Older Adults Using Marijuana More but Doctors Not Prepared

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Over the last decade, the number of older adults (those over age 65) who use some form of cannabis has increased steadily. In fact, as reported on The Verge, just between the years of 2015 and 2018, the number of adults over 65 reporting marijuana use increased by 75%. The data is according to a survey published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) International Medicine.

Older Adults Cannabis Use

While the study did not ask about conditions commonly managed with cannabis use, such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease or chronic pain, it did determine that a large number of survey participants use marijuana to manage diabetes symptoms. However, the author of the study, Dr. Benjamin Han says that physicians of geriatric patients are generally not prepared to talk with older adults about marijuana use.

As he is quoted as saying in the article, “We do a very poor job screening and talking to older patients about drug and alcohol use. That may have negative health effects.”

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