiving older patients, try not to discuss this issue, and there are very few clinical studies of marijuana use by such people.
Khan recommends that doctors tell patients in this group about the dangers of cannabis in certain diseases (for example, after a heart attack), about interactions with other drugs and alcohol.
Research on the effects of cannabinoids on the older age group is bound to continue.