Cannabis health benefits are becoming more popular among people since it became legal in several states. Older adults tend to incline more towards using cannabis as stated by the latest study. Researchers from the University of California reported this trend among older individuals.
The research was published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
According to the study, older people frequently take advantage of cannabis health benefits for the treatment of some common issues. These include a disturbance in sleeping patterns, pain, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
The researchers included 568 individuals in this study and found that 15 percent of these patients used cannabis over the last three years. Also, nearly 50% of the participants regularly used it for different health conditions.
Christopher Kaufmann is the co-first author of this study. He is also the assistant professor at the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, UC San Diego. Dr. Kauffman said that most of the people used cannabis for conditions including anxiety, pain, and insomnia. The patients mentioned that cannabis helped relieve these health issues for them. It particularly helps get rid of pain and insomnia.
Kevin Yang is a medical student and co-first author of this study. Kevin mentioned another finding during the study that almost three-fifths of participants said that they started using cannabis in older age. Such participants used it for cannabis health benefits solely.
The participants who used cannabis for such purposes do not ingest or smoke it but rather use a topical lotion containing the drug. These people also talk to their doctors about their use of cannabis for health purposes. This shows that cannabis use became normalized in society than in past years and is not a taboo anymore.
The researchers also mentioned that further studies will help better understand cannabis health benefits. Also, scientists need to research more about the efficacy and safety of the drug for certain medical conditions. The researchers also need to study the effect of cannabis particularly in older people.
Kauffman said that cannabis seems beneficial so far but further evidence and research will reveal the efficacy of the drug. The scientists also need to compare the effect of cannabis with conventional medication available in the market.
The researchers also raise a question if cannabis is safer to use as a medical treatment instead of benzodiazepines and opioids. Also, if it can replace multiple medications that older people take at the same time for different health conditions.
Since cannabis is being used more frequently for different purposes, scientists need to look for the safety of regular usage of this drug. There are many risks and benefits associated with different products available containing cannabis extract.
Cannabis containing products became more readily available in the market and people tend to use it more frequently since it became widely legal. There is room for more information based on research and evidence that shows potential risks associated with cannabis. Meanwhile, several cannabis health benefits are already known but researchers need to back up these claims with more evidence.