80% of the older adult population has a chronic condition. In this regard, it is essential for there to be more treatment plans. Hemp is proving to be an avenue worth exploring looking at the many health benefits that accompany it. Marijuana combines the power of both THC and CBD. While cannabidiol has several health benefiting qualities, THC also has certain side effects.
But due to the effectiveness and overall safety of the two when used correctly, medical marijuana is legal in several parts of the United States and used for the treatment of a number of diseases. Now a new study shows that medical marijuana can improve the symptoms of patients who are above 75 years of age. This proves that the plant can be tolerated well by older adults.
What Did This New Study Reveal?
A recent report which has been presented at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Philadelphia has found that medical marijuana has the ability to help older people with several ailments. This preliminary study shows that marijuana’s medicinal properties can help older adults who are struggling with Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy, spinal cord damage, etc.
This study also found that medical marijuana can reduce the use of opioids among users along with safely and effectively helping with symptoms of various illnesses. This study had 204 participants who were aged 81 on average and enrolled in the New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program. These individuals took various ratios of THC to CBD, which are the main two components of marijuana, for four months. They also went for regular checkups.
The participants took marijuana in either vaporized form or as a capsule or tincture. In the beginning, 34 participants reported that they had side effects due to marijuana use. However, once the dosage was adjusted, the percentage of people who experienced adverse side effects reduced to 21%. Of the people who faced side effects, 13% experienced sleepiness, 7% had gastrointestinal problems and 7% had balance problems.
It was found that a one-to-one ratio of THC to CBD was common among those who didn’t face any side effects. 69% of the people who used marijuana got relief form some symptom. 49% experienced decreased pain, sleep improvement was seen in 18% of the people, neuropathy was improved in 15% of the people, and 10% noticed an improvement in anxiety. The use of opioid pain medication was decreased in 32% of the participants.
Author of the study, Laszlo Mechtler said, “Our findings show that medical marijuana is well-tolerated in people age 75 and older and may improve symptoms like chronic pain and anxiety.” More research is needed in this area to confirm these benefits of medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana, which is already legal in many states, has shown that it can help alleviate several troublesome symptoms among older adult patients. However, this preliminary study was based on self-reports of the participants. More studies are hence needed.