Tuesday, June 28, 2022

New Study Says Marijuana Use is Rising Among American Seniors Over 65

Cannibis - Marijuana buds - unsplash

*According to research published Monday in JAMA, marijuana use is rising among American seniors over age 65.  

“I find it fascinating that people who would never touch an illegal drug are now trying to get it, even if it’s just for medical purposes,” said study co-author Joseph Palamar, an associate professor of population health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, per CNN

“What I’m seeing in my clinic are a lot of older adults who are very curious about cannabis to treat this or that chronic disease and symptoms,” said co-author Dr. Benjamin Han, an assistant professor of geriatric medicine and palliative care at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

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A picture taken on June 4, 2019 in Milan shows chocolate bars made with cannabis in a hemp store, central Milan. – Hemp is “legal” marijuana as the THC psychotropic substance is blocked, but can be use for textiles, food, cosmetics and other purposes. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Via CNN:

Over the last decade, Palamar and Han have published several papers estimating marijuana use by American seniors. To do so they analyze data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey of 15,000 people in the US who do not live in an institution, such as a nursing home.

In 2006, only 0.4% of seniors over 65 reported using marijuana products in the past year, they said. The newly published study found that by 2015, the number had doubled to 2.4%. By 2018, it had doubled again, with 4.2% of seniors over 65 using weed.

Use was highest among women, racial or ethnic minorities, and seniors who were married, college-educated, had mental health issues and had incomes of $20,000 to $49,000 and $75,000 or higher.

“Marijuana use among seniors is not bouncing up and down like with other drugs,” Palamar said. “It’s a straight line up.”

“I was curious to see if it was people who are more sick, with say, multiple chronic conditions, trying cannabis, or is it the healthier people, perhaps with only one health condition,” Han said. “And it appears it’s the healthier older people who are trying cannabis more.”

“There’s a very limited evidence base for what the benefits of cannabis are, who it benefits the most, what the risks are, and who it may harm the most,” Han added.

Read more about the study here


Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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