Is marijuana and seniors a bad combination?


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8 comments

  1. Ba' Pham

    Is there systematic-review evidence of marijuana use by the elderly and delirium? Hope this has been part of the development of the policy and legislation regarding legalizing marijuana.

    • Vanessa Milne

      We didn’t do a full literature review, but I couldn’t find anything about delirium and marijuana, and none of my sources had heard of anything published about it either.

  2. Cheryl

    I have used the CBD (not mind altering) for pain and it works very well. I am 80 years old and can not take most pain medications. My reaction to them are vomiting, hallucinations, seeing double and nausea and vomiting. After total knee replacement the Stanford Pain team said there was nothing they could give me. I had to take a pill to reduce nausea then a codeine. I could not think, I was woozy, still vomiting and my mind was hazy.
    When I got home and switched to CBD I did not have pain. the different types of marijuana should definitely be studied for medical purposes in elderly.
    .

  3. Ian Mitchell

    1.It would probably be helpful to put cannabis in the context of other medications that are prescribed to seniors. Antipsychotic medications including Seroquel (quetiapine) has a meager evidence base, with significant toxicities, including increased falls and yet is massively overprescribed to seniors in nursing homes. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/05/16/nursing-homes-urged-to-rethink-drugging-people-with-dementia.html Many seniors are using cannabis as a substitution for opiates and benzodiazepines, medications with significantly higher toxicity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28189912 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cannabis-vs-seroquel-insomnia-which-better-choice-ian-mitchell

    2. You mentions that cannabis can be associated with problems with bladder cancer. The largest and most recent study showed a 45% decrease in the rate of bladder cancer https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25623697
    3. You mention bone loss, but you completely fail to make any mention of CBD (cannabidiol) in your discussion. Cannabidiol does not cause a high, but has anti-seizure, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. Many seniors are very interested in this aspect of cannabis, which remains illegal, despite having no euphoric properties. This drug may also promote bone healing and has positive effects on bone density, something seniors also tend to be interested in.
    4. It is also unfortunate that you did not include the most recent, exciting research suggesting that cannabis can increase cognitive function in the elderly https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/marijuana-may-boost-rather-than-dull-the-elderly-brain/

    • Vanessa Milne

      Hi Ian,

      Thanks for this. I would mention that the study you refer to in point 4 is on mice, and that we did discuss cannabis’s use as a substitute for opioids in the piece.

      Appreciate the comment,
      Vanessa

  4. Sue

    What are the risks of marijuana when pregnant please.

  5. Tracy Edwards

    People, only at bedtime for seniors. Eliminates accidental falling Period nite nite ssshhhhh

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