Researchers from NYC Grossman School of Medicine have revealed that the usage of cannabis in the US has been drastically increased among the people aged 65 years and older. This report is published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.
The report estimates that in United states consumption of cannabis among the adults having age 65 years or older rises to 4.2% from 2.4%. Researchers observed that the total consumption of cannabis among the adults of the U.S. increases by 75 percent in the years 2015 and 2018.
In many states of the U.S., the use of cannabis has been legalized for recreational and medical purposes. Now many medical health professionals studying its characteristics or beneficial properties that can be helpful in treating many chronic conditions. Since 1996, medical marijuana has been legalized in 31 states for medicinal purposes. on the other side, marijuana has been used for recreational purposes in Washington D.C. and other 11 states.
Benjamin Han who is an assistant professor of Geriatric Medicine, Palliative Care, and Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and a lead author of the study said that the findings of the study showed that the use of cannabis continues to increase nationwide among the older adults for recreational or therapeutic purposes.
So, it is important for health care professionals to advise or support their patients about the use of cannabis in a limited amount by giving them awareness about the harms and benefits of its consumption.
In this study, researchers took the data from the National Survey on Drugs Use and Health for analysis. Center for Behavioral Health and Statistics and Quality conducted this survey at the national level. During the survey, people were asked about the use of cannabis whether hashish, grass, marijuana, pot or hash oil were being ingested or smoked. On the basis of this survey, the use of cannabis is categorized.
Between the years of 2015 and 2018 in the United States researchers notice the prevalence rate of cannabis use in the past years. They observed that consumption rate decreases due to chronic diseases, healthcare utilization, socio-demographic background and the usage of other substances among older adults.
The prevalence rate has been increased among certain subsets of the U.S. population such as in the last year the consumption rate becomes twice among the older adults who have diabetes, those who received some medical treatment for mental health and those who consume alcohol. The use of cannabis has seen higher among the individuals who had a college degree, married or had a high income.
Joseph Palamar who is an associate professor of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and senior author of the study said that it is important to study the beneficial and harmful aspects of marijuana use, particularly among older adults.
The survey did not include the questions about the THC products or vaping of marijuana, so researchers need to understand the vaping trends among the individuals of all age groups.
Researchers plan to design a study that will provide them more information about the medicinal effects of marijuana among older adults. Moreover, they wanted to know the side effects and risks of marijuana and profiles of other cannabinoids in the medical products.
Caroline S. Blaum who is the director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care and the Diane and Arthur Belfer Professor of Geriatric Medicine said that the results of this study gave us important highlights about the consumption of cannabis among the age group of 65 years old individuals, especially among baby boomers.
Now the researchers are trying to understand the benefits and risks of marijuana use among older patients for medical purposes.