The number of older people who admit to using cannabis has increased significantly over the past five years. According to a new study by the Grossmann School of Medicine at New York University.
This study, recently published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Estimates that cannabis use among adults aged 65 and older increased by 75% between 2015 and 2018. The researchers used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). An annual survey that asks Americans of all ages to self-report their drug use. In 2006, only 0.4% of seniors reported using cannabis in the past year. In 2015, this percentage rose to 2.4%, and in 2018 it increased to 4.2%.
Cannabis use among seniors does not vary like other drugs, said study co-author Joseph Palamar, associate professor at NYU Grossman. “It’s a straight line.
The study found that seniors who were married, educated or had mental health problems were more likely to use cannabis than those who were not. Women and minorities were also more likely to admit to using pot.
Our study shows that cannabis use is becoming increasingly popular nationally among seniors, said lead author Benjamin Han.
As more and more seniors use cannabis for both therapeutic and recreational purposes. It is important for health professionals to counsel their patients despite the very limited evidence on the benefits and harms of cannabis use among seniors.
I was curious to see if it was people who were sicker. with several chronic illnesses, who were trying cannabi. Or if it was people who were healthier, perhaps with a single condition, Han said .
And it seems that it’s the healthier older people who are trying cannabis more.
Cannabis among seniors
However, researchers have identified some disturbing trends. The number of seniors using cannabis and alcohol together. Which may increase the risk of undesirable side effects, increased by 6.3%. The study also notes that the rate of cannabis use among seniors with diabetes increased by 180% between 2015 and 2018. I don’t know why seniors with diabetes are using cannabis more and more. Said Han, noting that there was little evidence to suggest that cannabis can treat diabetes.
We believe that use will continue to increase as the social acceptability of cannabis use increases among older populations, said Palamar.
I believe that the majority of use by older people is medical use. Although we need more research to confirm this. I think older people who use cannabis do so for things like sleep.
Palamar suggests that research should focus on the use of cannabis by seniors, rather than simply tracking annual increases in use.
It’s 2020,” said Palamar. Honestly, I don’t think the increase in cannabis use should be a big problem.