Cannabis the safest alternative for seniors

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Drug interaction issues can be mitigated by switching to marijuana

Of all the pharmaceutical drugs prescribed, one-third is given to the elderly. On average, according to one study, each patient living in nursing homes in the U.S. takes seven medications daily or weekly. That combination produces a substantial risk of negative drug interactions and can also result in the drugs losing their ability to serve their expected purpose. Fortunately, cannabis is now being shown as a definitive and safe alternative that can eliminate those risks.

A study conducted in Israel earlier this year proved that cannabis is a viable option for aging patients. It can be used to treat chronic pain and create a better sense of well-being. It has been shown to be an effective alternative to opioids for pain relief, removing the potential side effects, such as dizziness and constipation, associated with the lab-created chemicals.

According to Victor Novack, a professor of internal medicine at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, “While older patients represent a large and growing population of medical cannabis users, few studies have addressed how it affects this particular group, which also suffers from dementia, frequent falls, mobility problems, and hearing and visual impairments. After monitoring patients 65 and older for six months, we found medical cannabis treatment significantly relieves pain and improves quality of life for seniors with minimal side effects reported.”

Novack’s study involved more than 2,700 patients 65 years old or older. They were administered cannabis that was supplied by the country’s largest medical marijuana supplier and, after six months, 60% had seen a significant improvement in their quality of life, as well as pain control. Those results should be strong enough for any physician to consider prescribing marijuana as a legitimate alternative.