Cannabis gains acceptance in treating disorders in the elderly

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Pain, sleep disorders and anxiety can all be targeted with no complications

While the debate rages on whether or not cannabis is good for you, scientists continue to reach conclusions almost on a daily basis that show more positive than negative for the plant. A new study is showing that cannabis can be particularly beneficial to an age segment that suffers from a number of ailments, and for which lab-created chemicals can be especially damaging.

At an upcoming meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers plan on revealing that medical marijuana is safe and effective in fighting symptoms related to a number of chronic diseases. They will show that cannabis can help ease pain, treat anxiety and help elderly patients relax more effectively with no side effects.

According to Laszlo Mechtler, MD, with the Dent Neurologic Institute in New York, “With legalization in many states, medical marijuana has become a popular treatment option among people with chronic diseases and disorders, yet there is limited research, especially in older people … Our findings are promising and can help fuel further research into medical marijuana as an additional option for this group of people who often have chronic conditions.

“Our findings show that medical marijuana is well-tolerated in people age 75 and older and may improve symptoms like chronic pain and anxiety. Future research should focus on symptoms like sleepiness and balance problems, as well as efficacy and optimal dosing.”

To reach their conclusion, Mechtler and his associated conducted a retrospective chart review on patients 75 years old or older. 204 patients in total were involved in the four-month study and were administered varying amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Adverse reactions to lower doses were only reported by 21% of the group, with sleepiness reported by only 13%. Only 3% dropped out of the program due to adverse reactions, but 69% reported relief of their pain. Administering medical marijuana also helped reduce the dependency on opioids for pain relief by 32%.

It has already been established that marijuana products can be effective for treating pain. However, an advanced study targeting the elderly population is extremely beneficial in helping senior citizens have the confidence they need to turn to medical marijuana and avoid big pharma-produced drugs.