Published: February 2, 2018
The elderly (+65 years of age) represent a rapidly growing cohort of medical cannabis consumers, so a better understanding of cannabis’ efficacy and safety in these patients is needed. To address this, a recent survey was conducted in over 900 elderly Israeli patients who used medicinal cannabis for at least six months.
In this study, 75% of the patients had no prior history with cannabis consumption, making this a powerful assessment of the onboarding experience in the elderly. Most patients began using cannabis for pain-related conditions including cancer pain, but a smaller number of patients were using it to treat chemo-related nausea, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Crohn’s disease. While THC-forward strains were the most consumed, CBD-rich strains were especially common in patients suffering from pain, chemotherapy side effects, Parkinson’s disease, and inflammatory diseases.
Regardless of strain preference, 93.7% of patients reported that cannabis improved their symptoms after six months of use. It was particularly helpful in reducing pain, on average reducing pain from an 8 (on a scale to 10) to a 4. This reduction in pain led 15% to entirely stop their opioid pain medications.
Overall, cannabis use improved quality-of-life from “bad” to “good” with few adverse side effects. The most common side-effects, dizziness and dry mouth, were reported in only 10% and 7% of patients, respectively. Two percent or less reported confusion, disorientation, or weakness.
Together, these findings strongly support the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis in an elderly population for treatment of pain-related conditions.
Article from leafly.com