Study: Cannabis Is Safe And Effective For Elderly Patients

ISRAEL: Cannabis therapy is safe and effective among elderly patients diagnosed with chronic pain, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.

Researchers from Hebrew University and the Ben Gurion University of Negrev in Israel assessed the use of therapeutic cannabis over a period of six months in a cohort of 1,186 patients above 65 years of age. The majority of patients enrolled in the trial suffered from pain or cancer. Under an Israeli federal program, over 32,000 citizens are licensed to utilize cannabis therapy.

“After six months of treatment, 93.7 percent of the respondents reported improvement in their condition, and the reported pain level was reduced from a median of 8 on a scale of 0-10 to a median of 4,” researchers reported. The majority of respondents also reported “a significant improvement in [their] overall quality of life.”

Furthermore, over 18 percent of the study’s participants “stopped using opioid analgesics or reduced their dose” – a result that led investigators to conclude, “Cannabis can decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.” Numerous prior studies, such as those compiled here, similarly show that pain patients typically mitigate or eliminate their opioid use during cannabis therapy.

The adverse effects most commonly reported by participants were dizziness and dry-mouth.

Authors concluded: “The older population is a large and growing part of medical cannabis users. Our study finds that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in this population.”


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly,” appears in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.

Alice, 91, Attends "Controversial Issues" Class: What's Your Take On Medical Marijuana?

CALIFORNIA: My mother in law, Alice never attended college as a young person. She’s making up for lost time now though.  Twice a week she packs a lunch and goes to the local community college for the Learning In Retirement series of classes. You might find your aging parent in class somewhere, too. She loves it.  There’s Trials of the Century, taught by a retired lawyer. And then there’s Controversial Issues.

Last week, my husband, Mikol, who is a psychologist, was visiting her and he went along to class.  The topic of the day was medical marijuana. The instructor led the discussion by asking the class, which consisted of about 50 seniors, what their experience was and what their opinions were on using medical marijuana. The group had many elderly retired professionals in it: doctors, lawyers, accountants and others. Some were not formally educated, though it appeared there were many thoughtful people of all backgrounds contributing to the discussion. [Read more…]

Alice, 91, Attends "Controversial Issues" Class: What's Your Take On Medical Marijuana?

CALIFORNIA: My mother in law, Alice never attended college as a young person. She’s making up for lost time now though.  Twice a week she packs a lunch and goes to the local community college for the Learning In Retirement series of classes. You might find your aging parent in class somewhere, too. She loves it.  There’s Trials of the Century, taught by a retired lawyer. And then there’s Controversial Issues.

Last week, my husband, Mikol, who is a psychologist, was visiting her and he went along to class.  The topic of the day was medical marijuana. The instructor led the discussion by asking the class, which consisted of about 50 seniors, what their experience was and what their opinions were on using medical marijuana. The group had many elderly retired professionals in it: doctors, lawyers, accountants and others. Some were not formally educated, though it appeared there were many thoughtful people of all backgrounds contributing to the discussion. [Read more…]