A new research study has found that many American seniors are turning towards marijuana and Cannabis-derived products. This research study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine journal.
It highlights that the number of seniors over 65 using cannabis has nearly doubled in a span of three years. The drastic change noted is a jump in usage from 2.4 to 4.2 percent.
The data analyzed was collected between 2015 and 2018. This signifies an increase in usage by 75 percent.
Though most of the states legalized the forms of cannabis since 2015, the authors feel that the factors resulting in an increase in cannabis usage is something else.
Joseph J. Palamar is an associate professor at Langone Medical Center, New York University and also the co-author of this research study. He said, “We don’t think increases in use are due to legalization, although increasing social acceptability, in general, might have helped drive these increases”.
He further added that more and more elders are hearing the potential therapeutic benefits offered by cannabis and this is the reason why they are eagerly using the products.
Palamar is also of the opinion that most of the older adults aren’t using cannabis for the first time. There are sufficient studies to point out that most of them have used cannabis at a younger age.
Palamar and his team reviewed data gathered on adults aged 65 and above. They gathered data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They analyzed data from over 15,000 respondents. 55 percent of them were male.
The trends suggested that there has been an increase in the consumption of cannabis among women.
There was also an increase in usage noted among individuals who had higher levels of income and also had high educational qualification. An increase in usage was also recorded in individuals belonging to different ethnic groups and races.
It is interesting to note that the increase in use has been triggered by the spread of potential health benefits related to cannabis components. For instance, a significant increase in cannabis use has been noted in seniors with diabetes from 2015 to 2018.
The growth rate observed is 180 percent. 96 percent increase in the use of cannabis has been noted in individuals suffering from any chronic disease. Also, the usage of cannabis products has increased by 150 percent in patients receiving mental health treatment.
Palamar also expressed his concerns while explaining the study findings. He said that people must have sufficient knowledge about the drugs that they are using.
Although marijuana is not a dangerous drug, there are some people who do tend to experience adverse effects after use. Seniors considering reinitiating marijuana use must take into account the potency of the drug.
They must also remember that their body may not be same as earlier when they used to use cannabis. Older people must be aware of their body limits and double-check the potency before using cannabis.